By Drew FitzGerald 

Activist investor Elliott Management Corp. disclosed a $3.2 billion stake in AT&T Inc., criticized the company's strategy and called on the telecommunications giant to shed unnecessary assets.

The New York fund wrote in a letter to the company released Monday that it would seek seats on the company's board and challenged AT&T to sharpen its focus on its core assets, including its relatively healthy wireless business.

The investment fund didn't ask AT&T to sell specific divisions but said the company should review any assets that lack a strategic rationale, including the DirecTV satellite service and Mexican wireless operations.

Elliott assailed AT&T management for alleged missteps including the purchase of DirecTV and said it remains cautious about last year's purchase of Time Warner, a collection of TV and film businesses including HBO and CNN that was renamed WarnerMedia.

"AT&T has been an outlier in terms of its M&A strategy," Elliott wrote. "Most companies today no longer seek to assemble conglomerates."

Write to Drew FitzGerald at andrew.fitzgerald@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 09, 2019 08:46 ET (12:46 GMT)

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