3i has upper hand in Electra struggle

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The Independent Online
ELECTRA, the venture capital group fighting a pounds 1.25bn bid from 3i, last night appeared to be heading for defeat at today's shareholder meeting.

Institutions accounting for at least 24.6 per cent of its shares were reported to be preparing to vote against the board's reconstruction proposals. 3i needs 25 per cent of the votes to be sure of blocking Electra's plans to buyback 40 per cent of its shares and wind the trust up although with at least 10 per cent of the shareholders expected not to vote, Electra's hopes of surviving looked slim, although neither side would comment on which way they expected the vote to go.

GE Investment, the US pension fund has said it will be voting its 2 per cent on Electra's behalf. Equitable Life with 4.5 per cent and US Steel Carnegie with 3.1 per cent are also believed to be intending to back Electra today. Against that are ranged the Prudential with 7.7 per cent, Legal & General with 4 per cent, Standard Life with 4.2 per cent, Philips & Drew with 5.8 per cent, Franklin with 2.3 per cent and Royal Sun Alliance with 0.6 per cent.

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