The third quarter was a very strong one for North American equity indices as U.S. and Canada started to relax the most stringent COVID-19 restrictions. Our merger arbitrage funds performed well during the period as well, the Picton Mahoney Fortified Arbitrage Alternative Fund (Class F) returned 3.11% during the third quarter and the Picton Mahoney Fortified Arbitrage Alternative Plus Fund (Class F) returned 6.46% during the quarter.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs)
SPACs continue to shine as an area of opportunity - we are seeing each month’s new issuance outpace the last. More importantly, the pace of SPACs announcing targets they intend to take public has been impressive. In September alone we saw many such announcements where the SPAC experienced large gains due to the positive reception in the market, including Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp.’s merger with QuantumScape Corp. and Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. II merger with OpenDoor Labs Inc. As we have harvested the gains from these successful SPACs, we have been able to redeploy the capital into new SPAC IPOs that are led by some of the most well-known investors and/or management teams in the U.S.
Many of our merger arbitrage funds largest merger arbitrage deals closed or made significant progress towards doing so during the quarter. Notably, Northview Apartment REIT moved closer to the finishing line and announced they expect to close the first week of November. Outside of select M&A terminations that are being litigated, the universe of merger arbitrage spreads now exhibits annualized spreads approaching pre-pandemic levels. Furthermore, we witnessed an opening of the M&A markets as some large transactions were announced, including Maxim Integrated Products Inc. and Varian Medical Systems, Inc. In particular, there were an unusual number of pharmaceutical deals announced: Principia Biopharma Inc. by Sanofi S. A., Momenta Pharmaceuticals, Inc. by Johnson & Johnson, Immunomedics, Inc. by Gilead Sciences, Inc., and Aimmune Therapeutics, Inc. by Nestle S.A.
For the funds’ full performance, visit www.pictonmahoney.com.
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