Charter chair vents ire over Schroders

THE CHAIRMAN of Charter International, the engineering group that roused its shareholders’ anger during a £1.5bn takeover battle in August, has hit out at fund manager Richard Buxton for criticising the deal.

Lars Emilson (right) attacked Buxton, head of UK equities at Schroders, for his outspoken views on the sale process.

Charter rebuffed two offers from turnaround investor Melrose in favour of a higher bid from smaller US rival Colfax, but was heavily criticised by long-only shareholders who held Melrose shares and saw a chance to continue to invest in Charter after a sale.

Emilson accused Buxton of “destroying more than he achieved” in an interview at the weekend.

“I can think of various scenarios where Mr Buxton more or less affected this process negatively... he might have given Melrose the impression that it didn’t need to bid more,” he said.

“We knew all along what the value of the company was. Mr Buxton didn’t.”

Buxton responded that “Schroders had been a Charter shareholder longer than Mr Emilson had been chairman”.

“As for [our move] being unhelpful or destabilising, I reject that,” he said separately.

We want to participate in the growth of Howden over the next five years... We would vote against any efforts to sell it

It is dis-appointing that the opportunity was not taken by the Charter board... to engage with Melrose

We regard it as a victory for short-termism and a defeat for shareholders with a long term... horizon