Paulson Profits From Oil Deal, Seeks T-Mobile-Sprint Marriage

Jul 16 2014 | 3:17pm ET

John Paulson has made a mint on one merger this week, and he’s looking for another.

The New York-based hedge fund is the largest shareholder of Kodiak Oil & Gas, which has accepted a $6 billion offer from Whiting Petroleum Corp., which also boasts Paulson as its largest shareholder. The deal has given Paulson a $360 million paper profit, according to CNBC, amounting to a 41% return.

“This is an exciting transaction,” Paulson said. “It creates the top producer in the fast-growing oil-producing Bakken region of North Dakota.”

With the Kodiak-Whiting deal done, Paulson is turning its attention towards uniting two other portfolio companies: Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US.

Paulson said that a merger between the two would be good for both shareholders and consumers.

“Clearly competition will increase if you allow them to merge,” Paulson told The Wall Street Journal. “I think regulators will be open-minded.”

He also dismissed a criticism made by other investors that Sprint won’t pay enough for T-Mobile.

“The big value isn’t the premium,” Paulson said. “The big value is the synergies from the deal,” which could amount to annual savings of $3 billion, according to Morgan Stanley.

Paulson is the third-largest Sprint shareholder and the fourth-largest in T-Mobile. The firm was instrumental in pushing the latter to buy MetroPCS Communications last year and SoftBank Corp. to buy Sprint.

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