Early Christmas shopping for Prentice

Fri Sep 1, 2006



Christmas must already be on the mind of hedge fund manager Michael Zimmerman, whose Prentice Capital Management upped its stakes in the toy and gift stocks this summer. Regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that in early August, Prentice bought 4.4 million shares of Russ Berrie, which specializes in teddy bears and other gifts aimed at infants and juveniles.

Prentice's Russ Berrie investment came at the same time D.E. Shaw bought an identical amount of the teddy bear maker's stock. Combined, the two fund groups wound up with a 43% stake in the firm - 21.5% apiece.

It's too early to say whether the big investment will pay off, but on the day of the deal, the stock settled at the hedge funds' tender price of $11.30, running ahead of its 52-week recent low of $10.60 but with plenty of headroom to grow back to...

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