Activist Daily: M&A driving hedge fund returns

Activist follower, another strong day today. Activist investing news and stories for June 25 below. You should know by now that the free newsletter is on a 24-hour delay. Subscribe to Activist Strategy to get it on publication day or request a two-week free trial here. As usual, check out the tweets on @activiststocks to stay in the know and get on the free daily newsletter list.


  • Discovery Group is now active at Internap Corp. ($INAP) – the $500M market cap internet infrastructure company. It owns 5.3% with no plans of yet. Gamco is also an activist here, owning 12.3%.
  • Icahn blew out of his Netflix position and notes that Apple is currently offering the same opportunity as Netflix did when it first invested in 2012.
  • Cannell Capital lowers its Envivio ($ENVI) stake from 6.75% to 6.1%. This comes due to an agreement with possible board nominees being dissolved. Cannell still “likes” Envivo [link to our notes]
  • Not activist related but Leon Cooperman dumped his Caesars Entertainment ($CZR) stake.
  • The blocking of the U.S. Foods Sysco merger brings into question whether the FTC will support the Office Depot and Staples merger.
  • Lone Star Value ups its Dakota Plains Holdings ($DAKP) stake from 7.8% to 7.9%, but also puts out thoughts on
  • [link to our notes]
  • Newton Glassman’s PE firm, Catalyst Capital, is suing Greg Boland’s West Face Capital again. I’m not even going to indulge it; you can read more at Bloomberg if you care.
  • Wynnefield Partners takes its activist stake in MusclePharm from 7.7% to 4.7% – after going active in April. Consac is still active from May, owns 7.4%. Wynnefield said that without a major capital infusion MusclePharm might not be able to continue as a “going concern” for much longer [current notes and previous coverage of MSLP]
  • Rothschild chairman, James Lawrence, is leaving the bank for Jana Partners. He’s also one of the potential nominees that Jana has floated for the ConAgra board.


What can past market crashes teach us about the current one?

The markets have largely recovered since the March selloff, but most would agree we're not out of the woods yet. The COVID-19 pandemic isn't close to being over, so it seems that volatility is here to stay, at least until the pandemic becomes less severe. Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more At the Read More

  • WSJ has a piece (not necessarily activist related) about hedge funds outstripping the S&P 500 thanks to strong M&A; most notably, John Paulson is back after a couple years “off” [link]
  • Aberdeen Asset Management comes out and challenges the Samsung merger that Elliott is opposing. Noting, “It is important to speak out against practices that could be prejudicial to shareholders as a whole” [link]

What we’ve been working on-

  • An ode to Kirk Kerkorian part III: MGM [link]
  • Diving into Blue Harbour’s newest activist target [full paywall]
  • Vertex is on fire right now [full paywall]