Back to the Future: The Return of Hostile M&A
In addition to the instant cinematic classic “Back to the Future,” the year 1985 brought us Carl Icahn’s hostile takeover of Trans World Airlines, “high-stakes drama” at Revlon, and a wave of governance changes aimed at making a hostile takeover more difficult. Thirty-five years later, many of the factors driving these events have come back to the forefront (and we’re rooting for Michael J. Fox to make this a clean sweep).
Hostile Takeovers and Shareholder Activism in a COVID-19 World: Past, Present, and Future
On September 30, Derek Zaba and Kai Liekefett published an article noting that, as the equity markets have bounced back and volatility has subsided, not only are shareholder activists reemerging in force, but companies are faced with a wave of unsolicited takeover bids from competitors and other strategics. The article also highlights action items for general counsel and their legal teams to be prepared for activism and hostile M&A during a COVID-19 world and beyond.
Rankings and Achievements
Sidley Again Ranked No. 1 by Bloomberg and FactSet for Activism Defense
Sidley was again ranked the No. 1 legal defense advisor by Bloomberg and FactSet SharkRepellent for the first three quarters of 2020. Since 2016, the members of Sidley’s Shareholder Activism practice have defended against more than 60 proxy contests (while losing only three votes) and represented issuers in more than 30 settlement agreements, more than any other defense law firm.
NACD Panel on Shareholder Activism and Hostile Takeovers
On November 4, 2020, Kai Liekefett spoke on the shareholder activism panel of the NACD Summit 2020 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
NACD Panel on ESG and Shareholder Activism
On October 1, 2020, Derek Zaba spoke on a virtual NACD panel on the intersection of ESG issues and shareholder activism.
WATCH THE WEBCAST (begins at 10:00)
Society for Corporate Governance Panel on Hostile Takeovers During COVID-19
On September 15, 2020, Kai Liekefett spoke at the Society for Corporate Governance’s Fall Conference in New York about the return of hostile takeovers.
In the News
On July 21, 2020, Kai Liekefett was quoted in The Deal’s article “Activists Prep for Arduous Second Half.”
On October 16, 2020, Kai Liekefett was quoted in The Deal’s article “SailingStone Said to Be Exploring Possible Sale.”
On July 10, 2020, Kai Liekefett was quoted in Agenda’s (a Financial Times publication) article “Activists Back With a ‘Vengeance’.”
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