The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Activists take M&A whip hand

There’s an intense debate going on at many of the big banks over how they should engage with shareholder activists as potential drivers of M&A to release corporate value. More firmly established in the US, activists may yet have a growing role to play in Europe.

One closely watched big deal announced this year will be the $62.4 billion pursuit of Allergan Inc in the US by Valeant Pharmaceuticals of Canada. It combines all the elements. Valeant politely listed at number three on its reasons for acquiring the US company – after scale benefits with customers and cost synergies – the low-single digit corporate tax rate to which the combined company would be subject. It’s an inversion trade and, even more controversially, one being pursued in co-operation with Pershing Square, the specialist activist fund of William Ackman which had acquired a 5% stake in Allergan in the run up to announcement of Valeant’s first bid in late April.

As Euromoney went to press, both sides were still in the hissy stage. Allergan, the maker of Botox, has alleged in court that Pershing Square built up its stake with fore-knowledge of Valeant’s bid.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree