Starboard Value’s busy year continued this week when it announced a 9% stake in ACI Worldwide. According to its 13D filing, Starboard’s rationale for the investment was simple: it is undervalued. The activist investor also laid out potential engagement strategies it could employ on the payment systems company, such as recommendations for its board structure and potential business combinations, something CEO Jeff Smith pitched at this week’s C4K Conference. So far this year, the fund has won 22 board seats, compared to Elliott Management’s 12, Reuters reported.
Public opinion has spoken on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposal to raise the reporting threshold for money managers to $3.5 billion of holdings, up from $100 million. Financial Times reported that 99% of the letters submitted during the comment period were in opposition to the proposal. “Companies would be unable to monitor those activist investors who would be exempt from reporting their positions, thus enabling activists to use the increased lack of transparency for their benefit and not that of long-term shareholders,” the Business Roundtable wrote in its letter. This sentiment was shared by both Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange, with the latter arguing that smaller companies would be greatly impacted by the proposed rule, and the CFA Institute, which wrote that the 13F filing process is mostly automated, anyway.
Have a good weekend,