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Andrew Freedman Is Ready for a Dynamic 2017 in Shareholder Activism

January 9, 2017

Andrew Freedman, Co-Head of the Shareholder Activism Practice, was quoted recently in a Law360 article highlighting trends in shareholder activism campaigns for 2017.  Freedman noted the following movement of activists launching campaigns at larger companies, “We are seeing fewer campaigns go to a proxy fight at large-market-cap companies, but I still think we’re seeing, and you will continue to see, an increasing number of activist investors taking investments and engaging with management of large public companies...It’s just that those tend to be the top-tier activist investors — like the Starboard’s, Elliott’s and Third Point’s of the world — whom companies tend to prefer to work constructively with than to see things go to a proxy contest.”  Additionally, Freedman offered an outlook of activists investors in the retail and restaurant industries.  Freedman stated, “Retail is a tough space right now because of the decline in physical shopping in malls and the Amazon effect. And you’re seeing that trickle down to various companies’ performance...The ones with real estate assets, those are going to be really attractive to activists.”  Further, Freedman noted, “We’ll continue to see activist investors get involved in the restaurant space in 2017 given how many companies there are undervalued right now. The meal-kit trend and declining grocery prices have put a lot of pressure on restaurants and their same store sales. Also, activists are comfortable investing in restaurants because there’s a workable road map at most of them for unlocking value.”

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