October 11, 2019 / 1:46 PM / 9 days ago

Elliott ranks as busiest activist hedge fund in third quarter, again

BOSTON (Reuters) - Elliott Management, Paul Singer’s $35 billion hedge fund, kept up its blistering pace of pushing for corporate changes during the third quarter, outspending all rivals with campaigns at AT&T and Marathon Petroleum Corp , data released on Friday showed.

The firm committed $5.2 billion in new capital during July, August and September, making it the busiest activist both by capital committed and number of campaigns launched, according to data compiled by Lazard.

This year Elliott has committed $8.4 billion in 14 campaigns. That easily outpaces Carl Icahn’s Icahn Associates, which has committed $2.6 billion in three campaigns, and Daniel Loeb’s Third Point, which put $2.4 billion to work in three campaigns. Starboard Value has launched 11 campaigns this year, committing $2.3 billion in cash.

Thanks to Elliott’s activities, the pace of activism overall was higher in the third quarter of 2019 than a year earlier with $11 billion deployed in capital compared with $8.7 billion last year.

Europe became the favorite hunting ground as activists launched a record 20 campaigns at companies like EssilorLuxottica and Scout24.

While activists traditionally push for strategic reviews, demands for mergers and acquisitions have never been higher, Lazard said, noting that nearly half of all campaigns this year have had an M&A thesis.

Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Tom Brown

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