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Hedge Funds Betting on Deals See Best Start to a Year in Decades

  • M&A surge sees event-driven funds outperform in first quarter
  • Flurry of raised offers also boosts funds betting on outcomes

The feverish market for corporate marriages has created a fertile hunting ground for hedge funds that are raking in bumper profits from betting on the success and failure of big-ticket deals.

So called event-driven funds that wager on mergers, acquisitions and other company changes gained an average 7.6% during the first quarter, their best start to a year since 1993. They also had a better run than any other broad hedge-fund strategy, according to data from Hedge Fund Research Inc.