Legends4Legends, Amsterdam, September 2017
The Hedge Fund Journal
By Hamlin Lovell
CIAM: Championing the interests of minority shareholders
Hot on the heels of their success with Euro Disney, London and Paris-based activist CIAM has secured another victory for minority shareholders, in SFR versus Altice. For the second time in ten years the French regulator has blocked a deal. “Altice tried to squeeze out France’s number two mobile operator, SFR, at a cheap price. We disputed Altice’s fair value opinion on several grounds: it excluded two valuation methods (comparables and past transactions) and it used the lowest metric for SFR combined with the highest for Altice,” explains CIAM co-founder and managing partner, Anne Sophie d’Andlau. “Altice threatened minority shareholders with the highly unusual tactic of charging them a management fee of about 3% of revenues. We wrote to Altice board members reminding them of their duty to minority shareholders; one board member resigned,” she adds.
CIAM also filed a complaint alleging misuse of corporate assets around, amongst other matters, a related party property deal. Eventually this year Altice’s offer of EUR 34.5 per share was 38% above its initial tender of EUR 24.7. CIAM’s strategy has annualised at around 11% over the past four years, and is up 21% in 2017 to September, with single digit volatility and low equity beta. CIAM donates 25% of their performance fee to charities.