1. Loeb Goes Hollywood
Activist investor Dan Loeb played the role of the evil Wall Street billionaire in 2013. His campaign to cut costs at Sony (SNE) caused the studio to hire consultant Bain this past fall with the goal of shedding $100 million in overhead. Until those layoffs are completed, Loeb will literally and figuratively remain a four-letter word on the Sony lot.
Once the last fired worker is shown the door, however, that animus will burn off, readying the red carpet for Dans triumphant return. And boy is he coming back in a big way.
In 2014, you see, Loeb will head back to tinseltown to star in a $100 million action movie alongside George Clooney. Thats right, the same poison-penned activist investor who ousted Scott Thompson from Yahoo (YHOO) and squeezed Bill Ackmans Herbalife short position to the rafters, is going to share the silver screen with the Oscar winner.
The movie has yet to be named. The script has yet to be written. The director has yet to be selected (although Variety has reported rumors it will be a Spielberg production).
None of that matters though, because its a done deal. We have solid evidence from not one, but two waiters at The Ivy, as well as a busboy at Nate 'n Als that George and Dan will be teaming up for a blockbuster.
Now you might be thinking that a project of this magnitude would be impossible, especially considering Clooneys attack on Loebs character last summer. Clooney said at the time that Loeb's plan to cut back on Sonys slate of movies based on two bombs was misguided.
"If guys like this are given any weight because they've bought stock and suddenly feel they can tell us how to do our business -- one he knows nothing about -- this does great damage...," said Clooney, adding that Loeb was a carpetbagger.
That whole episode is history now. Like all Hollywood frenemies, theyve air-kissed and made up.
Said Loeb last month, "I get where George is coming from. We probably agree more than we disagree."
That's right, Dan. Forget Ackman.
-- Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York