Tuesday 13 July 2021 5:17 pm

Dan Loeb's Third Point rejects investor call for meeting

The £1bn UK investment company denied investors a meeting to tackle its share price discount and claimed doing so would be legally “ineffective.”

Dan Loeb’s Third Point Investors Limited (TPIL) has hit back at a group of activist investors in the latest clash over how the firm is run, by rejecting their calls for a shareholder meeting.

Asset Value Investors (AVI) and three other shareholders accounting for 17 per cent of TPIL’s shares and 10 per cent of voting rights requested an EGM earlier this month to address the firm’s investment policy.

AVI had previously published a letter in May criticising TPIL’s governance and share price discount, and sought to use the requested EGM to narrow the gap between the fund’s share price and the value of its assets.

TPIL, which listed in London in 2007, currently trades at around 12 per cent discount to the value of its holdings.

But in a stock exchange announcement on Wednesday, TPIL’s board said that the proposed resolution could not go ahead, as it would “inappropriately infringe on the board’s ability and obligation to manage the Company [and] would have no legal effect”.

AVI’s proposals were previously considered in a strategic review, the board said, but were rejected for “various reasons”.

“Including principally that the Board determined such actions would, over time, meaningfully reduce the trading float and overall size of the company, which would render it significantly less attractive to investors and threaten its long-term viability.”

Billionaire activist investor Dan Loeb is known for his own battles with companies, including Third Point’s calls for Prudential to separate its Asian and US operations last year.

AVI has previously complained to TPIL’s board over its dual share class structure, and has been in contact with the FCA over the matter. Across the board, AVI is known for buying shares in companies with a significant share price discount and fighting to close the gap.

TPIL’s board also said in the statement that the trust’s share price is up 28 per cent on the year so far, and it had achieved a “meaningful reduction” in the discount to around 12 per cent.

This was down from 17.5 per cent in May, and the board said it believed a share exchange facility it put forward itself at the annual meeting last week would drive it down further.