Q1 2021 Review of Shareholder Activism


Lazard’s Capital Markets Advisory Group | Global Actiivity Stable, Bolstered by U.S. Surge:

• Q1 2021 saw a second consecutive quarter of elevated global activity (53 new campaigns initiated, in-line with Q1 2020 levels) following the pandemic related downturn of mid-2020

• The significant U.S. rebound continues, with 37 new campaigns (up 48% from Q1 2020 levels) accounting for 70% of all global activity

− Q1 2021 U.S. activity is already approaching ~50% of U.S. activity for all of 2020 Global Activity Stable,

− In contrast to late 2020’s emphasis on mega-cap activity in the U.S., three-quarters of all Q1 2021 activity targeted sub-$10bn market cap companies, including Treehouse Foods (JANA), Kohl’s (Ancora, Legion et al.) and eHealth (Starboard and Sachem Head)

− Prominent activists Icahn, JANA and Starboard were among the quarter’s most prolific activists (launching 2 campaigns each), whi le perennially active Elliott launched only 1 new campaign (versus its average of ~4 campaigns launched per quarter since 2017)

• Following a record-setting Q4 2020, activity in Europe pulled back slightly, with only 10 new campaigns initiated

− Institutional investors, occasional activists and new / small-cap activists dominated the new activity, leading 9 of 10 new campaigns

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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.