Activist investor Cat Rock slashes stake in UK's Staffline - EntornoInteligente /

(Reuters) – Activist investor Cat Rock Capital cut its stake in Staffline Group Plc ( STAF.L ) by more than half, less than a month after the British recruiter swung to a 2018 loss as it booked a charge for potential fines for underpaying workers.

Cat Rock Capital cut its stake to 4.64% from a prior stake of 11.50% as of July 16, an official filing showed on Monday.

In addition to the 15 million pound charge, Staffline said in June it would raise capital to cut debt, wiping a quarter off its market value.

Staffline has also said UK tax authority HMRC and an independent advisor are looking into whether it had historically complied with minimum wage regulations.

Cat Rock, founded by Alex Captain, will now be Staffline’s sixth largest shareholder, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. With its prior stake, it was the company’s second-largest shareholder.

The stake cut comes at a time when activist investors like Elliott Capital Advisors have become increasingly active in UK businesses exposed to Brexit nerves.

Since late-2018, Cat Rock itself has stepped up its campaign for changes at Just Eat Plc ( JE.L ), urging the online takeaway service to appoint a “world-class” CEO with online food delivery experience, as well as look for a merger with one of its peers.

Staffline and Cat Rock did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Staffline shares were down 1.2% at 131.8 pence in early trading.

Reporting by Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta


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