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Australian hedge fund Caledonia doubles down on $2.2bn Zillow bet

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Sydney-based Caledonia, one of Australia’s largest and most secretive hedge funds, is maintaining a highly concentrated bet in Zillow Group, forecasting a rebound after the US real estate listing company’s shares plummeted over 26% this year, according to a report by Bloomberg. 

As Zillow’s largest shareholder, Caledonia’s approximately $2.2bn stake makes it one of the world’s most concentrated US equity positions held by a hedge fund, Bloomberg reported. The Zillow stake also constitutes about a fifth of Caledonia’s reported assets as of January. 

Zillow now trades at roughly one-fifth of its 2021 peak value. In a March investor letter seen by Bloomberg, Caledonia projected Zillow’s stock would triple by the end of next year, a forecast significantly higher than Wall Street analysts’ average estimates. 

In the letter, co-CIOs Michael Messara and William Vicars wrote: “We have stuck with these positions and have not been bluffed out at the bottom, and we are going to strive mightily to not sell them too early. 

“Volatility comes with the territory for us, and we are good with that.” 

Caledonia’s investment in Zillow was revealed at the Ira Sohn conference in London in 2014, according to AFR, also marking the first time the hedge fund had discussed its investments in public. At the time, then-PM Messara said: “We believe Zillow will be a $50bn enterprise value company – around seven times the size it is today.” 

Caledonia was founded in 1992 with the wealth of Australia’s Darling family from grain and mining and managed about $11bn as of January. The firm is known for high-conviction, out-of-favor bets and its clients include Australia’s Packer and Fairfax families. 

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