Elliott Girds For Juniper Battle

Feb 3 2014 | 1:48pm ET

Elliott Management is still on good terms with Juniper Networks, but it's ready to move if that relationship should sour.

The New York-based hedge fund fired a warning shot across the computer networking company's bow today, making clear that its proposals have the backing of other Juniper shareholders and threatening a proxy fight if it does not get its way. Elliott has called on Juniper to cut costs, return capital to investors and reduce it product lineup.

Juniper CEO Shaygan Kheradpir plans to announce a new operating plan within weeks. Elliott wrote in its statement that it has had constructive conversations with Kheradpir, but was preparing a slate of board candidates just in case.

"We also recruited a team of leading executives who are excited about Juniper and who have the operational skills and deep industry experience to help ensure that the shareholder value plan becomes a reality," the hedge fund wrote. "Elliott is entirely committed to seeing the plan through, and our commitment is such that we remain open to all paths to ensure its implementation."

Elliott has until the end of this month to nominate board candidates. The firm's proposals have been backed by another activist hedge fund, Jana Capital, which last week warned that "the board would benefit from the addition of new directors with a fresh perspective."

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