Shareholder Activism North America 1H 2016: Mid-caps Are Targeted

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Shareholder Activism North America 1H 2016 by ActivistMonitor

Activistmonitor, a Mergermarket Group comprehensive shareholder activist platform that covers shareholder activist data and intelligence, including 13F filing analysis, has released its findings for the first half (H1) of 2016 for shareholder activism in North America

Take a look at a few highlights:

  • 13Fs are more important than even as more activist campaigns are being launched without a typical 13D filing. Shareholders realize they can have an impact without a 5% stake
  • Activistmonitor stats show shareholder activists are targeting more mid-cap opportunities
  • The TMT sector has dominated activity with 30% of all new campaigns, but FIG and Real Estate names have also seen increases of around 7%
  • More unique activists have been prevalent in the 1H 2016 as traditional players digested large targets from previous years

Shareholder Activism North America 1H 2016

Activists lead towards mid-cap targets as playing field broadens North American shareholder activist data from Activistmonitor in 1H 2016 show a broadening strategy. More non-traditional activists are emerging at mid-cap companies.

The number of below the radar actions by shareholder activists increased from 26% of total campaigns in 2015 to 38% in 2016. This is in line with an increasing trend of talks taking place behind closed doors rather than public campaigns and actions taking place with smaller stakes. More unique targets emerged in 1H2016 compared to the “wolf pack” multiple activists seen in 1H2015. The median target market cap size this half was $1.6bn.

The proportion of operational demands in North America from the top 20 activists has surged since 2011, Activistmonitor data show. Governance changes and boardrelated demands have increased at the expense of calls for buybacks, increased dividends and asset sales.

Activity Overview

The number of announced campaigns dropped in 1H2016 from the same period last year. But activists are getting more attention with stakes below 5%. The proportion of campaigns without a 13D filing in North America increased in 2016.


Activists are opting for mid-cap targets. The number of campaigns with a blockbuster market cap decreased in 1H2016. The median market cap in 1H2016 was $1.6bn.

Shareholder Activism, Activist Shareholders, 13Fs

Sector Weightings

TMT retains its status as the busiest sector for activists in North America. FIG and real estate targets have increased in the proportion of campaigns.

Shareholder Activism, Activist Shareholders, 13Fs

Evolution of Demands

Activists are increasingly calling for governance changes and board-related demands.

Shareholder Activism, Activist Shareholders, 13Fs

See the full PDF below.

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