Contributed By CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati
In Austria, activists seeking to encourage companies to enter certain M&A transactions, spin-offs or major divestitures are hardly seen. There may have been very rare M&A cases where the picture may have looked rather the opposite – that hostile acquisitions or takeovers with the likely intention to liquidate, restructure or dispose of large parts of the target business and/or workforce may in rare cases have triggered certain activism or involvement (typically on a discussion and negotiation level rather than by strikes) by politicians or trade unions. But undoubtedly, cases exist where activists, typically minority shareholders, have sought to reinforce their ideas by putting pressure on management. There was a case, for example, where a shareholder publicly criticised the management strategy in Austrian newspapers.