Shareholders of Gresham House Strategic have sided with its former manager to call time on the trust and realise its remaining assets.
GHS’ fate had been up in the air for months, with the board wanting to continue under new manager Harwood Capital and former manager Gresham House Asset Management (GHAM) putting forward proposals for the vehicle to be liquidated and cash on the balance sheet to be immediately returned to shareholders.
Despite pleas from former chair David Potter to shoot down the proposals, shareholders overwhelmingly sided with GHAM at the general meeting on Wednesday, with 93% approving the wind-up. This is nearly double the support it claimed to have last month.
Only 150,000 votes were cast against the trust’s realisation compared to 2 million in favour. A further 875 were withheld.
GHS interim chairman Simon Pyper said: “We have today asked shareholders to approve plans for a managed wind-down of the company, and a return of capital, as the board set out in our notice of general meeting two weeks ago. This followed the indication of substantial shareholder support for that approach.
“A majority of shareholders have today voted in support of these plans. The board would like to thank all our shareholders for their engagement. We will now proceed with these plans to return capital, with the support of Harwood Capital, our new investment manager.”
The trust’s £66m assets will be returned to shareholders over the course of 24 months. Around £10.4m in cash, representing 16% of the trust’s net asset value as at 19 November, will be paid out via an issue and redemption of B shares by the end of the month.
See also: Gresham House Strategic NAV overstated by £1.3m since July