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Bramdean bid is best option, board claims

THE BOARD of Bramdean Alternatives, the fund run by Nicola Horlick, yesterday urged shareholders to snub proposals from Vincent Tchenguiz&rsquo;s investment vehicle Elsina to oust the board and wind down the fund.<br /><br />In a statement, the fund&rsquo;s board said that it was anticipating a takeover bid which would unlock value for investors, adding that it would reveal the identity of the mystery bidder on or before 9 June.<br /><br />The board, led by chairman Brian Larcombe, said it was entirely independent from Nicola Horlick&rsquo;s Bramdean Asset Management and pointed to the fact that the board proposed by Elsina to manage the wind-down was not independent.<br /><br />A spokesman for the company said that Elsina&rsquo;s plans amounted to a &ldquo;fire sale&rdquo; which would not result in the best outcome for investors.<br /><br />&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a takeover through the back door and on the cheap,&rdquo; he said.<br /><br />&ldquo;Shareholders should wait to see if the bid materialises because it is the quickest, best way to unlock cash.&rdquo;<br /><br />If Bramdean receives no offer by 31 July, the board said it would &ldquo;put forward proposals which will enable shareholders seeking a realisation of cash to do so over time &ndash; including the possibility of a delisting&rdquo;.<br /><br />Elsina, which owns 29 per cent of Bramdean Alternatives, has said that it has the support of 50 per cent of shareholders to remove the board and install three new directors, a claim that Bramdean refutes.<br /><br />Shareholders will vote on Elsina&rsquo;s proposals at an extraordinary general meeting requisitioned by Elsina on 18 June.<br /><br />The row began after Tchenguiz, who has invested &pound;38m in the fund, expressed displeasure at some of Bramdean&rsquo;s investments.<br /><br />Elsina declined to comment on the situation last night.