Elliott Management chief Paul Singer can be a patient man. He can be methodical and philosophical in getting what he wants, even if it takes 13 years. He can wait seven for vindication over VW. And he gave Hess a whole four years to clean up its act before going back to war.
However, patience cannot be counseled in all circumstances. For instance, the sale of the 61% of Britain’s SkyTV that Rupert Murdoch doesn’t already own to the same, in advance of him selling it to Disney. Time is somewhat of the essence here, and even though Singer is playing coy about his intentions, his adding another 0.76% of Sky shares to his existing 1.1% stake are adding to Sky’s fears that people like Paul Singer might just use this sticky situation—British regulators appear somewhat loathe to give the media mogul control of Sky News—to hold old Rupert over a barrel, with potential unpleasant results for Sky.
Senior sources at Sky have warned this could cause hedge funds, which have built stakes in Sky and want a quick profit, to aggressively push for a fire-sale of Sky News or for the channel to shut down.