Elliot Advisers has had a busy week…

I would imagine many CEOs of listed companies are currently sat hoping an activist investor like Elliot Advisers is not currently considering targeting their business with a view to trying to drive through changes that might positively impact upon what the investor believes to be an undervalued share price.

Elliot Advisors has a reputation for doggedly pursuing a board of one of their investments when it believes that said board could do more to increase the value of the shares held in the chosen company.

Since being established by Paul Singer back in 1977, the company has taken on the Argentinian government, Tesco, BHP Billiton and Samsung, and ultimately won by using tactics such as pushing for leadership changes, encouraging corporate spin-offs, or pursuing share buybacks, all of which helped increase value for existing stockholders, of which it is usually one.

This week has seen the company be vociferous in its view that Whitbread should split out the Costa Coffee chain from the hotels side of the business now saying the hospitality group is considering a formal demerger of both sets of operations.

Additionally, Elliot announced this week the acquisition of UK-based book retailer Waterstones. However, this acquisition seems to be more about investing in a business that has gone through some tough times but is once again profitable as opposed to enforcing change on a listed company perceived to be undervalued.