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Daily Activist News June 2: Japan is the future of activist investing

Activist advocates, activist-related stories and news for June 1 is below - as usual the free newsletter is on a 24-hour delay; Activist Strategy subscribers get it on publication day. Tip us off at @activiststocks, daily newsletter sign up is here and check here are the past newsletters.


  • Ancora Advisors sent a letter to Shutterfly, ultimately supporting the Marathon Partners campaign for corporate governance changes [letter]

  • iPass has settled with the consortium of activist investors led by Maguire Asset Management, adding three directors and expanding the board to ten [link]

  • ISS and Glass Lewis are supporting Casey Capital in its battle versus Essex Rental, citing the need for corporate governance issues and the underperformance of the stock relative to peers [link]


  • @valuewalk has a solid piece on the little known Olstein Strategic Opportunities Fund, which has been called the “The Mutual Fund that Reads Like a Cheat Sheet for Activists.” This comes as the fund has a large part of its portfolio in activist targeted stocks. Specifically, “As of March 31, 2015, the Fund was invested in twelve activist holdings, which represented approximately 25% of the Fund’s equity investments,” these include our favorites, Vitamin Shoppe and Wesco [link]

  • @WilliamPesek puts up a piece on Bloomberg Views detailing how the Japan market is ripe for activism in terms of corporate governance and returning cash to shareholders. Key take away, But Chicago money manager David Herro says that for all Abe's efforts, “Japan remains 30 years behind its peers in how its companies are run. Corporate Japan still indulges in cross-shareholdings and permits itself male-dominated boards, and the country's timid media does little to hold it to account” [link]

  • @julieverhage at Bloomberg talks about all the companies spending more money on “shareholders” instead of reinvesting in its business. The whole thesis is Citi's list of the top 50 "cash cow" stocks. This list of stocks generally aren’t of interest to activists, but at the same time there’s been a lot of talk about companies foregoing investing in their future for a near-term earnings boost. Key companies making this top 50 list are Apple, 3M, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Medtronic, Priceline, Visa, and Cisco [link]