Elliott, known for its activist investments, has been discussing unspecified matters with Pinterest for the past several weeks and told the company it’s now the largest shareholder, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
Prior to the after-hours pop, Pinterest shares plummeted 75% in the past year as the social media company struggled to retain users. While revenue grew 52% in 2021 to over $2.5 billion, the number of global monthly active users fell 6% to 431 million, a worrying sign for investors concerned that the app’s popularity is dwindling.
Co-founder Ben Silbermann stepped down from the CEO role in late June. His replacement, Bill Ready, is a former Google commerce executive, a sign the company is poised to step up investments in developing its e-commerce business.
Elliott has some experience getting involved with struggling online advertising businesses. In 2020, Twitter reached a deal with Elliott and Silver Lake, granting the firms board seats and initiating a $2 billion share repurchase program. Twitter also received a $1 billion investment from Silver Lake as part of the deal.
Prior to the agreement, Elliott was trying to oust then-CEO Jack Dorsey from his executive perch. Although Dorsey survived Elliot the effort, he eventually left Twitter in 2021. According to FactSet, Elliott acquired 10 million Twitter shares between early 2020 and July 2021, and still owns all of them.
CNBC contacted Pinterest and Elliott Management for comment, but neither immediately responded.
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