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Square’s Shares Jump on News of Investor Steve Cohen’s Stake


By Leena Rao for Fortune

The controversial investor now owns 5.4% of the payments company.

Square’s stock rose 3% on Thursday after billionaire investor Steve Cohen revealed a 1.9% stake in the company, making him one of the largest institutional shareholders in the payments company.

The stake—6.6 million shares—is held by Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management, which manages his personal and employees’ finances, according to an SEC filing,

A number of high-profile investors have bought big stakes in Square after its high-profile initial public offering in November. For example, earlier this year, Square disclosed that asset management giantBlackRock took at least a 5% stake in the payments company.

Founded and led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Square sells credit card readers that attach to mobile phones or iPads. The company has also expanded into small business loans, and other software businesses aimed at small to medium sized merchants. Although still not profitable, Square’s sale’s jumped 41% in the most recent quarter to $439 million.

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Cohen is a controversial figure in the finance world after his well-known hedge fund, SAC Capital Advisors, pled guilty in 2013 to insider trading as part of a deal that included the fund agreeing to stop managing outsider money and pay $1.2 billion. Cohen, who was never directly connected with the insider trading, was charged with failing to supervise a portfolio manager involved in his case.

As part of his settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in January, Cohen agreed to not supervise funds that manage outside money until 2018. In April, a filing revealed that Cohen had opened a new hedge fund, Stamford Harbor Capital.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Cohen’s stake in Square doesn’t have activist investor intent. Square’s shares were up 1.3% to $11.95 in Friday mid-day trading.

First appeared at Fortuneq

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