Hedge Funds Get into More Proxy Fights, Size Not an Issue
Activism by hedge funds is on the rise, and even the smallest companies are possible targets.
By Stephen Taub
Hedge funds are increasingly in a fighting mood. Although overall activism is roughly at the same level as last year, the number of proxy fights initiated by hedge funds is on the rise.
Through late July hedge funds were involved in 42 proxy fights, compared with 46 in all of last year, according to data on corporate activism from financial data company FactSet. Whats more, this year about 43 percent of hedge-fund-led proxy fights went the distance compared to about 30.4 percent in 2011.
Earlier this year, for example, Bill Ackmans Pershing Square Capital Management won its proxy fight with Canadian Pacific Railway when all seven of its nominees got onto the board of directors. Ackman has also drawn attention to his stakes in J.C. Penney Co. and Procter & Gamble. ....