Myerson back in bid to oust Sapro board

Marion Dakers
CONTROVERSIAL investor Brian Myerson, who was banned from City takeover work for three years in 2010, is waging war against the board of a London-listed property fund.

Myerson, the shareholder who shook up Liberty, Blacks Leisure and Scholl before getting the “cold shoulder” from UK regulators, is now putting pressure on fellow investors in South African Property Opportunities (Sapro) to oust the board immediately.

Last week he sent a letter to institutions such as Standard Life, Deutsche Bank and SVM urging them to make “much needed changes to the company’s management team” in the wake of “unacceptable loss of value”.

“Frankly the new management team are inexperienced and unequipped to do the job,” Myerson told City A.M. “Not a penny has been sent back to shareholders.”

The firm has said it is considering his request for an EGM.

He helped float Sapro on London’s Alternative Investment Market in 2006, but has repeatedly lobbied the group since leaving three years ago.

The South African, whose £11m divorce hearings made headlines in 2009, made his name as a tub-thumping investor alongside Julian Treger in their Active Value vehicle.

He set up Principle Capital, which owns a 14.4 per cent stake in Sapro, in 2004. But he failed to disclose that he was working with two colleagues to buy up shares in Principle Capital Investment Trust in a bid to push through board changes.

Myerson, along with Daniel Posen and Brian Padgett, became the first investors in 20 years to be subject to the Takeover Panel’s “cold shoulder” powers two years ago.

He has kept busy since his effective expulsion from the City, helping manage investments worth around $1bn through Principle, where he remains executive chairman. He said yesterday he continues to look for investments in several markets – including the UK.