Activist investor Elliott gains board seat at Etsy

reuters | February 1, 2024

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(Reuters) -Etsy (NASDAQ: ETSY) on Thursday appointed Elliott Investment Management portfolio manager Marc Steinberg to its board, effective Feb. 5, the two sides said in a release.

Elliott, one of the world’s most prominent investors, has a 13% economic stake in Etsy, including both common shares and swaps, a person familiar with the matter said, declining to be named because the situation is private.

That would make Elliott the biggest investor in the e-commerce platform. Elliott and Etsy did not comment beyond the statement.

Etsy shares, which have tumbled from their 2021 high of $294, traded up 8% on Thursday to exchange hands at $72 per share.

With Steinberg, who specializes in technology, media and telecommunications investments at the company, the board now has 10 members, nine of whom are independent.

Separately, Steinberg was named partner at Elliott, according to a person familiar with the matter, in an expansion of the top ranks of the hedge fund.

The firm, which oversaw $59.2 billion at the end June, also named Nabeel Bhanji and Jason Genrich partners, the source said.

“We became a sizable investor in Etsy, and I am joining its board because I believe there is an opportunity for significant value creation,” Steinberg said in a statement.

Steinberg joined the board of image sharing and social media service company Pinterest in December 2022. The stock price of the company has surged 100% since Elliott invested in July 2022.

Negotiations between Etsy and Elliott were described as cooperative, and the hedge fund did not enter into any arrangement or understanding with Etsy that would require a regulatory filing to be made, the person said.

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston; Editing by Maju Samuel, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Jan Harvey)