The federal government continues to shake up how companies and shareholders interact. This week, the Federal Trade Commission moved forward with a proposal that relaxes the Hart-Scott-Rodina Act, an antitrust measure crafted in 1976. The proposal would allow an investor (for this newsletter, read: activist) to build stakes of up to 10% without having to file for HSR or spend the regulatory fees associated with it. FTC commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips said that under the current rules, HSR operates as a “tax” on investors. After a 3-2 vote in favor, the proposal is now up for public comment.
Trian Partners hit the headlines this week, after a long quiet period, taking a stake in Comcast. Financial Times’ Lex opined that Comcast may prove to be a tough target, with Chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts and his family controlling a third of the company. While the company has fared well amidst headwinds stemming from the pandemic, Lex reckoned that Trian could argue for the relisting of some of Comcast’s underperforming businesses, which would enable the markets to properly value its core businesses.
Finally, real estate activist Jonathan Litt came out publicly against Apartment Investment & Management Co. (Aimco) over its plans to split the company, Bloomberg reported. Litt, who owns 1.4% of the company, argues that a spinoff would not realize the value of the underlying business and signaled that he is prepared to call for a special meeting to vote on the decision. His thoughts were echoed by research analysts who downgraded the stock, highlighting that the restructuring is not “value-enhancing” and would add “more complexity” to the business.
Have a good weekend,