Liontrust extends GAM offer period for third time as NewGAMe reveals 100-day plan

CEO John Ions criticised the investor group’s proposal, accusing them of being ‘long on rhetoric’ but ‘short on detail’

John Ions, CEO of Liontrust
John Ions


Liontrust CEO John Ions (pictured) has hit out at GAM investor group NewGAMe and Bruellan’s proposals for the future of the Swiss asset manager as its proposed takeover continues to meet resistance.

The main offer period has been extended for a third time. The deadline was initially set for 25 July, before it was moved back three days to 28 July. It was then further extended to today (4 August).

However, GAM shareholders now have until 4pm on 23 August to tender their shares in favour of the Liontrust takeover offer.

See also: NewGAMe and Bruellan call for final deadline on Liontrust’s GAM offer

It comes a day after NewGAMe published details of a 100-day plan to improve GAM’s fortunes, which will be voted on at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on 18 August.

Antoine Spillmann, CEO and partner at Bruellan and the investor group’s proposed candidate for chair of GAM’s board, said: “Our 100-day plan is a key part of the turnaround of GAM and will bring both certainty and security to the business – including CHF 25m (£22.4m) of immediate funding and a top team to lead the turnaround.

“As shown by GAM’s H1 2023 results, its fund management activities continue to outperform peer groups and benchmarks, and – with over CHF 20bn (£17.9bn) in assets under management – a successful turnaround can generate significant upside for all shareholders.”

He urged GAM shareholders to reject the Liontrust offer, labelling it “dilutive” and “value-destructive”.

On 18 July, NewGAMe and Bruellan tabled a partial offer for 28 million GAM shares. The investors already own 9.6% of GAM and if the offer becomes fully subscribed they would own another 17.5%, bringing the total to 27.1%.

Liontrust responds

In an open letter to NJJ Holdings, the ultimate owner of NewGAMe via Rock Investments, Ions said: “This presentation fails to provide the necessary detail on how NewGAMe will provide financial certainty for GAM and fund the required restructuring of the company, while also ensuring it is a growing and profitable business.

“NewGAMe should explain why performing due diligence only after taking control of a business is not to be considered irresponsible.”

He added: “Are you expecting shareholders to back a plan that is so long on rhetoric and so short on detail with an anonymous CEO who will not put their name to the proposal? We are not alone in this view given that ISS is recommending to shareholders that they reject NewGAMe’s proposals at the 18 August EGM.”

Ions also revealed that Liontrust had attempted to discuss the situation with NewGAMe, but had been unable to have a direct conversation with the investor group.

In an announcement of the offer period extension, Liontrust said GAM shareholders are being presented with two “very different” options for the future.

The firm also acknowledged that if NewGAMe’s offer is accepted, it is likely Liontrust’s own bid will be unsuccessful.

See also: GAM refutes claims it misled investors over NewGAMe offer

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