Och pushes Sculptor to release information about Bidder J’s bid for company

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

NEW YORK (Reuters) -Dan Och and four other former executives of Sculptor Capital Management on Thursday pressed the hedge fund to release information about a more lucrative bid for the company which it rejected in favor of sticking by a deal with Rithm Capital.

Investors Boaz Weinstein, Bill Ackman, Marc Lasry and Jeff Yass – members of a group called Bidder J – offered to pay $12.76 per share for Sculptor, the hedge fund said on Wednesday. But Sculptor chose to stay with Rithm’s $11.15 per share bid, saying the Bidder J offer has “significantly less certainty of closing.”

But Och and the others want details.

“Many shareholders and investors are eager to hear more about such a bid, and we urge the Board to do its fiduciary duty and waive the NDAs (nondisclosure agreements) to maximize the bidding process and achieve the highest value for shareholders,” Och said in a statement.

The group’s call to release the other bidders from their nondisclosure agreements is the latest move in an increasingly tense battle between some of the hedge fund industry’s most storied managers over Sculptor, the firm Och founded and ran for years. Rithm agreed to buy Sculptor in July.

Och called Weinstein, Ackman, Lasry and Yass “some of the most acclaimed investors of the last 25 years” and said “it seems evident that such a group could augment Sculptor’s investment team while paying much more cash to the shareholders.”

Sculptor’s former CEO Rob Shafir, who owns 6.2% of the company, said he thought it was the right time for the company to be sold but he will not support the proposed sale to Rithm.

He wrote in an open letter to Sculptor’s board that it was their fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value and that $12.76 with committed financing was clearly superior to $11.15.

Shafir also wrote that it was not credible to say Bidder J would not be acceptable to limited partners or maintain the position that Bidder J does not have the funds and resources to complete this transaction.

A representative of Sculptor was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss in New YorkEditing by Matthew Lewis and David Gregorio)

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