| Small & micro cap project / Activism insight

Impact of COVID-19 on shareholder activism: Any slowdown in activist filings?

by | Apr 9, 2020

Many investors may be interested to know whether the COVID-19 pandemic has affected shareholder activism. We will address this by answering two questions.

Question #1: Has there been a slowdown in proxy campaign during the COVID-19 pandemic?

No. Plenty of proxy campaigns are still ongoing, and there is no sign of withdrawal or cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The only fund that has withdrawn its campaign is Land & Buildings. On March 10, 2020, Land & Buildings nominated board candidates for election to the AMH Board of Trustees. Within a couple of weeks, on March 23, 2020, Land & Buildings withdrew its nomination, hinting the coronavirus outbreak.

List of ongoing proxy campaigns:

BIG LOTS INC

MACELLUM ADVISORS GP, LLC

EBAY INC

STARBOARD VALUE LP

GAMESTOP CORP.

HESTIA CAPITAL PARTNERS LP

GULFPORT ENERGY CORP

FIREFLY VALUE PARTNERS, LP

HC2 HOLDINGS, INC.

PERCY ROCKDALE LLC

HP INC

XEROX HOLDINGS CORP

LSC COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

SENTENTIA CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, LLC

MEDNAX, INC.

STARBOARD VALUE LP

MERIT MEDICAL SYSTEMS INC

STARBOARD VALUE LP

SUPERIOR INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL INC

D.C. CAPITAL ADVISORS, LTD

FIRST UNITED CORP

DRIVER MANAGEMENT

CIRCOR INTERNATIONAL

GAMCO

BARNWELL INDUSTRIES

A SHAREHOLDER GROUP COMPRISED OF MRMP-MANAGERS LLC, NLS ADVISORY GROUP, INC., NED L. SHERWOOD AND BRADLEY M. TIRPAK

POTBELLY CORP

VANN A. AVEDISIANTRUST

USA TECHNOLOGIES

HUDSON EXECUTIVE

TEGNA

STANDARD GENERAL

GCP APPLIED TECHNOLOGIES

STARBOARD

SYNALLOY

PRIVET & UPG ENTERPRISES

WESTERN ASSET CORPORATE LOAN FUND

BULLDOG INVESTORS

COMMUNITY BANKERS TRUST CORPORATION

DRIVER MANAGEMENT

BRANDYWINEGLOBAL-GLOBAL INCOME OPPORTUNITIES FUND INC

BULLDOG INVESTORS

EATON VANCE FLOATING-RATE INCOME PLUS FUND

SABA CAPITAL

HARLEY-DAVIDSON

IMPALA ASSET MANAGEMENT

 

Question #2: Any impact in the number of 13D filings?

No.

As per our internal research, 107 “significant 13D” filings were filed in March 2020, compared to 91 in March 2019. Moreover, there were 22 “new” significant 13D filings in March 2020, compared to 13 in March 2019. In the last week of March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread rapidly, 5 “new” significant 13D filings are filed.

Given these facts, there is no sign that the pandemic has affected activism.

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