US activist investor becomes W H Smith's largest shareholder

US activist investor becomes W H Smith's largest shareholder

A US activist investor that recently called for a shake-up at Rolls-Royce has become W H Smith's largest single shareholder after upping its stake in the retail chain.

Causeway Capital Management, which first invested in the retailer last year, now owns 9% of the company after buying shares following a trading update earlier this month.

On 1st September, W H Smith warned profits in 2022 would be at the lower end of market expectations, despite expecting improved full-year results for 2021 following a boost in the US travel division.

Causeway Capital recently made headlines after its portfolio manager Jonathan Eng called for Rolls Royce's new chair Anita Frew to inject “fresh thinking” into the board.

However, the California-based investment group told the Sunday Times that it backed W H Smith's current strategy.

The investor said: “We are firm believers in the strategy and management team of W H Smith, which is why we first invested last March and why we have continued to add to our shareholding. We have confidence in the long-term growth potential of the business and are happy to be the company’s largest shareholder.”