US activist tactics penetrate Europe

Author: Lizzie Meager | Published: 1 Oct 2015

Activist investment in Europe is on the rise. And although hedge funds find a more hostile environment on this side of the Atlantic, they are becoming more vocal and are utilising tactics typically seen in the US.

That was the takeaway from speakers at the IFLR European M&A Forum in London on Tuesday, who also noted that it’s still unclear whether short-term shareholder engagement is any worse for a company than long-term engagement.

"Activists have all been painted with a dark brush in the past as destructive, as spreading like a disease, but it’s important to remember that these hedge funds are shareholders," said panellist Cas Sydorowitz, CEO of corporate advisory at Georgeson.

"Portraying them as short-term investors who don’t know the company well couldn’t be further from reality – for them...