CNBC’s David Faber talks with Jana Partners’ Barry Rosenstein about emerging trends in shareholder activism. We don’t get involved unless we have concrete ideas that make sense on a long-term and short-term basis, says Rosenstein.
Barry Rosenstein: New Age Of Shareholder Activism
that must be it. actually, we’ve had a good run. i would like to say it’s gotten easy or we’ve gotten better, but the reality is companies are fighting smarter. i wrote an op-ed piece a couple months ago on this topic. today the battles are not the companies versus the activist. the companies have realized they’re just alienating the base if they fight. instead they’re doing the right thing, trying to figure out the right solution and do what’s best for the company. it’s no longer company loses/activist wins, everybody wins. except if the board and manage, for example, ebay, where there was a recent fight, if they disagree with the strategy being proposed, don’t they have a right to do that and make their case? yes, the ones we have been involved in, we don’t get involved unless we have concrete ideas that make sense on a long term and short-term basis. and we know we have shareholder support, and they’re the right solutions for the companies, and that’s why, you know, we really haven’t had fights. you say long term. of course, you know, activism has only gotten more and more pronounced, if you will over the last few years, i’ve been doing it for a while, you have a lot of companies, asset sizes of many of the competitors, so to speak, are growing, and so has the criticism. you say long term and i say, c’mon, what is long term to you? 20 minutes? of the seven companies we own, all of them save safeway, because that got taken out, but we’re still shareholders in every one of them. look, we don’t propose short-term fixes. we’re not proposing that companies lever up and strip out the cash and buy back stock. you know, if you look at our track record, everything we appropriate is much more fundamental and has more of a long-lasting impact. you can see from the stock price performances, too.