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.