Menninger Capital’s activism achieves early results for BGP Holdings shareholders
Townsville, QLD, Australia 22 July 2016 – Menninger Capital makes note of BGP Holdings’ most recent promise of an imminent return to shareholders. This was disclosed via a newspaper article “BGP recovery in sight, says Rod McGeoch”, published in The Australian on the 18th of July. If delivered, this will provide shareholders a long awaited opportunity to consider a proposal to exit their investment.
This rare and indirect information release came days after Menninger Capital wrote to BGP Holdings chairman Mr McGoech to advocate for shareholders rights enabling them to realise their investment.
BGP Holdings p.l.c. originated from a failed joint venture between General Property Trust (GPT) and the now defunct Babcock and Brown. GPT spun off its interests via an in-specie distribution to shareholders in 2009, declaring “BGP Holdings shares are considered to have no current value.” The stated objective was to sell assets over a three year period and return the proceeds, if any, to shareholders. Seven years later, shareholders are still waiting, while their right to deal with their own property is oppressed.
Despite its ultimate shareholders being predominantly Australian, BGP Holdings is a company registered in Malta with a Memorandum of Association that prohibits transfer of share ownership. Shares are held through a trust whose deed similarly restricts transfer of the beneficial interests of the ultimate owners.
Menninger Capital believes this structure violates basic shareholders rights to deal with their property and is very poor governance. We are lobbying on behalf of our clients and the broader shareholder community, for restrictions on the transferability of interests to be removed. Allowing a secondary market to develop will provide shareholders who want to sell an opportunity and deliver a fair market valuation for the holdings.
Lloyd Hirst, Chief Investment Officer of Menninger Capital, said “I find it outrageous that the directors of BGP Holdings treat their owners in this way. After seven years of claiming to be working towards a liquidity event, the company admits that this structure has prevented investors obtaining an interest in the group on several occasions. The directors should hang their heads in shame.”
Menninger Capital believes the current promise of an imminent return to shareholders is an encouraging sign. However, shareholders should have more options than a trade sale negotiated by the company.
As private discussions with the company are yet to achieve the desired result, a more open activist approach has been adopted, seeking support from other shareholders.
BGP shareholders who wish support our action should contact our office on email@example.com.
About Menninger Capital
Menninger Capital manages exclusive global investment funds for private groups of investment partners who share our unequivocal long term value investment philosophy.
Menninger is driven by passion to be a partner of world class businesses and its corporate advisory capabilities complement its investment management activities. As a partner, we act in a constructive manner to support management teams and boards in creating long lasting shareholder value.
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