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Activist Holdings

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Hollysys Automation Technologies (HOLI)

Ascendent Capital Partners recently acquired 8,150,238 shares of Hollysys Automation, a Beijing-based industrial-automation company. The shares were purchased between September 28 and November 3, with prices ranging from $19.14 to $22.03 per share. As a result, Ascendent Capital now holds a 13.7% stake in Hollysys Automation, owning a total of 8,491,875 shares.

Ascendent Capital has expressed its intention to acquire all the shares it doesn’t currently own by offering $26 per share in cash, which amounts to approximately $1.61 billion. This offer came after a consortium of shareholders, including Recco Control Technology and Dazheng Group Investment, expressed their interest in buying the remaining shares at $25 each in cash.

The consortium, representing a third of Hollysys shares, has requested a special shareholders’ meeting to conduct further due diligence and reserve the right to counter any competing bids. In response to Ascendent’s offer, the consortium has revised its cash bid to $26.50 per share.

Hollysys Provide Updates on Sale Process

Hollysys, a leading company in the securities-exchange and data-analytics industry, has announced that a special committee of its board is currently engaged in ongoing discussions with potential buyers. The committee, established to conduct a sale process, aims to keep stakeholders updated on any significant developments.

Advanced Stage of the Sale Process

Hollysys further revealed that the sale process is expected to enter an advanced stage by early December. At this stage, a preferred bidder will be identified, marking a crucial milestone in the company’s ongoing efforts. This announcement comes after Hollysys received unsolicited offers, which have sparked a significant rally in the company’s shares.

Positive Market Performance

As a result of these developments, Hollysys’ shares have experienced a notable surge, gaining 35% year-to-date. This positive market performance is a testament to the company’s strong position in the industry and investor confidence in its future prospects.

Thoma Bravo Reports Initial Position in Nasdaq

Nasdaq, a renowned securities-exchange and data-analytics company, has seen a significant change in its ownership as Thoma Bravo reports an initial position in the company. Thoma Bravo acquired approximately 85.6 million shares, accounting for a 14.8% interest in Nasdaq, upon the completion of Nasdaq’s acquisition of Thoma Bravo’s former portfolio company, Adenza.

Consideration and Board Appointment

The consideration for the acquisition of Adenza includes around $5.75 billion in cash and the issuance of the Nasdaq shares. Following the transaction, Nasdaq has appointed Holden Spaht, Thoma Bravo’s Managing Director, to its board. Currently comprising 12 directors, the board may also accommodate a nominee from Thoma Bravo if the company and its affiliates hold at least 10% of Nasdaq’s outstanding stock.

Nasdaq’s Performance

Nasdaq has experienced a decline of approximately 16% in its value throughout the year. However, with Thoma Bravo’s entry into its ownership structure, the company aims to leverage their expertise and foster growth in the future.

Decreases in Holdings

Donnelley Financial Solutions (DFIN)
Simcoe Capital has reduced its holding in the compliance reporting-services company to 2,741,354 shares. This figure includes 36,088 shares held directly by Simcoe Capital founder Jeffrey Jacobowitz, plus an additional 10,214 underlying restricted stock units for his service on Donnelley Financial’s board. Simcoe Capital sold 343,206 Donnelley shares on November 2nd and November 3rd at prices ranging from $55.14 to $56.30 per share. Despite the decrease, Simcoe Capital still retains a 9.4% interest in Donnelley’s stock. It’s worth noting that Donnelley’s shares have gained approximately 36.5% year to date.

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