Hedge fund steps up pressure on Airtricity SSE owner over wind farms
U.S. hedge fund Elliott has stepped up pressure on SSE to get the Irish and British power selling and power generation giant to part ways with wind farms and other renewables.
In Ireland, SSE owns Airtricity, which is a major retailer and producer in the electricity market across Ireland, with 28 onshore wind farms producing 720 megawatts across the island. In the Republic, Airtricity is co-owner of the Galway wind farm with Coillte.
Elliott has a long history of seeking big changes at SSE and has considerable influence being the fifth largest investor in the London listed company.
In a letter sent on Tuesday, the US hedge fund criticized SSE for what it called the company’s “disappointing share price” of late, and claimed that by setting up and listing its unit d renewable energy, it could free up £ 5 billion in value for SSE shareholders. , Elliott said.
“Given the company’s failure to present a holistic view of how it can address its underperformance, Elliott challenges SSE to provide a detailed and credible plan to address investor concerns regarding corporate governance. SSE business, its ability to fund its long-term growth, and its persistent undervaluation, ”Elliott said in the letter.
Shareholder activists like Elliott target publicly traded companies they believe to be undervalued for one reason or another by the market.
Energy companies in the current climate are particularly vulnerable to rising prices in the context of the global energy crisis and to the potential of renewables to provide cheap energy.
In response, Scotland-based SSE said it had had “constructive and favorable” discussions with investors since announcing its strategy.
Stocks were little changed on Tuesday but are up nearly 3% since the company’s strategy update at the end of the month and have gained almost 9% this year.