The Surprising Market Response to Activist Hedge Funds

WSJ – Is hedge-fund activism good or bad? This question has dominated financial debate this year, as hedge funds besiege on average nearly one company a day seeking to shake up managements. This month’s battle over the future of Vivendi follows recent activist campaigns at Dow Chemical, DuPont, PepsiCo, Sotheby’s, Yahoo and many others. Martin Lipton—a prominent lawyer who has defended companies against agitating shareholders since the 1980s—labels the new efforts a “war” and warns that “activist hedge funds are winning.”

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