(212) 223-2282 · Subscription Info · Legal · About Us · About Principal Management · Support / Feedback

Investor Communications Network, LLC
User Name:   Password:  
(Optional) Client: Matter:

Breaking news and more: Your media center for shareholder activism and corporate governance.

Engaged Capital LLC is pushing for a sale and other changes at Outerwall Inc. (OUTR) after acquiring a roughly 14% stake in the company, according to a filing Monday.  Outerwall, which owns Redbox DVD rentals and Coinstar cash exchange kiosks, has seen its shares plummet over the past year amid apprehension about the waning rentals at its self-service kiosks.  The company has reportedly rejected at least three buyout firms over the past two years, according to sources.  Engaged, founded by Glenn Welling, is pressing for overhauls including exploring a sale to private equity suitors, and believes the company could pay a higher dividend, slash costs by outsourcing services, and close its ecoATM kiosks that recycle consumer electronics devices and win tax advantages from the losses, according to sources. The activist tends to seek private talks before launching a public campaign, and has successfully instigated the sale of targeted companies including Boulder Brands Inc. and Silicon Image Inc. Outerwall has been targeted by Jana Partners LLC in the past as well, which filed as an activist in October 2013 and urged a sale of the company or its assets, though eventually pulled out after Outerwall initiated share buybacks.

Gregg Feinstein, U.S. head of mergers and acquisitions at Houlihan Lokey, has passed away, the investment bank reported on Monday. Feinstein was a well-known participant in the activist shareholder sector, where Houlihan Lokey advised activist hedge funds on their investments into publicly traded companies. Feinstein joined Houlihan Lokey in 2005. "His contribution to our business was significant, and his warmth and generosity was well-known among his clients, colleagues, and friends," said the bank. "He will be sorely missed."

Mario Gabelli, an activist investor who owns the second-largest stake in Viacom Inc. (VIAB), is reportedly not a fan of the company’s CEO.  Philippe Dauman has been criticized for his poor performance boosting Viacom's digital content standing, and recently took over as Viacom's executive chairman.  Gabelli has long been a proponent for change at the company, and his New York-based firm Gamco Investors last year pushed Viacom to merge with AMC Networks Inc. and sell part of its Paramount Pictures division to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.  Gabelli's criticism of Sumner Redstone, founder and previous executive chairman of Viacom, is widespread as well.

Amber Capital is discontent with the new price set for the buyout of minority shareholders in Italian train signaling group Ansaldo STS and is unwilling to relinquish its stake.  “The price is still too low…we do not plan to tender our shares,” a spokesperson for the activist confirmed Saturday.  Japan's Hitachi had made a mandatory public offer of 9.5 euros per share last month to buy out minority shareholders, after purchasing a significant interest in Ansaldo for the same price.  Italy's market watchdog, Consob, had Hitachi hike its offer to 9.899 euros last week, citing efforts by Hitachi to keep the price artificially low.  Investor frustration is not limited to Amber Capital: Bluebell Partners has voiced its disapproval of the new offer as well, saying it would not tender its shares and agitating for 15 euros per share instead. Amber Capital owns about 2.38% of Ansaldo.

Investors in GlaxoSmith­Kline (GSK) are fighting about whether the pharmaceutical company should acquiesce to activist pressure by splitting the firm into separate pharmaceutical and consumer products divisions and overhauling its board. Neil Woodford wants GSK to be split into four companies, but Och-Ziff wants GSK to begin preparing for the departure of CEO Sir Andrew Witty. Other investors, meanwhile, oppose a radical restructuring of the company or the appointment of a new CEO. Some investors argue GSK should buy out Pfizer and Shionogi of Japan, which have minority stakes in its HIV therapy company, ViiV, and a consumer health joint venture with Novartis.

Investors in Rolls-Royce are preparing for an annual results report on Friday, which will likely include a slashed dividend and perhaps an update on ValueAct's standing in its plight for a board seat. Analysts anticipate a 30% cut in the dividend, marking the first reduction in 24 years. San Francisco-based ValueAct is seeking board representation at Rolls-Royce, where Chairman Ian Davis reportedly has been collecting input from shareholders on whether they would support the activist's appointment. At least two major shareholders have indicated they would welcome a ValueAct director: “In the short to medium term it is a good thing because they are agents of change and that is something the board seems to need,” one said. ValueAct's plans could differ from that of other investors, as it has indicated it would divest the company's non-aerospace business but that this would be a future project. ValueAct owns a 10% stake in the aero-engine maker.

