For quite some time now Paul Singer, an active hedge fund manager at Elliot Management, has been engaged in a battle to get to a turnaround in Telecom Italia against Vivendi to favour the spin-off of the access network as well as raise the investments and the valorization of the remaining assets. But now he has also set his mind to another giant: Whitbread, a massive British group that includes the Costa Coffee chain and Premier Inn hotels among other companies.
Sachem Head ahead of Singer
Elliott Management, as per its usual tactics, has just revealed that it has taken a stake of around 6%, which is enough to make Singer the largest single shareholder of the British public company. But Singer isn’t the only active fund manager to show interest in the group. Indeed, last year the US-based fund Sachem Head Capital Management made its own move, entering with a quota of 3.4%. In the past few weeks, there have been rumours that the fund is also supporting the “shredding” of Whitbread to release value for its shareholders.
Stock soars in the City
This major shift could also involve Singer, who for the moment has not yet officially declared what he intends to do. However, according to the press, he may have already sent a plan to Whitbread’s management proposing to separate the activities of Costa Coffee from those of Premier Inn. As a result, Whitbread stock rose 6.33% on the London Stock Exchange after opening the day up by 8.6%, the highest intraday increase since 2009.