Gloves off: Alliance Trust hits back at Elliott

Gloves off: Alliance Trust hits back at Elliott

Alliance Trust has responded to claims that it has made a “factually inaccurate” claim in its statement earlier this morning, releasing a letter from Elliott Advisors.

In a release this afternoon Elliott Advisors had said Alliance Trust’s statement from this morning was “erroneous and misleading” because it made “speculative assertions” about Elliot’s plans to reduce the trust’s discount and other intentions.

In a statement on the stock exchange, the investment trust said it had minutes of meetings with the hedge fund where “Elliott repeatedly suggested that Alliance Trust undertake a tender offer for 40 per cent of the Company’s shares at a discount of 5 per cent or less”.

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The trust also quoted a letter from Elliott to the trust in February 2015, in which Jonas Rydell of Elliott refers to eight options it had presented to Alliance Trust about reducing the trust’s discount.

The battle began earlier this week when the hedge fund said it wanted to appoint three new directors to the board.

Alliance Trust has argued that the proposed directors “cannot be judged to be independent” and is “concerned that Elliott may seek to exert undue influence” as it seeks to pursue a short-term agenda aimed at selling its holding in the company.

However, Elliott responded the “proposed directors will, if elected, form their own view as to what is in the best interests of shareholders in a manner wholly independent of Elliott.”