ValueAct Shows KKR Stake, Adds to Trinity Industries, Trims Willis Towers Watson ~ market folly

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ValueAct Shows KKR Stake, Adds to Trinity Industries, Trims Willis Towers Watson

Jeff Ubben's activist investment firm ValueAct Capital has been quite busy with SEC filings recently.  Here's a summary of all the activity:

ValueAct Shows KKR Stake

Back in April, we highlighted how ValueAct reportedly took a KKR stake.  Well now we get further confirmation of the exact size of that investment via a recently filed 13D with the SEC.

Per the filing, ValueAct now owns 6.1% of KKR (KKR) with over 28.55 million shares and the purchase was comprised of common stock and cash-settled swaps.

The filing also notes they've had discussions with management and will continue to do so.  They were buying in late June at $18.62 and throughout July around $19.50 and into August in the $18's.

Per Google Finance, KKR is "a global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes, including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. The Company's business offers a range of investment management services to its fund investors, and provides capital markets services to its firm, its portfolio companies and third parties. The Company conducts its business with offices across the world, providing it with a global platform for sourcing transactions, raising capital and carrying out capital markets activities. The Company operates through four segments: Private Markets, Public Markets, Capital Markets and Principal Activities. It operates and reports its combined credit and hedge funds businesses through the Public Markets segment. The Capital Markets segment consists primarily of its global capital markets business. Through its Principal Activities segment, the Company manages the firm's assets and deploys capital."

Ubben's Firm Boosts Trinity Industries Exposure

Second, ValueAct has filed a 13D and a couple of Form 4's with the SEC regarding its position in Trinity Industries (TRN).

Per the 13D, Jeff Ubben's firm now owns 11% of Trinity Industries with over 16.72 million shares.  But a more recent Form 4 indicates their stake is now 16.94 million shares.

The Form 4 indicates ValueAct was buying TRN shares in mid-august between $28.11 and $28.57.

Per Google Finance, Trinity Industries is "a diversified industrial company that owns businesses providing products and services to the energy, chemical, agriculture, transportation and construction sectors. The Company's products and services include railcars and railcar parts; parts and steel components; the leasing, management and maintenance of railcars; highway products; construction aggregates; inland barges; structural wind towers; steel utility structures; storage and distribution containers, and trench shields and shoring products. The Company's segments include the Rail Group, Construction Products Group, Inland Barge Group, Energy Equipment Group, Railcar Leasing and Management Services Group, and All Other. Its All Other segment includes its captive insurance and transportation companies, and other peripheral businesses. It manufactures a line of railcars, including autorack cars, box cars, covered hopper cars, gondola cars, intermodal cars, open hopper cars and tank cars."

ValueAct Trims Willis Towers Watson Stake

Third, in a Form 4 with the SEC, Ubben's firm has disclosed activity in their Willis Towers Watson (WLTW) stake. They were selling some shares on August 17th, 18th, and 21st at $150.04, $148.76, and $149.14.  In total, they sold 106,000 shares and they're left owning 5.18 million shares.

Per Google Finance, Willis Towers Watson "operates as a global advisory, broking and solutions company. It is engaged in offering risk management, insurance broking, consulting, technology and solutions, and private exchanges. The Company operates through eight segments: Willis International; Willis North America; Willis Capital, Wholesale & Reinsurance (CWR); Willis GB; Towers Watson Benefits; Towers Watson Exchange Solutions; Towers Watson Risk and Financial Services; and Towers Watson Talent and Rewards. The Willis GB segment comprises four business units: Property and Casualty, Transport, Financial Lines and Retail Networks. The Willis Capital Wholesale and Reinsurance segment includes Willis Re; Willis Capital Markets & Advisory; Willis' wholesale business, and Willis Portfolio Underwriting Services. The Willis North America segment provides risk management, insurance brokerage and related risk services."

For more from this investment firm, we highlighted how ValueAct recently boosted its position in another stock as well.

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