David Witkin – The art of event-driven investing

20 Jul 2023

In this episode, David Clark chats with return guest David Witkin, the founder of Beryl Capital Management. They discuss merger arbitrage and event-driven investing, focusing on the current regulatory environment in mergers and acquisitions.

The two discuss the potential merger between LIV Golf and the PGA. Witkin, commented that if it were a public deal, he would be shorting the deal due to concerns about antitrust issues. He mentions that the combination of LIV golf and PGA, which were previously competitors, could be seen as an attempt to eliminate competition, something that the Department of Justice would not allow.

Witkin also shares insights on his fund’s performance, emphasizing its compound annual growth rate and alignment of interests with investors. The conversation highlights the importance of experience and research in analysing deals and managing position sizes effectively. He also discusses the role of antitrust regulators and their impact on deal closures and spread widening. He notes that while some deals may be blocked, the US antitrust system allows for challenges in court, with historically around 50% of blocks being overturned. Witkin emphasizes the need to stay informed by following court cases and dockets. The conversation underscores the less volatile nature of merger arbitrage and the potential for high-risk-adjusted returns.

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