Activism is Back in the UK as Campaigns Double

Last 12 months saw 46 campaigns at 42 companies, shows Squarewell Partners’ research 12 October 2021 Activism is Back in the UK as Campaigns Double

Garnet Roach of IR Magazine pens an article on the increase in activism in the UK market. The number of activist shareholder campaigns targeting UK companies has almost doubled in the past 12 months, where 42 companies were targeted – up from 24 companies in the previous year.

The article references SquareWell’s latest study where it saw the increased activist activity to be most pronounced in FTSE 250 and AIM companies. In the FTSE 250, there were campaigns by Gopher at Playtech and Coast Capital at FirstGroup but also a series of public criticisms from top investors of companies subject to buyout offers,’ such as Spire Healthcare, G4S, Aggreko and William Hill. On the AIM market, SquareWell notes that demand for board seats remained strong but it was potential buyouts that peaked investor dissent.

Commenting on the findings, Andrew Brady, Senior Analyst at SquareWell, tells IR Magazine that ‘activism often addresses deficits between management positioning and investor expectations, whether it be on environmental issues or strategic value creation. Companies should prioritize an understanding of their shareholder base as a means of preparation for campaigns seeking to leverage these differences.’

The full article can be accessed using this link.


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