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Breakingviews: Activists stir M&A gumbo

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 03:21

March 27 - Reynolds Holding explains to Jeffrey Goldfarb how and why uppity investors will be headlining the annual confab of merger practitioners in New Orleans this year.

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Arafat time a year when emanate practitioners -- gather for their big jamboree down in the Big Easy. But this year or some other folks crashing the party. -- holdings one of them but that's not what we're here -- -- Vietnam in the world experts and while on others are watching -- headliners are going to be activist investors now every year you you you hear about shareholder litigation cross border mergers. Certain -- always kind of hang out in the coming year all that's a Delaware Chancery or Hala talked about all those people will be their Marty Lipton these sort defender in chief of sports he'll be there this here. But activists are really. The headliners now they've always been there I mean two years lurking around the sideline after that and remember two years ago while person squares bill -- men. Was the keynote speaker in the famously sort of rose from the audience asking questions and tenacity rule that got everyone into an area. And people like -- -- you know what's really is really interest. But a lot has changed in two years I mean you still have Marty Lipton in the ocean bed truck up and -- talk about a activist long term investors through they have for the quick buck. But things have changed I mean you have institutional investors now for actually getting in -- -- of activists on certain deals on money managers like T. Rowe Price. Participated in that Dell chose the targets have also gotten bigger in the last couple years we've seen apple target of the -- are -- are vulnerable to stuff an apple Procter & Gamble I mean -- and you so. You know there's a lot of stuff that it's going on the news that that is seen as you know may be beneficial that's worth listening to shareholders. Even the boards I mean boards all the time complain about ISS institutional. Shareholders and business server proxy firm. I don't -- -- -- doubt about -- coming -- flawed information. While the boards have now formed something called shareholder director exchanges of brainchild of law firm and it won't -- shouldn't have. Where the the range -- has made between war it's an institutional investors to start talking now you know companies always a little bit through you know we're not quite sure what topic that accident. -- last month they're saying talk is good some other people's -- that's fine as long as it's not sort of lobbying effort to preserve the status quo. But we'll see what happened what else is on the agenda that kind of really. Centers and on the activist kind of feature the only -- in this this is there a few years but I mean there is one panel on Thursday afternoon. Later in the afternoon where you have sort of a prominent. People from want to tell you have some people who represents a shareholders -- in the SEC is weighing in -- subject areas. You know the SEC will be talking about you know what we do how much Reagan -- -- be regulating these sort of advisors and I assess these other folks. Should we be talking about rules that sort of reform faster disclosure right activists holdings. That will always that battle all either but again I think that. The new tone that sort of that cooperative tone war between among the institutional investors in the activist investors is this drop. Is really something that is new this year we'll hear more of that in in the world aren't you stairway from the hurricanes. And we will be back with more breaking news tomorrow.

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Breakingviews: Activists stir M&A gumbo

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 03:21