Activist investor Elliott Management demands SSE break up

Activist investor Elliott Management demands breakup of Scottish energy giant SSE


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Scottish energy supplier SSE has come under pressure to split its operations from activist investor Elliott Management.

The hedge fund has taken a stake in the Perth firm and is relying on management to split its renewable energy business from its electricity business.

The intervention makes SSE the second FTSE 100 company in Elliott’s crosshairs as it targets pharma giant Glaxosmithkline and its boss Emma Walmsley.

Pressure: Elliott Management has acquired a stake in energy giant SSE and leans on management to split its renewables business from its electricity business

Pressure: Elliott Management has acquired a stake in energy giant SSE and leans on management to split its renewables business from its electricity business

Elliott has been the driving force behind several shake-ups at blue-chip companies and also calls for change at drug giant GSK.

In 2019, the fund was instrumental in a successful campaign for Premier Inn owner Whitbread to spin off café chain Costa Coffee, which was sold to Coca-Cola for £3.9 billion.

The fund also feuded with mining giant BHP in 2017, putting pressure on it to spin off its US petroleum assets and delist its dual listing in London and Australia.

It is now moving its master list to Sydney.

Breaking up SSE does not fit the fund, as Elliott has prompted Portuguese EDP-Energias de Portugal to sell part of its electricity distribution business and put the proceeds into renewable energy sources.

SSE has reorganized its operations in recent years to focus on green energy, with the company planning to triple its sustainable production by 2030.

The group also sold its 33 percent stake in gas company SGN for £203 million last month to fund its growth plans.

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