Relational Investors Reduces Activist Stakes in Manitowoc Company Inc (MTW) and Clean Harbors Inc (CLH)

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In new filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Relational Investors, managed by Ralph V. Whitworth, disclosed cutting its stakes in Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) and Clean Harbors Inc (NYSE:CLH). In the first filing, Relational Investors revealed owning 6.74 million shares of Manitowoc, down from around 8.57 million shares the fund held just a week prior. The stake still represents 4.98% of the company’s outstanding common shares. In the second filing, Relational reported cutting its stake in Clean Harbors Inc (NYSE:CLH) to 2.98 million shares from the 3.52 million shares the fund held previously. The stake is equal to 4.96% of the company’s common shares.

Ralph V. Whitworth

California-based Relational Investors was founded by Ralph Whitworth and David Batchelder in 1996. The activist investment fund likes strategic block investments, primarily in the information technology, industrials, consumer staples, and healthcare industries. The fund always seeks to unlock value from underperforming companies by engaging in productive discussions with management and shareholders in an attempt to generate positive change and long-term growth. As of the end of September, 2014, Relational Investors’ equity portfolio was valued at $4.06 billion. The fund had a strong focus in Technology, Industrial Goods, and Consumer Goods stocks.

As we reported previously, Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) announced in an 8-K filing that it would split its business into two following pressure from Relational, and Carl Icahn’s Icahn Capital LP. Carl Icahn, who owns 10.58 million shares of Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW), has been pushing the company to split its crane and foodservice divisions into separate businesses to unlock shareholder value. Relational also believes that their divisions were synergistically opposed, which was causing a perpetual discount in the company’s share price and market cap. This week, we reported that Icahn has pulled off several other coups leading up to and following the split of Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW), including having gained a seat on the board of the soon-to-be spun-off food service division and other concessions on its governance.

Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) has a market cap of around $2.9 billion, and is engaged in providing crawler cranes, tower cranes, and mobile cranes for the heavy construction industry. The company operates 92 manufacturing, distribution, and service facilities in 25 countries. The company’s stock is currently trading at $21.34. Over the last year, the stock is down 24.75%. For full-year 2014, Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) reported net income of $144.5 million, or $1.05 per share, up from net income of $141.8 million, or $1.05 per share, in 2013. The company posted full-year sales of $3.9 billion, which represents a 4% decrease from the $4.0 billion in revenue they recorded in 2013. In June 2014, Relational reported increasing its holding of Manitowoc Company Inc. (NYSE:MTW) to 11.5 million shares. Since then, the company’s stock has dropped by 35.1%.

Other investor betting big on Manitowoc Company Inc (NYSE:MTW) include York Capital Management, led by James Dinan, which reported holding 8.99 million shares of the company as of September 30, 2014, and Curtis Macnguyen’s Ivory Capital, which disclosed ownership of 1.35 million shares of the company as of the end of the third quarter of 2014.

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