Daily Activism June 5: Hell on wheels today

Activist follower, another big day today with activist-related stories and news for June 4 - as usual the free newsletter is on a 24-hour delay; Activist Strategy subscribers get it on publication day [you can get a 2-week free trial here]. Tip us off at @activiststocks, here’s the free daily newsletter sign up.

News-

  • Sure you’ve read it or at least hear about it by now, @sacca puts together a 8,500 piece on how to “fix” Twitter - or in the least, make it worth more money. Of note, the ridiculous shirt wearing, VC gives no fucks and says “First, I want to apologize to those of you working in the sensationalist clickbait mines, but this post is not a hit piece. I never said it would be. I am not here to slam the company nor the team. I am not an activist investor” [link to Sacca’s post]

  • Oasis Management is active at Jakks Pacifics, owning 12.2%. [link]

  • Activist Cevian Capital has taken a 3% stake in ABB, the Swiss engineering group [Reuters piece]

  • Yum Brands caught a bid yesterday as speculation hit that Nelson Peltz was kicking around, potentially buying a stake. After announcing he’d be downsizing his Wendy’s stake by 20%. We don’t think there’s anything to it, with Yum already having Dan Loeb’s Third Point and Keith Meister’s Corvex Management involved.

  • Luxor Capital sells about 12% of its Conn’s position - still owning 18.2%. Despite looking like a fool early on, shares are up 25% since they went active in 2014.

  • Samsung is under fire from Paul Singer’s Elliott Associates. He owns 7.1% of one of its companies (a company that Samsung had planned to sell to another unit) and wants some consolidation over the “vast” company [NY Times piece] and h/t to Valuewalk piece for this map of Samsung and more details on the convoluted mess that is Samsung

Stories-

  • @rob_cyran at Reuters talks about how breaking up companies can be expensive. Of course the Peltz target, DuPont, is mentioned. However, the most interesting point is some companies use the “it’s too expensive to do” excuse, when in fact, it’s not. Takeaway, “Executives may overdo it when they are trying to resist action. Hewlett-Packard last week revealed that its planned breakup would cost less than half the $1 billion a year it estimated a few years ago when its chief, Meg Whitman, rejected a slightly different split. EBay argued that spinning off PayPal would create “significant distraction and dis-synergies” until it decided, under shareholder pressure, to do just that” [link]

  • @finalternatives mentions the underrated win that RDC Capital has gotten at TravelCenters. The structure and corporate governance shit show there kept us away a couple years ago, but RDC taking no shit. Of note, “TravelCenters of America has signed a sale and leaseback deal with Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT) for 30 of its centers totaling approximately $397 million” [link]

  • @maureenmfarrell at MoneyBeat, tells a tale of former SEC chair Mary Shapiro and a gaggle of others are joining a new activist hedge fund. “Ms. Schapiro is the only woman among the group’s 16 advisory partners” [link]

  • @matthiasrieker has a piece at WSJ on where an activist investor won a $2 million award from UBS because the bank made a margin call that forced him to sell shares in a company where he was waging a proxy battle [link]

What we’ve been working on-

  • Super slick Sandell pushing for Bob Evans’ RE monetization? [Sandell, partial paywall]

  • Textron as Peltz's next target [ Peltz]

  • Macy’s hedge fund talk [Icahn]

  • Starboard Value has another catalyst at Darden Restaurants [Starboard]

  • An underrated activist creates his own platform company [complete paywall]

  • Identifying activist targeted stocks in Japan [complete paywall]

  • A catalyst Jana Partners missed with its past activist target that’s now in the works [complete paywall]