Activist lurkers, not an exciting, nor fun day in the activist world today. But we managed to scrounge up something for you on the news and story side. What we came up with on news and stories is below. Taking tips at @activiststocks, sign up for our daily newsletter, and ICYMI yesterday’s newsletter is here.
- Aegerion Pharma settled with Sarissa Capital, agreeing to put the activists board nominee on the board. The fund went active in early Feb. and owns 5.8%.
- River Road Asset Management upped its PICO Holdings stake by 18%, now owning 8.8% of the company. The fund went active back in Feb.
- Blue Clay Capital is waging a proxy battle at Select Comfort. Sound familiar? H Partners is waging a battle at top peer Tempur Pedic. Blue Clay doesn’t own enough shares for a 13D filing (with a 1% stake), but had Select as its largest equity holding heading into 2014.
- Wendy’s will support a proxy access proposal with upcoming board elections.
- You’ve got the (now) $13M market cap company Voltari up 170% on news that Carl Icahn now owns a stake in the mobile ad company. He owns 52% of the company.
- @valuewalk has a follow up to the recent report that PWC put out on shareholder activism. It’s basically a brief primer on hedge fund activism and say “vote no” campaigns. Best quote, “In the 1990s, new funds entered this market niche (e.g., Ralph Whitworth’s Relational Investors, Robert Monks’ LENS Fund, John Paulson’s Paulson & Co., and @Lawndale1 of Lawndale Capital). These new funds raised money from other investors and used minority board representation (i.e., one or two board seats, rather than a board majority) to influence corporate strategy” [link]
- @finalternatives broke the story that Bill Ackman has taken a taken an activist stake in investment firm Pershing Square Capital Management, where he is aiming to oust the current CEO. Pershing Square has defended itself, saying of Ackman, “he’s been making some seriously erroneous comments about this amazing firm, trying to blight the reputation of Pershing Square in order to drive the stock price down” Even one of Pershing’s employees, Miguel Hernandez Rodriguez, is defending Pershing (despite getting paid minimum wage). His quote, “Pershing is absolutely amazing. Every time I get one of my friends or relatives to buy one of Pershing’s brilliant investment products, they jump onboard, pay a fee and agree to be a ‘distributor.’ The ‘distributor’ then sells the product to his or her family and friends, who also pay for the privilege to become a ‘distributor.’ And so it goes. If we keep getting more distributors, we make bank. It’s like a pyramid being built from the top down. We will soon be rich man. Rich I say” [link]