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Activist Investor Starboard Discloses Stake in Software Maker Box

Nico Grant

(Bloomberg) -- Starboard Value LP reported that it has acquired a 7.5% stake in Box Inc., putting additional pressure on a software maker that has struggled to accelerate sales and become more profitable.

The activist investor may seek changes at the company, including to its strategy and board composition, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. The new stockholder said the shares “were undervalued and represented an attractive investment opportunity.” The stake makes Starboard Box’s third-largest investor, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Box hasn’t met lofty sales growth targets that are common in the cloud-computing market, amid a transition from offering a few data-storage products to a broader software suite. The Redwood City, California-based company gave a weak revenue forecast last week, further damping Wall Street’s enthusiasm.

“While we do not comment on interactions with our investors, Box is committed to maintaining an active and engaged dialogue with stockholders,” the company said in a statement. “The board of directors and management team are focused on delivering growth and profitability to drive long-term stockholder value.”

A representative for Starboard wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Box shares jumped about 7% to $15.85 in extended trading on the news. The stock has declined 12% since the start of the year.

(Updates with Box statement in the fourth paragraph.)

--With assistance from Scott Deveau.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack

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