Jim Cramer thinks the battle for control of Arconic (ARNC) should play out well for shareholders regardless of who wins -- CEO Klaus Kleinfeld or activist Paul Singer's Elliott Management hedge fund.
Elliott Management recently launched a bid to replace Kleinfeld and secure several board seats, but Cramer -- whose charitable trust owns ARNC shares -- said in an exclusive conference call with members of his Action Alerts PLUS club for investors that he doesn't have a dog in the fight.
The stock-picker said Kleinfeld "has done a remarkable job of bringing out value by splitting up the commodity business and the proprietary one. And I think that both are on track for good years."
But Cramer added that Elliott Management wants to install a rival team that "would be run by an extremely smart man, Larry Lawson."
"I am perfectly content with what Kleinfeld's done, given how far he's come," Cramer said. "But when the stock ran through $29, we lightened up. At these levels, I think we can't buy more. If we went back above where we sold it, I would probably be tempted to offload more, because now it's trading on the possibility of Elliott winning and it's too hard to tell if that's the case."
Conversely, Cramer said that if Elliott's run at the company falters, "in the short term, the stock would fall perhaps in the low $20s. But I'd be looking to buy some if that occurred. I like the aerospace business that Arconic's built up, I think its auto business is strong, [and] most importantly, its truck business is in its fourth month of improvement. That's a big part of the business."
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