Activist hedgie buys up five per cent of Royal Mail

Michael Bow
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ONE OF THE UK’S most successful hedge fund managers was yesterday revealed as Royal Mail’s single biggest investor after snapping up millions of shares sold by members of the public.

Chris Hohn (pictured), who runs The Children’s Investment fund (TCI), has taken a 5.82 per cent stake in the postal service giant worth about £290m, making him the biggest player at the company behind the government and employees.

TCI, which was originally handed a tiny proportion of shares by bankers in the initial allocation, has built up its position over the last few days by buying up millions of shares from retail and institutional investors looking to cash in on the company’s 50 per cent share price rise. Hohn, the son of a Jamaican car mechanic, set up TCI with his wife Jamie a decade ago and has built up a reputation as a vocal activist manager, forcing changes at firms such as Japan Tobacco.

The government and Royal Mail bosses will be keen to see how Hohn uses his stake. TCI said: “We are activist only when we think it is appropriate to do so.”