What the activism world is talking about

Apart from Procter & Gamble? Reuters’ activism correspondent Mike Flaherty has joined the new communications firm led by former Brunswick U.S. Senior Partner Steve Lipin. Flaherty had been with Reuters for nearly 14 years, most recently covering activist investors from New York. Lipin’s firm, Gladstone Place Partners, also includes hires from Kekst and FTI Consulting and will be advised by the former U.S. ambassador to the U.K., Louis Susman. Early indications are that the firm will join the competitive market for corporate clients requiring help on strategic and crisis communications, rather than challenging for the business of activists. Says Lipin, “The demands faced by companies today are unprecedented, stemming from a hyper-connected social media environment, increased competition for talent and capital, and pressures from regulators, critics, and others.”

 

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What we’ll be watching for this week

  • Will Trian Partners’ Nelson Peltz gain a board seat at consumer products giant Proctor & Gamble at the annual meeting on Tuesday?
  • How will French food company Danone react to Corvex Management’s pressure to improve operations and accelerate growth?
  • Will South Africa’s cement producer PPC succeed in merging with unlisted AfriSam Group after shareholders Prudential Investment Managers, Value Capital Partners, and Visio Capital Management expressed concern over the proposed transaction?

Short update

Activist short seller Blazing Research has published a follow-up report against Hong Kong-listed China Household Holding. The Friday report accused the holding company of inappropriate relationships with major customers and suppliers. The short seller said many of China Household’s customers share the same address with the company and some brokerage account holders are actually China Household employees. Blazing first targeted China Household in June, alleging the company fabricated revenues and engaged in paid stock promotion. The short seller also said the company’s auditor had a history of firing other auditors who reported fraud. Following the release of Blazing’s June report, China Household’s shares were suspended and have yet to resume trading.

Chart of the week

The percentage of U.S. headquartered companies which have been publicly subjected to an activist demand with a market cap of more than $10 billion.

*All figures are as of October 06 of the given year.

Article by Activist Insight