It’s Not All Gravy; 13Fs Signal Spike in Activist Activity

Activists are nothing if not opportunists, and while stocks were cheaper activists spent Q3 mostly building up their positions ahead of proxy season. Allstate may be asking itself if it is in good hands, as Trian bought roughly 3.5 million shares in the insurer, and Corvex upped its stake in Uber by 114% and revealed a new 5 million share position in sports and entertainment conglomerate Endeavor.


Additionally, The Deal’s Jean Haggerty and Ron Orol noted new positions at Elliott and Starboard that align with their recent campaigns, with the former revealing it increased its stake in NRG Energy by 271% and built a new 4 million share position in biotech company Catalent, and the latter disclosing a new 9.34 million share stake in Bloomin' Brands. All to say, this proxy season is shaping up to be one for the record books.


CNBC reported, via Ken Squire at 13D Monitor, that Value Act is building a stake in the Walt Disney Company. Value Act is supportive of management and the board and believes the stock is undervalued, a move that could neutralize Nelson Peltz’s agitation at Disney.


Meanwhile, Carl Icahn’s 13F filing showed the value of his total holdings declined by 45% (primarily driven by a decline in Icahn Enterprise share value) since Hindenburg’s IEP short report in May. This inspired Michael Dell, who famously sparred with Icahn on his take-private of Dell, to not-so-subtly remind X users that IEP shares declined by nearly 81% over the last 10 years vs the S&P 500’s nearly 156% rise: 

Lastly, the M&A buzz in the energy sector continued this week with news of a Glencore-led consortium inking a deal for Teck Resources' steelmaking coal unit for $9 billion. Reuters’ Clara Denina reported that the deal marks one of the mining sector’s biggest in years, building on the momentum in the industry that has been a bright spot in an otherwise slow deal market. Denina explains that the deal could lead Glencore to spin off its own coal business, a move that The Deal’s Ron Orol reports is supported by Bluebell Capital, the activist who took a stake in Glencore earlier this year. And, as a reminder to our flack readers: if you’re announcing a deal, remember to take your documents out of code!

Thanks for reading. Heads up, the GPP newsletter will be taking a break for Thanksgiving and will return Friday, December 1st.

Have a great weekend, 

GPP Team 


The Deal: Starboard, Legion, Land & Buildings, Barington Reveal Q3 Stakes

Jean Haggerty reports on new holdings detailed in 13F filings of Jeff Smith’s Starboard Value, Chris Kiper and Ted White’s Legion Partners, Jonathan Litt’s Land & Buildings and James Mitarotonda’s Barington Capital. Read More

The Deal: Sachem, Corvex, Sarissa, Elliott, Engaged Reveal Q3 Stakes

Ron Orol outlines the changes in holdings revealed in 13F filings this week from Sachem Head Capital, Elliott Management, Corvex Management, Engaged Capital and Sarissa Capital. Read More

Reuters: Glencore-led group scoops Teck's coal assets for $9 billion

A consortium led by Glencore has sealed a deal, one that Clara Denina reports is one of the largest in the mining sector in years, to buy Canadian mining company Teck Resources’ steelmaking coal unit for $9 billion. Read More

The Deal: Activist Backs Glencore’s Teck Coal Deal

Following the news of Glencore’s agreement to acquire the coal steelmaking unit of Teck Resources, Bluebell Capital’s Giuseppe Bivona expressed support for the transaction to reporter Ron Orol. Bluebell took a stake in Glencore earlier this year and sees this move as furthering their push for the company to spin off its own coal unit. Read More


Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance: 2023 Proxy Season Review: Institutional Investor Expectations in a Divided World

This new blog post offers takeaways from the 2023 proxy season, with trends including increased scrutiny on greenwashing, greater emphasis on aligning CEO pay with financial performance and an increased focus on connecting ESG-related proposals with investors’ financial materiality. Read More

M&A & IPOs

The Wall Street Journal: Talent Agency CAA and Michael Klein Launch Sports and Media Investment Bank

Cara Lombardo and Joe Flint report that the dealmaker Michael Klein and Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency have partnered to launch CAA Evolution, a new firm that will advise and work on deals and capital raises in the media and sports industries. Read More

Bloomberg: General Atlantic to Buy Majority Stake in Joe & the Juice

General Atlantic announced that it will acquire a roughly $600 million stake in Joe & The Juice for roughly $600 million, making the private equity firm the new majority owner of the juice bar and coffee store chain, write Kerim Karakaya and Swetha Gopinath. Read More

The Wall Street Journal: The Charts That Could Predict the IPO Market’s Comeback  

Following the recent high-profile public listings of Arm, Instacart, Klaviyo and Birkenstock, Corrie Driebusch and Peter Santilli examine recent data trends to predict when the IPO market could actually return to full swing. Read More


Financial Times: Adobe’s $20bn deal to buy Figma faces fresh challenge in Brussels

There are new obstacles to Adobe's proposed $20 billion acquisition of web app developer Figma in Europe. EU regulators are preparing to file anti-competitive charges to try and block the deal, which they think will significantly blunt competition in the sector, according to a report from Javier Espinoza. Read More


BBC: How 'ESG' Came to Mean Everything and Nothing

"How did the term ESG go off the rails?" Kristen Talman looks at possible reasons behind the acronym’s downfall, including the murkiness around what the term actually means, the challenge for companies to apply it in practice and general pushback against misleading or exaggerated ESG claims. Read More

New York Times: New York Attorney General Sues Pepsi Over Plastic Packaging

New York attorney general Letitia James sued PepsiCo this week, accusing the food and beverage behemoth of “misleading the public about its goals to eliminate single-use plastic in its packaging” and of “endangering the environment.” Read More


GPPers spent last weekend visiting the Raw Wine festival, this year in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It brings together some of the most interesting natural wine producers from around the world, and you know that where there’s a funky pét-nat, there’s bound to be a GPPer nearby. Some of our favorites this year were from winemakers in Vermont, which is quickly becoming a hot spot for natural wines. If you find yourself in New England, it’s worth a trip to Ellison Estate Vineyard, a vineyard in Grand Isle, an island in the middle of Lake Champlain. Look for their wines in New York City along with other Vermont winemakers La Garagista and La Montanuela.

Clearly, the GPP team knows how to appreciate the finer things in life, and our Thanksgiving potluck on Thursday afternoon was no exception. Conversations and wine flowed over a range of home-cooked dishes, prepared by our communicators turned chefs, as well as some of New York’s finest takeout. Some standouts included Lorenzo’s tiramisu, Danielle’s corn souffle, Abby’s cranberry sauce and Tyler’s mac & cheese – there's talk of a GPP cookbook in the works.  


  • Credit Suisse’s former head of investment banking David Wah will join PJT Partners as a Partner. Read More

  • Business Insider co-founder Henry Blodget has stepped down as CEO after 16 years in the role and will become chair. He will be replaced by the news site’s president Barbara Peng. Read More

  • EY has appointed Janet Truncale as its next global CEO. Read More
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