1Elliott’s Broad Influence in Tech Market Includes EMC, Polycom, Others
2Jesse Cohn Leading the Way
Jesse Cohn has led the push into the notoriously volatile tech space for Elliott, the $25 billion hedge fund headed by Paul Singer. Cohn, senior portfolio manager and head of U.S. equity activism at Elliott, has developed a pattern of buying a large stake in a company and then pushing for changes—and sometimes a sale—to increase shareholder value.
3Breaking Up the Band at EMC
Elliott officials had been pushing EMC to shed its 80 percent interest in VMware and ditch its federation business model involving VMware, RSA, Pivotal and other of its businesses. CEO Joe Tucci pushed back and considered other options, including having VMware buy EMC, while making concessions, including adding Elliott-approved directors and planning to cut $850 million in expenses. Now Dell is buying EMC, a move that met with Elliott approval.
4Bringing Together Polycom and Mitel
5ShoreTel Gets Some Elliott Attention
6A Changing of the Guard at Citrix
The company in July announced President and CEO Mark Templeton was retiring and that officials were reviewing the company’s operations and options for its GoTo online collaboration portfolio. They also made changes on the board of directors to include an Elliott official, with the promise to appoint another director that meets Elliott’s approval.
7Juniper Cuts Expenses
Since early 2014, Juniper officials, at the urging of Elliott, have made moves to restructure the business and reduce expenses, including slashing jobs, spinning off the company’s Junos Pulse security business, unveiling a new operating plan and instituting a $3 billion stock buyback plan. There also have been periodic rumors that the company is for sale.
8A Quick Turnaround for Informatica
9Riverbed Goes Private
10The Challenges for NetApp
Elliott in 2013 took a significant stake in storage tech vendor NetApp and urged it to change its board and increase shareholder returns. The company—which is being squeezed by such competitors as EMC and Pure Storage—cut 900 jobs that year, and has followed with workforce reductions a couple of times since. It also grew its share buyback plan to $3 billion and revamped its product portfolio.
11Compuware Goes Private
Elliott took a large stake in software company Compuware in 2012 and offered to buy it for $11 a share. That didn’t happen, but Elliott pressured Compuware to make changes, including cutting costs, paying dividends and shedding business units. It was bought last year by Thoma Bravo for $2.5 billion and taken private.
12BMC Software Gets Sold
13Blue Coat Systems Changes Hands
Elliott officials made an initial bid for Novell, but in 2010 the software maker sold itself to a group of private equity firms for about $2.2 billion. It eventually ended up with the Attachmate Group, which itself was bought by Micro Focus in 2014 for $1.2 billion. Attachmate had been owned by a parent company that included Elliott and Thoma Bravo.