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Elliott, private equity firm buy stakes in NRG Energy: Reuters

Activist investor Elliott Management and private equity firm Bluescape Energy Partners said they bought stakes in NRG Energy Inc and would team up to urge the power producer to make strategic changes to the company.

Elliott and Bluescape – termed “the Group” – said NRG’s shares were “deeply undervalued” and they wanted to make operational and financial improvements in the company.

Elliott Management acquired 16.9 million shares of the company, or a 5.4 percent stake, as of Jan. 4. Including swaps, it has an economic exposure of about 6.9 percent in the company.

Bluescape, whose executive chairman is former Texas utility chief John Wilder, said it bought 7.8 million shares, or a 2.5 percent stake.

Wilder is credited with overhauling TXU Corp Wilder, now known as Energy Future Holdings Corp, before selling it in 2007 in the one of the biggest-ever leveraged buyouts.

Together they have an economic exposure of about 9.4 percent in NRG, according to regulatory filings.

“The Group believes that Charles John Wilder, Jr. and his team have directly relevant experience in effectuating such improvements and are initiating a dialogue with management and the Board of Directors,” both shareholders said in their filings.

The Group said it was also looking to nominate one or more people to the board at the 2017 annual stockholders meeting.