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The Morning Brief: Elliott to Name Candidates for Hess Board; J.C. Penney Tries to Win Back Customers with Discounts
Paul Singer’s Elliott Management plans to nominate five directors to Hess’ board of directors. In a letter to the oil giant, Elliott called on the company to spin off its onshore holdings in the United States and sell its retail business. operations. Hess shares closed 9 percent higher at $68.11 on Tuesday. “We are convinced that tremendous value is trapped inside the Company as a result of poor oversight by a board of directors lacking both the experience and independence to set a clear, shareholder-focused, value-creating strategy,” Elliott wrote in the letter.
Singer is not alone in engaging energy companies in recent months. At least three other high profile activist hedge funds have coaxed companies in the past year into shedding parts of their companies to extract gains for shareholders, according to Bloomberg News.
Shares of retailer J.C. Penney Co. surged 9.3 percent to $21.01 Tuesday, after the embattled company announced it plans to resume the old sales promotions on a periodic basis, ostensibly to reverse the everyday low price plan orchestrated by Pershing Square’s William Ackman and Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson. Even so, the stock’s gain is good news for the hedge fund manager.
Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital disclosed in a 13G filing after Tuesday’s close that it owns 5.7 percent of Starz, a premium subscription video programming service. The stock climbed 1.60 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday. It closed $16.24 a share.
Seth Klarman’s Baupost Group owns 5.2 percent stake of OPAP, a Greek gambling company, according to Reuters. The news report said a 33 percent stake in OPAP is scheduled to be sold later this year. Hedge funds Third Point and buyout firm TPG Capital are said to be interested in the stake, among others. Other big funds with sizable investments in OPAP include Silchester Inv. and Fidelity Investments.