Legal & General Group Plc (LGEN)’s fund unit said it backs National Express Group Plc (NEX) in its tussle with hedge fund Elliott Advisors over the makeup of the bus and rail operator’s executive board.
Elliott, which holds an 18 percent stake in National Express, wants other investors to back three candidates it has proposed adding to the board to help revamp strategy. National Express Chief Executive Officer Dean Finch said yesterday that one of the candidates had made the London-based company’s shortlist.
“We agree with Elliott that the market is undervaluing National Express’ unique strategic assets,” Robert Churchlow, head of U.K. equities at London-based Legal & General, said in a statement. “But we believe that the impressive operational turnaround delivered by the current management and chairman was a necessary first step towards demonstrating this value.”
Elliott, the company’s largest shareholder, plans to put forward its three candidates at the transport company’s annual shareholder meeting on May 10. L&G holds about 6 percent of National Express’ shares, Churchlow said. Elliott is a London- based unit of Elliott Associates, a New York-based hedge fund.
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