Beth Young of The Corporate Library writes: An analysis of 2011 shareholder proposals shows companies yielding to activist pressure on takeover defenses. Since 2009, the prevalence of classified boards and poison pills in the S&P 500 has declined; the number of companies that deny their shareholders the right to call a special meeting has also fallen. As these defenses have become less common, the number of proxy proposals on these topics has gone down–probably both because activists see fewer targets, and because companies are more likely to settle with proponents before they print the ballot. Meanwhile, new energy is being directed to the right to act by written consent.
For more detail and statistics, download a free copy of “Proxy Season Wrap-Up: Successful Activism Dismantles Takeover Defenses.”