20 March 2017 By Malavika Santhebennur
Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company (WHSP) has made it clear it intends to vote against all of the resolutions proposed by Wilson Asset Management (WAM), with Hunter Hall Global Value Limited (HHV) receiving a notice requisitioning a general meeting from entities associated with WAM.
The meeting, to be held on 6 April, would consider the removal of all three of the existing HHV directors, and the appointment of three new directors proposed by WAM.
WHSP stated six reasons why it intended to vote against all resolutions, with one reason being it believed the current HHV board had the relevant skills and experience to represent all shareholders, with current chairman of the HHV Board, Paul Jensen, demonstrating his ability to act independently for the benefit of all HHV shareholders.
It also said the current HHV board had carefully considered the proposal for a buyback as proposed by WAM and concluded the proposal was not in the best interests of all shareholders.
“WHSP’s view is that conducting a large buyback will make HHV smaller and less attractive to investors. WHSP also believes that buybacks in LICs [listed investment companies] are not beneficial to the long-term performance of the company,” the firm said.
WHSP also said there was significant demand for HHV’s ethically screened global listed investment company and said HHV should position itself for growth rather than becoming smaller through a large-scale buyback.
“WHSP believes that voting in favour of an entirely new board appointed by one shareholder carries significant risks. If the resolutions are carried, the future of HHV is unclear,” it said.
WHSP, which currently had a 69.5 per cent shareholding in HHV, urged all shareholders to vote against all of the resolutions proposed by WAM.