THE two sides battling for control of private equity fund LMS Capital appeared no nearer to a deal last night after chairman Robert Rayne defied calls to leave the firm quickly.
A group that includes Rayne said he was willing to step down providing he could stay on as a director and if a plan to realise the assets was agreed.
Yesterday the prospects of that happening appeared remote, however. Shareholders are likely to be asked to choose between keeping Rayne in post, leading to a quick wind-down of the fund, or asking the independent directors to take control and carry out an “orderly wind-down”.
The “concert party”, which holds about 37 per cent of shares, said Rayne had told the board in September of his intention to step down “once a capital realisation strategy had been put in place” but wishes to remain as a director.
John Barnsley, chairman of the group of independent directors, said however that LMS would stick with its plan to give shareholders a chance to vote at an emergency general meeting, expected to be held in late November. He wants to prevent the Rayne group having any “undue influence” during the wind-down.