International Press Coverage of CIAM

CIAM ready for legal battle against SFR buyout

Activist Insight

Paris-based hedge fund CIAM has told Activist Insight that they will watch closely the French market regulator's decision on Altice's bid to acquire complete control of telecoms company SFR. Last week, the investment firm sent a letter to the AMF (Autorité des marchés financiers) saying that there were irregularities in Altice's offer, and asked the regulator to intervene. In a Wednesday interview, the investment firm's co-founder Anne-Sophie D'Andlau said that, whatever the AMF's decision, they "will not let it go." "Several minority investors have called us after the letter. They called from France, from the rest of Europe, and even from America. There is a high level of discontent. We are ready to go down the legal route if necessary," she said. A decision by the AMF on Altice's all-stock tender offer for the 22.3% of the SFR's shares it does not already own was expected for Tuesday. However, the regulator delayed the decision by at least two weeks. Altice's bid was submitted earlier in September, and valued SFR's stock at 24.72 euros - a 2.6% premium to the unaffected price. CIAM believes that Altice wants to "squeeze the minorities out." To take the company private, the bidder needs to gain control of 95% of the outstanding shares. In its letter to the AMF, CIAM claimed that a report by an independent expert hired by SFR to evaluate the deal was clearly biased. In addition, CIAM believes that the SFR independent directors who supervised the adviser's work were not really independent. Merger arbitrage lists among the main strategies adopted by CIAM. Around a quarter of the hedge fund's portfolio is dedicated to bids that undervalue the target companies. In 2015, the investment firm got in the way of The Walt Disney Company's attempt to buyout its French subsidiary Euro Disney. CIAM started a legal battle against the merger, and an appeal on the case is still pending at the French Court of Cassation. A criminal proceeding on the issue is also still ongoing. "We are working a lot behind the scenes on this issue," D'Andlau told Activist Insight on Wednesday. In 2013, CIAM also waged a campaign against Chinese conglomerate Fosun International's attempted takeover of vacation villages operator Club Méditerranée, managing to have the deal frozen by regulators. Eventually, Italian investor Andrea Bonomi made a competing offer, triggering a two-year-long bidding war for the French company - which was won by Fosun. CIAM also teamed up with other funds to push Vivendi to increase a bid to acquire full control of Canal+. "Over the last three years, we pursued around seven-eight activist campaigns, and only 30-50% of our portfolio has been dedicated to activist positions," D'Andlau told Activist Insight, adding that when they are not involved in merger arbitrage campaigns, they prefer to work behind the scenes.


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Activist InsightCIAM
L'OPE d'Altice sur SFR contestée par des actionnaires minoritaires

Les Echos rapporte que plusieurs minoritaires de SFR, dont CIAM qui a notamment envoyé un courrier à l'Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), s'estiment lésés dans l'offre publique d'échange simplifiée d'Altice pour racheter leur part (22,5% du capital). Les Echos rappelle également la victoire de CIAM dans son combat lors de l'OPA sur le Club Med en 2013.


Les Echos reports that several of SFR's minority shareholders, including CIAM, sent a letter to the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) noting that feel they have been wronged in Altice's offer to buy back their share (22.5% of the capital). Les Echos notes the success that CIAM had with Club Med in 2013 on a similar issue.


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Les EchosCIAM
Le fonds CIMA poursuit Disney

Tandis que le prix de l’action Euro Disney a chuté de 99% depuis 1990, l’actionnaire majoritaire Walt Disney Co a engrangé en 25 ans plusieurs milliards d’euros de revenus grâce au parc parisien. Le Luxemburger Wort rapporte ainsi que CIAM, qui gère le fonds CIMA qui est lui-même actionnaire d’Euro Disney, a décidé de saisir la justice française.

Luxemburger Wort reports that Euro Disney shares have lost 99% of their value since 1990 while the majority shareholder The Walt Disney Company garnered billions of euros of income in 25 years thanks to the Parisian park. It reports that as a result, CIAM, a shareholder in Euro Disney, has decided to go to the French courts.

Article (French)

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Luxemburger WortCIAM
Tangled: Minority Shareholders Wage Legal Battle Over Euro Disney

The Wall Street Journal reports on the French legal battle of CIAM and other minority shareholders opposing Euro Disney and its majority owner the Walt Disney Company over the royalties obtained by Walt Disney while Euro Disney’s assets have been undervalued. CIAM notes that small shareholders weren’t made aware of the true value of the firm’s assets and the health of its business.


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Wall Street JournalCIAM
Les 50 qui ont fait l'actualité en 2015

CIAM a été sélectionné par Option Finance pour faire partie de sa liste des 50 qui ont fait l’actualité en 2015, notamment pour leur combat contre The Walt Disney Company afin qu’il revoie son offre faite aux actionnaires minoritaires pour le rachat d’Euro Disney. Option Finance rappelle également le succès de CIAM dans son combat lors de l'OPA sur le Club Med en 2013.

CIAM was selected by Option Finance to be part of its list of 50 that made the news in 2015, in relation to its fight against The Walt Disney Company where CIAM urged it to review the offer made to minority shareholders for the acquisition of Euro Disney. Option Finance also notes CIAM’s in its fight against a takeover bid for Club Med in 2013.


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Option FinanceCIAM