Welcome!

News Feed Item

Landmark Study From FTI Consulting and Activist Insight Finds Activist Investors Broadening Tactics and Geography

Survey of Leading Activist Investors Shows M&A Activism, Over All Other Types, Will Have Largest Increase in 2014 as Activists Look Beyond North America for Targets

LONDON, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE: FCN), the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organisations protect and enhance their enterprise value, released initial findings from its survey, The Shareholder Activists' View, which reveals that merger and acquisition ("M&A") activism is on the rise. The Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting conducted the study in partnership with Activist Insight, a global information source on activist investment. In-depth interviews were held among leading economic activist investors that have collectively engaged in more than 500 activist situations, with the primary goal of increased returns, to gauge their views on renewed areas of focus for shareholder activism in 2014.

Landmark Study From FTI Consulting and Activist Insight Finds Activist Investors Broadening Tactics and Geography

The shareholder activism landscape has changed dramatically over the last several years. According to data compiled by Hedge Fund Research, activist hedge funds managed over $93 billion dollars in 2013, almost triple the amount managed just five years ago, and an increase of 42 percent from an estimated $65 billion in 2012. This increase in investment has been fueled by returns of 16.6 percent in 2013, which far outpaced the average hedge fund, returning 9.3 percent. Further, the investors in these activist funds now include an increasing number of large pension funds and institutions – the same pension funds and institutions that have been increasingly supportive of activists with their votes. 

The increased returns and inflows of monies clearly show that activist funds as an asset class are not only here to stay, but are increasing their influence on M&A transactions. As these funds grow larger, they are able to target larger companies, doubling the amount of companies targeted with market caps greater than $2 billion in 2013. Using balance sheet and operational strategies, activists have not been deterred from engaging with well-known Fortune 100 and 500 companies.

In conducting this survey, FTI Consulting interviewed economic activists – activists whose primary goals are increased returns – what their thoughts were concerning the landscape for activism in 2014 and where they expect there to be increased or decreased activity in the market.     

M&A activism is a key theme

The results from the survey show that the overwhelming majority (89 percent) of activists believe that 2014 will see an overall increase in M&A activism. According to Dealogic, Global M&A volume reached $804.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014 compared to $655.8 billion in the first quarter of 2013, up 23 percent year-over-year, marking the highest first quarter volume since 2008.This emerging asset class could present significant challenges for the successful conclusion of transactions by employing investment strategies that target not just the target company, but also the acquirer.

"Especially interesting is the activists' willingness to engage on the acquirer side of a transaction. An acquirer will often use more aggressive balance sheet structures to execute M&A. An M&A activist may well look at this structure and the risk profile of the transaction and decide that that they like the Board's more aggressive balance sheet approach, but would like the cash returned rather than used for M&A. This type of activism will put more deals in jeopardy," commented Steven Balet, Managing Director and activism specialist in the Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting.

"While nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of activists polled say they would take a traditional route, investing in a target and then apply pressure to increase the offer price during transactions, a surprising 43 percent of activists interviewed stated they would look for opportunities to discourage the transaction and instead push the acquirer to unlock value through share buybacks, dividends and divestitures, rather than go through with the transaction," Mr. Balet added.   

Europe (more specifically the UK) is becoming a greater focus for U.S. activists

"Although the survey demonstrates that  a significant amount of activists (87 percent) see no shortage of targets in North America, 40 percent of activists are shifting their focus to Europe and elsewhere," said Edward Bridges, Senior Managing Director in the Strategic Communications segment and Head of the special situations team in the UK. "This shift corresponds to the increasing level of activist engagements the market has seen internationally particularly in the UK, where almost 50 percent of European activism takes place where corporate governance and legal frameworks are most activist-friendly. Hence, we have seen a sharp increase in corporate focus on activism defense planning, particularly as there has been real evidence of long-only institutions becoming more activist in their own right as well as implicitly and explicitly supporting activists' positions."

The survey also revealed that with respect to strategy, originating an activist position was not the sole basis for investment in a target company, as 69 percent of those surveyed support other activists by investing in previously commenced activist situations. In turn, upon public announcement of a campaign, an activist can normally count on a significant percentage of "follow on" shares being purchased therefore increasing their bargaining position, in effect, creating a larger voting bloc than is readily apparent from the activists' own share ownership filings.

Activism makes for great media copy and the impact of social media is proven

Media also continues to play an important role in activist engagements, with 88 percent of activists interviewed stating the media has positively impacted activism.

"Activism has gone mainstream and the media has become very supportive of activists who have become increasingly sophisticated in their engagements and in use of the media," stated Mr. Bridges.

While only one-quarter of those polled already use Twitter and other social media platforms when engaging in activist campaigns, the survey found that 69 percent expect an increase in use of social media in 2014.

Mr. Balet added, "When Icahn took an activist stake in Apple, he announced it via Twitter. The impact was immediate and moved the markets – it was a lesson that everyone in the activist community noted and one that is likely to be emulated. When considering pre-emptive activist defence planning, companies need to understand what social media strategies are available both in defence and offence."

The full survey findings from FTI Consulting will be released in May 2014. An infographic of the report, along with other insights on shareholder engagement and activism, can be accessed here: http://fticonsulting.com/activism.

Research Methodology

The Strategic Communications segment at FTI Consulting conducted in-depth interviews among economic activist investors – activists whose primary goals are increased returns – between March 1, 2014 and March 19, 2014. The survey sample consisted of activist funds that have been engaged in more than 500 activist situations since 2000.

About Activist Insight

Activist Insight (www.activistinsight.com) provides the most comprehensive global information source on activist investment. This includes live alerts on activist investments, over 200 detailed activist investor profiles, unique stats on activist campaigns and proxy battles, and much more. A free trial of the database and a monthly newsletter subscription is available on request.

About FTI Consulting

FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organisations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,200 employees located in 26 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The Company generated $1.65 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2013. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

Investor Contact:
Mollie Hawkes
+1.617.747.1791
[email protected]

Media Contact:
Jessica Gill
+44.0.20.3727.1195
[email protected]

Photo- http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140408/NY99653-INFO

SOURCE FTI Consulting, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, provideed economic scenarios that describe how the rapid adoption of software-defined everything including cloud services, SDDC and open networking will change GDP, industry growth, productivity and jobs. This session also included a drill down for several industries such as finance, social media, cloud service providers and pharmaceuticals.
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Infrastructure is widely available, but who’s managing inbound/outbound traffic? Data is created, stored, and managed online – who is protecting it and how? In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Jaeson Yoo, SVP of Business Development at Penta Security Systems Inc., discussed how to keep any and all infrastructure clean, safe, and efficient by monitoring and filtering all malicious HTTP/HTTPS traffic at the OSI Layer 7. Stop attacks and web intruders before they can enter your network.
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal...
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, discussed how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your aud...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great t...
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, attendees learned about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how ...
"At ROHA we develop an app called Catcha. It was developed after we spent a year meeting with, talking to, interacting with senior citizens watching them use their smartphones and talking to them about how they use their smartphones so we could get to know their smartphone behavior," explained Dave Woods, Chief Innovation Officer at ROHA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...