Tuesday 21 January 2020 1:52 pm

Samuel Tak Lee announces plan to vote against Shaftesbury's board at AGM

Billionaire property magnate Samuel Tak Lee announced today he will vote against West End landlord Shaftesbury’s board at a meeting this month, as a long running dispute between the pair rumbles on.  

Lee, the owner of rival London landlord Langham Estate, is the largest shareholder in Shaftesbury, and launched legal action against the firm last year over a share placing. 

In a letter to shareholders Lee said he will vote against the re-election of chief executive Brian Bickell, finance director Chris Ward and chairman Jonathan Nicholls.

He will also oppose resolutions that would allow the board to undertake further share issues, the ability of Shaftesbury to call a general meeting with 14 days notice and the directors’ remuneration report.

Lee wrote: “Having regard to the circumstances of the placing, I do not believe the current board can be relied upon to act properly in shareholders’ best interests when undertaking future share issues unless they first seek and obtain specific authority at the relevant time.” 

Lee’s legal case, which is expected to be heard in the High Court next year, alleges that Shaftesbury conducted the December 2017 share placing “improperly”.

Shaftesbury has denied the claims saying they have “no merit”.

In a statement today the company said: “Over the past two years, we have responded promptly and appropriately to numerous letters from Mr Lee’s lawyers.

“Disappointingly, despite our repeated requests, Mr Lee has not directly engaged with the board.” 

It added: “The board wholly rejects the suggestion in Mr Lee’s statement alleging mismanagement of the company’s affairs.

“The highest standards of corporate governance and behaviour are embedded in our culture and the day-to-day running of your company.” 

Shaftesbury will hold its annual general meeting on 31 January.