Activist investor Keith Meister, the CIO of $5.5 billion Corvex Capital, pitched CenturyLink (CTL) as a long.
Speaking at the Sohn Conference in New York, Meister, a former Carl Icahn lieutenant, said he sees more consolidation in telecom. Meister sees 40% upside for the stock.
Shares of CenturyLink jumped more than 3.3% during Meister’s presentation.
Late last year, CenturyLink said it would acquire Level 3 Communications (LVLT) in $34 billion deal. The deal is expected to close in September. As the deal stands, CenturyLink CEO Glen Post would run the combined company, while Level 3 CEO Jeff Storey gets a role on the board.
Meister called the deal a “game changer.” He added that he wouldn’t have invested in CenturyLink without this transaction.
Corvex owns approximately 30 million shares, making the fund the largest non-index shareholder. It’s approximately a 5.5% position.
The activist play for Meister is to push for the company to put the “best players on the field.” Specifically, Meister would like to see Post stay in his role for one year and then transition to the chairman, while Storey comes on a president and then becomes CEO.
The Sohn Conference raises funds for pediatric cancer and other childhood diseases.
Julia La Roche is a finance reporter at Yahoo Finance.