Drawbridge, check. Reserve pitch, check. Arquebuses loaded, check. Lawyers, bankers, communications consultant tell how many large French companies have, in recent months, fortified their defenses. Even the public authorities are on alert. But that devil fear-they all do ? If they know that sooner or later an activist may land in the capital of a flagship tricolour to seek to destabilize it, as it happened, Unilever, or Nestlé, a fund scares them more than the other. Elliott.
The technique of fighting shareholder close has been refined in the United States by figures such as Carl Icahn, Nelson Peltz and Bill Ackman. They call the capital of a company and then pressuring the board and management up to a director position, a special dividend or sale of assets. Or a total transfer. Even General Electric and Procter & Gamble have learned to comply with their requirements.
Among these alpha males of capitalism, Paul Singer, a major donor to the republican Party, has made a name and a first name (his second actually) : his fund Elliott, which manages $ 35 billion (30 billion euros), has the reputation of being the most litigious, the most tenacious, the most aggressive. His road is paved with bosses ousted after he tried to resist her.
Last in date, Heinrich Hiesinger, chairman of the executive board of the conglomerate German Thyssenkrupp, presented, Thursday, July 5, his resignation. In the summer of 2017, the general director and the financial director of the chemist Dutch Akzo Nobel Ton Buechner and Maëlys Castella, besieged at the time by the fund activist and competitor PPG, had been put out of the game ” for health reasons “.
“I bet on a big shot by the end of the year ”
If the United States account for approximately between 50 % and 60 % of the assets of Elliott, Europe already weighs 30 % to 40 %. In the United Kingdom, the “Shiva activism” pushes…