Activist investors are playing a more constructive role in corporate America even as boards view them as a potential “nightmare,” said John Studzinski, who heads the merger and acquisitions advisory business at Blackstone Group LP.
Jana Partners LLC, the activist shareholder that has agitated for changes in four energy companies since 2011, said “numerous partners” are interested in a “strategic transaction” that would result in the breakup of oil and natural gas producer QEP Resources Inc.
Airbus Group NV gained Jana Partners LLC, the $7 billion hedge fund run by Barry Rosenstein, as an investor, which cited the manufacturer’s attractive prospects with products including the A350 wide-body aircraft.
Agrium Inc., the agricultural retailer and fertilizer producer, is avoiding a “genuine debate” over the company’s performance, said Jana Partners LLC, the hedge fund pushing for the spinoff of Agrium’s agricultural retail arm.
Viking Global Investors LP, the hedge fund run by O. Andreas Halvorsen, eliminated its entire stake in Apple Inc. in the fourth quarter, joining rivals that either exited or cut holdings as shares of the maker of iPhones and MacBooks slumped.
Jana Partners LLC, the hedge fund pressing Agrium Inc. to spin off its farm-supply retail network, raised its stake to more than 6 percent and chose five nominees in preparation for a fight to dislodge the current board.