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Alliance breaks silence on fresh Laxey assault

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Alliance breaks silence on fresh Laxey assault

Alliance Trust has issued an update to shareholders following on from the requisition notice it received from hedge fund Laxey Partners.

Alliance confirmed to its investors that the global growth trust was sent a request from Laxey, which according to reports urged that asset management was outsourced to a third party.

Alliance told shareholders that the notice would require the following ordinary resolution to be put to shareholders at the forthcoming annual general meeting on 27 April:

'That the directors shall, as soon as practicable following the passing of this resolution, conduct a comprehensive review of the company to determine what steps can be taken to improve the management of the company's affairs (in terms of addressing the investment performance of the company and the discount at which the company's ordinary shares trade to their net asset value).  This review should include the possibility of externalising the investment management of the company's portfolio and should also bring forward proposals which would enable shareholders who wish to sell their ordinary shares, to do so at a price which more closely reflects net asset value.'

Alliance said that the company's annual report and accounts and notice of annual general meeting is being sent to shareholders this week, but said that at this time investors are not required to take any action.

A separate circular containing details of this requisition and the company's responses will also be sent to shareholders.

Speaking separately, a spokesperson for the investment trust said that Alliance Trust has made significant strides forward since the events of last year, when Laxey spearheaded a campaign for the trust to introduce a strict share buyback policy in an attempt to control its discount.

'The business has undergone considerable development since Laxey's proposals were defeated at last year’s AGM.  At our full year results we delivered top quartile total shareholder return and our main priority remains to continue to improve the investment performance of the business,' the spokesperson said.

Alliance Trust announced last week that its final year numbers had beaten the sector, putting behind it a lacklustre run that had persisted for some three years.

Alliance Trust's chief executive, Katherine Garrett-Cox (pictured), also announced to investors that the vehicle's dividend would be hiked 7%.

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