Whitbread boosted by US hedge-fund stake
London – 7 December 2017 –
Whitbread shares jumped more than 7 percent after US-based hedge fund Sachem Head Capital Management declared a 3.4 percent stake in the British hotel and coffee chain operator.
Whitbread, owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn, has been the subject of break-up speculation in the past.
Sachem Head has previously taken activist positions at companies, though it is unclear whether it will push for changes at the FTSE-100 leisure giant, Reuters reported.
The hedge fund has already met with Whitbread management, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Before Wednesday’s jump, Whitbread shares were down nearly 2 percent this year, having risen in part on hopes that Premier Inn’s domestic hotels would benefit from foreign visitors cashing in on the weak pound. They fell back when those benefits turned out to be smaller than expected.
The company warned in April of a tougher consumer environment, as rising inflation and muted wage growth forced consumers to rein in spending.