December 20, 2017 / 8:45 AM / a year ago

Elliott takes 5.6 percent stake in Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry

FILE PHOTO: Paul Singer, founder and president of Elliott Management Corporation, speaks at WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - Activist hedge fund firm Elliott Management has taken a 5.6 percent stake in Swiss duty-free retailer Dufry AG (DUFN.S), a regulatory filing showed on Wednesday.

While details about the seller were not disclosed in the filing to Swiss exchange SIX, The Financial Times reported citing sources that an investment bank sold the shares as part of a derivatives options trade for China’s HNA Group.

A source close to the hedge fund manager, founded by Paul Singer, said Dufry’s current price made it a potential target for a deal.

“It could be attractive to the private equity universe,” said the source. “It’s been owned by private equity before.”

Dufry was previously backed by private equity firm Advent International, which sold out of its holding in 2013. (here)

HNA Group, which is selling properties to reduce debt, held a 21 percent stake in the Swiss company before the sale.

Dufry shares were up 3.2 percent at 0900 GMT after Elliott disclosed its stake.

Reporting by Maiya Keidan in London and Thyagaraju Adinarayan in Gdynia; editing by Jason Neely

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