Whitbread shares jump as US hedge fund becomes the largest shareholder


Whitbread to spin off Costa?

Shares in Whitbread soared by 6.6 per cent after Elliott, the US hedge fund, confirmed that it has become the largest shareholder in the company.

Elliott Advisors had confirmed this weekend that it now has over a 6 per cent stake in FTSE 100-listed firm. It did not mention the reason for increasing its stake.

According to reports, Elliott Advisors wants Whitbread to be split into its Costa Coffee chain and its Premier Inn business.

A spokeswoman for Whitbread has declined to comment.

Whitbread’s chief executive Alison Brittain had fuelled speculation that Costa could be spun off by saying earlier this year: “We remain entirely open-minded about the structure of the business and are fully committed to reviewing it on a regular basis at the board level.”