The board of the Charter European [investment] Trust has hit back against the takeover proposals put ...
John Youngman, a director of the trust, says the board's own proposal is superior in several ways.
"Henderson's proposals offer less cash to our shareholders and potentially force them into a vehicle with a materially different investment policy to Charter. Furthermore, the approach led by Henderson has generated unnecessary costs for Charter."
The main difference between the two offers to shareholders now on the table are that the current board is recommending a 100% cash offer to shareholders who wish to exit, where Henderson is only offeirng 75%.
And the differences in the costs of implementing the plans must also be factored into the calculations shareholders are being asked to perform - Charter estimates Henderson's proposal would cost £4.3m more to execute.
Overall, however, the differences in sums may be overshaddowed by the choice between management shareholders are being asked to make.
A lower exit payment might not be seen as so bad by shareholders who want to see their investments be rolled over into a new vehicle under new management - with potentially superior returns depending on what they see as differences in quality of management.
Henderson points to the poor performance of the past two years as evidence a fresh approach is needed, but Charter rejects this by saying the performance is due to gearing and an emphasis on growth companies, which it believes will provide better long-term returns.
An extraordinary general meeting of Charter European Trust shareholders has been scheduled to take place by 1 March, which leaves time for this battle to take another turn were a white knight bid to come in at the last second.
Intermediaries are being urged by some sector analysts to consider whether their clients should remain in Europe at all regardless of which investment house retains control of the trust.
Putting the tech into protection
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fallout from Haywood suspension
Launching later in 2019
£80bn funds under calculation