December 12, 2018 / 7:18 AM / 7 months ago

Activist hedge fund Elliott takes stake in Pernod

PARIS, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Elliott Management has taken a stake in Pernod Ricard aiming to improve what Elliott said was relative underperformance at the French drinks company.

Elliott said on Wednesday that funds advised by the company had a stake of just over 2.5 percent in Pernod.

“Successive operational improvement plans have failed to generate operating leverage, leaving operating margins at a five-percentage point discount to its closest peer Diageo. Pernod’s M&A track record has also been disappointing, with the 6 billion euros ($6.8 billion) acquisition of Absolut in 2008 falling short of expectations,” Elliott said in a statement.

“Elliott has met with Alexandre Ricard, Pernod’s CEO, and has written to the company’s board to share its analysis and views on value creation,” Elliott said.

$1 = 0.8790 euros Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; editing by Jason Neely

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