Shareholder groups warn over CSC and Peel deals

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Two key groups which represent the interests of shareholders have issued warnings about deals between Capital Shopping Centres and 20% shareholder Peel Group.

The Association of British Insurers and Pirc have warned shareholders about potential conflicts of interest in the deals, which will see CSC buy land from Peel Group in Spain and Scotland.

And analysts have been critical, questioning the rational of the Spanish deal – CSC has no assets outside of the UK – and the payments relating to the Scottish deal, for land near CSC’s existing centre in Braehead.  

Pirc urged shareholders to abstain from voting to approve the deals at an extraordinary general meeting on Friday.

It said “insufficient information has been provided to shareholders regarding the evaluation of the acquisition and on how the cash consideration has been determined”.

It added: “Although there is an adequate number of independent non-executives on the board, there are concerns that the acquisition and the other measures proposed at this meeting have not been subject to sufficient independent scrutiny in view of the conflict of interest in the person of Mr Whittaker. Therefore, an abstain vote is recommended.”

CSC has said that Peel founder and CSC deputy chairman John Whittaker was not present in board meetings that discussed the deal, and that there was no conflict of interest.

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