Holder Boosts Energy Conversion Stake

Coghill Capital appears to be agitating for change.
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Activist investor Coghill Capital Management is trying to shake up management again at technology outfit

Energy Conversion Devices



Coghill, which has been buying shares in the Rochester Hills, Mich.-based tech concern over the past few years, this week revealed a 9.4% stake in the company, according to filings with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

. That's up from 8.3% at last count.

Although the tech company has said it is seeking strategic alternatives, including a sale, for its battery unit Cobasys, it appears that Coghill is interested in bigger moves, according to industry observers.

A call to chief investment officer Clint Coghill was fielded by an assistant, who said the chief investment officer does not speak to the media. A call to Energy Conversion's CEO was directed to senior vice president Nancy Bacon, who did not return a call for comment.

Chicago-based Coghill, which is the second-largest shareholder of Energy Conversion after Fidelity Investments, has pushed for changes to the management. Coghill is said to now be seeking the breakup of the technology company, which has four distinct business units, including one that develops batteries devices and an alternative energy generation unit that develops solar power technology.

Energy Conversion also has a subsidiary that designs electrical phase-change memory technology -- an advancement in the so-called flash memory used in many devices to store information such as cell phones and


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newest generation of iPods.

The memory technology has been accepted by most of the major semiconductor chip and computer makers under licensing agreements and joint ventures with companies including


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Still, Energy Conversion's stock remains within striking distance of its 52-week low. It fell 83 cents Tuesday to $30.18.