Elliott and its affiliates increased its stockholdings in Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) to 36,915,600 shares or 7.4% based on its latest 13D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The activist hedge fund previously owned a 6.2% stake in the computer-networking company.
Based on its regulatory filing, Elliott purchased additional shares of Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) on February 28 until March 12 between $25.43 and $26.59 per share. The filing also showed that the activist hedge fund acquired shares worth $3,250,000 for only $11.00 per share on March 4.
Elliott indicated in its filing that it remains in active discussions with the management of the computer-networking company due to its belief that the stock is significantly undervalued.
Elliott signals proxy fight
Last month, Elliott signaled its intention to launch a proxy fight against Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) after receiving overwhelming support from its fellow shareholders, sell-side analysts, and the broad investing community regarding its recommendations designed to enhance shareholders value.
At the time, the activist hedge fund’s portfolio manager, Jesse Cohn stated, “When we set out to suggest a plan for Juniper, we talked with fellow shareholders and leading analysts to develop a reasonable set of steps that could generate tremendous value. We also recruited a team of leading executives who are excited about Juniper and who have the operational skills and deep industry experience to help ensure that the Shareholder Value Plan becomes a reality.”
Elliott wants to nominate executives who will serve as members of the board of Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) if it will ignore its proposals. The activist hedge fund also indicated that it prefers to work together with the management of the computer-networking company to boost shareholder value.
The activist hedge fund proposed a number of strategies for Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) to be able to deliver long-term value to shareholders such as cost realignment by reducing its run-rate operating expense and a capital return worth $3.5 billion ($2.5 billion through immediate stock buyback and $1.5 billion stock buyback in 2015).
The management of Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) previously stated that it will evaluate the proposals of Elliott, and emphasized that it has a proven record of generating and returning cash to shareholders.
Elliott’s current stake in Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) is bigger than its fellow activist investor Jana Partners, which owns 13, 432,722 shares in the computer-networking company based on its 13F filing for the fourth quarter last year.