The move would stop RHJI from acquiring leading German investment bank BHF, and “pave the way for a sale or possible re-listing of one of the City of London’s oldest private banks, Kleinwort Benson,” according to the Financial Times.
The group of activist hedge funds said in a letter: “It is our belief that the company needs to change its strategic direction by moving swiftly to return capital to shareholders and [work towards] a full break-up under the stewardship of a different board.” The group, representing 4% of share capital, would replace the board with people of their own choosing.
The activist group includes Britain’s Polar Capital, French Mantra Investissement, Spain’s Alpha Plus, and Cayman Islands-based Overseas Asset Management, according to Reuters.
Prior to being listed on the Euronext the company was a private equity fund run by Ripplewood Holdings. Timothy C. Collins, the founder of Ripplewood, is one of the company’s largest shareholders (13%) and a director of the company. Other major shareholders include Franklin Equity Group (15%), and BlackRock (9%).
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