As temperatures dropped in NYC and Wall Street got through week two of earnings, activism season heated up at the 13D Active Passive Investor Summit, where GPPers encamped for the day. Several well-known activists, such as Jeff Smith and Dan Loeb, went public with new names at the conference and through high-profile interviews.
Starboard. Jeff Smith kicked off the conference with a mega-cap name by revealing Starboard’s stake in Salesforce. He made the case that the company needs to increase its focus on operating and profit margins. The Salesforce stake generated the most headlines, but Starboard wasn’t finished – revealing new positions in software company Splunk and data center business Vertiv.
Third Point. Ahead of speaking at the investor conference, Dan Loeb built a position in Colgate-Palmolive and urged the company to send its pet food business to the pound where it “would command a premium multiple if spun off.”
More activism. In her first byline for Semafor, the newly launched global news platform, Liz Hoffman covered activist investor Engine No. 1’s latest demands of a corporate giant. Following the playbook it used against Exxon, the activist is wielding its small stake in Coca-Cola to call for the company to get more aggressive in reaching its recycling goals.
Hoffman followed her activism story with a scoop on the SEC and its reported decision to scrap a rule on carbon emission disclosures, specifically Scope 3 emissions. A sigh of relief for many companies.
Twitter. We're closing in on the October 28 deadline set by Delaware Chancery Court Chief Justice Judge Kathaleen McCormick for Elon Musk to close the deal. Twitter has been preparing employees for next steps according to Bloomberg’s Kurt Wagner and Edward Ludlow, who reported that the social media company has frozen employee equity accounts to prohibit trading. During Tesla’s earnings call, Musk said he is actually “excited” about the deal. On Thursday, David Faber’s CNBC reported that Musk continues to try to raise equity for the transaction, while the Washington Post reported on documents outlining Musk's plans to layoff 75% of the Twitter workforce.
Have a great weekend,