Business Moguls Awaken Their Inner Activists

Britain’s boardrooms are increasingly playing host to atypical activist investors. 08 June 2023 Business Moguls Awaken Their Inner Activists

Swetha Gopinath and Dinesh Nair of Bloomberg write about the new breed of activist emerging in the UK.

Once dominated by high-octane hedge fund personalities with multibillion-dollar funds behind them, the UK is now represented far more broadly across the investor universe—from telecoms moguls at BT and Vodafone, to betting bosses at 888. It’s bringing greater scrutiny of company management over leadership, strategy, capital allocation, and environmental, social and governance credentials. Europe saw a record first quarter of new activist activity, according to an April report from Lazard, with campaigns focused heavily on the UK and Germany.

A group of gambling industry veterans began pushing for change at 888 after building a 6.6% stake in the British bookmaker. The consortium, which included two former CEOs of betting firm Entain, could seek leadership or strategy changes at 888, Bloomberg News reported. Elsewhere in the FTSE, billionaire Patrick Drahi last month tightened his grip on BT and has been working closely with the telecommunications company’s management to improve a share price he sees as undervalued. Meanwhile, French billionaire Xavier Niel has built a stake in carrier Vodafone, which has faced pressure to sell assets and revive a stock that has been flagging for years.

Ali Saribas of SquareWell commented to Bloomberg stating that “Non-traditional activists can benefit from the narrative that their exceptional actions are because of exceptional circumstances. They clearly see that shareholder mobilization is possible, making activist tactics effective.”

You can access the full article here (Subscription Required).


To consume less energy via your monitor, we have enabled this screen filter.

Just move your mouse to continue browsing!