* Elliott holds 6.8 pct stake -regulatory filing
* Position taken day after SNC Lavalin agreed to buy WS
* Elliott declines to comment on move
(Adds SNC declines to comment )
By Vikram Subhedar and Simon Jessop
LONDON, April 24 U.S. activist investor Elliott
Capital Advisors disclosed on Monday it has taken a 6.8 percent
stake in WS Atkins after the British engineering and
construction consultancy firm agreed to be bought in a C$3.6
billion ($2.7 billion) deal.
Elliott said in a regulatory filing that it acquired the
stake in a contracts-for-difference deal on April 21, the day
after Atkins agreed to be acquired by Canadian construction and
engineering group SNC Lavalin.
Shares in Atkins closed on Monday at 2,100 pence, above
SNC's offer price of 2,080 pence a share.
After SNC made an indicative offer for Atkins on April 3,
Liberum analyst Joe Brent said in a note that the move could
spark a bidding war, given growing consolidation in the
industry. He declined to comment on Monday.
The stake in Atkins opens up another front in Europe for
Elliott, as it presses Dutch-based paintmaker Akzo Nobel
to open takeover talks with U.S. suitor PPG Industries
, and separately campaigns for a restructuring at
Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton
Elliott's stake in Atkins makes it the second-biggest
shareholder, Thomson Reuters data showed, just behind asset
manager Columbia Threadneedle.
A spokeswoman for Elliott declined to comment on why the
firm had taken a stake in Atkins. Spokesmen for Atkins and for
SNC also declined to comment.
($1 = 1.3482 Canadian dollars)
(Additional reporting by Justin Varghese and Esha Vaish in
Bangalore and Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Greg