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Starboard says it now owns 9% of ACI Worldwide's fairness earnings

© Reuters. Jeffrey Smith, CEO of Starboard Value LP and Chairman of Papa Johns International Inc., speaks during an interview on CNBC on the NYSE floor in New York

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

BOSTON (Reuters) – Activist investor Starboard Value has increased its stake in ACI worldwide Inc (O 🙂 to 9%, according to a government filing filed Monday that helped increase the payment systems company's shares by more than 3% in after-hours trading.

The New York-based hedge fund now owns 10.5 million shares of the Naples, Florida-based company, valued at $ 3.7 billion.

Starboard began building its stake in the first quarter of the year and owned 2 million shares, or 1.77%, by the end of the second quarter, previous filings showed.

For the past few weeks, there has been speculation that Starboard, which launched three new campaigns in the first nine months of 2020, would announce a larger stake in ACI Worldwide before the company reports third-quarter profits.

In the filing, Starboard said the company's shares, which are down 17% year-to-date, were undervalued when the hedge fund bought it and may suggest a number of changes that could include board changes or a strategic review.

An ACI Worldwide spokesman had no immediate comment.

Earlier this month, Jeffrey Smith, CEO of Starboard, announced positions in an agricultural and chemical company Corteva (NYSE 🙂 and ON Semiconductor.

Starboard is known for its operational expertise and often suggests adding new directors to a company's board of directors. So far this year, Starboard has won 22 directorships, nearly twice as many as the 12 directors appointed by Elliott Management to its boards of directors.

ACI Worldwide's share price closed at $ 31.50 on Monday and was trading at $ 32.50 following news from Starboard's larger stake.

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