Cayzer board beats rebels in clapometer stakes

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The Independent Online

The board of the Cayzer family trust enjoyed a small victory against rebel shareholders yesterday after registering a win on the clapometer at the trust's annual meeting.

The rebels – led by the City grandees Lord Rotherwick, Nigel Cayzer and Ian Molson – turned up to demand that their holdings in the private trust be exchanged for the publicly traded shares of the trust's main asset, its stake in Caledonia Investments.

Under the present arrangement, they can liquidate their holdings in the trust only at a hefty discount to the underlying value of the assets in Caledonia's sprawling portfolio. They are backed by legendary bon viveur Sir James Cayzer.

A showdown was in store at yesterday's meeting after the rebels circulated a letter among fellow shareholders earlier this month criticising the way that Peter Buckley, himself a member of the Cayzer dynasty, had discharged his responsibility for managing the trust and Caledonia. But the meeting's only applause was reserved for Mr Buckley's responses to their challenges.

A source in the meeting said: "He got all the claps. The rebels got none."

A spokesman for the rebels said Mr Buckley's responses had not answered their criticisms, but "progress had been made".