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24 Jun 2011 12:35


Biz: Ralph Nader, activist investor? A consumer advocate’s Cisco grievance

  • If they can’t give shareholders value, then they have to give cash.
  • Ralph Nader • Playing activist investor in the wake of frustration with Cisco’s stock. Nader, an investor in the company (he has 18,000 shares), wrote a letter a while back complaining about the company’s low dividends, despite the fact that their stock performance has been week and they have tons of cash in the bank, and the “powerlessness of owner shareholders” that resulted from this. It’s pretty weird that the consumer advocate, of all people, is taking on this role, but hey, maybe he just thinks their shares are unsafe at any speed. source

08 Dec 2010 10:38


Biz: Bourbon’s unholy union with golf, faucets will finally end

  • Fun fact of the day: The company that makes Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Knob Creek, and a bunch of non-bourbon liquor has significant interests in two other types of business. One is golf equipment (most notably Titleist) and the other is home improvement (you know them from Moen faucets and Master Lock locks). If this sounds like a absolutely idiotic set of business interests for one company to have, activist investor William Ackman agrees with you, and is convincing the corporate parent, Fortune Brands, to split up these interests. (Ackman is also the driving force behind a who’d-a-thunk-it merger of Borders and Barnes & Noble which was proposed this week.) All this will lead up to an eventual sale of the Jim Beam brand, which ShortFormBlog is interested in buying. See, because online publishing and bourbon go together so well. (Flickr photo comes from our not-really-friend nez, who owns a bottle of Jim Beam.) source