Countdown Of Unfinished Business Ongoing Campaigns #Activist_InsightDecember 15, 2018
rawpixel / PixabayNew York-based activist Sherborne Investors is nothing if not patient; Ed Bramson’s vehicle is still waiting for an exit from Electra Private Equity four years after investing in the stock and is now pushing for an orderly wind-down after potential acquirers failed to emerge in August.
Financials, its preferred hunting ground, have been less hospitable of late.
Blue Lion Capital, the first-time activist that saw its proxy fight with Washington-based bank HomeStreet dashed by regulatory intervention, is not ruling out a second fight.
Campbell Soup settled its proxy contest with Third Point Partners in November, avoiding wholesale change to its board and buying time to improve margins and divest non-core assets.
A sale or breakup may be on the agenda next year if it fails in that task, especially as the stock is down around 18%.
TIM has refused to call a shareholder meeting to approve its board of auditors as requested by Genish and Vivendi but will not be able to avoid another proxy contest forever (unevento regolare – there have been four in five years).
GE is now on its third CEO since that investment, and briefly touched record lows in recent weeks.
Have an alternative top five?
Otherwise, the contest could be analogous to Campbell Soup on our unfinished business list: having accused management of not properly considering strategic alternatives, the activist’s slate must now find a buyer or sufficient cost reductions to make something of its investment.
In 2013, Activist Insight’s sister business, Proxy Insight, was co-founded by Nick Dawson and Nick Arnott.