AC Immune SA’s (NASDAQ:ACIU) market cap surged US$23m last week, private equity firms who have a lot riding on the company were rewarded
- Private Equity
- December 31, 2022
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- Significant control over AC Immune by vc/pe firms implies that this group likely has considerable sway over management and governance-related decisions
- The top 4 shareholders own 58% of the company
- Ownership research along with analyst forecasts data help provide a good understanding of opportunities in a stock
To get a sense of who is truly in control of AC Immune SA (NASDAQ:ACIU), it is important to understand the ownership structure of the business. And the group that holds the biggest piece of the pie are private equity firms with 39% ownership. In other words, the group stands to gain the most (or lose the most) from their investment into the company.
Clearly, private equity firms benefitted the most after the company’s market cap rose by US$23m last week.
Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about AC Immune.
Check out our latest analysis for AC Immune
What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About AC Immune?
Many institutions measure their performance against an index that approximates the local market. So they usually pay more attention to companies that are included in major indices.
AC Immune already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. It is not uncommon to see a big share price drop if two large institutional investors try to sell out of a stock at the same time. So it is worth checking the past earnings trajectory of AC Immune, (below). Of course, keep in mind that there are other factors to consider, too.
It would appear that 9.6% of AC Immune shares are controlled by hedge funds. That worth noting, since hedge funds are often quite active investors, who may try to influence management. Many want to see value creation (and a higher share price) in the short term or medium term. dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG is currently the company’s largest shareholder with 23% of shares outstanding. With 16% and 9.6% of the shares outstanding respectively, Varuma AG and BVF Partners L.P. are the second and third largest shareholders. Additionally, the company’s CEO Andrea Pfeifer directly holds 3.0% of the total shares outstanding.
On looking further, we found that 58% of the shares are owned by the top 4 shareholders. In other words, these shareholders have a meaningful say in the decisions of the company.
Researching institutional ownership is a good way to gauge and filter a stock’s expected performance. The same can be achieved by studying analyst sentiments. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of AC Immune
The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. Management ultimately answers to the board. However, it is not uncommon for managers to be executive board members, especially if they are a founder or the CEO.
Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.
We can report that insiders do own shares in AC Immune SA. In their own names, insiders own US$5.0m worth of stock in the US$141m company. It is good to see some investment by insiders, but we usually like to see higher insider holdings. It might be worth checking if those insiders have been buying.
General Public Ownership
The general public– including retail investors — own 29% stake in the company, and hence can’t easily be ignored. While this size of ownership may not be enough to sway a policy decision in their favour, they can still make a collective impact on company policies.
Private Equity Ownership
With a stake of 39%, private equity firms could influence the AC Immune board. Some might like this, because private equity are sometimes activists who hold management accountable. But other times, private equity is selling out, having taking the company public.
Private Company Ownership
It seems that Private Companies own 9.2%, of the AC Immune stock. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it’s hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.
It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand AC Immune better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We’ve spotted 3 warning signs for AC Immune you should be aware of.
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.
NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.