Investor Activism May Surge in Canada as Slowdown Takes a Toll – by Layan Odeh (Bloomberg News – Janury 24, 2023)

(Bloomberg) — Shareholder activism is poised to grow in Canada this year, as investors turn up the pressure on management teams for better returns after a tumultuous year in markets, according to a top corporate lawyer.

“Shareholders are seeing a significant amount of red on their screens, and now they have had time to try to figure out which of these companies should be a target and which of these companies they can actually effect change at,” Walied Soliman, chairman of Norton Rose Fulbright in Canada, said in an interview.

Canada saw 26 new activist campaigns in 2022, down from 30 a year earlier, according to the Bloomberg global activism league tables. Norton Rose was the leading law firm in Canada, and among the top 10 globally, for advising companies in activist situations.

One of the most notable campaigns of 2022 was Elliott Investment Management’s push for change at oil producer Suncor Energy Inc., the country’s second-largest oil producer by market value. Elliott launched a broadside at Suncor’s safety record and operating results, saying it was time for an overhaul of management.

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