REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/FilesSummary List Placement
Shares of GlaxoSmithKline rose 6% on Thursday after reports of hedge fund Elliott Management taking a multi-billion pound stake at the British pharmaceutical firm.
GSK rose to a high of $38.24, its highest price since January 28. It was last at $38.04 around 10:22 a.m. ET, up around 5.3%.
The "significant" investment was confirmed by exclusive sources to the Financial Times Thursday.
Elliott, the $42 billion hedge fund known for its activist campaigns, enters the picture at a time when GSK is struggling to overcome a bruised reputation. The pharmaceutical company has failed to keep up in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, losing out to rivals with far less experience.
To date, GSK's vaccine unit has yet to develop a coronavirus shot, according to an Insider exclusive, despite helping the world address the crises of H1N1 and Ebola viruses years back. At least three dozen employees have departed from one of its key centers since the pandemic began, Insider found.
Elliot's investment also comes after the GSK CEO Dame Emma Walmsley decided to narrow the company's research focus to immunology by combining the pharmaceutical and vaccine units. Walmsley, who lacks an extensive scientific background, took the helm from Andrew Witty in 2017.
Elliott has launched dozens of activist campaigns at companies across the world, especially in the health sector. It was founded by billionaire Paul Singer in 1977.
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