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Pinterest reaches deal with activist Elliott; Steinberg to join board

Display for image sharing and social media service Pinterest in Toronto

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pinterest on Tuesday said it reached a deal with Elliott Management, the activist investment firm that has offered up ideas on how to improve operations at the image sharing and social media service company.

Marc Steinberg, a portfolio manager at Elliott, will join the board on Dec. 16, Pinterest said. The two sides had been holding talks for several months.

Pinterest CEO Bill Ready, who took the job in June, called the deal with Elliott a "one-of-a-kind agreement" and said the company "appreciates the perspective" Steinberg, Jesse Cohn, a managing partner at Elliott, and others at the firm bring.

Pinterest's stock climbed 2.5% in after hours trading on the news that Elliott, one of the company's biggest investors, was joining the board. According to regulatory filings, Elliott owns nearly 3% of common stock, making up a portion of its total stake of more than 9%. The stock price has tumbled 38% since January and closed at $22.72 on Tuesday.

Elliott, one of the world's busiest activist investing firms, has extensive experience in the tech and social media sector as Cohn held board seats at Twitter and eBay and worked closely with Steinberg on those investments.

Pinterest's board will have 11 directors of which 8, including Steinberg, are independent.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Stephen Coates)