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Third Point's Loeb slams activists after UK fund chairman quits

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By Reuters
Third Point's Loeb slams activists after UK fund chairman quits
Third Point's Loeb slams activists after UK fund chairman quits   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> – Hedge fund Third Point’s boss Dan Loeb on Thursday blamed the departure of the chairman of the firm’s London-listed fund on “inexperienced” and “juvenile antics” of activist investors.</p> <p>Third Point Investors Limited (<span class="caps">TPIL</span>), a closed-ended fund managed by Third Point, has been under fire from Asset Value Investors (<span class="caps">AVI</span>) and three other shareholders who collectively own more than 10% of the voting rights in the fund and say it is underperforming.</p> <p>Steve Bates, a former <span class="caps">JPM</span>organ banker who has been the chairman of <span class="caps">TPIL</span> for three years, announced his resignation on Thursday, saying he had “recently been put in a position where it is impossible for me to continue as a director of <span class="caps">TPIL</span>”.</p> <p><span class="caps">TPIL</span> said in a statement that Bates had suffered personal threats at one of the meetings the board had arranged with representatives of <span class="caps">AVI</span> and separately with Staude Capital, another of the activists. <span class="caps">TPIL</span> did not say who made the threats.</p> <p>Loeb said Bates’ departure was a “loss for all shareholders” and “the behavior by these so-called ‘activists’ is a stain on institutional investors who attempt to engage constructively with boards and management teams…These juvenile antics smack of desperation and inexperience.”</p> <p><span class="caps">AVI</span> said in a statement that it had supported the appointment of Bates, and that it was “unfortunate that he has now chosen to resign”. </p> <p><span class="caps">AVI</span> added that it was “disappointing to see the continued misleading narratives being put out under the Board’s name”.</p> <p>Staude Capital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.</p> <p>Third Point is itself an activist investor, taking stakes in companies and seeking changes in order to boost their share price. It recently took a stake in Shell, calling for a break-up of the oil major.</p> <p/> </div>