Dan Loeb has moved from the pen to the screen with Third Point’s new video aimed at Dow Chemical, a target of the hedge fund. It reads just like an attack ad from a heated political race.
Dan Loeb is no stranger to vitriol-infused attacks on the companies he's aiming to gain some control of through his many activist investing campaigns. Dubbed the hedge fund industry's poison pen for his letters to company boards that eviscerate his activist targets' upper management, Loeb, perhaps channeling a digital media strategic consultant, has moved on to video as his latest format to express disappointment, this time in Dow Chemical.
The video, titled “Broken Promises” takes Dow's CEO Andrew Liveris to task for many a management misstep, including, most recently, Dow's refusal to consider Third Point's plan to break up elements of the company to create more value for its shareholders, as well as for rejecting two of the hedge fund's nominees to the Dow board.
The overall effect reads like a high-end political campaign attack ad, with its foreboding piano trills and artful close-ups of Liveris's face with phrases like, of course, “Broken Promise” plastered across the screen. Launched in conjunction with a website about Third Point's mission for Dow, Value Dow, the video is an aggressive tactic, for which there isn't much precedent in the hedge fund world.
And despite the somewhat tired attack ad format, “Broken Promises”, not unlike Loeb's storied career and the activist fights he's fought throughout, is pretty fun to watch.