Roger Yates, chairman of investment trust Electra, has fired back at corporate raider Edward Bramson, who is seeking to oust one of its directors and put in himself and his lieutenant.
“Exuberant and unsubstantiated claims are no substitute for Electra’s consistently superior track record,” said Yates. “This is very destabilising for our manager and the underlying companies we are invested in, and could be very damaging for shareholder value.”
Bramson has previously shaken up fund manager F&C through his vehicle Sherborne, and tried but failed to do the same at Electra’s rival 3i.
He has called a shareholder meeting, using his 20 per cent stake, for early next month. Last week he wrote to shareholders, who are mainly large UK institutions, claiming he could increase the value of Electra “by more than £1 billion”. His target value of about 6000p a share is more than double today’s 2689p, up 28p.
Yates says Bramson’s claim is highly questionable and he provides no detail of how value could be increased by £1 billion. He added: “No one sensible would come up with the view that Electra’s performance was declining. I generally take the view that if people want to take control and run a company, they should pay a premium.
“I think he managed to take control at F&C without doing that but through creeping control. It’s quite a beguiling message he’s trying to send but one shareholders should reject.”
Sherborne had no immediate comment today but Bramson and his proposed co-director Ian Brindle are meeting Electra investors this week to lay out their plans and address Yates’ objections.Reuse content