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Australian activist L1 Capital up 42%

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L1 Capital, a prominent Australian activist hedge fund firm launched by former Macquarie investment banker James Hawkins, has recorded a gain of more than 42% with its Catalyst Fund since the strategy launched in 2021, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The AUD1.7bn ($1.1bn) fund’s performance is nearly double that of the country’s benchmark stock index – the S&P/ASX 200 Index (22%) – over the same period.

The Catalyst Fund typically holds a portfolio of around 10 stocks at companies that L1 Capital believes can be persuaded to make changes including boardroom shakeups, takeovers and dividend increases to improve investor value.

Recent L1 campaigns include calling for Australian gas producer Santos to consider a breakup in October, while the fund also benefitted from an investment in New Zealand gas station operator Z Energy’s refinery operations before the company was taken over by Ampol.

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