By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON, May 14 (Reuters) - Activist investment firm Starboard Value, which launched two campaigns during the first quarter, invested in a number of blank check companies that exist to buy private companies and take them public, according to a new regulatory filing.
Starboard launched its own special-purpose acquisition company that merged with data center company Cyxtera Technologies earlier this year.
But Starboard also invested in a string of other so-called SPACS including Montes Archimedes Acquisition Corp, Altimar Acquisition Corp, Churchill Capital Corp II and Forest Road Acquisition Corp.
Hedge funds have been instrumental in raising billions for SPACS but they often sell out when the blank check companies have found a suitable target.
Starboard also cut its stake in Corteva, the agricultural company that handed the activist three board seats earlier this year. Starboard decreased its holding by 13% and owned 12.4 million Corteva shares at the end of the first quarter.
It is Starboard's biggest U.S. stock investment.
The filing shows what fund managers held in U.S. stocks at the end of the first quarter and while the data is backward looking, it is still closely watched because it can give hints on investment trends.
The firm also listed companies like Elanco Animal Health , Green Dot Corp and eHealth Inc where it wanted to push for changes. Starboard settled for a board seat at eHealth this week. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by David Gregorio)