NORWALK, Conn. (HedgeWorld.com)–Pirate Capital LLC is preparing to hire an additional analyst to support its growing hedge fund business.

Since its launch in July 2002, the firm has been able to raise US$75 million and gave investors a return of 40% net of fees in 2003, according to Andrew Stotland, director of sales and marketing at Pirate Capital.

The firm’s hedge fund, the Jolly Roger Fund LP, invests in undervalued and distressed companies . A long/short opportunistic hedge fund, Jolly Roger has a buy-and-hold strategy based on fundamental analysis with an emphasis on hard assets in evaluating a company.

The firm currently has five professionals on staff, including David Lorber, who joined the firm from Vantis Capital Management as Pirate Capital’s first full-time analyst last October . Mr. Lorber reports to Jolly Roger’s portfolio manager, Tom Hudson.

According to Mr. Stotland, the firm plans to hire an analyst for every US$50 million in assets that are raised. The latest analyst position is open to individuals who are familiar with credit markets and have experience working on Wall Street as an analyst or trader.

SBarreto@HedgeWorld.com