Paul Singer’s Elliott takes stake in US mall owner Taubman Centers

Taubman Centers, a top U.S. mall operator, at This specific point carries a second activist investor on its case.

Paul Singer’s hedge fund, Elliott Management, has built a position in Taubman, a source familiar with the situation told CNBC. The activist firm has spoken with management of the real estate investment trust about pursuing potential options that will include going private, the source said. However, the item’s unclear what the next steps for the activist fund will be.

brand new York-based Elliott has taken a stake below the 5 percent threshold that will would certainly require the item to disclose the position to regulators. The exact size of the stake could not immediately be determined.

The source who spoke to CNBC asked not to be named because the information is usually confidential. A representative coming from Elliott didn’t respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Taubman declined to comment.

Bloomberg first reported on Elliott’s position Monday evening.

Taubman shares were up 4.8 percent Tuesday on the news.

Taubman has already come under attack by activist Jonathan Litt’s firm, Land & Buildings Investment Management. Litt has also pushed the mall owner to consider putting itself up for sale, among different adjustments.

Taubman’s portfolio consists mainly of U.S. shopping centers, nevertheless the REIT also carries a little presence in China as well as South Korea.

As retailers’ woes balloon, Taubman’s stock has tumbled more than 25 percent in 2017, with short sellers targeting its shares in addition to those of REIT rivals Seritage, Simon Property Group, General Growth Properties as well as Macerich.

The news comes as activist pressure has been building from the REIT industry, as well as particularly against those landlords with retail exposure.

Just last week, Dan Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund revealed the item had built a position in Macerich. Loeb could push for a potential sale of the U.S. mall operator over time, according to reports.

Additionally, GGP, one of the largest publicly traded U.S. mall owners, has received a nearly $15 billion bid coming from Brookfield Property Partners to acquire the shares the item currently doesn’t own from the REIT.

Brookfield has reportedly held “preliminary discussions” with GGP about taking the company private. GGP as well as Brookfield both declined to comment on those talks.

In defending itself, Taubman has taken steps such as appointing two brand new independent directors to the REIT’s board, as well as creating different so-called governance enhancements.

In August, Litt wrote to Taubman’s management team: “the item is usually time for you, the independent Board members, to finally hold management accountable as well as take immediate action to evaluate the current leadership of the Company as well as remove ineffective management in order to maximize the value of Taubman Centers’ assets.”

“The time has come for all of you to reject management’s repeated explanations as well as excuses for the horrible operating performance, development strategy as well as shareholder returns at Taubman,” Litt said.

In addition to Taubman, Elliott’s targets This specific year have included mining company BHP Billiton as well as electricity distributor Sempra Energy.

— CNBC’s Lauren Hirsch contributed to This specific reporting.

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