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Activist investor Elliott discloses stake in Premier Inn owner Whitbread

It is understood Elliott wants Whitbread to sell 10% to 15% of its hotel portfolio

Elliott reportedly thinks Whitbread’s strategy is depressing the share price

Activist investor Elliott Capital Investors has disclosed a stake of below 5% in Whitbread plc (LON:WTB), the Premier Inn owner said on Friday.

The statement follows a Sunday Telegraph report in May that said Elliott thinks Whitbread’s strategy of owning Premier Inn hotels outright is depressing the company’s share price and leaving it open to a cut-price hostile takeover.

READ: Premier Inn owner Whitbread reports weaker sales after Costa disposal

Elliott pressured Whitbread to split its Costa Coffee chain from Premier Inn. Costa was eventually sold to Coca-Cola for £3.9bn last August and since then Whitbread has been focused on its hotels business.

The activist investor now reportedly wants the company to sell 10% to 15% of its hotel portfolio.  

Last month Whitbread reported a decline in first-quarter accommodation sales, blaming weaker business and consumer confidence due to Brexit uncertainty. 

Elliott is known for building up stakes in firms and pushing for change of boardroom strategies, having done so with investment manager Alliance Trust and Waterstones.

Quick facts: Whitbread plc

Price: 4618 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £6.17 billion

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