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Alternative Market Briefing

Industrials sector becomes magnet for activists in Europe

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

Industrial companies are now predicted to be most in demand from activist investors according to the findings of global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal's (A&M) latest analysis and predictor of shareholder activism in Europe.

The study titled "A&M Activist Alert", or "AAA" revealed that of the 148 European companies predicted to be under threat from public activist targeting, 56 of these are U.K. companies.

"This cements the U.K.'s status as the most attractive market in Europe for activists," said the study.

Throughout Europe, conglomerates face heightened likelihood of activism. Uneven performance by division increases the likelihood of being targeted by activists seeking to improve the performance of weak business units or force their sale, it said.

A key driver of this trend are private equity firms eager to deploy capital on public to private spin-offs.

Industrials companies make up the largest number of entries on the target list (45 in total). This sector has the greatest concentration of conglomerates in Europe (while Industrials account for 26% of the companies analyzed by AAA, they make up 37% of European conglomerates analyzed).

The Consumer sector also scores highly on the activist radar (43 in total), but these companies are starting to fall out of favor, driven by two opposing forces. Many potential targets - particularly in Retail - have now simply become too weak to draw the interest o......................

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