[TheDeal.com, Posted on January 8, 2008 at 4:53 PM]
Activist investing gained steam in 2007. At least that's the conclusion reached by new data produced by FactSet Research System's SharkWatch product.
The research company reported that activist campaigns went up 17% in 2007, rising to 501 from 429 in 2006. Additionally, 138 institutional investors and other investors launched their first ever campaigns in 2007.
John Laide, product manager of FactSet SharkWatch, says that the activist campaigns considered in the study relate to any agitation for change, including proxy fights and efforts to have corporations sell divisions, complete stock buybacks or issue special dividends, among many other tactics.
Some less high-profile activist efforts are included as well. Laide added that when activist hedge funds report in government filings that they have had discussions with management about potential ideas to improve shareholder value, that effort is often included as an activist campaign.
SharkWatch tracks activist Securities and Exchange Commission filings such as Schedule 13Ds. - Ron Orol