Chris Hohn's Children’s Investment Fund has stepped up its bid to end the €8.5bn Safran-Zodiac deal

William Turvill
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Silhouette of a plane against a cloudy sky
TCI publicly launched its bid to block the French deal on Valentine's Day (Source: Getty)

Sir Chris Hohn’s activist hedge fund has stepped up its campaign to halt an €8.5bn (£7.4bn) takeover.

And now, it’s getting personal.

The Children’s Investment (TCI) Fund has written to the board members of Safran, the aircraft engine maker that has agreed to buy plane-seat maker Zodiac, threatening to sue them personally if the deal goes through and is unsuccessful.

“If you do decide to proceed with the transaction and it harms Safran, this would constitute clear negligence on your behalf,” Hohn said in the letter.

Read more: Activist investor Chris Hohn threatens to force chair out over €8.5bn deal

“We would have no choice but to seek to recover the damage suffered by the company from you personally.

“You would be at fault because the way you have decided to structure the deal makes you solely responsible for the decision.”

TCI first publicly raised concerns about the deal on Valentine’s Day, saying it had “no strategic rationale”. The fund was also unhappy that shareholders were not being given a vote on the deal.

Hohn’s latest letter, sent on Friday, added: “You have intentionally decided to exclude Safran shareholders from the approval process so you cannot claim that we, Safran shareholders, are to blame for the transaction.

Read more: Chris Hohn's activist fund has stepped up its bid to block an €8.5bn deal

“You have refused to let Safran shareholders have a vote on the merger before the takeover. This cynical design of the deal only serves to increase the scrutiny on you and intensifies the pressure on you to make the correct decision.”

Safran has been asked for comment.

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