Activist shareholders have ramped up the pressure on companies over the last three years, according to a new report, leaving few big companies immune to their advances.
There were over 320 activist interventions - when a shareholder uses their stake in a company to put pressure on management – across the world in the first nine months of 2013, research by law firm Linklaters found. This marked an 88 percent rise on the same period in 2010.
Larger businesses – with market capitalizations of more than $2 billion – were now a serious target, the report said, following a 129 percent rise in activist investments at these mid- and large-cap companies.
The research, published Monday, comes amid what some have dubbed the "golden era of activist investors."
(Read more: Welcome to the golden age of activist investors)
High profile activist investors include Carl Icahn (pushing for an Apple share buyback), Dan Loeb (who has put pressure on Sotheby's CEO to leave) and Bill Ackman (who called Herbalife's business model a "pyramid scheme.")