Starboard Value will be “certainly interested inside the story at Bristol-Myers,” Jeffrey Smith, co-founder as well as CEO of the activist hedge fund, told CNBC on Tuesday.
However, Smith refused to comment on a weekend Bloomberg report about Starboard taking a stake inside the embattled pharmaceutical giant, which last month agreed to buy troubled cancer drug company Celgene in a cash-as well as-stock deal valued at $74 billion.
Shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb closed up nearly 2 percent Monday after seesawing on the uncertainty surrounding whether Starboard took a position or not. The stock was lower Tuesday.
Deflecting repeated questions by CNBC’s David Faber, Smith said in a “Squawk on the Street” interview through the brand-new York Stock Exchange, “I am not going to discuss Bristol-Myers.” however he did say, “We are certainly interested inside the story at Bristol-Myers.”
A request for comment through Bristol-Myers was not immediately returned.
Broadly speaking, Smith described what he considers Starboard’s mission of representing the best interests of shareholders, as well as how disgruntled shareholders often bring insight to the hedge fund about certain situations.
“We evaluate those situations to determine whether we can have a positive impact,” he explained. “Bristol-Myers might fit that will profile,” he said. “This specific might not fit that will profile. We haven’t made that will decision.”
“If we make that will decision I’ll tell you what, I will come on as well as talk to you about This specific,” Smith added, jokingly referring to the main topic of the interview, which was Starboard’s brand-new $0 million investment in struggling pizza chain Papa John’s. “I think we’re here to talk about pizza,” he concluded.
Starboard currently manages more than $5 billion in assets.