Elliott Management returned to the headlines this week, taking a stake in the software company F5 Networks, calling for Evergy to reengage with NextEra Energy, and emerging as a key player in SoftBank’s turnaround. An article published by The Wall Street Journal outlined Elliott’s behind-the-scenes engagement with Softbank through daily calls and other measures. Rather than its well-known public tactics, Elliott presented Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son privately with the “logic and the math” behind the stock’s lagging performance, according to the Journal. To Elliott’s surprise, Son was receptive and has since exceeded its expectations, implementing aggressive buybacks and asset sales that have left the company with extensive cash reserves.
Meanwhile, Carl Icahn’s move inside Revlon highlighted that activist investors can exert control through a company’s debt, not just its stock. Revlon avoided bankruptcy this week thanks to a deal with bondholders that included Icahn, the Journal reported.
In overseas ESG activism, Sasol, a South African energy and chemicals company, rejected demands from shareholders to table resolutions related to the climate goals of the Paris Agreement in its upcoming annual meeting, Bloomberg reported. The demands have been led by Just Share NPC and the Raith Foundation, who argue that Sasol are muzzling the voice of shareholders so that management can maintain control over the pace of change. In a letter sent to shareholders, Sasol wrote, “Shareholders cannot usurp the authority of the directors or interfere in the management of a company.” Stay tuned.
Have a great weekend,