London-listed investment trust Electra Private Equity (ELTA) rises 15p to £26.71 as activist investor Edward Bramson tries to install himself and City veteran Ian Brindle to the board and implement a strategic shake-up of the private equity specialist.
The £946.3 million cap trust has been in the sights of Bramson's New York-based Sherborne Investors, which has a 19% stake in the company and wants to remove non-executive Geoffrey Cullinan as a director and overhaul the strategy. Shares flagged potential for boardroom drama here back in April.
In a statement today, Sherborne Investors says it has 'informed the board of directors of the company that, if the resolutions are passed at Electra's general meeting, it expects nominees of Sherborne Investors to lead the board in a strategic review of Electra and to present the findings to Electra's shareholders.'
Today's news follows last month's spurning of a similar request following a meeting (24 Jul) between Bramson, Electra's chairman Roger Yates and the aforementioned Cullinan. This culminated in a statement from Electra in which it said it saw 'no reason to deviate' from its hitherto successful strategy, which has 'delivered superior long-term returns for all shareholders'.
Over the 10 years to 31 March, the trust has achieved a share price total return of 268%, more than double that of the FTSE All-Share. Electra's board says its position has not changed, though it now has 21 days to call the meeting, which must be held within 28 days after that.
When Bramson crops up on a shareholder register, investors sniff a money making opportunity. He has a built a City fan club by orchestrating major changes at F&C Asset Management (FCAM), where he wrested the chairmanship in 2011 and drove through positive restructuring, as well as at promotional products group 4imprint (FOUR) and telecoms testing kit supplier Spirent Communications (SPT).