Plot thickens in Bramdean battle after Horlick is revealed as bidder
Name disclosed ahead of EGM called by Tchenguiz
Wednesday 10 June 2009
Nicola Horlick, dubbed the City's "superwoman", has been unmasked as the mystery bidder for Bramdean Alternatives, the fund she set up and manages, putting her on a collision course with the fund's rebel investor Vincent Tchenguiz.
The independent board of Bramdean Alternatives released a statement yesterday revealing Ms Horlick's investment vehicle Petersfield Asset Management had approached with an indicative offer at the end of April.
The board announced on 21 May that it was "continuing to give this approach detailed consideration" while the bidder conducted due diligence. It also pledged to reveal the bidder's identity no later than yesterday.
Ms Horlick is chief executive of fund manager Bramdean Asset Management (BAM), which she set up in 2004.
There are, as yet, no details on those backing bid, but it is understood Ms Horlick wants to present shareholders with an alternative to the proposals to have the fund wound up.
A spokeswoman for BAM said the bid's details, including the price, "were not ready yet", and would not be presented before the extraordinary general meeting called by Mr Tchenguiz's investment vehicle, Elsina, this month. One fund investor questioned how the due diligence was still going on for a fund Ms Horlick set up and ran.
Elsina has called for the board to be ousted and the fund liquidated, saying its proposals were backed by more than half the investors. Elsina, which owns a 28.7 per cent stake in Bramdean Alternatives, declined to comment.
The situation at Bramdean Alternatives has driven a wedge between Ms Horlick and Mr Tchenguiz, who used to talk every week and still work in the same building.
Rumours yesterday that peace talks had broken out were understood to be wide of the mark, but the two sides are expected to meet before the EGM.
Petersfield first approached Bramdean Alternatives on 17 March, the fund's board said. Ms Horlick manages Bramdean Alternatives' investments, but is not on the board.
A spokesman for the board said: "The board will treat the offer the same as any other." Yet it realised that Ms Horlick's bid could cause issues for shareholders and held discussions with the UK Listing Authority over her close links to the fund.
They decided that the knowledge could influence voting behaviour at the EGM so revealed the name "as an exercise in transparency and underlining the independence of the board", the board's spokesman said.
Bramdean Alternatives invests in hedge fund and private equity assets. It has suffered in the downturn with net asset value at $181.6m in April, down from $257.7m when it listed in 2007.
Ms Horlick was known as "superwoman" after becoming one of the most prominent women in the City at a young age while bringing up five children. Her reputation was dented last year after she revealed Bramdean Alternatives had lost heavily from investing with Bernard Madoff.
Mr Tchenguiz said last month that the fund could be worth nothing in two years, after the share price has dropped by half in the past two years. He wants to wind up the fund as he does not think a sale will bring satisfactory returns.
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassingly brilliant leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Israel-Gaza crisis: ‘We just want it to end… We don’t deserve to live like this’
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
iJobs Money & Business
£38000 - £42000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: Required skills:Previo...
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...