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News:

  • Stadium Capital is officially waging a proxy battle at Big Five Sports. Stadium has been active at Big Five since 2011 and owns a chunk (around 11%) of the retailer. Last year Stadium tried to declassify the board after the board formed a special committee that allowed the the company to make decisions without the support of its largest shareholder, which is Stadium Capital. We know, quite a soap opera.
  • Best Buy got some press coverage yesterday after it was rumored that Carl Icahn was buying calls. The thesis? To spinoff its real estate into a REIT. It really is REITs galore these days, but it’s very hard to actually do it.

Stories:

  • @valuewalk has a piece on hedge fund returns in Feb. The highlight? “Strong Activism Performance: Activist hedge funds generated their highest monthly return since January 2013 with average returns of 3.22% in February. This follows a month of negative performance for these funds in January, with -0.43% returns” [link]
  • It really has become amateur hour when it comes to covering activism. The Motley Fool’s @DanCaplinger has decided to take the stage at the Apollo. Well, Ralph Cooper would not be pleased. Dan takes Trian Partner’s Nelson Peltz to task over his campaign at DuPont. He even goes as far as to call Caterpillar Inc. a potential activist target. Every wannabe journalist in the market is trying to get on the activist bandwagon, to the point that if a stock has underperformed over the last month, it’s an activist target. General Electric was called an activist target yesterday and I saw United Technologies mentioned today. But back to Dan, his key lesson for unknowing investors is, “If rising levels of activism distract corporate managers from the task at hand of raising shareholder value, then they could prove to be a net negative for investors in the long run” [link]
  • Appears to be a DuPont bash day… @stockpucker has a short piece on comments made by Jeff Ubben of ValueAct Capital as it relates to DuPont. Basically, Ubben doesn’t think that Nelson Peltz’s Trian Partners can win the proxy battle [link]

Activist Stocks: Peltz's Activist Campaign At DuPont; Stadium Capital's Proxy Battle