Posts tagged Kaley Rickert
“First Timers” and Active Investment Funds Dominate Shareholder Activism as the “Big Three” Remain Management-Friendly (Part II)

Five hundred eighty-one  companies worldwide faced activist proposals in the first two quarters of 2019 (“H1”), also known as the “proxy season,” in which 80 percent of all public company annual meetings occur. (Activist Insight, Activist Insight Monthly June 2019). While shareholder activism in 2019 decreased relative to 2018, in general shareholder activism has been on the rise over the last decade. As the three largest asset managers in the United States, BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard (the “Big Three”), are not to blame  for this increase, this post explores who the most active shareholders are and the extent to which their goals were realized in the 2019 proxy season. 

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“First Timers” and Active Investment Funds Dominate Shareholder Activism as the “Big Three” Remain Management-Friendly (Part I)

Eighty percent of all public company annual meetings are held during the first half of the year, from January 1 through June 30 (“H1”). (ProxyPulse, Broadridge). These first two quarters of the year are often referred to as the “proxy season” or “campaign season.” During this “season,” the majority of activist shareholder resolutions are proposed to management and, if resilient enough, are brought to a shareholder vote. Activist shareholders are individuals and institutional investors who initiate public campaigns as attempts to influence the management of companies in which they invest, typically in the realm of corporate governance, environmental, and social issues. Part I of this post will briefly summarize the activity by these shareholders in the 2019 season in relation to the record-breaking shareholder activism observed in 2018 and comment on the influence of the three largest asset managers in the United States. Part II will compare who the most active shareholders are, and what trends can be observed in the 2019 proxy season. 

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Merger review process continues for Sprint, T-Mobile deal after facing 3 rounds of Congressional Hearings

On March 12, 2019, executives of T-Mobile US Inc. (“T-Mobile”) and Sprint Corporation (“Sprint”) testified in the third round of Congressional Hearings concerning the merger of the two companies. T-Mobile’s purchase of Sprint for $26 billion was announced almost a year ago on April 29, 2018 and continues to endure questioning from regulators. (Victoria Graham, Bloomberg). The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) and the Democratic-controlled House Subcommittee on Antitrust are reviewing the merger under the Communications Act of 1934 to ensure it promotes “the public interest, convenience, and necessity.” (47 U.S.C. §310(d); Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., Committee on Energy and Commerce). While the U.S. Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) antitrust division does not consider U.S. industrial policy in merger reviews like the House Subcommittee, it is looking at whether the deal harms competition. (Todd Shields et al., Bloomberg). 

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