London-listed fund manager Liontrust has stretched the deadline for its potential £96m takeover of Swiss rival GAM today amid a spat with a group of rebel shareholders.
Liontrust launched a bid for ailing fund manager GAM earlier this year but has since been engaged in a raging tug-of-war with a group of shareholders called NewGAMe, backed by French tycoon Xavier Niel.
NewGAMe claimed Liontrust’s offer undervalued the firm and contained an unacceptable “exit condition” relating to GAM’s fund management services (FMS) business. Liontrust has already waived the exit condition and pushed back the deadline for shareholders to offer up their shares.
However, in a statement this morning, the firm announced it would now delay its deadline further until 4th August.
“The main offer Period is being extended to give additional time for Liontrust to engage in constructive discussions with GAM shareholders, including NewGAMe, and allow shareholders to consider the series of additional announcements Liontrust has issued in relation to the Proposed Acquisition,” Liontrust said.
“Liontrust has made an offer for the entire issued share capital of GAM that it believes will provide a positive outcome for GAM’s shareholders, clients and employees including its investment managers.”
Bosses at Liontrust said its offer is “based on extensive due diligence, a comprehensive understanding of GAM’s financial situation” and the fact that it does not believe GAM is “viable as a standalone business”.
NewGAMe, backed by French tycoon Xavier Niel, has launched a partial counter offer for GAM and this week called on regulators to step in and stop GAM “spreading misleading information about the merits” of its offer.