Bramson to meet F&C following surprise £16m share purchase

ACTIVIST investor Edward Bramson is expected to meet with F&C Asset Management next week after taking a £15.6m stake in the company.

Shares in F&C soared 22 per cent to 63p after Bramson’s Sherborne vehicle bought 5.2 per cent of the fund manager’s share capital. Bramson raised £105m for Sherborne in March with a mandate to buy up to 29.9 per cent of an as-yet unknown UK listed firm that was “undervalued as a result of operational difficulties”.

F&C, which was demoted from the FTSE 250 index after a spell of uncertainty over its ownership by Friends Provident saw its market value fall, is unable to meet with Bramson this week as it is in a closed period ahead of its interim results.

Sherborne said it would increase its holding in F&C, but not to a level where it would have to launch a mandatory takeover offer.

F&C is hoping to unlock value from its share price by bolting on the operation of Thames River Capital, a smaller Mayfair-based boutique. Until yesterday, F&C’s paper was down 30 per cent from the start of the year.

Bramson’s turnaround experience stretches back to the mid-1970s, when he started Hillside Capital, one of the first specialist private equity firms.