(Alliance News) - Shares in Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC on Tuesday rose after the Financial Times reported an activist investor has built a stake in the company.

Shares in the Slough, England-based maker of antiseptic brand Dettol and painkiller Nurofen rose 1.0% to 4,582.00 pence each in London on Tuesday.

The FT said activist investor Eminence Capital, which has been leading an activist campaign against FTSE 100-listed gambling group Entain PLC, owns at least 0.5% of Reckitt's stock, after it began buying up shares in March as they sank towards an all-time low, according to people familiar with the matter.


Shares In Reckitt, which also makes sore throat medicine Strepsils and indigestion remedy Gaviscon, fell heavily in March after a US jury ruled that one of its infant formulas had caused the death of a premature infant, and ordered the consumer goods company to pay USD60 million in damages.

The FT said the presence of the New York-based activist fund, which has around USD6.7 billion of assets under management was likely to increase calls for Chief Executive Kris Licht to push through a sale of the baby formula division.

Eminence also believed Reckitt's management could do more to improve operating margins, which have shrunk in recent years, the report added.

Other activist investors were also circling Reckitt, the FT said, citing people familiar with the matter, with investors believing that the fallout from the Illinois jury's verdict had disproportionately weighed down its stock price.

Reckitt has vowed to pursue all options to overturn the verdict.

"We continue to believe that the allegations from the plaintiff's lawyers in this case were not supported by the science or experts in the medical community. This was underscored during the trial by a dozen neonatologists," the company said in March.

By Jeremy Cutler, Alliance News reporter

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