The New Year is off to a modest start for activist campaigns in the U.S. However, the same cannot be said overseas where 3D Investment Partners is starting 2022 with a big splash. In a somewhat unusual approach, the second-largest investor in Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation is attempting to call a special meeting aimed at forcing the company to win supermajority support – two-thirds, in this instance – for its three-way separation plan.
3D acting against Toshiba’s plan shouldn’t come as a surprise. Investors like 3D have been vocal in their opposition to the company’s plans and some have publicly advocated for exploring a partial or total sale of the business. In the same month that Toshiba announced it would split into three companies, 3D published an open letter opposing the plan and encouraging the company to begin a formal process. At the time, there was speculation that Toshiba’s move was designed to encourage activist shareholders to sell their stakes – now it seems the opposite has taken place.
Toshiba is no stranger to activist investors. Just one year ago, Toshiba’s single largest shareholder, Effissimo Capital Management, won a vote to launch an investigation into collusion between government officials and the company’s top echelon to stifle activist shareholders. Since then, Toshiba has appointed a new CEO and vowed to improve its governance and relationship with stockholders. Activist investors are still not satisfied, and if 3D prevails in calling a special meeting, we can expect to see this fight continue.
Meanwhile, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, spoke with The Wall Street Journal to give his thoughts on the future of investing. Topics ranged from the disruption climate change will have on financial markets to corporate responsibility and delivering returns to shareholders. Fink argues companies will need to work closely with governments to solve many of these broader issues. Read More