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Paul Singer takes a stake in mall giant Taubman Centers: report

The owner of the posh Mall at Short Hills in New Jersey reportedly has a new activist investor nipping at its heels.

Paul Singer’s Elliott Management has built up a stake in Taubman Centers — which also owns the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, as well as other luxury shopping centers in the country, according to a Bloomberg report.

The $34 billion activist hedge fund is pushing the company, which is largely controlled by the Michigan-based Taubman family, to consider a sale, according to the report.

The size of Elliott’s stake in the $4.8 billion company was not immediately clear.

Reps from Elliott did not immediately respond to requests to comment. Taubman Centers declined to comment.

Nevertheless, shares of the mall-operator climbed as much as 5 percent to $56.51 in early trades Tuesday. Shares of Taubman Centers are down 24 percent this year amid a challenging retail environment.

Elliott’s reported stake comes five months after Jonathan Litt’s Land & Buildings failed to win seats on the company’s board. Litt had pushed Taubman Centers to improve its corporate governance, cut costs or consider selling itself.
Land & Buildings declined to comment on Elliott’s reported stake.

Just last week Taubman Centers announced that two new independent directors will be replacing two long-serving board members in January. The company said it is also looking for a third independent director to join by its 2019 annual meeting.

The announcement came the same week that Brookfield Asset Management expressed interest in taking fellow mall operator GGP private.


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