Elliott Acquires Large Stake in Trader Sumitomo

REUTERS/Toru Hanai
The logo of Sumitomo Corp is seen at the company headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

New York (Jiji Press)—Elliott Management Corp. of the United States, known as an activist investor, has invested several tens of billions of yen to build a large stake in Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp., Bloomberg reported Sunday.

Elliott has engaged with Sumitomo and shared its views on ways to create shareholder value, the U.S. news agency quoted a person familiar with the matter as saying.

Sumitomo is one of Japan’s five major trading companies in which U.S. investment firm Berkshire Hathaway Inc., led by renowned investor Warren Buffett, has stepped up investment.

Details such as the timing of Elliott’s investment in Sumitomo and its ownership ratio have not been disclosed. Every 10-billion-yen investment is equivalent to 0.2 pct of Sumitomo’s outstanding shares, based on Friday’s closing price of Sumitomo, according to the report.

Shares of the five major Japanese traders have been trading at high levels since Buffett said last year he would buy more shares of the companies. Berkshire owns about 9 pct of each of the traders.

According to the Financial Times, Elliott has stepped up its investment activities in Japan, including by purchasing shares in major Japanese real estate firm Mitsui Fudosan Co. and demanding that the company buy back ¥1 trillion of its own shares.