Activist investor Elliott Management Corp on Monday unveiled a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T Inc (T.N) and urged the sprawling U.S. telecommunications and media conglomerate to end its acquisition spree and focus on improving its business.
The move makes AT&T, which has a market capitalization of $270 billion, one of the biggest companies to have been targeted by activist shareholders. U.S. President Donald Trump, a frequent critic of U.S. cable news channel CNN, which is owned by AT&T, called Elliott’s announcement “great news.”
The New York-based hedge fund, one of the world’s most successful activists, wrote to Dallas-headquartered AT&T on Monday morning, sending a four-part proposal that it said could help lift its stock price by at least 60% by the end of 2021.
The plan ranges from divesting certain businesses, eliminating $5 billion in costs, reviewing how it allocates capital and urging CEO Randall Stephenson, who has led the company since the financial crisis, to stop making new acquisitions.