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Elliott builds $2bn Southwest Airlines stake

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Paul Singer’s activist hedge fund firm Elliott Investment Management has acquired an almost $2bn stake in Southwest Airlines and intends to advocate for changes at the airline, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

This significant investment makes Elliott one of the largest shareholders in the Dallas-based airline, which has a market capitalisation of $16.6bn. The activist firm plans to engage with Southwest’s management to push for strategic changes.

Southwest’s shares closed at $27.75 on Friday, reflecting a 45% decline over the past five years. In contrast, Delta Air Lines saw an 8.4% decline, while the S&P 500 index increased by 86% during the same period.

Elliott is known for its active involvement in corporate boardrooms and has already this year initiated campaigns at companies with a combined market value of about $100bn, including UK-listed miner Anglo American and Japanese trading house Sumitomo.

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