(Reuters) - Shaftesbury’s (SHB.L) top investor intends to vote down three resolutions that would authorise directors to allot shares, the property company that owns large chunks of London districts Soho and Covent Garden said in a statement on Tuesday.
Shaftesbury said it had received a statement from Hong Kong billionaire Samuel Tak Lee, the ultimate beneficial owner of 25.02 percent of the company’s issued share capital, of his intention to oppose Resolution 16, 17 and 18.
Resolution 16 relates to authorising company directors to allot shares, while special resolutions 17 and 18 are linked to authorising directors to allot shares in certain circumstances on a non pre-emptive basis.
Newspapers have speculated that Lee could make a bid for Shaftesbury, as he has taken advantage of the weakness in the sterling to build up his stake in the company in the past few months. bit.ly/2DPzLt1
Chinese investment in London commercial property has heated up since the Brexit vote, with investors largely from Hong Kong snapping up the British capital’s best-known skyscrapers including the “Cheesegrater” and “Walkie Talkie”.
Lee, already a owner of swathes of prime retail and office space in London’s West End through the company Langham Estate, had two years ago made an attempt to raise his stake in Shaftesbury from 5 percent to 13 percent via a tender offer. However, his overtures were rebuffed by investors.
Shaftesbury, which owns and manages properties around the affluent West End shopping district, had in November reported higher full-year net asset value, saying that demand and rents were holding up despite Brexit uncertainty.
The group has a market valuation of 3.12 billion pounds. It is slated to hold its general meeting on Feb. 9.
Reporting by Esha Vaish in Bengaluru, editing by David Evans