Canada's Tuckamore fires back at dissident investor Access Holdings

Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:41pm EDT
 
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, June 26 (Reuters) - Tuckamore Capital Management Inc fired back at dissident investor Access Holdings Management Co LLC on Thursday, saying that Access had previously tried to seize control of Tuckamore without paying a premium to all shareholders.

Earlier this week, Access said it plans to vote the shares it controls against Tuckamore's proposed management-led buyout as it materially undervalues the holding firm that invests in early- and mid-stage private companies across sectors.

Toronto-based Access, which has the backing of a group of Tuckamore investors that control over 5 percent of the firm's shares, said it believes Tuckamore can be worth more than C$2 a share with the right strategy and proper management. Access has named a slate of six nominees for election to Tuckamore's board if the buyout plan is defeated.

Tuckamore is currently trading at 80 Canadian cents a share.

Other large investors have separately come out against the management-led buyout this week. Canso Investment Counsel Ltd, which controls close to 15 percent of Tuckamore's shares, said it plans to vote against the management-led buyout at a shareholder meeting on July 15.

JC Clark, which controls more than 8 percent of Tuckamore's shares, said on Wednesday it also plans to vote against the deal that values Tuckamore at about C$60 million ($55 million).

Tuckamore did not directly address either JC Clark and Canso in its statement, but said the buyout offer, backed by private equity firm Birch Hill, is fair. A source close to the company said it plans to reach out to and engage with all shareholders to address concerns about the proposal.

Toronto-based Tuckamore accused Access of trying to continue to seek a route to seize control of Tuckamore without paying all shareholders a premium for their stock or even fair value.   Continued...