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Wall Street Journal / Biz - Money

Second Activist Investor Buys Stake in Mall Owner Taubman

Hedge fund Elliott Management has acquired a stake in luxury mall owner Taubman Centers Inc., making it the second activist investor seeking changes at the real-estate investment trust.

By

Esther Fung

Hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. has acquired a stake in luxury mall owner Taubman Centers Inc. and has been in talks with company executives, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Paul Singer’s Elliott Management is known as an activist investment firm that often buys stakes in companies and agitates for changes, including possible asset sales. That makes the hedge fund the second activist investor seeking changes at the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., real-estate investment trust.

Jonathan Litt has been pushing for the past year for a break in the control of the Taubman family over the mall REIT. Mr. Litt’s Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC owns a 1.7% stake in Taubman Centers and has continued to criticize the board’s oversight and the REIT’s persistently weak share price.

Taubman Centers, which owns some of the nation’s top malls, including Beverly Center in Los Angeles and Dolphin Mall in Miami, didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment. It owns and manages 27 malls in the U.S. and Asia.

More hedge funds have eyed Class-A mall REITs in recent weeks. Third Point, run by billionaire Daniel Loeb, last Thursday disclosed it had a stake of 1.73 million shares, or 1.2%, of the Santa Monica-based mall REIT Macerich Co. as of Sept. 30.

Elliott’s position in Taubman was first reported by Bloomberg News.

Write to Esther Fung at esther.fung@wsj.com

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