Hedge Fund TCI Grabs Largest Stake In Royal Mail

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The London-based hedge fund TCI has been aggressively buying shares in Royal Mail PLC (LON:RMG) (OTCMKTS:ROYMF) since the entity went public last week. TCI is known for its aggressive activism and its boss, Chris Hohn, was once labeled a “locust” by German politicians when he successfully took on Deutsche Boerse AG (FRA:DB1) (ETR:DB1) (OTCMKTS:DBOEY), essentially killing its efforts to buy the London Stock Exchange.

Royal Mail’s share acquisition

TCI has, according to a regulatory filing, purchased 58.2 million shares of Royal Mail PLC (LON:RMG) (OTCMKTS:ROYMF). That amounts to a 5.8% stake in the newly privatized entity, the largest in Britain’s history since British Rail went public.

TCI was allocated stock in the offering at 330p a share on October 11. Only 300 institutional investors were allocated stock from the 800 who applied and TCI was forced to disclose its holding in a regulatory filing when the company reached 5% ownership. That percentage is believed to have been reached last Friday.

The London-based hedge fund, known for its aggressive activism, has bought 58.2m shares or 5.8pc of Royal Mail PLC (LON:RMG) (OTCMKTS:ROYMF), according to a regulatory filing. Shares in Royal Mail closed at 499p last night but have been as high as 538.5p since they listed. There is no way at present to determine at what price the bulk of TCI’s shares were purchased.

Chris Hohn not interested in media’s attention

Mr. Hohn is both a conundrum and a contradiction. Mr. Hohn is a recluse where the media is concerned. Not Freaky-Deaky reclusive like Howard Hughes, but seemingly not interested in media attention in the slightest. While he has a reputation for being absolutely ruthless with the management of companies he invests in, he is also Britain’s biggest philanthropist. Mr. Hohn has given away over a billion pounds in the last five years. When TCI was set up in 2003, Hohn structured the fund so that a percentage of profits were given directly to CIFF, a foundation run by Mr. Hohn’s ex-wife.

His fight with Deutsche Boerse AG (FRA:DB1) (ETR:DB1) (OTCMKTS:DBOEY) made Mr. Hohn something of a hero in the hedge fund community while his picture probably adorns many a corporate boardroom dart board.

Mr. Hohn is also credited with breaking up ABN Amro leading to its acquisition by Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (NYSE:RBS) (LON:RBS) (AMS:RBS) in a messy international takeover battle.

Both TCI and the Royal Mail PLC (LON:RMG) (OTCMKTS:ROYMF) have declined to comment on the matter as of this writing.

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