Belfast Telegraph

Shaftesbury’s biggest shareholder vows to vote against board

Samuel Tak Lee has upped the ante in his dispute with the company’s directors.

Lanterns are strung across Gerrard Street in Chinatown, London. Shaftesbury owns several properties in the area (PA)
Lanterns are strung across Gerrard Street in Chinatown, London. Shaftesbury owns several properties in the area (PA)

The largest shareholder of property developer Shaftesbury has escalated a dispute with the company’s board, pledging to vote against its directors at this week’s AGM.

Samuel Tak Lee, who has a 26% stake in the company, will vote against the reappointment of Shaftesbury’s CEO, CFO and chairman and oppose director pay packages.

Mr Lee has already made public his intention to vote against resolutions which would allow the issuing of new shares, arguing that a previous fundraising damaged shareholder value.

Shaftesbury, which owns a swathe of central London retail property in the likes of Chinatown and Carnaby Street, raised money in 2017 through the placing of new shares at a 5% discount to the previous day’s closing price.

It said the financing would be used to acquire properties including two sites in Soho.

The board has caused significant damage to shareholder value Samuel Tak Lee

Mr Lee, a notable London landlord whose properties include the historic Langham Estate, has claimed the capital raising was not in the interests of the company.

He believes it was pursued with the purpose of diluting his shareholding below the 25% threshold.

Shaftesbury has denied the allegations.

A representative of Mr Lee said: “There was no economic imperative for the share placement, and there was, as the board had acknowledged in presenting its 2017 results to market analysts only a week before, no need to raise capital in that amount. In doing so, the board has caused significant damage to shareholder value.”

Mr Lee has urged fellow shareholders to join him in opposing the resolutions, but investor groups have already backed the board ahead of Friday’s meeting.

ISS and Glass Lewis have urged members to vote in favour of the resolutions.

PA

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