Activist Stocks: Essex Rental, Carbonite, Central GoldTrust And More

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>>  J2 Global only wants to by part of Carbonite, not the whole company. Specifically, its Endpoint security business. J2 had considered buying the whole thing, but no longer feels it fits with its core direction. J2 still owns just over 9% of Carbonite.

>>  Macellum Retail Fund is battling Christopher & Banks over the company’s board oversight issues. It sent a letter to the company pushing for a sale.

>>  Casey Capital has nominated 3 directors for the Essex Rental Corp board. Shares are are up 80% since the fund went active in Feb.

>>  Polar Securities has nominated five nominees for the Central GoldTrust board. The fund owns 5% of the company.

>>  GAMCO has nominated three directors for the Myers Industries board. It owns over 20% of the company.

>>  Bulldog Investors has nominated three directors for the LMP Real Estate Income Fund board.

>>  Blue Clay Capital has nominated two directors for the Select Comfort Corp board. Recent coverage of Select Comfort is here.

>>  Stewart Information Services has settled with Bulldog Investors, which owns 5% of the company, and agreed to appoint one of its directors and submit a shareholder proposal for doing away with its dual share class structure. Our previous coverage on Stewart is here.

New campaigns

**  Red Mountain has gone active on iRobot with a 5% stake. It’s goal is to get iRobot to sell off its security business and focus on the at-home robots it manufacturers.

** Lawrence Seidman has gone active on ASB Bancorp with a 5.9% stake. The company is working with management to unlock shareholder value.

** Maltese Capital has gone active on Hamilton Bancorp with a near 10% stake.

Ownership changes

++  Trian Fund has cut its stake in Legg Mason by selling 5%, now owning 10.9% of the company.

++  Anchorage Capital reduced its Central Pacific Financial stake by roughly 40%, now owning 13.5%, after selling a large part of its shares back to the company.

Interesting activist reads around the web –

  • A kinder activist gets more done, MarketWatch
  • Activist investors attract the big bucks because they get shit done, ValueWalk
  • Moody’s says activist investors are dangerous to corporate credit ratings, Reuters
  • The idea of IBM generating interest from an activist is a joke, DealBook

Popular posts this week –

  • Broadfin Capital Continues To Tap The Small Cap Pharma Space. Broadfin Capital recently upped its stake in Derma Sciences by about 15% and changed its status from a passive investor to an active one. Broadfin first started investing in Derma toward the end of 2015.
  • Comments On Nelson Peltz And DuPont, Featuring Jeff Ubben. Jeff Ubben runs the quiet and successful activist hedge fund ValueAct Capital. At a recent conference, ValueAct Capital’s founder, Jeff Ubben, noted that big companies are vulnerable to proxy battles, but unless investor discontent is high, the activist is unlikely to win — alluding to Trian Partners fight with DuPont.
  • H Partners Publishes Website On Tempur-Pedic. H Partners Management went active on Tempur-Pedic back in Feb. The fund is trying to overthrow the CEO.  It’s now published a website taking to task the company,
  • Marcato Capital Calls Out BNY Mellon Over Jobs. Marcato Capital put out another presentation on BNY Mellon earlier this week. This time it’s about how its employee base is “bloated,” being much larger than other banks. Specifically, BNY has over 10,000 in excess employees (about 20% of its workforce). Earlier this year, Marcato called for the ousting of BNY Mellon’s CEO.

In case you missed last week’s activist update, here it is.

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