Elliott Is Said to Take Stake in Dropbox, Seek Changes
(Bloomberg) -- Activist investor Elliott Investment Management has taken a stake in Dropbox Inc., and plans to push for changes at the software company, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The New York-based hedge fund, which is run by billionaire Paul Singer, has told the company it is its largest holder after Chief Executive Officer Drew Houston, the person said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. It is unclear what sort of changes the firm is seeking, or whether Elliott will seek seats on Dropbox’s board. Talks between the parties are ongoing, the person said.
Vanguard Group Inc. was the largest holder outside of Houston with a stake of just under 10% as of March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That would imply Elliott’s position is worth more than $878 million.
Dropbox rose 4.3% to $27.92 at 1:16 p.m. in New York on Wednesday, giving the company a market value of $11.2 billion. The stock rose as much as 8.2% after the Wall Street Journal first reported on the news.
A representative for Elliott declined to comment. A representative for Dropbox wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Elliott will face a challenge pushing through changes without the support of Houston, who is also Dropbox’s co-founder and chairman. Houston owns 71.6% of the voting shares in Dropbox, which has two classes of stock, according to the most recent proxy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Dropbox makes software that lets users and companies synchronize and share files. It isn’t the only so-called file sync and share software company to be targeted by an activist recently. Activist investor Starboard Value launched a proxy fight earlier this year at Box Inc., where it has nominated four directors for the three seats that are coming available this year.
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