February 27, 2014 / 4:35 PM / in 4 years

RPT-Activist US investor Elliott ups exposure to Alliance Trust

By Jemima Kelly

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. activist investor Elliott Management Corp has increased its exposure to Scotland-based investment firm Alliance Trust Plc to more than 10 percent, a stock market filing showed.

The filing on Wednesday showed the hedge fund had increased its direct ownership of shares in Alliance Trust to just over 5 percent from just under 5 percent. It also holds contracts for difference, or CFDs - a type of derivative - in Alliance Trust amounting to just over 5 percent.

Elliott has also bought into another UK asset manager F&C Asset Management via derivatives contracts, giving it the equivalent of about an 11 percent stake.

The hedge fund recently took a big stake in Morrisons and is pushing the British supermarket chain to sell off some of its property assets. Elliott was also active in U.S. drugs company McKesson’s takeover of Celesio.

Elliott will only have voting rights of just over 5 percent in Alliance Trust unless the firm has instructed the owner of the CFDs to vote on its behalf, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Alliance Trust is engaged in constructive conversations with Elliott, as it is with all its shareholders, the source said.

Katherine Garrett-Cox, chief executive of Alliance Trust, was not available for comment because the company is in a closed period ahead of publishing its annual results next Friday.

New-York based Elliott was not immediately available for comment.

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