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Starboard says it now owns 9% of ACI Worldwide, stock gains

Credit: REUTERS/Lee Jae Won

Activist investor Starboard Value boosted its stake in ACI Worldwide Inc to 9%, according to a regulatory filing made on Monday that helped push the payment systems company's stock up more than 3% in afterhours trading.

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Activist investor Starboard Value boosted its stake in ACI Worldwide Inc ACIW.O to 9%, according to a regulatory filing made on Monday that helped push the payment systems company's stock up more than 3% in afterhours trading.

The New York-based hedge fund now owns 10.5 million shares in the Naples, Florida-headquartered company which is worth $3.7 billion, the filing said.

Starboard began building its stake during the first quarter of the year and owned 2 million shares or 1.77% at the end of the second quarter, earlier regulatory filings show.

Speculation has swirled in the last weeks that Starboard, which launched three new campaigns in the first nine months of 2020, would unveil a larger stake in ACI Worldwide before the company reports third-quarter earnings.

In the filing ,Starboard said the company's shares, which have lost 17% since the start of the year, were undervalued when the hedge fund bought them and may propose a variety of changes that could include board changes or a strategic review.

A spokesman for ACI Worldwide did not have an immediate comment.

Earlier this month, Starboard's CEO, Jeffrey Smith, announced positions in agricultural and chemical company Corteva and ON Semiconductor.

Starboard is known for its operational know-how and often proposes to add new directors to a company's board. So far this year, Starboard has won 22 board seats, almost double the 12 directors that Elliott Management has placed on boards.

ACI Worldwide's stock price closed at $31.50 on Monday and was trading at $32.50 after the news of Starboard's bigger stake.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

((svea.herbst@thomsonreuters.com; +617 856 4331; Reuters Messaging: svea.herbst.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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