By Drew Singer / Bloomberg News:

Large industrial, technology and healthcare firms could soon explore spinoffs to unload debt and stave off activists, according to a special situations research firm.

Elliott Management’s recommendation this morning for eBay to review its portfolio could be the first of many similar calls to action by activists in 2019. Other top candidates to divest non-core assets include AT&T Inc., Oracle Corp., Merck & Co. Inc. and Roper Technologies Inc., The Edge Consulting Group CEO Jim Osman said in an interview. The need for divestitures comes after a rush of acquisitions created heavy debt burdens and higher capital demands.

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