KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — Activist investor Laxey Partners floundered in its bid to join the board of icapital.biz Berhad, a major closed end fund when it failed to get elected at the company's annual general meeting (AGM) here today.
The Malaysian Insider understands that around 86 per cent of the shareholders present voted against putting the UK-based fund's co-founder, Andrew Pegge, in icapital's boardroom. Pegge had reportedly said the bid for the position is an attempt to bring up icapital.biz's share price and narrow the gap with its net asset value (NAV), claiming that previous attempts to push the board for action were unsuccessful. The listed closed-end fund is managed by Capital Dynamics.
Its managing director, industry veteran Tan Teng Boo has been vocal in his opposition to Pegge's inclusion to icapital.biz’s board, saying that he disagreed with the latter’s approach, which he perceived to be “short term” and at odds with Capital Dynamic’s long-term philosophy.
Tan was reportedly saying he would seriously consider leaving as iCapital’s fund manager if Pegge or two other nominees he perceives to be hostile are elected to the board. Pegge was nominated by shareholder Evelyn Ho Lai Ming, who reportedly holds 50,000 shares in the fund. Lo Kok Kee and Low Nyap Heng, two other candidates nominated by Ho, also lost their bid to be elected directors with about 87 per cent and 86 per cent of shareholders voting against them.
Shareholders holding at least 80 million of the fund's 140 million shares had voted today.
Laxey's representative Colin Kingsnorth today told reporters that the fund never intended to take over iCapital, saying that they had only wanted to highlight the issue of share prices being traded at a discount of its value.
"They have now moved to address the discount and that's a good thing," Colin, who is also a director at Laxey, said.