A unit of USA activist hedge fund Elliott Management said it now held the largest stake in Whitbread Plc (WTB.L), making it the second activist in recent months to draw attention to Britain's biggest hotel and coffee-shop operator.
Whitbread's shares rose to £41.95 in early stock market trading.
Whitbread to spin off Costa?
'They are very different businesses and could be worth more as separate entities rather than as part of the current leisure conglomerate'.
Elliott Advisors now has over a 6 percent stake in FTSE 100-listed Whitbread, the hedge fund said in a statement on Saturday.
Elliott Advisors buys shares in companies to agitate for change and, it claims, create value for shareholders.
U.S. hedge fund Sachem Head, which as a 3.4% stake in Whitbread, has also advised the management to consider breaking up the business, as well as a sale and leaseback of its Premier Inn properties, said the BBC. Having bought into the company almost a year ago, the hedge fund's stake was reported by The Sunday Times to be worth about £430 million now.
City analysts have also been piling the pressure on Whitbread to take a decision on Costa in recent months. As of April 13, the consensus forecast amongst 27 polled investment analysts covering the Costa Coffee and Premier Inn owner advises investors to hold their position in the company.
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