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Daily Activist Investing May 14: I lied, more DuPont trolling

Activist riders, semi-long - semi-verbose day today. It was a jam fest in Avon earlier, all the groupies thinking they’d get bailed out of the potentially fraudulent MLM by a fraudulent buyout offer. Probably not to the surprise of many of you, but it’s not all that hard to manipulate the EDGAR system - h/t @valuewalk for this post about how the same thing happened to Vivus in 2014 [link] Major activist stories and news for May 14 below. Taking taking leads at @activiststocks, daily newsletter signup, ICYMI the latest newsletter is here.

News-

  • DuPont won in an epic battle versus Nelson Peltz yesterday. Old news yes, but I’ve read no less than 20 articles in the last 24-hours about the topic. Everyone really has come out of the woodwork on this one. But this is the last of the DuPont trolling for awhile, I swear - h/t to @DaveCBenoit this for this one - think you really know the Peltz vs. DuPont story?

 

  • But activist Engaged Capital at least got a win yesterday, getting two board members elected to the Rovi board [link]

  • Computer Sciences Corp is planning to split its commercial IT and government business. This comes after an apparent failure to sell the entire company. JANA Partners is active in the name, albeit a smallish $560M position - and shares are down 7% since JANA's SEC filing in Feb.

Stories-

  • No DuPont news is complete without a story from @Bill_George. Bill’s been an avid supporter of DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman and has a commentary piece on CNBC today. My favorite part includes, “...the success of DuPont over Trian comes down to one exceptional and highly authentic leader: Ellen Kullman. A 27-year veteran of DuPont who was raised in Wilmington, she has repeatedly demonstrated the vision and the courage to transform one of America's greatest companies into a highly competitive specialty chemicals firm that can compete effectively on the world stage. In the face of withering attacks and enormous pressure to change course, Kullman did not deviate from her True North. In the end, she deserved to prevail.” But the real takeaway from Bill’s piece includes, “The defeat of Trian's nominees also reflects the waning influence of the proxy advisory services like ISS and Glass Lewis, both of whom supported Peltz and his slate” [link]