Activism Grows In Europe And Asia by Activist Insight

The number of companies targeted by shareholder activists worldwide in the first five months of 2016 has increased 13% on the same period last year. The data, published by Activist Insight, show 349 companies faced public demands relating to strategic, governance, capital allocation or operational changes in the period to May 9. Between January 1 and May 9, 2015, a total of 308 companies faced similar demands.

The data include demands made by activist hedge funds, large asset managers and sponsors of shareholder proposals.

Shareholder Activism

Shareholder Activism

The largest absolute growth in companies targeted was seen in the US, where 241 companies have been targeted, compared to 216 last year (a 12% increase). Northern neighbour Canada has seen activist campaigns fall 23%, however, with just 20 companies facing public demands compared to 26 in the period last year.

As a region, Asia has seen the highest rate of growth, with 73% more companies targeted by activist investors in 2016 (19, compared to 11 a year ago). Five of those companies were in Japan, up one from last year, while South Korea and Singapore each saw three companies targeted in 2016, up from one per country a year previously.

Europe has seen a 30% overall uptick in activist campaigns. A 46% increase in campaigns at UK and Channel Island companies, from 13 to 19, lead the way, with Germany also seeing an increase from one to four companies publicly targeted.

The number of companies publicly targeted in Australia also rose, in this case by 17%.

Commenting on the data, Activist Insight spokesman Josh Black said: “Concerns about an economic slowdown and overvalued stock markets have led some to call a ceiling on activism. As the data make clear, more and more companies are having to deal with demands from their shareholders.”

About Activist Insight

Since 2012, Activist Insight has provided its diverse range of clients with the most comprehensive information on activist investing worldwide. Regularly quoted in the financial press, Activist Insight is the trusted source for data in this ever-evolving space. Activist Insight offers two great products: Activist Insight Online and Activism Monthly Premium magazine, and counts many of the world’s leading investment banks, law firms, shareholder communications firms and institutional investors as its clients.