Mergers and acquisitions  

Ousted Tavistock CIO joins hostile takeover attempt

Ousted Tavistock CIO joins hostile takeover attempt
 Credit: Pixabay via Pexels

The attempted hostile takeover of Tavistock has gained momentum with the firm’s former CIO Christopher Peel now giving his backing to the campaign from TEAM.

Peel, who has a 5.12 per cent stake in the firm, is among several other shareholders lending support to the bid from the Jersey-based fund group.

Overall TEAM now has support from shareholders representing 14 per cent of Tavistock’s shares.

These shareholders include Novia Financial founders Bill Vasilieff, who holds 1.6m shares in Tavistock, and fellow Novia director of sales Paul Boston who has 6.5m shares.

Peel is now the largest shareholder to support the takeover attempt. The second largest is the Helium Rising Stars Fund, a hedge fund run by ISP Capital, that has a 4.84 per cent stake.

Peel left Tavistock in June 2020 following an internal review of the group’s fund performance. 

Peter Horbye, current senior advisor to Tavistock Wealth and former managing director of Tavistock Wealth Global, is another shareholder that is supporting the takeover. He has 6.6m shares in the company (or a 1.09 per cent stake). 

TEAM has made it clear it will continue to engage with Tavistock shareholders and is encouraging those who support the takeover attempt to get in touch. 

FTAdviser understands some shareholders have grown impatient with the performance of Tavistock shares, with frustration stemming from three bids from Tavistock management to vote in new incentive schemes. All were defeated when put to shareholder votes.

However, Tavistock bosses did take a pay cut last year during the height of the pandemic. 

This is the latest development in a growing hostile takeover of the company. 

On March 23, a regulatory filing revealed the Jersey-based firm’s £15m offer for the company had been rejected.

This included a premium of 2.50 pence per ordinary share, based on the share price at the time the offer was originally made.

In response, Tavistock published a strongly worded statement against TEAM. It claimed the offer “significantly undervalued” Tavistock and took issue with TEAM’s perceived lack of experience in consolidation.

The company issued a further response on March 31 when shareholders began to publicly support the takeover bid.

In this statement Tavistock once again claimed the takeover bid was “without merit” and advised shareholders to take no action.

Tavistock did not want to comment any further.

Jon Yarker is a freelance reporter for FTAdviser