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The Wall Street Journal: Activist investor Elliott Management takes stake in PayPal

Activist investor Elliott Management Corp. has a stake in PayPal Holdings Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

The size of Elliott’s stake and its intentions couldn’t be learned. PayPal has roughly $8 billion of cash and short-term investments and not much more debt; activists are frequently drawn to companies they say could allocate capital more aggressively.

PayPal
PYPL,
-5.65%

is a sizable target, with a market value of roughly $89 billion even after a significant downdraft in its shares. (At its peak about a year ago, the company was worth more than $350 billion.) The shares have lost around 60% so far this year, as e-commerce sales for which the company facilitates payments slowed amid the end of pandemic lockdowns.

PayPal shares in February suffered their worst one-day selloff on record after the company lowered its 2022 profit outlook and scrapped an ambitious growth strategy put in place last year of roughly doubling its active user base to 750 million accounts. Chief Executive Dan Schulman said the focus was on getting frequent PayPal users to utilize the company’s core services, such as online checkout and digital wallets, more often—and not on pursuing customers who are unlikely to transact regularly.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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