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Jeff Smith, Starboard Value Intend to Sell Shares of Office Depot

Jeff Smith‘s fund Starboard Value has just disclosed, in a newly amended filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that it intends to sell shares of Office Depot Inc (NYSE:ODP). The fund has signed a sales plan agreement letter, according to which, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC will act as the agent and sell the shares held by Starboard.

Jeff Smith

Starboard currently holds 42.1 million shares of Office Depot, the stake representing 7.9% of the outstanding common stock. The holding is one of the largest in the equity portfolio of Jeff Smith’s fund. According to the filing, Starboard’s position is activist by nature.

According to the letter, the plan is intended to be completed until the end of September, 2014. J.P. Morgan should sell shares on each trading day during the execution of the Sales Plan, unless there is a Market Disruption Event. The amount of shares that shall be sold has not been identified in the letter.

The move is meant to rebalance Starboard’s portfolio, amid  the surge of the company’s stock price since the fund first purchased the shares over a year ago, the filing stated. The stock of Office Depot has been gaining momentum, and is already up by over 64% since the beginning of the year.

In addition to Starboar, some other notable “hedgies” has also been holding shares of Office Depot. According to our database, Tig Advisors, managed by Carl Tiedemann and Michael Tiedemann, holds around 13.4 million shares, followed by D. E. Shaw‘s D E Shaw, and Barry Rosenstein‘s Jana Partners, which own some 2.5 million shares and 2.0 million shares respectively.

Last week, Jeff Smith’s fund reported slicing its exposure at another company, Emulex Corporation (NYSE:ELX). As we stated earlier, Starboard cut its stake in the company to some 5.3 million shares, equal to 5.8%, from 7.3 million shares held earlier.

Starboard is a fundamental-focused hedge fund, which invests primarily in small-cap stocks.

Disclosure: none

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