Abstract News © Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC.

Show More
Fink Backs New Breed of Shareholder Activism
" Financial Times (02/05/16) McLannahan, Ben"

BlackRock head Larry Fink in a letter to CEOs at leading companies in the United States and Europe urged them to listen to "activists who focus on long-term value creation" rather than investors seeking higher dividends or larger share buybacks. That sentiment is being echoed by a new breed of activists, who, like regulators, want companies to simplify. Hudson Executive Capital has invested in CIT Group (CIT), Lion Point Capital is circling Ally Financial (ALLY), and Paulson & Co. and Icahn Associates are both prodding at American International Group (AIG), but none of the activists is specifically calling for bigger cash returns. Instead, they're calling for the big financial services companies to streamline. The sentiment comes in the wake of regulatory and capital burdens imposed on "systemically important" financial institutions by the Federal Reserve.

Web Link
Sharp Shows Japan Inc. May Be More Open to Foreign Interest
" Reuters (02/05/16) Umekawa, Takashi; Emoto, Emi"

After recent urging from an activist investor to be more transparent about its decision process, Japan’s Sharp Corp. has chosen Taiwan’s Foxconn as its preferred suitor—which would result in the biggest foreign takeover of a Japanese tech company. Last week, Effissimo Capital Management sent the struggling electronics maker a letter asking it to explain how it would decide between two offers. Foxconn, known formally as Hon Hai, won out with a deal worth roughly $5.6 billion. According to sources, people close to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved of the idea that a Foxconn deal would help boost foreign direct investment, which is a growing priority in Japan. The country’s efforts to attract foreign investment likely influenced Sharp’s board in picking the foreign offer. "Sharp's decision to choose Hon Hai over a state-backed fund sent a message to foreign investors that it left the decision to the market," said Takatoshi Itoshima, chief portfolio manager at Commons Asset Management. "The move can boost investor confidence ... foreign investors may increasingly feel it's worth investing in the Japanese market."

Web Link
U.S. Banks Targeted by Activist Investors on Merger Wave Hopes
" Reuters (02/05/16) Flaherty, Michael; Stone, Mike"

Activist investors have tended to avoid banks in the past due to their size, complexity, and amount of regulatory scrutiny they attract; but the sector is growing increasingly attractive as certain factors are expected to drive more mergers. Last year saw 22 activist campaigns aimed at banks, up from just eight in 2009, based on Thomas Reuters Activism data. More recently, Hudson Executive Capital announced it had amassed a $56 million stake in Comerica Bank, a lender with $71 billion in assets under management. Some believe low interest rates, lagging returns on equity, and strict regulations will encourage banks to consolidate and that buyers will be willing to pay a significant multiple to a bank's tangible book value. Betting on banks is not without risk, but the potential profits are tempting—especially as bank deals have picked up just in the last year.

Web Link
Bank of America's Valuation Is Seen as Invitation for Activists
" Bloomberg (01/29/16) Son, Hugh"

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) has been raised from buy to sell by an analyst, who said in a research note Friday that the company’s low valuation and poor efficiency increase the likelihood of shareholders demanding a spinoff or other restructuring.  “With the stock trading at a significant discount to tangible book value, the chance for an event increases -- whether it's a restructuring, spinoff, or some sort of other action to improve their lousy efficiency,” wrote Mike Mayo, analyst at CLSA Ltd.  He added that although an activist is an outside shot, increased shareholder pressure is likely.  The company is trading below tangible book value which suggests investors either don't believe the firm's assets are worth what it says, or they doubt management's ability to generate returns above the cost of capital, said Mayo.  Bank of America's market capitalization is $142.5 billion, which would make it difficult for any hedge fund to take a sizable stake. Regulators also have ultimate control over whether banks can increase dividends and buybacks, which is another factor that makes the company less attractive for activists.

