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Aberdeen wins battle for Bramdean Alternatives
by Dylan Lobo on Nov 19, 2009 at 16:04
Aberdeen Asset Management has been appointed manager of the Bramdean Alternatives fund, winning the mandate from Bramdean Asset Management founder Nicola Horlick.
The fund was subject of a bitter dispute between Horlick and property tycoon Vincent Tchenguiz, the largest single shareholder in the trust who owned 28% of the investment company.
Performance of the £77 million multi-asset fund, which is trading at a 46.3% discount according to Wins, struggled in the credit crisis. Horlick's reputation was hit when it was revealed the fund was forced to write off the full value of its assets exposed to the Bernard Madoff, which equated to 9.5% of its net asset value worth around £13.23 million.
A few months later Horlick launched a bid to buy out Bramdean Alternatives's assets through her investment vehicle Petersfield Asset Management, which was widely interpreted to be the result of a dispute over strategy with Tchenguiz.
Following the initial notification of the bid, Tchenguiz called an extraordinary general meeting in order to oust the board and install his own team.
But Horlick, who launched the trust back in July 2007, refused to give up the fight and in a London Stock Exchange announcement in June said that she had no intention of withdrawing her approach.
However, her bid proved fruitless and 24 hours later Tchenguiz won the boardroom battle for control of the Bramdean Alternative fund, installing the group of directors he had proposed at the EGM. He won the vote by a convincing margin with 55.59% of shareholders backing him.
His victory led to a period of consultation with the company's principal shareholders and the board, which was advised by Matrix Corporate Capital, and the company's shareholders have decided Aberdeen is the best candidate to manage the new-look trust.
Aberdeen has paid BAM an undisclosed sum for the contract and at the same time has entered into a consultancy agreement with BAM for a period of 12 months. This is designed to provide continuity, particularly in relation to the private equity investments which represent the bulk of the company's assets.
The appointment of Aberdeen will run for an initial three year period and it is proposed the fund is rebranded under the Aberdeen name.
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