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European companies publicly subjected to activist demands

Interest in Europe-based companies from U.S. activists, traditionally volatile, has plateaued at an elevated level in recent years, according to a new report from Activist Insight.

The number of Europe-based companies publicly subjected to activist demands by U.S.-based investors spiked in 2018 but the first nine months of 2019 saw not a dearth of new campaigns but a new normal.

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Q3 2019 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Data from Activist Investing in Europe 2019, an Activist Insight report, show 20 Europe-based companies publicly subjected to activist demands by U.S.-based investors this year, level with the same period in 2017. By the end of Q3 2018, 26 new Europe-based companies had faced public demands, a recent record.

Among the other findings in the report regarding EU firms being publicly subjected to activist demands:

  • In the first three quarters of 2013, 14 Europe-based companies were publicly subjected to activist demands by U.S.-based investors, a number that fell to 10 the following year. 2015 was the last calendar year in which fewer than 20 companies received public demands from U.S. investors (19).
  • U.K.-based companies have borne the brunt of U.S. campaigns, with 19 companies publicly subjected to activist demands in the whole of 2018 and 11 at the Q3 mark in 2019.
  • France is the only country other than the U.K. not to go a year without public demands from a U.S.-based activist since at least 2013.
  • 019 was a particularly notable year because it saw major new European investments or public demands from Third Point Partners, Trian Partners, ValueAct Capital Partners, and Elliott Management, which Activist Insight Online classifies as a U.S.-based fund despite its significant operations in London.

To download the full report, click here.


Josh Black, Activist Insight’s Editor-in-Chief and editor of this report: “Attracted by valuation differentials between North America and Europe, M&A, and opportunities for deconglomeratization, U.S. activist investors have taken their considerable firepower across the pond at a consistent rate. Having found ways to unlock value in recent years, they are unlikely to beat a fast retreat now.”


A data sheet showing statistics referenced in the report is available here.

For bespoke requests, please email Josh Black at jblack@activistinsight.com. Some data may take up to 48 hours to compile.

About Activist Insight

Since 2012, Activist Insight (www.activistinsight.com) 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 evolving space. Activist Insight offers five industry-leading products: Activist Insight Online, Activist Insight Governance, Activist Insight Vulnerability – a tool for identifying potential activist targets – Activist Insight Shorts, and Activist Insight Monthly – the world's only magazine dedicated to activist investing.