Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Investor Activism Tops Last Year's Record Pace

Kaja Whitehouse of the WSJ wrote this article on Saturday: "Efforts by activist investors to fight for board seats, oppose mergers and otherwise shake up companies are on track to beat last year's record levels, contrary to expectations that activity would dry up because of unstable market conditions.
There have been 72 campaigns waged by activists so far this year, as of Feb. 11, with targeted companies ranging from Countrywide Financial Corp. to New York Times Co. Last year, when shareholder activism hit record levels, there were just 54 campaigns waged over the same time period, according to FactSet SharkWatch, which tracks proxy contests and corporate-takeover defenses.
Hedge funds continue to be big participants. More than half, or 38, of the campaigns so far this year were initiated by hedge funds, compared with 21 during last year's period, according to FactSet SharkWatch."

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