Sudip Datta in Crain's: Why is this man eyeing Taubman Centers?
They've seized an Argentinian warship and picked a fight with Warren Buffett. But no one outside the two companies knows exactly what Paul Singer's Elliott Management Corp. is seeking from Bloomfield Hills-based Taubman Centers Inc. now that the activist hedge fund has bought a 3.8 percent stake in the luxury mall giant. Yet one thing is certain: It's likely to be a warpath Elliott marches as Taubman (NYSE: TCO), which has been controlled by its founding family for almost 70 years, battles the New York City-based fund at the same time it faces arrows from another activist investor, Jonathan Litt of Connecticut. "When a company comes in the crosshairs of Elliott and Paul Singer, that company most likely will succumb to Elliott," Sudip Datta, T. Norris Hitchman endowed chair and professor of finance in the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University, said in an email. "He will eventually most likely succeed in this battle, substantially restructure the board and change management. … Taubman may be forced to go private to restructure and then go public again when it gets its act together. There is substantial board and management changes in the cards for Taubman."