Hedge funds and managers are building stakes, starting proxy battles, and taking profits. Here’s the latest in activist investor news.
Activist fund Jana Partners has struck a deal with Bloomin’ Brands (NASDAQ: BLMN) on board seats. The two firms agreed to add two new independent directors to the restaurant company’s board. Bloomin is best known as the owner of Outback Steakhouse. The activist fund, which owns 9% of BLMN, has been pushing for changes to the board due to falling sales at the company.
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Activist investor Julian Singer has used the investing partnership, JDS1, LLC, to accumulate 6.43% of HC2 Holdings, Inc (HCHC).
The target provides construction, marine services, energy, telecommunications, insurance, life sciences, broadcasting, and other services.
Last year activist investor Bow Street won 4 seats on the Board of Mack- Cali (NYSE: CLI). This REIT invests in office and multifamily projects in the Northeastern United States.
Last week, Mack-Cali decided not to re-nominate those board members for a new term.
In their statement announcing the decision, Mack-Cali officials said the four had worked to blatantly promote Bow Street’s self-interest. The firm accused the activist firm of wanting to force a fire sale of the company as a whole or the assets one by one. Mack-Cali said selling would not be in the best interest of shareholders.
As markets sold-off on Friday, we saw two large purchases by activist investors. We saw a lot of buying at MGM and Zagg. In one case the activist had a board seat and is considered an insider. he was joined in aggressive buying by other executives including the CEO and CFO.
As companies become more undervalued as the economy slows because of shutdown orders across the United States, I expect that the pace of activist activity to increase. We should see more filings later this week as investors hit the deadline to file on shares purchased during the selloff that started yesterday.
Hestia Capital Partners is part of a group of investors pushing for a board seat at embattled gaming retailer GameStop (NYSE: GME).
A report indicates that Hestia joins Permit Capital Enterprise Fund and its affiliates in the pursuit of a board seat. They raised concerns in a letter that no current director has a sizeable stake in the company. The group owns about 7.5% of the company stock.
Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), which owns the social media and tweeting platform so loved by President Trump, is under siege. Elliott Management, the feared activist hedge fund owned by billionaire Paul Singer, has accumulated a sizable stake in the company, led by Jack Dorsey.
Activist hedge fund Third Point has taken aim at the 172-year-old insurance giant Prudential (LON: PRU). According to a new filing, Dan Loeb’s shop wants to split the firm into two operations and shutter its British office. This would effectively end the country’s 18-decade presence in England.
Elliott Investment Management has built a 3.04% stake in Dutch insurer NN Group (OTCMKTS: NNGRY), according to a filing with AFM this week. Paul Singer’s hedge fund said that the investment is a reflection that it believes “in the material and sustainable value-creation opportunity that exists at the company.” Under rules with the Dutch regulator, companies must file when they breach the 3% ownership level.
Activist hedge fund Kerrisdale Capital has taken a short stake in Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH). The online dating operator owns Tinder and Match.com. The activist fund expects that shares will fall due to increasing threats around government regulation and intervention.
Pershing Square Capital has exited its stake in Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX). According to reports, Bill Ackman’s hedge fund announced the divestiture during an investor presentation today.
Famed short-seller Andrew Left’s Citron Capital published its Annual Investor Letter for 2019 on Monday.
“In 2019, our first full year of operation, Citron Capital, LP generated a gross return of 56.4% and net return of 43.3%,” wrote Left. “The Fund’s average exposure during 2019 was 75.8% long and 80.3% short.”
Marshall Wace has taken a short position against Danske Bank. The Danish FSA said that the firm has a short position that reaches the threshold of 0.5% of issued shares.
MIG Capital is pushing Groupon to push its CEO Richard Merage on the shopping-deal provider’s board of directors. The activist fund with $1 billion in AUM owns 5% of Groupon stock. It wants to push Merage on the docket for a vote Groupon’s 2020 annual meeting.
In mid-December, famed activist and short-seller fund Muddy Waters threw the book at Abu-Dhabi based NMC Healthcare. NMC is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Its shares plunged from 2585 pence on December 16 to 1300.50 pence on December 20, a fall of about 50%. Carson Block’s Muddy Waters said it had “serious doubts” on NMC Health’s financial statements. Further, it alleged the healthcare company had manipulated these documents.
Jonathan Litt Wants to Create a Casino REIT Colossus. Litt’s firm, Land & Buildings (L&B), has accumulated a “significant” position in GLPI, Litt revealed on Twitter on Wednesday. Besides, GLPI is now also L&B’s “largest position,” he tweeted. Litt says a GLPI-Vici deal will create a significant upside for GLPI shareholders.
Shareholder activist Carl Icahn is in the dock for alleged insider trading when he bought a chunk of HP stock worth $ 1.2 billion. According to the Miami Firefighter Relief and Pension Fund, which is a shareholder of Xerox, Icahn had privy to knowledge that Xerox would bid for the HP shares at a higher price later. Icahn is the largest shareholder of Xerox, holding 11% of its stock.
Saba Capital, the closed-ended fund activist hedge fund, has been targeting the Nuveen Ohio Quality Municipal Income Fund (NUO). The activist holds about 8.7% of the Fund and proposed to appoint its own nominees to Saba’s board of trustees.
It also sought to declassify NUO’s board of trustees. However, NUO shareholders rejected Saba’s board nominees and its declassification proposal.
Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn is moving to Miami in a bid to lower his tax bill. As previously reported, Icahn will relocate to Miami by March 31, and any employees unwilling to move with him would be laid-off. It’s crunch time, and it appears that 27 employees have opted for the Big Apple over Magic City.
Activist Investor Starboard Value LP, which owns a stake in Mednax Inc., has proposed a majority slate of directors in the latter.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Mednax, a $2.1 billionhealthcare service provider, is under pressure from Starboard Value LP to sell all or a part of itself.
Mednax had a nomination deadline for its board a few days ago, and Starboard is said to have submitted its nominees for board seats.
Informed sources told the WSJ that the two sides are holding negotiations over the composition of the board. Should these not conclude amicably, Starboard may take its battle to the shareholders at the next annual meeting.
Activist investors are pushing for significant changes as we bring this year to a close. This week, Domino’s Pizza chairman Stephen Hemsley announced plans to step down from his role thanks to hedge fund pressure. Hemsley took the role in 2010. Now, he will exit on December 29.
It was a highly lopsided match anyway. In a peace offering to activist Elliott Advisors, Saga is putting its care business up for sale.
Saga is reportedly working with accountants Grant Thornton to sell its Saga Healthcare unit. The business comprises the Country Cousins, and Patricia White’s branded care services.
Alexion Pharmaceuticals will not obey Elliott Management’s demand for a “proactive sale.” The company says that the process of seeking a buyer doesn’t suit shareholder interest. The biotech firm has worked to maintain control of its market share for drugs treating rare blood disorders. Following news that it would not engage in a sales process, the firm’s stock popped on Friday.
Pershing Square Capital Management has increased its stake in Howard Hughes Corp., according to an S-4 filing with the SEC. Activist hedge fund manager Bill Ackman and his firm announced the increase on Wednesday.