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Manitowoc Company Inc (MTW), Apollo Education Group, Inc. (APOL) & More: Billionaire Larry Robbins’ Latest Moves and Top New Picks

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Larry RobbinsGlenview Capital has disclosed in two filings with the SEC two bullish moves, including adding a new holding to its equity portfolio. Robbins seems to be impressed with what Carl Icahn has managed to accomplish through his activist stake in Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW), as Glenview has revealed a new passive stake in the soon-to-be-split company, which contains 8.61 million shares, equal to 6.34% of its common stock. In addition, Robbins has upped his fund’s passive stake in Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. (NYSE:BKD), another company involved in an activist campaign. Glenview has disclosed ownership of 11.59 million shares, a 6.32% stake, a large increase over the 8.76 million shares held at the end of 2014.

GLENVIEW CAPITAL

As mentioned, Icahn was instrumental in convincing Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) to split its two core businesses into separate companies, a move which had previously been championed by activist investor Ralph Whitworth as well. The new position makes Glenview the third largest shareholder among funds we track, trailing only Icahn Capital and Whitworth’s Relational Investors, which own 10.58 million shares and 11.50 million shares respectively.

Though Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) is down by 14.29% over the past six months, it has gained more than 10% since the announcement of the split. Such moves by activist investors are one of the primary reasons why we closely monitor their involvement in companies, and why it can be a great strategy to piggyback such investments as opposed to directly investing with the funds in question, which usually involves large fees that these fund managers take.

In the case of Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. (NYSE:BKD), activist investor Tom Sandell of Sandell Asset Management recently pushed for changes at the company, which represents one of his top picks heading into 2015. The steps proposed by Mr. Sandell included a shakeup of the company’s board and the appointment of himself and two other people to the board, as well as the sale of some of its assets. Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. (NYSE:BKD) last week announced its intentions to add more assets to its portfolio instead, being set to purchase a portfolio of senior housing communities from Chartwell Retirement Residences for $849 million.

Robbins was already the second-largest shareholder among funds we track heading into this year, only slightly behind Doug Silverman and Alexander Klabin’s Senator Invesment Group, which owns 9.15 million shares. Brookdale is also up by nearly 10% since Sandell went public with his demands on February 5.

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