Appraisal is Pro-Investor

According to this Financial Times report [$$$], shareholder activist campaigns targeted at M&A activity were at record levels in 2019, comprising almost half of all activist activity in 2019.

M&A activism can take many forms, but perhaps of most interest to those also interested in appraisal is activism that focuses on already announced deals.  A

Investment manager Russell Investments’ proxy guidelines lay out that the manager will “vote for proposals to restore, or provide shareholders with, rights of appraisal[.]” This, despite the same guidelines setting out a general rule that Russell will vote for mergers themselves if Glass Lewis suggests a “for” vote, except for case by case instances. This

Domini Investment Trust is a “women-led SEC registered investment adviser specializing exclusively in impact investing.” Domini’s proxy voting guidelines for 2019 set out that while Domini analyzes mergers on a “case-by-case” basis, it will vote for appraisal rights proposals. As we’ve blogged about before, and will be covering this month, investors’ proxy guidelines often favor

Recently, Vice Chancellor Slights refused to grant Carl Icahn and affiliates’ novel request for a company’s books and records in order to mount a proxy contest against Occidental for agreeing to an allegedly bad deal with Anadarko. The Vice Chancellor ruled that furthering a proxy contest was not a “proper purpose” to support the activist

Does the existence of the appraisal remedy, and its use, have an effect on arbitrage spreads? If the appraisal remedy results in lower arbitrage spreads, then one can conclude that shareholders writ large are benefiting from the appraisal remedy – the argument advanced by Professors Brian Broughman, Audra Boone, and Antonio Macias in their piece