Activist investor Elliott Management has reportedly taken an undisclosed stake in PayPal, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday (July 26) night, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
While Elliott did not respond to a request for comment from PYMNTS sent after normal business hours, the report sent shares of PayPal as much as 10% higher in extended trading, slightly improving the 75% slump that shares of the California-based FinTech have suffered over the past year.
According to its website, Elliott managed over $51 billion in assets as of the end of last year and has been one of the more prolific activist investors, including campaigns at big names like AT&T, Twitter and most recently Pinterest.
For its part, PayPal has not confirmed or denied the reported stake and has filed no public disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concerning a change in ownership.
Prior to Tuesday’s report, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman had said the company is focused on getting frequent users to try other services, such as online checkout or digital wallets, instead of pursuing less active consumers.
Even in its currently diminished state, PayPal still has a market value of close to $90 billion, making it a big target for Elliott or any activist to digest. As of the end of March, Vanguard Group and Blackrock were the top two largest stakeholder in PayPal, with respective holdings of 8.2% and 6.8%.
Last October, PYMNTS reported that PayPal had decided not to pursue an acquisition of Pinterest “at that time” but did not rule out the possibility of any deals for the social media platform in the future.
Whether there is any connection between PayPal’s prior interest in Pinterest and the reported 9% stake that Elliott has taken in the company as of last week remains to be seen, but like PayPal, Pinterest has seen its stock fall by over 70% in the past year.