Elliott Swipes Right at Match Amid Expectations of a Pick Up in Activism and M&A in 2024

Shareholder activism is expected to pick up in 2024 after a strong 2023, and in particular, watch for the movement to continue to go global. 

According to 13D Monitor, advisors should keep passports handy as international activism is up over 50% compared to 2022. Reuters’ Svea Herbst-Bayliss reports that EU corporates will be a more frequent target among activists as “active portfolio managers are more willing to apply pressure in Europe.”


Looking back on 2023, Barclays found that M&A-related demands appeared in nearly half (49%) of campaigns – an all-time high – with “break-up / divestures” requests leading the pack. And Lazard pointed out that the total board seats won by activists last year increased for the third consecutive year. Elliott Management takes that top spot, winning the most board seats (18) and launching the most campaigns (15).


Speaking of Elliott, there is no love lost between Match Group and the activist fund. Elliott has built a roughly $1 billion stake in the online-dating company, which also owns Tinder. While Elliott’s demands are still unknown, Match wasted no time in making moves and on Tuesday, appointed current COO Faye Iosotaluno to be the new CEO of Tinder.


Meanwhile, a new report from Wachtell highlighted that while global M&A levels declined by roughly 17% in 2023, factors such as upcoming interest rate reductions and a potential “soft landing” for the U.S. economy point to a likely uptick in dealmaking activity this year. If the first two weeks of the year are any indication, that prediction seems to be holding true. Healthcare and biotech in particular have been on a tear as evidenced by the number of deals announced leading up to the J.P Morgan Healthcare conference.

Have a great weekend, 

GPP Team 


Reuters: Activist Investors' Sights Set on Corporate Europe After Record Year

Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Anousha Sakoui highlight the recent surge in activist campaigns in Europe, with a record number in 2023 and expectations for even bolder dissident investor actions in the year ahead. Read More

Barclays: 2023 Review of Shareholder Activism

In a report provided to clients, Barclays recaps 2023 activist activity and notes that activists won 134 seats in 2023, a 30% increase from 2022, largely as a result of the Universal Proxy.

Lazard: Annual Review of Shareholder Activism 2023

Lazard’s report reveals a record high in global campaign activity, driven by unprecedented levels in Europe and APAC, as well as an increase in 'first-time' activists launching campaigns. Read More

Axios: Shareholder Activism Sets Global Record

Michael Flaherty highlights data from Barclays’ report on shareholder activism, noting that the global spike in “dissident investor activity” will likely set up a number of boardroom battles this proxy season. Read More

The Wall Street Journal: Tinder Owner Match Draws Elliott Investment

Lauren Thomas reports that Elliott has acquired a significant, roughly $1 billion, stake in Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, Hinge and OKCupid. At this time, Elliott has not yet disclosed its specific plans or whether it will nominate board directors at the company. Read More

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz: Mergers and Acquisitions – 2024 

The report details M&A challenges in 2023, with a 17% decline compared to 2022. However, despite the slowdown, there were notable megadeals, especially in the energy sector, and expectations point towards a potential increase in M&A activity in 2024 with anticipated interest rate reductions and economic stability in the U.S. Read More


Axios: ValueAct's Two-Leg Disney Thesis Seeks Running Room

Following last week’s news that ValueAct had entered into an information-sharing agreement with the Walt Disney Company, Axios highlights the various reasons why ValueAct CEO Mason Morfit remains optimistic about the entertainment company’s future. Read More

Bloomberg: These Are the Activist Investors' Campaigns to Watch in Japan This Year

Lisa Du and Yasutaka Tamura discuss the spike in activist campaigns in Japan, noting that the market value of targeted companies more than doubled to $252 billion last year. Read More


The Deal: Boards Take New Year to Lean In

Activism reporter Jean Haggerty outlines the evolving landscape of corporate boards, highlighting the growing emphasis companies are placing on cybersecurity expertise in candidate searches. Read More

Harvard Business Review: DEI Is Under Attack. Here’s How Companies Can Mitigate the Legal Risks

Kenji Yohsino and David Glaslow, directors of NYU Law’s Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging, analyze the increasing legal challenges of DEI programs in the workplace, suggesting companies adopt strategic adaptations to mitigate risks while simultaneously upholding company values. Read More


The Wall Street Journal: The Latest Dirty Word in Corporate America: ESG

Chip Cutter and Emily Glazer examine how business leaders are ramping down or rebranding their internal ESG policies as the term becomes increasingly complicated and divisive. Read More

Bloomberg Law: Antitrust Enforcers Differ on When ESG Collaboration Is Collusion

Paul Hastings' antitrust and competition attorneys look at the intersection of antitrust and ESG, cautioning companies to seek legal guidance when engaging in ESG initiatives with industry competitors. Read More

Eurasia Group: Risk 10: Risky Business

In its latest report, the political risk consultancy Eurasia Group discusses the increasing influence of politics on corporate decision-making. It highlights examples, such as Target, of how political activism, both from the left and the right, is impacting businesses. Read More


NYC Restaurant Week is finally upon us. From January 16-February 4, the semi-annual tradition offers foodies discounts at eateries across the city, from fusion places like LittleMad to more cozy neighborhood favorites like Pasta Louise. There’s no better time to explore the city’s many great restaurants.


Alongside restaurant week runs Broadway Week, another promotional attraction that sees the city’s best theatrical performances heavily discounted. The esteemed theater critics at GPP highly recommend Here Lies Love, Moulin Rouge, Hadestown and Spamalot. Dare we say it, dinner and a show? 


  • Match Group Inc., the parent company of Tinder, announced that COO Faye Iosotaluno will become its next CEO. Read More

  • News Corp named Arthur Bochner as its new Chief Communications Officer. Read More

  • Helen Thomas was appointed as head of the Financial Times Lex column. Read More

  • Sarah Personette was selected as the CEO of Puck News. Read More

  • Financial markets and asset managers report Carleton English announced she will be leaving Barron’s. Read More

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