How activist investors can create chaos – or huge profits

European and Irish companies are increasingly being targeted by investors looking to drive strategic change and grow their bottom line

Siobhan Talbot, group managing director, Glanbia, the Kilkenny-headquartered nutrition group that was targeted by Clearway Capital in April. Picture Dylan Vaughan.

Boardroom battles, public campaigns and aggressive letters.

Having an activist investor on the shareholder register can cause boards and management teams many a sleepless night, and those at Irish companies are having more than their fair share of late.

In the past five years, the proportion of European-headquartered corporates that were targeted each year by an activist – an investor who purchases stakes in a company with a view to influencing and driving strategic change ...