Hedge Funds Odey and Immersion Lose as Home Retail Shares Soar

Odey Asset Management and Immersion Capital were among hedge funds stung by surging shares of Home Retail Group Plc.

The funds had two of the biggest short positions among at least seven investment firms betting against the stock, data disclosed by British regulator the Financial Conduct Authority show. Home Retail, owner of the Argos and Homebase stores, jumped as much as 41 percent today after U.K. supermarket chain J Sainsbury Plc said it had attempted to take over the company. The approach was rejected and Sainsbury’s said it’s "considering its position."

Odey had the largest position with 2.2 percent of shares out on loan and Immersion had 1.5 percent, the data showed. Representatives of the funds declined to comment.

A fund shorts a company by borrowing stock and selling it, aiming to later buy it back for less and pocketing the difference. Home Retail was up 40 percent at 138.6 pence as of 2:44 p.m. giving the company a market value of 1.12 billion pounds ($1.64 billion).

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