Jana's Rosenstein Sees Best Activist Environment In Quarter-Century

Oct 8 2010 | 10:48am ET

Expect big things from activist hedge funds, according to one prominent activist hedge fund manager.

Jana Partners' Barry Rosenstein, speaking at the Excellence in Investing conference in San Francisco, said there are more activist opportunities now than at any point in the last 25 years. Rosenstein noted that cash on corporate balance sheets currently represents 12% of company assets, a level he calls "unsustainable," while low stock prices and low corporate borrowing rates make "acquisitions very attractive."

Rosenstein specifically mentioned Dutch postal company TNT and research firm Charles River Laboratories as strong prospects. Unsurprisingly, Jana has sizeable stakes in both firms.

Rosenstein also cited an urgency among private equity firms as one source of pressure for an uptick in acquisitions. P.E. firms have some $500 billion in uncommitted capital, with about half set to be returned to investors within five years if it is not invested.

"Guess what?" Rosenstein asked. "They're going to find a way to spend it, not give it back to their investors."


In Depth

U.S. Treasury Moves on Reinsurance Loophole

Apr 24 2015 | 5:11pm ET

The U.S. Treasury Department has released proposed rules aimed at limiting the ability...

Lifestyle

Puerto Rico Woos The Rich But So Far Gains Little

Apr 17 2015 | 2:45am ET

Hedge fund manager Rob Rill grins. He has just had word that U.S. financial regulators...

Guest Contributor

Opportunities Ahead: Asian Fixed Income and Currency Markets

Apr 24 2015 | 6:18am ET

For hedge funds focusing on Asia, the policy uncertainty, unclear interest rate...

 

Editor's Note