Can Christmas save Renaissance's toy bet?

Tue Oct 30, 2007



By Pete Gallo

The holiday shopping season seems to roll in a little sooner every year, with Thanksgiving decorations giving way to Christmas sales at shopping malls with accelerated fury. This year, holiday sales can't start soon enough for Long Island-based hedge fund manager Jim Simons. That's because his firm, Renaissance Technologies, has invested close to $1 billion in companies that make toys, and so far it's not looking like a merry Christmas ahead.

It's no exaggeration to say that putting classic board games like Hasbro's Monopoly and Mattel's iconic Barbie doll under the tree this Christmas will have an impact on the bottom line for Renaissance. The hedge fund is the single largest investor in the nation's two largest toy companies - Hasbro and Mattel.

Regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that (as of the start...

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