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Electra secures adviser backing, rushes out results before vote

Shareholder advisers back under-fire Electra, as trust rushes out strong results ahead of crunch vote.

Electra secures adviser backing, rushes out results before vote

Under-fire investment trust Electra Private Equity (ELTA ) has secured the backing of three major shareholder advisers ahead of its showdown with activist Sherborne Investors (SIGB) next week.

Institutional Shareholder Services, Glass Lewis and Pensions & Investment Research Consultants have recommended Electra shareholders vote against Sherborne Investors, which is attempting to gain two seats on the trust's board. A vote on the proposals will take place at an extraordinary general meeting on 5 November.

In the latest stage of its battle against the Electra board, Sherborne yesterday published a series of letters between it and the trust.

The news comes after Electra yesterday rushed out full-year results around a month early, showing a 25% rise in net asset value over the 12 months to the end of September, versus a 2.3% rise in the FTSE All-Share. The shares rose 24.2% over the same period.

'Electra's performance continues to be extremely strong, with net asset value increasing by over £470 million in the two years to 30 September 2015, driven by excellent performance in the investment portfolio and impressive uplifts from realisations,' said Electra chairman Roger Yates.

'We are always interested to hear good suggestions as to how Electra's performance could be improved. In the case of Sherborne Investors, we have engaged in much dialogue but been offered absolutely no insight into the plan they intend to pursue.'

Analysts at Numis said the results were strong, but would do little to shift the odds in next week's vote, which they said were 'stacked against the board'. They pointed to Sherborne's larger stake in the trust, now over 31%, compared to the 20% it held when it was defeated in its bid to secure places on the board last year.

'Assuming that Sherborne still has the support of a further 11% of the share capital (reflecting [founder] Ed Bramson's strong following among a number of the UK's largest investors), it would now have backing from 41% of the share capital, giving it just over 50% of a vote assuming a similar turnout,' they said.

2 comments so far. Why not have your say?

alex lee

Oct 27, 2015 at 20:53

Why are the big boys so greedy. Leave some opportunities for the retail investors to better their portfolio. if Bramson is so powerful he should go and start something new with his own money.

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alex lee

Oct 27, 2015 at 21:04

Bramson and the city should pick on the lousy trusts with sleepy heads. There is a good selection of them instead of destroying something good.

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