Web Link
Hunt or Be Hunted Is New Face of European Investor Activism
" Bloomberg (01/29/16) Webb, Alex; Andresen, Tino; Magnusson, Niklas"

Sweden's Cevian Capital and other European activists typically refrain from the public proxy fights employed by their American peers, but they do follow a similar pattern of amassing a sizable stake in a company and pressing for change -- privately at first but going public if necessary. Cevian has accumulated the second-largest stake in German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp AG and Swiss engineering giant ABB Ltd., for example; and if executives fail to execute its demands, it will launch what insiders call “The Hunt.” This strategy entails turning investors against management in order to achieve certain objectives. Cevian's campaigns demonstrate how activism is changing European boardrooms: in the past two years, 56% of activist campaigns for board seats have been successful, up from a bit more than a third over the past 15 years, according to FTI Consulting.

Web Link

Abstract News © Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC.

Show More

Company Search

Company SearchInsert a ticker and see updated financial quote summary, company description and detailed information on any live or recently exited activist campaigns, including the activist’s investment thesis. This feature takes you chronologically through the activist’s 13D filings detailing increases or decreases in holdings and change in average cost per share and summarizing any activist measures taken. Additionally, the chart at the bottom of the page shows the stock price performance and its reaction to each 13D filing. For quick reference, there are links to the activist’s profile and returns history and any letters and agreements the activist has entered into in connection with this investment.

Activist Profile

Activist Profile View a detailed analysis of the activist histories of the 40+ top activists – updated and expanded on a continuous basis. Get detailed analysis on: (i) the returns for each activist investor, including: (A) which activists have outperformed the S&P500 on their individual and aggregated 13D filings, (B) how their returns on live filings compare to their returns on exited filings, and (C) how their returns on filings change when they take significant activist measures; (ii) the average holding periods for each activist investor on all filings, exited filings, live filings and filings where they have taken significant activist measures; and (iii) what activist measures were taken, when they were taken and how the underlying stock reacted to the filing.

This month’s Activist Report: Featured Article

2015 Year-End Activist Statistics

Search Activist Campaigns

Search live and exited filings by Investor, Dates, Market Caps, Industry and Type of Activism (i.e., Proxy fights for board seats, Posion pill issues, Spinoff, etc.). Sort results by date, investors, return on investment, etc. Easy access to link to detailed analysis of activist campaign and any letters or agreements entered into in connection therewith.

Search 13D Monitor Archive

Search FilingsSearch our list of historical 13D Monitor filings. The list contains approximately 4.000 material filings since 2006 and also includes the associated report.

Activist Letters and Agreements

Search our library of activist letters and agreements to find letters sent by activists to Companies, Settlement Agreements, Standstill Agreements, etc. Search this library by filer, company, type of letter or agreement, or any combination thereof.

"Users of this website understand and agree that 13DMonitor.com (“Provider”) does not recommend any security, financial product or instrument, nor does any mention of a particular company in this website or anywhere in the Provider service constitute a recommendation by Provider to buy, sell, or hold that or any other company discussed therein. Users understand and agree that Provider also does not offer or provide any investment advice or opinion regarding the nature, potential, value, suitability or profitability of any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, investment strategy or other matter. Users also understand and acknowledge that Provider provides no tax, legal or investment advice, nor does it recommend or make referrals to any persons or entities who provide investment advice. Users also understand and agree that by accessing this website or participating in the Provider service, any information provided therein is not to be used or considered as an offer, or a solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell securities by Provider. Users understand and agree that Provider only distributes information about shareholder activism and notable 13D filings, and such information is not intended to cause user to buy, sell, or hold securities of any company discussed therein. Users also understand and acknowledge that Provider employees are not authorized to give any legal, tax, investment or other advice. Users acknowledge that Provider is not, and user’s access to information through the Provider service will not, cause Provider to be an investment adviser with respect to user."
152 West 57th Street, 41st Floor
New York, NY 10019
Phone: +1 (212) 223-2282
E-mail: 13dmonitor@icomm-net.com
Investor Communications Network © 2013
Legal · About Us · About Principal Management · Subscribe · Support / Feedback