UPDATE 1-Elliott pushes for Hess board changes, Bakken spinoff
Jan 29 (Reuters) - Hedge fund Elliott Management will nominate five executives to Hess Corp's board as it pitches a plan to break up the U.S. oil and gas company to boost returns for investors.
Activist investor Elliott, which owns about 4 percent of Hess, urged the company on Tuesday to consider a spinoff of its holdings in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and the sale of its retail operations. Hess shares rose nearly 10 percent.
Hess disclosed on Monday that Elliott was considering putting a slate of nominees up for the company's board. The company also announced plans to sell its oil storage terminal network and exit the refining business.
Hess has been shifting away from refining since early last year, when the HOVENSA refinery, a joint venture between Hess and Venezuela's PDVSA, was closed. Chief Executive Officer John Hess has said the company's strategy was to focus on lower-risk, higher-return assets like its position in the Bakken oil shale.
Hess declined to comment on Elliott's plan.
Elliott said it believed the underlying value of Hess' assets if the company follows its plan was more than $126 a share.
Hess shares rose 9.7 percent to $68.55 in early New York Stock Exchange trading.