Whitworth’s Relational Employs Activist Loophole in Manitowoc Play

The investment firm relied on an SEC rule that lets investors delay disclosing investment stakes in companies in which they are building big stakes.

Excited investors bid up the shares of the Manitowoc Co. by nearly 10 percent on Friday after Ralph Whitworth’s Relational Investors disclosed that it owned 8.52 percent of the maker of products for the crane and food service industries.

In a 13D filed after the market closed on Thursday, the San Diego–based activist investment firm said it told Manitowoc management in a meeting in January that a spin-off of the food business into a separately traded public company would maximize shareholder value, a tactic it successfully had...

To continue reading, subscribe now to Premium Journalism. Already a subscriber? login.