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This New Activist Hedge Fund Is Launching Its First Board Battle

A man uses his laptop while waiting at HA man uses his laptop while waiting at H
A man uses his laptop while waiting at Hong Kong's international airport on April 21, 2010. Photograph by Ed Jones—AFP/Getty Images

Activist hedge fund Ides Capital just launched this year, and it’s taking aim at its first target: the company that provides wi-fi at airports.

The activist investor, which has less than a 1% stake in the company, has nominated two directors to Boingo Wireless’s six-person board (WIFI), according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We sought to have meaningful conversations with management and the Nominating and Governance Committee in hopes of working through the Company’s nomination process, but are disappointed that the Company has been dragging its feet,” Ides’ chief investment officer Dianne McKeever said in a statement. “The company’s performance in recent years has been woefully poor.”

Ides nominated investor Karen Finerman and Bradley Stewart, CEO of private jet company XOJet, to Boingo’s board.

“We are disappointed that Ides Capital has decided to publicly announce its nomination of directors, especially in light of our ongoing dialogue and repeated requests to interview its nominees in accordance with our nominating process,” Boingo said in a statement. “We regularly engage with our stockholders and seek to maintain an open dialogue with the investment community towards the goal of enhancing Boingo’s value.”


While Boingo’s revenue grew 17% last year, the company hasn’t posted an annual profit since 2012, according to the Journal. The company, which says that it is still positioning itself for long-term growth, has watched its share price drop 46% since its initial public offering in 2011.