Elliott Takes New Stakes in Devon, VMWare, 21st Century Fox

(Bloomberg) -- Elliott Management Corp., the activist fund run by billionaire Paul Singer, took new stakes in Devon Energy Co., VMWare Inc. and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. during the second quarter.

The New York-based hedge fund said it increased its interest in the tracking stock linked to Dell Technologies Inc., known as DVMT, to 4.3 percent. Dell is looking to return to the public markets by buying out the tracking stock.

It said it sold its stake in Energen Corp. during the quarter. On Tuesday, Energen agreed to be acquired by Diamondback Energy Inc. for $9.2 billion.

Elliott increased its interest in Athenahealth Inc. during the quarter. Bowing to Elliott’s demands, Athenahealth said in June that it would explore a sale after Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Bush stepped down amid misconduct allegations at the company he co-founded two decades ago. Elliott, which has previously proposed buying the health-technology company for $160 a share, said it planned to participate in the auction.

Partnering with Bluescape Resources, the hedge fund launched a public battle at Sempra Energy in June. The activists are calling for sweeping changes at the company, including selling its Mexican and South American utilities and spinning off its U.S. liquefied natural gas business. Sempra and the investors have continued discussions, although Elliott is frustrated with the pace of those talks, people familiar with the matter said this month.

Earlier this week, Elliott disclosed a new 8.4 percent stake in Nielsen Holdings Plc, the consumer-data giant, and said it plans to push for a sale of the company.

Elliott also disclosed the following portfolio changes

  • Increased its positions in Altaba Inc., Hess Corp., Dish Network Corp., EQT Corp., Micro Focus International Plc, Windstream Holdings Inc. and NXP Semiconductors NV.
  • Sold down positions in CDK Global Inc., Investors Bancorp Inc., Wipro Ltd. and Imperva Inc.
  • Exited stakes including Teradyne Inc. and Nomad Foods Ltd.

Founded in 1977, Elliott oversees about $35 billion, investing across strategies including long-short hedge funds, distressed credit, arbitrage, real estate, shareholder activism and private equity.

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