Activist investor Elliott Management is building a stake in Finland-based tire-maker Nokian Renkaat Oyj, Bloomberg reported.
Elliott’s investment comes around a week after Nokian released its 2020 financial guidance. The company said its net sales and operating profit are expected to decline in 2020, blaming a tight competition in the tire market in Europe and low winter tire demand. The activist has not presented a specific plan or proposal and the size of the stake is still unclear, although Bloomberg’s sources said the activist is ready to push for changes.
The company’s annual shareholder meeting will be held on April 2.
Shares in Nokian traded up around 5% on Thursday while the stock has fallen about 19% in 2019.
If confirmed, Elliott’s investment in Nokian would mark the activist investor’s further expansion in Continental Europe. Elliott stepped up its activity in the region in recent years by launching complex campaigns in Germany, France, Italy and Spain, but largely shied away from Northern Europe until now.
Northern Europe has been the playground of Sweden-based Cevian Capital, which has been active in Finland as well. It recently targeted Finnish industrial machinery company Metso and banking group Nordea Bank.