Shareholder Activism: A European Perspective

20/06/2017

In recent years, there has been significant growth in shareholder activism. These “activist shareholders” are fund managers (typically hedge funds) who usually acquire minority interests in listed public companies and then actively seek to influence the board of the company with a view to generating profits for themselves and other shareholders.

This increase has been driven in part by the success that activist shareholders have enjoyed. These activist shareholders are increasingly looking for targets in Europe as well as in their traditional US market.

In practice, the expression “activist shareholder” covers a broad range of strategies, ranging from hostile and even litigious battles with the company in question, through to constructive and consensual discussions with the company’s board.
For their part, companies need to understand and to engage with activist shareholders and to be familiar with the legal tools available to help them resist approaches that will not benefit the company and its shareholders as a whole.

Each European jurisdiction has its own characteristics and, to some extent, its own laws. The attached publication aims to explain the landscape across Europe’s main markets, and to highlight the key differences in each of those markets.

Publication
Shareholder Activism: A European Perspective
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Authors

Dr Stephan Werlen
Dr Stephan Werlen, LL.M.
Partner
Zurich
Picture of Barney Hearnden
Barney Hearnden
Partner
London
Picture of Pietro Cavasola
Pietro Cavasola
Managing Partner
Rome
Picture of Carlos Pena
Carlos Peña
Partner
Madrid
Martina Schmid
Dr. Martina Schmid
Partner
Stuttgart
Picture of Reinout Slot
Reinout Slot
Partner
Amsterdam
Picture of Bruno Zabala
Bruno Zabala
Counsel
Paris
Picture of Jean Robert Bousquet
Jean-Robert Bousquet
Partner
Paris
Picture of Peter Huber
Peter Huber
Managing Partner
Vienna
Picture of Vincent Dirckx
Vincent Dirckx
Partner
Brussels
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