Pershing Square Capital Management disclosed Monday that it owned nearly three million shares in research firm Agilent Technologies.
The announcement, made in a 13F amendment, gives the activist’s ownership at the end of September and does not include derivatives, so Pershing Square’s true stake may be higher or lower by now. Nonetheless, the investment would be equivalent to a nearly 1% stake in the $25 billion market cap company.
Shares in Agilent rose 3.5% in after-hours trading on the announcement.
Santa Clara, California-based Agilent is ranked as highly vulnerable to activism by Activist Insight Vulnerability, which cites high activist ownership (over 3% before Pershing Square’s announcement) and low director support as red flags. Chairman Koh Boon Hwee received barely 90% of the votes at the last shareholder meeting.
Even so, the company has a healthy valuation and total shareholder returns compared to its median Activist Insight Vulnerability-selected peer.
Agilent operates in three segments: life sciences and applied markets, diagnostics and genomics, and CrossLab, which provides a mixture of products and services.
The nomination deadline for its staggered board closed in October, so a proxy fight is off the cards for now, with no right for shareholders to call a special meeting, according to Activist Insight Governance.