Activist Starboard Value Adds Stakes in Clean Harbors, Alibaba

Starboard Value LP, the activist hedge fund run by Jeff Smith, acquired a new stake in Clean Harbors Inc. as fellow activist Relational Investors reduced its holding in the hazardous-waste disposal company.

The New York-based fund bought about 2.3 percent of Clean Harbors’ shares during the fourth quarter, according to a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Starboard also revealed it bought 400,000 Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. shares and sold most of its AOL Inc. stake.

Norwell, Massachusetts-based Clean Harbors, which provides waste-management services including environmental remediation, was targeted in April by Ralph Whitworth and David Batchelder’s Relational. The San Diego-based firm is reducing some investments while Whitworth is on medical leave.

Starboard, which has traditionally targeted smaller companies, successfully urged Yahoo! Inc. to spin off its Alibaba stake in a tax-efficient way. Yahoo has resisted other demands including merging its Web portal business with AOL. Starboard sold 1.69 million AOL shares, reducing its stake to 225,000, the filing shows.

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