New Hedge Fund Won’t Look Gift Horse In Mouth

Apr 22 2008 | 10:00am ET

There are art hedge funds and wine hedge funds and funds of funds of hedge funds. Now, Michael Iavarone is working to bring investors a racehorse hedge fund.

His International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, which since its founding five years ago has set up partnerships totaling more than $40 million to make its speedy investments, is turning itself into a hedge fund. I.E.A.H. hopes to raise $100 million for the reformed venture, The New York Times reports, and may go public before the end of the year.

“It would show how you can move the blue blood from Kentucky to New York,” Iavarone told the newspaper.

I.E.A.H., which is led by ex-Wall Streeters Iavarone and Richard Schiavo, already owns 80 horses in training, 15 broodmares and several future stallions, including its flagship investment in Big Brown, the early favorite to win the sport’s most prestigious race, the Kentucky Derby. Its horses have already won a quarter of their races this year, collecting $3.1 million in purses.

Under its new hedge fund-like structure, I.E.A.H. investors will each own a part of all of the firm’s assets. The firm will have an independent auditor value the fund each quarter, and will offer its investors quarterly liquidity.

“What we’re offering are liquidity and options that people in the horse business have never had before,” said Iavarone.

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