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Full interview with Jeff Smith on activism, Altaba

Jeff Smith, CEO of activist fund Starboard Value, shared his views on activism and Altaba in an interview Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

On activism and Starboard: "We look at companies that we believe can be improved operationally. ... We don't go into situations with the primary purpose of getting a company sold or just to do buybacks," he said. "We get excited when we see companies that aren't performing where we truly believe that they can be turned around and improved."

On what shareholders can expect of Yahoo when it becomes Altaba: "We're looking at a company right now that's trading at about a 35 percent discount to net asset value. There are a lot of ways to close that gap, to create a value for what will be Altaba shareholders," Smith said. "One of which that can help, is a return of capital. So the company will have approximately $10 billion of capital and to the extent we can buy back shares at a significant discount to net asset value that, you know, should ... increase benefit for the shareholders."

On the impact of taxes for Altaba: "Tax reform could be a huge wind at the back."

Yahoo's core business is being sold to Verizon for $4.48 billion. The Asian assets of Yahoo are not included in the deal and will continue on in a separate company named Altaba.

Smith founded Starboard Value in 2011. He began his career at Societe Generale in the mergers and acquisitions department.

He also discusses:

To watch the broadcast interview in its entirety, you must be a CNBC PRO subscriber.