As noted in this press release, shareholder activism grew significantly in 2014, with the number of companies targeted worldwide reaching 344, compared to 291 in 2013, according to “The Activist Investing Annual Review 2015,” published by Activist Insight, in association with SRZ. This Bloomberg article highlights the investors most likely to support activists. Other highlights from the review:
– Shareholder activists were more active than ever in 2014, based on the number of companies targeted and number of activists active. In fact, the number of targeted companies with no prior run-ins with activists over the last five years also increased, from 210 to 249.
– The number of activists running a public campaign, such as a demand for board representation or strategic alternatives, rose for its fifth consecutive year in 2014, to 203. In 2013, 160 activists ran a public campaign, up from 150 in 2012.
– Activists increasingly sought to push companies into M&A activity. Proactive M&A campaigns, where activists seek to push companies to acquire other firms or sell themselves, nearly doubled from 36 to 68 instances between 2013 and 2014. Reactive M&A, typified by opposition to deals or their terms, more than halved from 26 to 12 over the same period.
The “Activist Top Ten 2014” are:
1. Starboard Value LP
2. Third Point LLC
3. JANA Partners LLC
4. Icahn Enterprises LP
5. GAMCO Investors Inc.
6. Elliot Management
7. Pershing Square Capital Management LP
8. Trian Partners
9. ValueAct Captial
10. Corvex Management LP