Jeff Ubben Seeks To Raise $8BN As He Considers “Meaningful” Exxon Stake
Activist investor Jeff Ubben is looking to raise as much as $8 billion for a hedge fund at his firm Inclusive Capital Partners. Ubben is looking to raise the capital for his Spring Fund II, a successor to his $1.5 billion Spring Fund that he started while at ValueAct, which he founded in 2000, according to Bloomberg.
The goal of the fund is reportedly going to be looking at “impact investing”, which aims to “make systemic changes at companies and sectors to the betterment of society,” the report notes. This, of course, would fit nicely if Ubben was looking to make a major operational, ideological (and PR) shift at an undervalued legacy oil and gas company like Exxon.
Last week we reported that Ubben was considering a “meaningful stake” in Exxon and could, as a result, even wind up with a seat on the board. The news sparked a rally in XOM shares which remain far below year-ago levels.
Ubben was having “ongoing” and “constructive” talks with the Exxon board, according to the report. Other shareholders, including D.E. Shaw which have agitated in the recent past for Exxon – which over the weekend was reported to have considered a merger with Chevron – to do something to push its stock price higher, are supportive of Ubben’s inclusion to the board (for obvious reasons). A decision on Ubben’s inclusion to the board could be made “in coming weeks”, the report said.
Ubben left ValueAct last year to start his own firm that is focused on investments in social and environmental issues. Ubben may be eyeing Exxon not only due to the company’s ripe yield, but also as an opportunity to help guide Exxon out of the fossil fuel era, and to transition it for inclusion into the ESG frenzy.
Other activists have been busy in the name, too. “D.E. Shaw has written the company urging it to cut costs in order to preserve its dividend and called on the company to take steps to improve its environmental reputation” and Engine No. 1 investments has nominated 4 directors to the company’s board.
Tue, 02/09/2021 – 11:50