Hedge fund may increase stake in Alcoa

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review- Activist shareholder Highfields Capital Management LP has alerted Alcoa Inc. it may increase its stake in the aluminum maker to as much as 8 percent, a move that would make the Boston-based hedge fund the company’s largest shareholder.

Highfields notified Alcoa last week that it intends to raise its stake, Alcoa said Monday in a statement. Highfields, which oversees $11 billion in investments, owned 1.9 percent of Alcoa, or 15.4 million shares, as of July 23, according to data compiled by CNBC.

Highfields already is familiar with Pittsburgh companies. In 2005, the company leaned heavily on Mellon Financial Corp. to take action to increase its stock price by buying an investment unit from Merrill Lynch and selling off Mellon’s processing businesses — even if it meant moving its headquarters from Pittsburgh. At the time, Highfields was one of Mellon’s largest institutional shareholders.

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