Rent-A-Center Selling Itself To Vintage Capital

Within a week, two of Engaged Capital’s portfolio companies announced big changes.

Get Our Activist Investing Case Study!

Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below!

Q1 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc, Also read Lear Capital: Financial Products You Should Avoid?

Last Monday, Rent-A-Center said it will sell itself to private equity fund Vintage Capital for $15 per share. The news - which came a week after the firm concluded a strategic review without a transaction - capped an 18-months long activist campaign waged by Engaged. The activist, which owns nearly 17% of the company’s stock, won three board seats following a heated proxy contest in January of last year and later took control of the 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

Separately, Hain Celestial announced that it had initiated a search for a new CEO. The organic foods company said yesterday that its founder and chief executive, Irwin Simon, will step down from the top role once the company finds a new CEO. Hain initiated a strategic review in September after settling with Engaged Capital, which has an 11% stake in the company. Engaged launched a proxy contest for seven board seats, but later gained the right to nominate six new directors as three incumbents stepped down.

What we'll be watching for this week

  • Will Kroger investors support a shareholder proposal urging the grocery chain to install an independent chairman at its annual meeting Thursday?
  • Will shareholders elect Page One’s five-person slate to the board of JP-Holdings at the Japanese company’s annual meeting Thursday?
  • Will “mysterious shareholders” Cabs Platform and Slevin succeed in gaining control of Petropavlovsk’s board at the gold miner’s annual meeting Friday?

Activist shorts update

Tesla sued a former employee last week for allegedly stealing gigabytes of data, including "dozens of confidential photographs and a video of Tesla's manufacturing systems,” according to a report by CNBC. Before filing the lawsuit, Tesla CEO and Chairman Elon Musk told workers that a disgruntled employee broke into Tesla’s manufacturing operating system and sent sensitive information to outside parties.

“As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die,” Musk wrote in an internal memo, referencing short sellers “who have already lost billions of dollars.” Tesla has been targeted by a host of short sellers in recent years, including Greenlight Capital and Kynikos Associates. In October, David Einhorn’s Greenlight said it believed the auto manufacturer’s stock was overvalued. A month later, Jim Chanos’ Kynikos predicted Musk will step down as chief executive by 2020 to focus on other projects.

According to Activist Insight Shorts, both Greenlight and Kynikos have lost money on their bets, with campaign returns of negative 8% and negative 44%, respectively. Shares in Tesla have dropped 11.6% over the past year.

To arrange an online demonstration of Activist Insight Shorts, email us or view our product brochure to find out more.

Chart of the week

Australia-headquartered companies publicly subjected to activist demands.



*YTD figures from Jan 1 - June 22 each year.

If you require your own statistics on shareholder activism, contact our team at or subscribers of Activist Insight Online can visit our interactive statistics page.

Article by Activist Insight

Previous articleIHS Markit Ltd (INFO) Fundamental Valuation Report
Next articleAzValor London On Value Investing
Since 2012, Activist Insight has provided its diverse range of clients with the most comprehensive information on activist investing worldwide. Founded by Nick Arnott and Kerry Pogue with the objective of providing unmatched intelligence to professionals in the global activist investment space, Activist Insight made its entry into the market with online information product, Activist Insight Online. Activist Insight Monthly, the world’s only monthly magazine dedicated to shareholder activism, soon followed, granting its readership access to the thoughts and opinions of key industry professionals, while providing an editorial vehicle for the data trends uniquely aggregated from Activist Insight Online. In 2013, Activist Insight’s sister business, Proxy Insight, was co-founded by Nick Dawson and Nick Arnott.