Activist Stocks: Ackman And AGN; MGM Fight, CHK, More

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Activist aficionados,

Below is a nice ream of news and couple stories. Send us tips via Twitter at @activiststocks or email, and sign up for our daily newsletter.

News:

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  • Carl Icahn has upped its stake in Chesapeake Energy from 66M shares to 73M, now owning a cool 11% of the oil and gas company. Shares are flat since Icahn filed its initial 13D.
  • MGM has rejected L&B’s nominations for the board, ultimately, setting up a proxy fight.
  • Callon Petroleum has made an agreement with Lone Star Value Management, saying that it will add an independent director to its 7-person board. The fund owns just over 5% of the small cap oil and gas company and has mentioned a potential sale of the company as a way to unlock value. Shares are down 36% since the start of July.
  • Mill Road Capital upped its stake in the $200M kitchenware company, Lifetime Brands, owning 982K shares — or 7.2% of the company. This is up from went it took its initial activist stake of 5% in December.
  • Blum Capital continues to sell off its Career Education position. Recently dumping 25% of its stake, now owning 4.475M shares — or 7% of the company. Blum first went active back in December 2006 when it bought 6.55M shares.
  • Edward Bramson has upped its stake in the UK private equity firm Electra to 27.6%.
  • OM Group has settled with FrontFour Capital, adding two of the three activist board candidates to its board. FrontFour nominated three directors in January.
  • Insperity settled with Starboard Value, backing the fund’s two nominees for its board. Starboard owns some 13% of the company and wants Insperity to sell itself.

Stories:

  • @howardstutz over at the Las Vegas Review Journal takes aim at L&B’s thesis of getting MGM to form a REIT. Specifically, “Several analysts and insiders aren’t sold on the notion that real estate investment trusts — where casinos are spun-off into a separate publicly traded company and leased by back to an operator — as being a good move for all gaming companies” [link]
  • @lizrhoffman over at the WSJ puts together a piece that adds some insight into the Bill Ackman and Allergan deal. On the deal, “The personalities, the tactics, the stakes – it felt, in some ways, like old times.” Adding to that, The outcome of pending securities litigation against Pershing Square and Valeant could discourage copycats, some said [link]