Third Point, U.S. settle over antitrust filing in DowDuPont stake

BOSTON (Reuters) - Third Point LLC has agreed to pay more than $600,000 to settle allegations the hedge fund failed to properly file for antitrust clearance when it bought DowDuPont stock two years ago, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb speaks during a Reuters Newsmaker event in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Third Point, which invests roughly $15 billion in securities around the world and is run by billionaire investor Daniel Loeb, will pay a civil fine of $609,810, the department said.

Two years ago the hedge fund allegedly bought too much DowDuPont stock too quickly, failing to make the required Hart-Scott-Rodino filings or observe a required waiting period.

The hedge fund could have faced much higher penalties but the Justice Department said it reduced the fine because the “violation was inadvertent.”

Firms are required to make the Hart-Scott-Rodino filings to give the government time to investigate potential antitrust violations.

Third Point declined to comment.

Third Point’s alleged misstep revolved around the August 2017 merger of Dow and DuPont when their separate stocks stopped trading on Aug. 31, 2017 and were replaced by DowDuPont shares, which began trading on Sept. 1, 2017.

Earlier this year Dow Inc was formally spun off from DowDuPont Inc.

Third Point received voting securities of DowDuPont in excess of $80.8 million through the merger, the threshold for making the required filing at that time.

While Third Point properly observed the rules when it bought Dow stock long before the merger in 2014, the Justice Department said that because DowDuPont was a different company, the hedge fund was required to make another filing after the merger.

The government also noted that Third Point had previously violated filing requirements in connection with building a stake in Yahoo Inc shares in 2011.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Tom Brown