United States

Hedge funds manipulating $74B pharma deal: Starboard CEO

An activist investor is probing whether hedge funds are using a controversial stock-trading tactic to tip the vote in favor of pharma giant Bristol-Myers Squibb’s $74 billion deal to buy rival Celgene, The Post has learned. Starboard Value — whose boss Jeff Smith has blasted the merger as too expensive for Bristol-Myers shareholders — has launched a books-and-records request, partly to determine whether an upcoming shareholder vote on the cash-and-stock merger could be swayed by so-called “empty voting,” sources told The Post. Specifically, sources close to Starboard say the fund is investigating whether hedge funds including billionaire Dan Loeb’s Third Point and D.E. Shaw purchased Bristol-Myers shares strictly for the ...