November 13, 2012 / 10:40 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Activist TPG-Axon ups SandRidge stake to 6.2 pct

NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Hedge fund TPG-Axon, which is agitating for changes at SandRidge Energy Inc, said on Tuesday it has raised its ownership stake in the U.S. oil and gas company to 6.2 percent from under 5 percent.

TPG-Axon said it owns 23 million shares - about 4.7 percent of SandRidge’s outstanding shares - and controls another 7.5 million through derivative transactions.

Last week, the fund called for SandRidge to consider selling itself and for Chief Executive Tom Ward to step down, saying management’s strategy has been “incoherent, unpredictable and volatile.” At that point, it said it owned more than 4.5 percent of SandRidge.

Dinakar Singh, the former co-head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s proprietary trading desk, Principle Strategies, founded TPG-Axon Capital Management in late 2004 after a 14-year career at the investment bank.

While not typical of its strategy, TPG-Axon has used activism previously to try to boost returns. In one instance in 2006 the hedge fund began a campaign for changes at Triad Hospitals, which in 2007 agreed to a $4.7 billion buyout by two private equity buyers.

SandRidge shares gained 3.9 percent to close at $5.60 on Tuesday.

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