Global Activism Bounced Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels, Says Diligent Study

Global activism has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, according to a new report from Diligent. Nearly 1,000 companies worldwide were targeted by activists in 2023, an almost 8% jump over 2022 and second only to 2019. Interesting factoid: Nearly 25% of U.S. companies now publicly identify activism as a risk in their 10-K filings, according to the study. Diligent also zeroed in on two areas of increased activity for activists launching campaigns stateside: pay-related proposals (+37%); and opposing M&A demands (+21%).

There aren’t many signs of a slowdown in 2024 either. This week, Ancora’s James Chadwick went on CNBC to call for significant management change at Norfolk Southern and then nominated eight directors to the rail operator’s board. In the retail sector, Arkhouse officially launched a proxy fight against Macy’s, nominating a nine-director slate to the board just weeks after the retailer rejected Arkhouse’s go-private proposal.  

Before you go, there’s just one more day to fill out our survey ahead of the Tulane Corporate Law Institute conference asking our readers about deal trends and their favorite New Orleans restaurant!

Have a great weekend,

GPP Team


Financial Times: UK Electronics Chain Currys Rejects Takeover Bid from Elliott

Ivan Levingston, Costas Mourselas, and Laura Onita report that UK electronics retailer Currys declined the unsolicited offer, arguing the bid significantly undervalues the company. Read More


Harvard Business Review: How to Build — and Maintain — Relationships with Your Shareholders

Former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano joins the HBR “On Strategy” podcast to share his advice on how companies can best communicate with investors and Wall Street without requiring significant operational or strategy changes. Listen Here


CNBC: Squawk Box: Goldman Sachs’ Stephan Feldgoise on 2024 M&A Landscape: Private Equity Is ‘The Big Barometer’

The Co-Head of Global M&A at Goldman Sachs discusses the U.S. dealmaking outlook and how private equity sponsors are prepared to “play offense” as the market prepares for cooling interest rates in 2024. Watch Here

The Wall Street Journal: Capital One Is Buying Discover Financial for $35 Billion

AnnaMaria Andriotis and Lauren Thomas report that the merger marks a significant move in the credit card sector that could potentially reshape the payments ecosystem. Read More

Bloomberg: M&A Races Past $400 Billion Mark After Capital One-Discover Deal

Fareed Sahloul highlights that the U.S. is spearheading a surge in global dealmaking following other recently announced M&A, including from Truist Financial and Walmart. Read More


The Wall Street Journal: Reddit Plans to Sell Stock to Loyal Users in Unusual IPO Wager

Reddit aims to offer shares to 75,000 of its most active users in its upcoming IPO, a strategy meant to deepen loyalty but one that poses risks, particularly in a volatile market where recent IPOs have often underperformed, notes Corrie Driebusch. Read More


Bloomberg: FTC, States to Sue Over Kroger-Albertsons Deal Next Week

The FTC and several U.S. states plan to take legal action to block the planned tie-up between supermarket giants Kroger and Albertsons due to concerns about how the merger would impact employee wages and grocery prices. Read More


The New York Times: More Wall Street Firms Are Flip-Flopping on Climate. Here’s Why.

David Gelles walks readers through the decisions from JPMorgan, State Street and Pimco to pull out of Climate Action 100+, an international coalition of money managers pushing large companies to address climate issues. Read More


GPP took in a fun musical this week, a revival of “Jelly’s Last Jam,” a story about the early Jazz pioneer Jellyroll Morton. Check it out at New York City Center now through March 3rd.

We loved Wesley Morris’s piece in The New York Times highlighting “the best, weirdest, wildest performances of the year,” but we felt the prize of “Best Animal Thespian” was notably missing from the list of made-up awards. Our vote goes to ‘Palm Dog’ winner Messi the Border Collie for his scene-stealing performance in the excellent courtroom drama Anatomy of A Fall. Honorable mention goes to the Budweiser Clydesdale horses, which The Journal recently pointed out are widely regarded as “the most consummate professionals on the advertising circuit.”


  • Icahn Enterprises has named Andrew Teno as CEO, the same day it announced a $411 million decrease in net asset value compared to last quarter. Read More

  • Biopharma company Jazz Pharmaceuticals has named Phillip Johnson, current Chief Financial Officer of Eli Lilly, as its next CEO. Read More

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