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The analyst further cites the company's margin expansion and defensive steps such as becoming incorporated in the Netherlands, where it is harder for major companies to launch hostile bids. Kelleher expects Unilever to grow its earnings faster than the industry average as its management reaches its operating margin targets, adding that the company's dividend yield is also "attractive in a low-rate environment".
The boardroom changes have reignited speculation Arsenal may be set for a takeover, given Bracewell-Smith - who described the turn of events as "appalling" - is now no longer subject to the director's lockdown agreement designed to fend off any potential hostile bids.
"We are expecting a much larger number of hostile bids this year supported by the huge levels of capital available."
"An inappropriate response to a hostile bid can damage share price, investor sentiment or management team credibility so it is important that companies are alert to predatory acquirers.
Although the Livedoor-NBS flap signals that hostile bids for Japanese companies remain unwelcome, offering M & A advice is acceptable.
The number of friendly deals dwarfs the number of hostile bids. Thus, even if staggered boards have only a miniscule effect on the target's ability to obtain a better offer in friendly deals, the net effect of such improvement is likely to outweigh the loss from hostile bids blocked by staggered boards.
NatWest is considering selling some of its assets as a way to fend off the hostile bids, and its branch network is estimated to be worth 1.5 billion pounds (about 270 billion yen), the newspaper said.
And having considered the deal, PC Docs board issued a statement which read: "The terms of Open Text's proposal are extremely one-sided, ill conceived and onerous." Ben Swirsky, chairman of PC Docs, added, "In the best interests of our employees, customers and shareholders, we will not allow Open Text's conduct to distract us from our core business." The terms of the merger offer give PC Docs' shareholders a significant premium of close to 40% over their pre-deal share price, but so far, Open Text has declined to state whether it will take this offer directly to PC Docs' stock holders in a hostile bid. Such a move would be extremely unusual within the software industry where hostile bids run the risk of alienating the target's key employees.
Hostile bids have traditionally been frowned upon by European companies but attitudes may be changing.
'Barclays and National Australia Bank might be more realistic bidders, with an outside chance of Royal Bank of Scotland being interested, but the climate of the UK sector does not feel like it favours hostile bids.'
Companies pursuing hostile bids in Ohio, if successful, also face a three-year moratorium on selling off the target company's assets to help pay down acquisition debt.
The Pac-Man defence has become increasingly rare in the States since the 1980s, partly because companies launching hostile bids now make sure they have their own defensive measures in place before going on the attack.