Henderson Global Investors has refused to confirm if leading fund manager Stephen Peak, whose funds have considerable shareholdings in Gartmore, will back Henderson’s bid to buy Gartmore.
Henderson head of pan-European equities Peak has built up a 14.2 per cent stake in Gartmore across the funds he manages, having bought the shares at its float price of 220p and later at 105p.
Gartmore’s negotiations with Henderson value the shares at 95p, which would result in losses for Peak’s UK alpha and UK opportunities funds. At close on January 4, Gartmore’s share price stood at 88.6p a share.
A Henderson spokesman says: “Stephen Peak is an independent fund manager and it is important to recognise that a fund holding is a completely separate issue to any corporate activity. Our fund managers have autonomy with where they invest and any ongoing discussions is separate from those investments.”
Whitechurch Securities managing director Gavin Haynes says: “Gartmore has been such an unloved stock and if a deal is accepted for this price then that is what it is worth and it just shows it has been a poor investment. It is not the first time this has happened to a fund manager and it is unfortunate for all those involved.”