Akin Gump, Wachtell lead on hedge fund listing

US firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz are playing key roles in the New York listing of hedge fund company Halcyon Asset Management.

The $11.5bn (£5.66bn) alternative investment house has agreed to be bought by special purpose acquisition company (Spac) Alternative Asset Management Acquisition Corporation (AAMAC), a so-called blank cheque company.

Wachtell is advising Halcyon on the deal, fielding a team made up of corporate partner Igor Kirman, executive compensation and benefits partner Michael Segal and tax partners Jodi Schwartz and Joshua Holmes.

The Akin Gump team advising AAMAC includes securities partner Bruce Mendelsohn, M&A partners Adam Weinstein and Zach Wittenberg, funds partner Ira Kustin and benefits partner Tristan Brown.

Spacs are publicly-traded buyout companies that raise cash for unspecified mergers, hence the ‘black cheque’ label. Under the terms of the current deal, which is due to complete in the third quarter, the new entity will be known as Halcyon Management.

Halcyon runs multi-strategy hedge funds and other strategies focused on stressed/distressed situations and undervalued asset-backed securities, senior secured bank loans and long/short corporate debt investments.

Halcyon is the latest in a line of alternative investment houses to seek a public listing. Last year Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised the Blackstone Group on its US IPO (www.thelawyer.com, 22 June 2007) and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom acted for hedge fund group Och-Ziff on its New York listing (www.thelawyer.com, 3 July, 2007).