Kesa Says Knight Vinke, Activist Investor, Raises Stake to 19%

Kesa Electricals Plc (KESA), Europe’s third-largest electronics retailer, said its largest shareholder, Knight Vinke Asset Management LLC, increased its holding in the company.

Knight Vinke raised its total stake in Kesa to 19 percent, Kesa said today in a Regulatory News Service statement. The asset manager had held 18 percent of the company’s outstanding shares since March, according to company filings. Knight Vinke now has 15 percent of London-based Kesa’s voting rights.

Knight Vinke first disclosed a 3 percent stake in Kesa in June 2010. Kesa has been considering ways to exit its Comet chain in the U.K. after losses at the unit held back earnings growth last year. Knight Vinke has asked the company to consider options including ending Comet’s operations, a person familiar with the situation said last month.

The activist investor this year questioned plans by Carrefour SA to list 25 percent of its property unit. The French retailer later said it would postpone the plan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Clementine Fletcher in London cfletcher5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net.

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