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Jupiter set to sue in New Star row

The feud between Jupiter and New Star escalated this week, as Jupiter&#39s Edward Bonham-Carter clashed with New Star&#39s John Duffield, threatening to take him back to the courts.

At an extraordinary general meeting of the New Star investment trust in London on Tuesday, Jupiter&#39s proposal to split the fund into two unit trusts was rejected by shareholders, with Duffield the biggest shareholder. It leaves Jupiter staff with shares in NSIT still in the fund unless they take a loss by selling at its current discount.

Jupiter claims Duffield is breaching November&#39s out of court settlement.

But Duffield claims Jupiter&#39s proposal did not work and says he is unable to offer a share buy-back because it will jeopardise the investment trust status.

Jupiter disputes Duffield&#39s arguments and is seeking an injunction to split the trust.

In a lengthy speech, Duffield made several digs at his former firm, saying Jupiter had gone downhill and he had left “because the Germans sacked me”. He accused Jupiter of pressurising employees who hold NSIT shares to vote for the split though many did not want to.

He said: “There are a number of people working for Jupiter who have a bigger stake in the financial success of New Star than they do in Jupiter. It is an odd situation and I can understand it is upsetting for Jupiter.”

Jupiter director Reef Hogg said: “The position is absolutely unsatisfactory. John had agreed in principle to split the trust and let shareholders choose who manages their money. He has not done so and we think there are unacceptable conflicts of interest. He has left us with no choice but to take court action.”

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