Activist investor Elliott Management demands the break-up of SSE

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Activist investor Elliott Management demands the break-up of Scottish energy giant SSE










Scottish energy supplier SSE has come under pressure to break up its business from activist investor Elliott Management.

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

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

Pressure: Elliott Management has taken a stake in energy giant SSE and is leaning on management to split its renewable energy arm from its electricity business

Elliott has been the driving force behind several shake-ups at blue-chip firms and is also calling for change at drugs giant GSK.

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

The fund also tussled with mining giant BHP in 2017, pressuring it to demerge its US petroleum assets and scrap its dual listing in London and Australia. 

It is now moving its main listing to Sydney.

Breaking up SSE is right out of the fund’s playbook, with Elliott having pushed Portugal’s EDP-Energias de Portugal to sell part of its electricity distribution business and put proceeds into renewables.

SSE has reorganised its business in recent years to focus on green energy, with the company planning to treble its renewable output by 2030. 

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

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