(Reuters) – Nelson Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP has urged Ferguson Plc <FERG.L> to sell its UK business, Sky News reported on Sunday, a month after the activist fund built up a 6% stake in the plumbing products distributor.
The move is part of a broader strategic shift at Ferguson sought by the billionaire U.S. investor and includes scrapping its London stock market listing and switching it to a U.S. listing, Sky News said.
Trian acquired a stake worth 736 million pounds in June because it believed the company was an attractive investment trading at a discount to peers in the United States.
Trian said at the time it was in contact with the management of the company, but gave no details on its strategy.
The company’s UK operations could be worth around 700 million pounds, Sky News said, citing analysts.
An auction would attract significant interest from private equity firms, if the company’s board elected to pursue a sale of the UK arm, Sky News added, citing city sources.
Trian declined to comment while Ferguson did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru, editing by Deepa Babington and Sonya Hepinstall)