Technology Activists Turn to Software Veteran

Activist investors have been taking on big names like Apple and Yahoo. But some prominent agitators are turning their attention to smaller fare.

Daniel Loeb has built a sizable stake in Tibco Software, a Palo Alto-based company that makes a range of products, including software that lets retailers target shoppers. He and others eyeing Tibco see a mid-size company at the heart of a big trend: software giants’ ongoing appetite for data analytics and mobile software.

Mr. Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point, well-known for a heated battle with Yahoo that began in 2011 when he accused the board of mismanagement, has become the sixth largest holder of Tibco shares, according to the firm’s latest regulatory filings. Praesidium Investment Management, another firm that has been involved in activist deals, is the fourth largest shareholder.

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Tibco showed signs of trouble in December when it reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed estimates, even as the company’s revenue beat expectations. The company also lowered earnings guidance for the current quarter.


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Activists will continue to target "companies that they think aren’t leveraging their growth prospects," says Mike Volpi of Index Ventures.

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