February 16, 2016 / 6:20 PM / 3 years ago

Hedge funds pile into SunEdison shares ahead of plunge

NEW YORK, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Top U.S. hedge fund management firms, including Visium Asset Management and Sand Grove Capital Management, took stakes in embattled renewable energy company SunEdison Inc during the fourth quarter.

Visium bought 1.3 million shares, Sand Grove Capital added a new position of 272,000 shares, while Adage Capital Partners bought 9.2 million shares to own 17 million at the end of the quarter, according to regulatory SEC filings on Tuesday.

Hedge funds apparently purchased shares in SunEdison, once the darling of the hedge fund world, betting they might have hit a bottom. But so far this year, shares of SunEdison are down more than 72 percent.

SunEdison, which makes solar power plants and wind energy plants, has struggled recently under more than $11 billion of debt and has cut jobs and raised new money to stem losses and fight back concerns over its business model.

Under pressure, SunEdison recently agreed to give Greenlight Capital, which is led by David Einhorn, a seat on its board and said it would amend some of its policies.

On Tuesday, SunEdison shares jumped about 17.75 percent to $1.66 a share in the wake of the hedge-fund SEC filings.

All told, plenty of managers also exited SunEdison, including Senvest Management, Cobalt Capital Management and the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio.

Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Chris Reese

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