Getting Out the Retail Vote: Targeting Reddit and New Social Tools in Proxy Solicitations; Musk Looks for Edit Button in Sent Text Messages as Starlink Goes Down in Sending Additional Discovery  

GPP’s recent piece on retail shareholder solicitation, published in Harvard Law Forum on Corporate Governance, highlights recent campaigns that used social channels from YouTube to Reddit to get out the vote to retail shareholders. Companies are realizing they need to meet their investors where they congregate in addition to the traditional mailings and call centers.  


The note highlighted Nikola’s get-out-the-vote campaign by engaging in a multifaceted, multichannel campaign using Reddit, Twitter and YouTube, as well as last year’s vote to approve Churchill IV’s investment in Lucid Air using these newer social channels. 


Moving on to more exciting news in Twitter v. Musk. On Tuesday, if one were to gauge the Musk-Twitter odds by the stock price, which is what we do all day, this week was a win for team Twitter and a loss for team Rocket as the stock rallied 8% on the developments in Wilmington.


It was unearthed in a hearing that Elon Musk texted a Morgan Stanley banker in June to “slow” his already signed and announced $44 billion planned acquisition of Twitter, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Musk texted that the deal wouldn’t “make sense... if we’re heading into World War 3,” which Bloomberg’s Matt Levine points out isn’t how merger agreements work. An email from another banker alluded to paying in a contingent value right, or CVR, signaling a way to somehow re-price his $54.20 per share deal.


Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick chided the Musk team for not providing required texts and emails and seems to be growing impatient with them, ordering Musk and Jared Birchall to turn over text messages. Most importantly in some respects, she kept to her timetable of an October trial.  


However, the setback was followed by some positive news for Musk and his team. The Delaware Chancery Court granted his legal team approval to amend counterclaims filed in the case following the whistle-blower complaint from former Twitter security head Peiter “Mudge” Zatko.


Have a great weekend, 

GPP Team    


Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance: Getting Out the Retail Vote: Targeting Reddit and New Social Tools in Proxy Solicitations 

Gladstone’s Steve Lipin and Keilley Banks share best practices when it comes to reaching retail investors and how companies can utilize different channels to reach different generations. Read More 

CNBC: Delaware Court Denies Musk Request to Delay Twitter Trial but Approves Request to Add Whistleblower Claims 

On Wednesday, Chancellor Kathaleen McCormick ruled that Musk and his team can include Peiter “Mudge” Zatko’s whistleblower case but must work quickly as his plea for a delayed trial is denied. Read More 

Insider: Musk Cited Putin Speech in Early Attempt to Get Out of Twitter Deal 

In new text messages used as evidence by Twitter’s legal team, Musk messaged a banker at Morgan Stanley saying, “the deal doesn’t make sense if we are heading into WWIII.” Read More 

Bloomberg: Judge Slams Musk for Not Handing Over Texts in Twitter Fight

As Musk and his team seek to uncover Slack messages of Twitter employees, Chancellor McCormick slammed Musk for lack of transparency when handing over text messages. Read More


CLS Blue Sky Blog: Dealing with Activist Hedge Funds and Other Activist Investors 

Wachtell Lipton gives insight into best practices on how to deal with activist investors, which begins with advanced preparation and creating a deal to respond to attacks. Read More  

Axios Pro: Universal Proxy Card Could Turbocharge Activists 

Following rule changes by the SEC that implement a universal proxy card, experts believe more activist investors will try and nominate dissident directors given the lowered cost of running a campaign. Read More 

Financial Times: BlackRock Pushes Back Against Directors Serving on Too Many Tech Boards 

The world’s largest asset manager is placing greater scrutiny on company directors that sit on multiple boards, specifically of tech companies. Read More 

Bloomberg: Zendesk Wins ISS Support for Takeover by Hellman, Permira 

In a blow to Light Street Capital’s activist campaign, ISS sided with Zendesk’s takeover by a group of buyout firms. ISS said keeping the company independent “lacked sufficient detail.” Read More 

Reuters: Peltz's Trian UK Investment Fund to Close After Campaign by Activist Investors 

In a battle between activists, Nelson Peltz’s Trian Investors 1 will shut down following clash between shareholders and fellow activists, Invesco and Janus Henderson. Read More 


Michael Bloomberg (Bloomberg): On Climate Change, Republicans Need a Crash Course in Capitalism 

Former NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, argues that legislating against ESG considerations is bad for business and goes against free market principles. Read More 

Vivek Ramaswamy (WSJ): Shareholders Stand Up for Profit and Against ESG at Chevron 

Co-founder and Executive Chairman at Strive Asset Management, Vivek Ramaswamy, made headlines this week for a letter he sent to Chevron demanding the company drill for more oil. He followed up with an op-ed to double-down on his point, and alluded to a potential proxy fight at the company’s next shareholder meeting. Read More 

Fox Business: BlackRock CEO Larry Fink Discusses Inflation, ESG Investing in the Energy Sector 

Larry Fink joined "The Claman Countdown" to discuss recent controversy around BlackRock’s stance on ESG investing, while noting the company is also one of the largest investors in gas pipelines. Watch Here 


Besides the opening of NFL season and the anxiety around September baseball (Mets and Yankees fans alike), some GPPers have become obsessed with The Bear, FX’s new hit show about a sandwich shop in Chicago. It is no upbeat drama or calming watch—for that try Midnight Diner, about a ramen shop in Tokyo — but the characters are authentic and for some of us, it shows the brilliance (and dysfunction) that can come from working as a team and, of course, from family. Also catching our eye was the new season of Only Murders in the Building with new cast members such as Amy Schumer.  


Rain did not put a damper on US Open tennis this week at the roof-covered Arthur Ashe Stadium, teeming with NY pride, nail-biting tennis and Honey Deuces galore. GPP cheered on our favorite players on the screen and from the stands.


For foodies who also like history, we are digging into “Dinner in Rome: A History of the World in One Meal” by Andreas Viestad. The chef-author charts Rome’s ascent through propagating wheat fields and grape vines, and shows the role food played in altering, and making, history. 


  • Todd Krinsky has been promoted to CEO of Reebok where he started by delivering mail for the brand 30 years ago. Read More 

  • Timothy Donahue, former vice chair of capital markets at JPMorgan, has joined Lazard as a Managing Director and vice chairman of U.S. investment banking. Read More 


  • Milan Solanki, former Barclays Banker, has been hired by Evercore to lead its shareholder activism defense business in Europe. Read More  

  • Reuters has hired Abigail Summerville as M&A Correspondent focusing on breaking news and the consumer and retail sectors. She will be based in New York. Read More 

September 12-16: Goldman Sachs Communacopia & Technology Conference 

September 15, 2022: The Deal Awards 2022

September 28, 2022: CNBC Delivering Alpha

October 18, 2022: 13D Monitor Active-Passive Investor Summit

October 26, 2022: Axios BFD 

Let us know if you have any comments or suggestions for our newsletter format.
Follow us on Twitter @GladstonePlace
Please feel free to forward this along.
Gladstone Place Partners | (212) 230-5930 |
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin