The New York-based activist has himself been attacked by activists, who complained of a valuation haircut between Loeb’s main fund Third Point and a London-listed feeder fund Third Point Investors Ltd.
Asset Value Investors, the biggest insurgent, had urged TPIL shareholders to remove Third Point general counsel Josh Targoff from the London fund’s board as a sign of their support for the activists’ position. But that motion was defeated in a three-to-one vote at a meeting on Wednesday.
“In view of the result of the vote announced at the extraordinary general meeting held today, the board of directors expects that AVI will now cease its attempts to impose its selfish agenda,” said declared TPIL.
AVI said the results showed it had “full support” from independent shareholders, but the balance was in part influenced by the votes of Loeb, who is TPIL’s largest shareholder.
“It is not in anyone’s best interests that this dispute goes on any longer in public, and we very much hope that the board will now be prepared to enter into discussions with us in private,” AVI said.
The fight between Loeb and AVI, a London-based £ 1.2 billion fund manager, focuses on measures to reduce the spread between TPIL’s share price and its net asset value, which consists of exposure at the main Third Point fund based in the Cayman Islands.
Shareholders voted in favor of the board’s plan, which will attempt to reduce the haircut through a share swap facility with the main Third Point fund.
TPIL serves as a “feeder fund” by passing investor money to Third Point, which manages around $ 20 billion in assets and is known for its fierce militant battles with large state-owned companies, including a recent campaign to dismantle Shell.
Disgruntled shareholders accused Loeb of hypocrisy over his response to their campaign. Richard Webb, CEO of Metage Capital, one of the activists, said in October that the manager’s actions were “at odds with the views frequently expressed by Dan Loeb when he himself was an investor.”
Loeb meanwhile expressed his frustration at the challenge launched by British shareholders on Twitter. “I hear the buzz of a harmless insect. I think it’s a mad fly. Somebody give me a fag, ”Loeb tweeted of AVI last month. “Description [AVI’s] antics like infantile are an insult to crying babies, ”he said.
Billionaire hedge fund manager John Armitage, who is TPIL’s third largest shareholder, came to Loeb’s defense on Wednesday. He praised the management of the company and said that “dissatisfied shareholders should sell their positions rather than distract the company with their futile stunts.”
The discount between TPIL and Third Point recently fell to 13%. The board hopes to further close the gap by encouraging new buyers, but said Wednesday that “potential new shareholders. . . have expressed their reluctance to buy stocks as this embarrassing drama continues ”.