Activist investor Elliott builds Taylor Wimpey stake

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Now US raider builds stake in Taylor Wimpey: Activist Elliott targets a construction giant worth 6 billion pounds after fighting with GlaxoSmithKline and SSE

  • City sources said Elliott Management bought shares in Taylor Wimpey
  • Elliott specializes in buying stocks and then promoting changes to increase their price
  • It is the third time this year that Elliott has been affiliated with an FTSE100 company










The world’s most powerful activist investor has secretly bought a stake in Taylor Wimpey, leading speculation that the FTSE100-listed home builder could become a £ 6 billion acquisition target.

City sources said Elliott Management acquired stakes in the construction company – one of the UK’s largest residential property developers – after the company’s share price stagnated this year despite feverish demand for new homes.

Elliott, also known as Elliott Advisors, specializes in buying holdings in publicly traded companies and then advocating accelerated change to drive their stock prices higher.

On the Radar: City sources said Elliott bought shares in Taylor Wimpey after the company’s share price stagnated

His overthrow on Taylor Wimpey is the latest battle brewing for the activist who famously convinced a court to arrest an Argentine naval ship during a heated debt repayment negotiation.

It is the third time this year that Elliott has been affiliated with an FTSE100 company after investing in energy company SSE and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

It turned its attention to construction companies in April of that year and supported Berkeley DeVeer’s acquisition of Avant Homes, one of Britain’s largest privately owned home builders

The deal put controversial builder Jeff Fairburn, who owns a controlling interest in Berkeley DeVeer and will chair Avant Homes, back to the center of attention after the former Persimmon chief executive was ousted in 2017 after receiving a bonus of $ 75 Accepted a million pounds.

Last month Elliott took short positions in Bellway and Barratt, betting that their stock prices would fall. It’s not yet clear whether Elliott’s move to Taylor Wimpey – who builds 15,000 new homes annually and has been headed by CEO Pete Redfern since 2007 – tied to the deal with Fairburn. The size of the stake is also a mystery.

Much of Elliott’s previous activist investments have resulted in significant corporate activity. City sources speculated that Elliott’s move to Taylor Wimpey could result in a US applicant bidding multi-billion pounds for part or all of the group.

That year, Elliott also bought a 5 percent stake in AIM-listed Clinigen, a drug distribution company that issued a profit warning this summer. According to reports in September, after establishing the stake, Elliott had discussions with Clinigen executives about liquidating the company and selling some of its businesses.

A Sky News report claimed Elliott was ready to wage a “hostile” campaign with Clinigen. Then, last week, it emerged that Clinigen had received a £ 1 billion takeover approach from private equity firm Triton Partners.

Elliott has also become a major shareholder in GlaxoSmithKline and has made a number of controversial claims on the pharmaceutical giant’s board of directors.

So far, GlaxoSmithKline Chairman Sir Jonathan Symonds has supported Dame Emma Walmsley and rejected Elliott’s demands. In August, The Mail on Sunday revealed that Elliott had acquired a stake in SSE, the Footsie-listed electricity giant that powers the homes of five million Britons.

Reports later surfaced claiming Elliott had urged SSE management to split in two by spinning off its renewable energy unit.

However, this call has been rejected by SSE, which instead plans to redouble its strategy to transform it into a major player in the renewable energy sector.

Three years ago, Elliott bought a huge stake in Whitbread, the operator of Premier Inn, and pushed for the company to sell its Costa Coffee chain. Four months later, Coca-Cola agreed to buy Whitbread’s Costa Coffee for £ 3.9 billion.

And last year, AstraZeneca paid $ 39 billion (£ 29.4 billion) for US drug company Alexion Pharmaceuticals after Elliott repeatedly urged the US-listed company to sell to a potential buyer.

Elliott was founded in 1977 by Republican donor Paul Singer with $ 1.3 million from friends and family. The company now has approximately $ 48 billion under management and Singer’s personal wealth is estimated at $ 4.3 billion. His son Gordon heads the London office and is believed to be behind the company’s largest investments in Europe.

Aside from buying and selling stocks, Elliott also invests in commodities, private companies, and debt, including distressed bonds from troubled companies and troubled countries, which has occasionally led to controversy.

Taylor Wimpey and Elliott declined to comment.

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