Laxey blasts Alliance for withholding details

THE ongoing dispute between Alliance Trust and activist investor Laxey Partners has taken another twist, with Alliance being accused of withholding strategic information.

Laxey has been pushing for the £2.9bn investment trust – the country’s biggest – to introduce tough new rules to help combat its hefty discount.

Laxey argues a share buyback mechanism to shrink the discount – the amount Alliance shares trade below its net asset value – should automatically kick in if it rises above a certain level.

Alliance’s discount is currently 15.1 per cent, compared to 12 per cent at rival Witan and nine per cent at Scottish Mortgage.

Laxey says Alliance – which has been undertaking ad hoc share buybacks – has been holding closed meetings with certain large shareholders about its strategy. The activist investor hopes it can benefit from reducing the discount, which is detrimental to shareholder value.