Nelson Peltz closes £440m London investment firm after reversing roles of normally belligerent billionaire activist and clashing with a group of disgruntled investors, leaving assets to shareholders be returned to
The New York-based founder of Trian Fund Management is known for his fierce campaigns demanding management changes at companies such as consumer group Unilever and fund manager Janus Henderson.
But in recent months, Trian has faced a unique challenge from activist shareholders of Trian Investors 1, a London-listed investment firm that launched in 2018.
An investor panel that includes Invesco, Janus Henderson, hedge funds Pelham Capital and the Global Value Fund has put pressure on Trian Investors to return the cash to shareholders. Pertz’s We want to keep trading and make new investments.
With assets of £440m, Trian Investors has earned 71% of net asset value on a total return basis over the past three years. Unilever and the heating and plumbing group Ferguson have made big returns.
In a statement on Friday, Trian Investors’ board of directors acknowledged that “a significant portion of the current shareholder base would like the opportunity to end their shareholdings.”
The controversy at Trian follows another shareholder altercation involving the US billionaire and his London investor.
Dan Loeb, manager of hedge fund Third Point, was challenged last year by shareholders of his London-listed company in a ten-month-long governance dispute.
robe reached a truce with a group of activists after opposition shareholders lost key votes and Third Point agreed to appoint new independent directors.
Trian Investors’ shareholders’ committee fought hard at last month’s emergency shareholder meeting, winning a vote to remove its chairman and narrowly rejecting several of the other board changes proposed by the committee it was done.
The vote kicked off a series of negotiations that led to the winding up of Trian Investors in trading on Friday. The board said that at least 95% of Trian Investors’ stock and cash holdings will be handed over to shareholders by next June. After that, the company will be closed and the remaining assets will be returned.
Mark Thompson, who took over as chairman of Trian Investors after the August vote, said, “The Board believes the proposal is a positive and prudent way to deliver results that all shareholders can support.
More than 80% of Trian Investors’ shareholders have expressed support for the plan, including major shareholder Trian itself, the board said. The shareholder committee declined to comment.