Hedge Funds: Activist Hedge Fund Elliott Management Targets Twitter
Billionaire GOP supporter and donor Paul Singer owns Elliott.
Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), which owns the social media and tweeting platform so loved by President Trump, is under siege. Elliott Management, the feared activist hedge fund owned by billionaire Paul Singer, has accumulated a sizable stake in the company. Twitter is led by Jack Dorsey. (GIZMODO)
Bloomberg reported Friday that Elliott was pushing for multiple changes, including replacing CEO Dorsey (pictured above) and installing four of its own directors. CNBC said, quoting a reliable source, that Singer was targeting Dorsey for holding the position of CEO in two publicly-listed companies – Twitter and Square (NYSE: SQ).
Both companies have a market cap in excess of $25B. Twitter recently declared its first quarter ever clocking a $1 billion revenue.
Twitter’s Dorsey: African safari
Singer is said to be miffed with Dorsey’s plans to possibly shift to Africa for a few months during 2020. He has proposed to nominate four directors to Twitter’s board. However, only three seats will become vacant at the next annual shareholders meeting. The extra seat is a contingency, and no prizes for guessing who that person might be.
According to the Bloomberg report, Elliott has already met with Twitter executives last week, though Dorsey was not part of the confabulations. Elliott has reportedly built a stake in Twitter worth $1 billion.
Meanwhile, Elliott is very critical of Twitter, calling it a “long-term underperformer,” because of its “fundamental lack of innovation” and inability to monetize its platform ineffectively.
Cramer for Singer; Musk for Dorsey
CNBC’s Jim Cramer came out swinging Monday in support of Elliott’s activism and was highly critical of Dorsey.
Cramer termed Dorsey’s role as CEO of two major companies the “human embodiment of hubris.” He also panned Dorsey’s African plans: “It’s ridiculous to be a part-time CEO who spends six months a year hiding out in Africa.”
However, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk backed Dorsey. “Just want [to] say that I support @Jack as Twitter CEO,” Musk tweeted. “He has a good [heart].”
However, Dorsey holds a mere 2% of Twitter, which has a single class of shares. He, therefore, doesn’t have any disproportionate voting control as in the case of Zuckerberg and Facebook (NASDAQ: FB).
Related Story: Elliott Investment Management Takes Stake in NN Group
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