Activist investor Elliott Management again took aim at mobile tower player Crown Castle, calling for a comprehensive leadership change and a review of the company’s fibre strategy.
Elliott Management stated in an open letter it was launching a campaign designed to address history of underperformance and a stock price that recently hit a six-year low by restoring the tower company.
The company manages funds which collectively have an investment of $2 billion in Crown Castle.
It is the second time Elliott Management has hit out at Crown Castle’s strategy and management, after a campaign in 2020.
Among its latest recommendations are a call for new executive and board leadership: it stated Crown Castle had “demonstrated minimal self-reflection on whether its strategy is working and has displayed little regard for conflicting data and analysis”.
Elliott Management also called for all aspects of Crown Castle’s fibre strategy to be re-evaluated, including considering a possible sale of the unit. Furthermore, it wants an optimised incentive plan to address capital allocation and significant steps to improve corporate governance.
The investment company stated during the tenure of the current executive team helmed by CEO Jay Brown since 2016, Crown Castle underperformed its direct peers by an average of 85 per cent in total returns, translating into nearly $26 billion of unfulfilled shareholder value.
“Crown Castle suffers from a profound lack of oversight by the board, which has contributed to its irresponsible stewardship and flawed financial policy.”
Elliott Management is renowned for embarking on high-profile battles with companies it has investments in, previously taking on operators AT&T, Telecom Italia and social media company X.