Tuesday 11 June 2019 10:28 am

West End landlord Shaftesbury sued by tycoon shareholder Samuel Tak Lee

Hong Kong billionaire Samuel Tak Lee has launched legal proceedings against one of London’s largest landlords over a capital raise.

West End property group Shaftesbury announced that Lee, its largest shareholder, was suing the company over a share placing in December 2017 and was seeking £10.4m in damages.

Read more: West End landlord Shaftesbury braced for court row with tycoon shareholder

The pair have been embroiled in a public heated dispute over the past 18 months.

Lee, who owns a 26 per cent holding worth £700m, claims that the board approached rival shareholder Norges Bank more than a month before the capital raising, but only notified him on the morning of the announcement.

The property magnate, who initially threatened legal action earlier this year, said he was left with just hours to secure finance to acquire new shares and maintain his own stake.

Shaftesbury, which owns huge swathes of West End areas such as Carnaby Street and Chinatown, has denied any attempts to actively reduce Lee’s stake, saying that the fundraising was a necessary means of funding new property acquisitions and an alternative to taking on more debt.

Read more: Shaftesbury boosts West End property revenue

“The proceedings raise the same allegations and complaints that have been the subject of extended correspondence received from Mr Lee’s lawyers, and public statements from Mr Lee himself over the last 18 months,” Shaftesbury said in a statement, adding the claims had no merit and would be defended robustly.

It added: “The board is disappointed that Mr Lee is continuing with this course of action.”