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Shaftesbury’s fundraising freedom curtailed after vote by largest shareholder

Shaftesbury's fundraising freedom curtailed after vote by largest shareholder
7th March 2018

Shaftesbury’s fundraising freedom curtailed after vote by largest shareholder

Real estate giant Shaftesbury PLC, which owns much of the property around London’s West End, has recently suffered a potential setback in terms of its funding. The company’s biggest shareholder, Hong Kong billionaire Tak Lee, has voted to block two motions that would have enabled the firm’s directors to ignore certain pre-emption rights. Pre-emption rights usually allow shareholders first refusal regarding new shares, but they can be waived in some cases, enabling a company to raise funds more easily.

Sources have confirmed that Mr Tak Lee, who owns over 25% of Shaftesbury’s shares, became concerned about the company’s fundraising activities in December after it completed a £26 million equity financing.

In a statement made to the shareholders, Mr Tak Lee explained; “The combination of a pre-emptive offering at a material discount to the market price and the manner in which shares were then allocated has caused me great concern.”

However, Shaftesbury chairman Johnathan Nicholls remains optimistic, saying; “Following the successful placing in December 2017, currently the board does not anticipate the need to raise further equity for some time.”

Indeed, the firm has reported that 52% of the space in its new developments had been let by the end of 2017, and it suffered no decline in the number of shoppers, tourists and visitors to its shops, bars and restaurants in the run up to Christmas.

This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.

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