Disgruntled shareholders in troubled Bramdean, "City Superwoman" Nicola Horlick's quoted investment fund, are considering approaching the Takeover Panel after news emerged that the fund has received a takeover approach.
One adviser involved in the dispute said: "Investors are unhappy about the way the takeover talks were presented. They were only told on Thursday that Bramdean had received an approach but they have not been told whether this was solicited or not. The panel should be asked look at the events."
Ms Horlick is now fighting for her job as chief fund manager after property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz demanded on Friday that the Bramdean board be removed at an extraordinary meeting this week. Mr Tchenguiz, who owns a 29 per cent stake in Bramdean through Elsina Limited, wants the board to quit and new directors appointed to consider the fund's future, including the possibility of winding it down.
Worth £130m when it listed on the London Stock Exchange, the fund is now valued at around £70m – a negative return of 61 per cent compared to a sector fall of just 23 per cent.
Mr Tchenguiz claims he has enough shareholders to get the 50 per cent backing required to vote off the board. Bramdean has asked its advisers, Cenkos, to look at all options ranging from a sale to closing the fund.
His latest assault is not related to Bramdean's $15m (£10m) losses caused by its investment with Bernie Madoff, the US financier whose Ponzi scheme is said to have lost up to $50bn.
Ms Horlick is not a member of the board, headed by Brian Larcombe. Mr Tchenguiz, who has been urging Bramdean to restructure for the past year, said he made his demands after Mr Larcombe refused to discuss his proposals at a meeting last week.