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This Week In Activism Vol. 16: Aligning Board Interests With Shareholders

Memorial day and finishing up activist investing newsletters got us behind this week. We sent out the newsletters on Sunday and are getting around to the latest edition of This Week In Activism. You can learn more about the newsletters here and get a taste for the latest major newsletter before the TWIA action below…

Forewarnin’ for procrastinators, prices are set to go up (roughly 20%) across the board June 1st.

A taste of the 1Q major activist newsletter:

This Week In Activism Vol. 16

News

  • David Einhorn effectively ends his activist campaign at Civeo, which was the result of the Oil States spinoff (previous notes on $CVEO and $50 oil)

  • Eriksen Capital is now waging a proxy battle with Solitron, seeing 2 board seats (thoughts on $SODI from Feb. feat. @oddballstocks)
  • Marathon Partners is still battling Shutterfly with a 5.5% stake, waging a proxy battle and now putting together a 50-slide presentation.
  • Perry Ellis’ CEO stepped down and it added 2 independent directors to the board, which convinced Legion Partners/CalSTRs to abandoned its proxy battle.
  • Barington Capital won 2 board seats in a proxy battle versus Eastern Co. (early thoughts on the campaign here)
  • Barington Capital and Children’s Place settled, with the company adding 2 board members (Barington’s chopped & screwed March letter to $PLCE)
  • Cannell Capital sent another letter re: Jim Cramer’s TheSteet.com, this time to shareholders. Recall Cannell owns 8.8% of the company and took Cramer to task in December, calling for his resignation. Excerpt from Cannell’s letter below:

New campaigns

  • Consac has gone active on MusclePharm with a 7.4% stake. They haven’t laid out any plans, but there are various #corpgov concerns there and Wynnefield Capital has been active since April with a 7.7% stake.

Interesting activist reads around the web—

  • Activist investors want to supersize McDonald’s stock, Fortune
  • Warren Buffett: the activist investor? Yahoo Finance
  • ‘Advocacy Investors’ Are Activist Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, Acton Blog

Most read posts from stockpucker this week—

  • The Kraft Remix: My Investigatorial Findings, There are a thousand and one ways to slice the Kraft Foods ($KRFT) deal. These are some chopped & screwed thoughts with some interesting takeaways from those that are much closer to the deal than myself.
  • Lone Star Value Gets Backdoored By Dakota Plains, Lone Star Value Management has upped its stake by a couple hundred thousand shares, now owning just under 8% of Dakota Plains Holdings. This small activist fund has been waging a lot of under the radar battles since bursting on the activist scene in 2013.
  • The Nelson Peltz versus Jeff Sonnenfeld battle, Now, we dug a bit deeper and looked at the performance from the 13D filing date until today. Granted, five of Trian’s targets have outperformed S&P 500 on an annualized return basis, but overall, all of Trian’s 13D targets returned an annualized 11.2%, compared with the S&P 500’s 10% return. You can draw your own conclusions.
  • Activist Investing Primer, There’s no shortage of investing strategies out there today, from investing in the Dogs of the Dow to buying water rights in the Western U.S., but one immensely popular strategy among hedge funds has become activist investing.

In case you missed our last activist update, here it is.

Have feedback or questions about certain activist campaigns, email us atstockpucker@gmail.com. Or drop us a line if there’s a campaign you want us to cover. Full disclosure: We don’t own any of the stocks mentioned.

Until next weekstockpucker.