Activism Archive

Feb 07, 2019
Activist investors targeted 922 companies in 2018, report highlights
More than 900 companies were targeted with activist campaigns last year and 417 of those were outside the US, according to a new report. The Activist Investing Annual Review 2019, produced by Activist Insight in association with Schulte Roth & Zabel, notes that 922 companies were targeted in 2018 worldwide compared with 856 in 2017. Asia hit a record high in 2018, the report suggests, adding that 111 companies in the region were approached by activists, c...
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Jan 15, 2019
UK shareholder activism rose significantly in 2018
UK shareholder activism saw a sharp increase last year as investors launched campaigns at 25 companies, spending $7.35 bn on stocks, according to research by the investment bank Lazard. Just 11 UK companies faced activist campaigns in 2017, less than half of last year’s number, with the growth in activism in 2018 raising the prospect of further disruption for management of UK companies this year. Looked at within a global context, investors in UK companies ...
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Jan 11, 2019
A year in activism: Looking ahead to 2019
When stocks take the kind of nosedive they did in December 2018, market prognosticators tend to pronounce slowdowns in all types of activity from M&A to IPOs and debt financing. Shareholder activism often gets tossed into this mix. While the volatile markets certainly impacted the 2018 year-end results for a number of activists, from our vantage point we see the record shareholder activist activity that occurred in 2018 continuing into this year not despite of but – ...
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Dec 24, 2018
M&A activity, ESG and director nominations top activist issues
The key activist trends of 2018 have been around M&A activity, ESG and activist director nominations, according to a leading expert.   Josh Black, editor-in-chief at Activist Insight, in an interview with IR Magazine, says: ‘Prior to the end of year turmoil in the markets, activism in 2018 was all about dealing peaky valuations, either by capitalizing through a push for M&A or hunting for bargains in places like the UK and Japan. ‘An in...
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Nov 15, 2018
Should CEOs be public activists?
Activism is everywhere. From the streets of our neighborhoods and fiery boardroom meetings to political junkies and those motivated by local or social causes, there is no shortage of issues being brought to our attention by commentators and keyboard warriors continuously trawling through and analyzing who said what. In some instances, this has given rise to a new type of CEO: the ‘activist’. This creature takes different forms: publicly outspoken, actively invol...
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Oct 26, 2018
Investor dissent rising over board appointments
An annual review by corporate governance firm Equiniti reveals that more shareholders are speaking out about board appointments they either don’t agree with or that they say lack substance. Annual meetings increasingly involve questions about the election of key board members, where normally, firms simply explain their spending decisions to investors, Equinity data shows. Data from 345 UK AGMs recorded by Equi...
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Oct 19, 2018
Unilever: How key-man risk destroyed investor trust
One of the world’s largest, most-respected companies has just received a very public humiliation from its shareholders, providing a timely reminder that no matter how large the organization, no matter how charismatic the leader, no matter how effective the management team, all companies must answer to their shareowners.  Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company, maker of much-loved global brands s...
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Sep 10, 2018
Shareholder activism sees uptick in Asia
Asian companies have seen the most shareholder activism campaigns so far this year, outside of the US, according to new data from Activist Insight. The research provider’s numbers for August show a notable uptick in public campaigns across Asia, with 90 so far this year, compared with 60 over the same period in 2017. While this is way off the numbers fo...
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Aug 14, 2018
Activists are rebranding as a ‘force for good’
The image of the activist shareholder has changed, especially in Asia. Accused of being short term, secretive corporate raiders in the past, activists are now careful to position themselves as ‘change agents’, helping companies unlock value and drive growth. Today, shareholder activists are very willing to play the long game, as can be seen by Elliot Management’s multi-year campaign against Samsung in South Korea, and have been claiming high-profile suc...
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Jul 06, 2018
Are institutional investors becoming universal activists?
The popular image of the activist investor is a slick and merciless Wall Street financier, relentlessly pursuing financial reward, perhaps best epitomized by Gordon Gekko and his philosophy that ‘greed is good’ in the film Wall Street. Much has changed since the 1980s, when that movie was made, and shareholder activism today is a popular and powerful investment strategy, with billions of dollars managed by specialist funds whose purpose is to change cor...
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