BZWIM steps out of Temple Bar bid

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The Independent Online
BZW Investment Management plans to keep up the pressure on Temple Bar Investment Trust despite BZWIM's withdrawal yesterday of its unusual pounds 710,000 offer to take over the trust's management from Guinness Mahon.

BZWIM has backed down temporarily after the rejection of its offer earlier this week by Temple Bar's board. Lindsay Tomlinson, BZWIM's deputy chief executive, said his firm was temporarily suspending its offer while it sought additional information about the management.

Although Temple Bar is nominally managed by Tim Guinness of Guinness Mahon, Mr Tomlinson wants to know more about the individuals who run the fund on a day-to-day basis.

BZWIM is concerned that Temple Bar, headed by Sir Roland Smith, the former British Aerospace boss, has underperformed the market in the last couple of years.

Mr Tomlinson noted that an internal reorganisation within the Guinness Mahon group had led to Guinness Mahon Fund Managers being merged into Guinness Flight, best known for its management of bonds and currencies. Mr Tomlinson wants to know what this means for the management of Temple Bar's share portfolio.

BZWIM said it regretted Temple Bar's rejection of its offer since it would have increased the trust's net assets. It said it was disappointed Temple Bar had not provided 'cogent reasons' for rejecting the 'opportunity' which, it claimed, would have ensured first-class management in pursuit of the objectives of the trust.

In rejecting BZWIM's offer, Temple Bar said that its board had reconfirmed Guinness Mahon's contract to manage the trust in May after a full review. Mr Tomlinson said BZWIM would like more details of the review of the trust's management.

BZWIM has a stake of less than 3 per cent in Temple Bar, held on behalf of clients. Other Temple Bar shareholders have contacted BZWIM since it made its offer but Mr Tomlinson said they had so far expressed 'no very strong indications' of support or opposition.

No one at Guinness Mahon was available for comment.