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Alternative Market Briefing

Yum Brands not an activist play for Dan Loeb

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia:

Activist hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb dispelled concerns the restaurant chain company Yum! Brands was the target of an activist campaign.

He was quoted by Reuters as saying during the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference (SALT) in Las Vegas, "Yum! is not an activist play from our perspective." However, he said that his $17.5bn hedge fund Third Point sees an "enormous" upside for the Yum! stock. Loeb added, "Suffice it to say, we don't put $1 billion to work without (seeing a lot of upside)."

He said he bought Yum, which owns KFC and Taco Bell, because the stock had been battered from food-safety issues in China, according to USA Today. Those issues have been addressed but "the turnaround had not been appreciated by the market." And even though Yum is a passive investment, he thinks some changes could improve the stock price, including lowering costs and splitting off its China operations from the U.S.

Last week, Loeb disclosed that his hedge fund had taken a new position in Yum! Brands, that sent the fast-food restaurant company's stock up nearly 7%, Reuters reported. Third Poin......................

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