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Sérieux rapprochement entre les actionnaires activistes et les actionnaires institutionnels

13 octobre 2013

Je vous invite à lire cet article de Vincent Ryan paru dans Capital Markets du site CFO. On y décrit un changement significatif dans l’influence que peuvent exercer les actionnaires des grandes sociétés cotées en se rapprochant des positions des activistes, lesquels ont un solide parcours (Track Record). Voici un extrait de ce court article.

Bonne lecture. Vos commentaires sont les bienvenus !

Management and the board of directors may assume that a company’s institutional shareholders will be their allies in a fight against an activist investor. They shouldn’t.

 Shareholders Getting Chummy with Activists

Shareholder activists continue to take on boards of directors and management, especially at large companies. Of the 137 financial or board-seat activist campaigns announced as of August 12, nearly 30 percent involved companies with a market capitalization of more than $1 billion at the time the campaign was initiated, according to SharkRepellent.net, up from 20 percent in 2012.

While companies may just be more vulnerable to activist campaigns, experts say a key driver is that institutional shareholders are more often embracing these much-maligned investors instead of siding with the company against them.

“There is real change in how activists are perceived by the investing public,” says Alexander Khutorsky, managing director of The Valence Group, a specialist investment bank. In the past, if an institutional investor didn’t like a company’s performance or its management team, it “voted with its feet” and sold the shares. But now many investors are “more open to outsider influence,” says Khutorsky. “They’re willing to concede that a company could be made better through activism, so they are sticking around and voting for changes.”

A note from SharkRepellent.net highlights “an increased willingness by mainstream mutual funds and other institutional investors to side with activists, which is absolutely essential [for a hedge fund] to effect changes with a small ownership stake, as they often do when targeting larger companies.”

The goals of activists often align with investors: returning excess balance-sheet cash to shareholders, selling underperforming or noncore business units or even ousting an ineffective board of directors.

“As much as management may feel they are being attacked, their shareholders will not necessarily share that view,” Khutorsky says.

In addition, activist investors have a “good track record” of creating value, at least in the nominal sense, says Khutorsky. “The stock [often] goes up so they can show very straightforward returns; they’re not necessarily creating long-term value, but they have credibility in helping shareholders realize near-term value,” he says.

 Articles reliés au sujet des activistes :

Adjusting to Shareholder Activism as the New Normal (blogs.law.harvard.edu)

How You Can Profit from the Actions of Activist Investors (business2community.com)

What to Do When an Activist Comes Knocking (clsbluesky.law.columbia.edu)

The value of activist shareholders (lawprofessors.typepad.com)

How institutional investors have come to recognize the value of activist investing (valuewalk.com)

Marty Lipton: Shareholder Champion, Stakeholder Protector or Management Tool? (aswathdamodaran.blogspot.com)

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