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Elliott acquires a major stake in trader Sumitomo


REUTERS/Toru Hanai
The Sumitomo Corp logo can be seen at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan.

New York (Jiji Press) – Elliott Management Corp. from 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 on Sunday.

Elliott has entered into discussions with Sumitomo and shared its views on ways to create shareholder value, the US news agency quoted a person familiar with the matter as saying.

Sumitomo is one of Japan’s five largest trading companies in which the American investment company Berkshire Hathaway Inc., led by well-known investor Warren Buffett, has increased investments.

Details such as the timing of Elliott’s investment in Sumitomo and the ownership structure were not disclosed. Each investment of 10 billion yen is equivalent to 0.2 percent of Sumitomo’s outstanding shares, based on Sumitomo’s closing price on Friday, the report said.

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 percent of each of the traders.

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

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