Hedge fund activism: insights from a French clinical study
Over the period from October 2006 to May 2008, Atos Origin, a French information technology company, was the target of two activist hedge funds, Centaurus and Pardus. This article investigates in detail how the activists initiated their actions, how the management organized its defence and how both were received by the market. The analysis reveals that, although Atos seemed to be an attractive opportunity, the funds failed in their primary objective, the sale of the target. In fact, the chairmen of Atos succeeded in discrediting the two hedge funds by getting support in the French context, not particularly prone to and sometimes even hostile towards shareholder's interests. Our findings show that the success/failure classification used in large-sample studies, and based very often on officially stated goals, bears a considerable risk of misinterpretation. The Atos case shows that empirical studies should more heavily rely on what really matters for hedge fund activism, i.e. the sale of the target, spin-offs or cash-outs. While governance related motives are often mentioned and easily enforced, they do not make activism profitable and cannot, by themselves, be considered as primary motives for hedge fund activism. As a consequence, the success of hedge fund activism should be assessed considering primary motives only.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 21 (2011)
Issue (Month): 16 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RAFE20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RAFE20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:apfiec:v:21:y:2011:i:16:p:1225-1234. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.