Jeffrey Ubben, the founder of hedge fund firm ValueAct Capital Management, has disclosed ownership of about $2 billion in Microsoft stock. Ubben said that the value of Microsoft’s business were not appreciated by other investors. Ubben revealed his stake earlier this week at an investor conference.
“We are committed to enhancing value for all shareholders, and will continue to take actions that we believe will enable us to achieve this objective,” said Microsoft in a statement as quoted by The Wall Street Journal.
ValueAct is known for holding shares in several companies and generally seeks board seats or asks for changes at companies that they invest in. For example, ValueAct took over several director seats at marketing database company Acxion Corporation several years ago. ValueAct also pushed Gardner Denver to sell themselves to a private equity firm. ValueAct Capital’s stake is worth less than 1% of the company.
This is not the first time that a hedge fund wants to be active in Microsoft’s decision. In May 2011, the president of hedge fund company Greenlight Capital, David Einhorn, called for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to step down. the board ended up siding with Ballmer. As of December 31, Greenlight Capital still holds around $322 million worth of Microsoft stock.
Ubben especially praised Microsoft’s efforts in bringing their software to the cloud. Ubben believes that Microsoft could be the largest cloud company in the world over the next 3-5 years.