Marylebone Warwick Balfour’s biggest shareholder today has launched a withering attack on chief executive Richard Balfour-Lynn in connection with his role as architect of Vector Hospitality, the hotel company which pulled its flotation two weeks ago.
The proposed float of Vector involved the sale of hotel assets from RBS and MWB into the REIT including a portfolio of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin hotels from MWB.
A statement from Mercury said: ‘We were extremely uncomfortable with the company’s prior agreement to sell the portfolio in an off market transaction… Even more unsettling, the agreement with Vector was fraught with conflicts of interest, arising from the fact that Richard Balfour-Lynn is a director of Vector, chief executive officer of Vector’s external manager and chief executive officer of MWB… This lack of transparency and poor corporate governance practices inherent in the Balfour Lynn/ Vector/ MWB transaction cannot be repeated.’
The US based shareholder has called for Balfour-Lynn’s resignation from MWB if he does not willingly comply with an auction of MWB’s assets and ‘operate in such an open and unbiased fashion.’
The proposed £2bn float of Vector was called off two weeks ago when it emerged there was insufficient investor demand for the hotel REIT.
The attack on Balfour-Lynn from Mercury is a further blow to Balfour-Lynn following the Vector saga.