Dealcast: Activism trends in 2020

As activist investors broaden their scope and adjust their tactics, more buysiders are adopting activist tactics.

Some activists are now looking to create value by improving companies’ ESG performance. Meanwhile, their targets often prefer closed-door engagement – a wish which activists are increasingly accommodating.

Add to this the emergence of such funds as The Church Commissioners for England to the ranks of those engaging in forms of shareholder activism.

Big changes are underway in this space.

Activistmonitor’s William Mace and Claudia De Meulemeester joined us to talk about these emerging trends in shareholder activism.

Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro Pablo Mayo Cerqueiro Financial Services Correspondent, Acuris

Insurers and banks rethink operations as exchange consolidation deepens

European financial services companies experienced lower levels of M&A in 2019 versus the year before both in terms of transaction volume and value, according to Mergermarket data. However, industry dealmakers are tipped to remain busy, as insurers and banks review their operations while bourses and private equity investors scout for deals.

Elaine Green Elaine Green Editor, Mergermarket

Europe 2019 M&A dented by US-China trade war; ports, airports eyed for 2020

Continued uncertainty over the US-China trade war, as well a mood of caution caused by the disruption of Europe’s Transport sector in the face of new technologies and regulations, created a hard landing in the second half of 2019, dealmakers told this news service. Still, there are pockets of optimism for 2020 as consolidation moves apace and low-cost opportunities arise for those with money to spend, they added.

Amy-Jo Crowley Amy-Jo Crowley Head of TMT, EMEA, Mergermarket

Technology race supports strong M&A pipeline amid lack of megadeals

A lack of megadeals compared to the year prior caused European TMT M&A activity to decline by 36.3% in value in 2019 to EUR 108.4bn, according to Mergermarket data. Based on deal volume, however, the region hit a record high notching up a total of 1,413 TMT deals in 2019 compared to 1,338 in 2018.

Tipping Point: Shareholder Activism: Shift to bigger, healthier targets

In a conversation with host Tom Cane, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s Keith Gottfried and Acuris’ Ed Mullane tell the story of North American shareholder activism, picking apart its evolution from a practice with a deep value approach of investing in dysfunctional, illiquid small-cap companies to one that focuses on larger, successful companies, where the activist comes in with a thesis to unlock value, often through M&A. Why has this shift taken place over the years, and where is activism heading? What kind of M&A demands are we likely to see this year?