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ASSET VALUE INVESTORS

Asset Value Investors (AVI) Calls for Shareholder Support to Remove and Replace Symphony International Holdings’ Board of Directors

2021-04-30 16:03
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LONDON--()--Asset Value Investors (“AVI”) today launches a new campaign calling on shareholders of Symphony International Holdings Ltd (“SIHL”), a closed-end investment vehicle managed from Singapore and listed on the London Stock Exchange, to help bring about change at the company after years of poor performance. AVI owns a 15.4% stake in SIHL on behalf of institutional clients. Having first invested in 2012, it has now been concluded that a continued approach of constructive private engagement has no prospects of success.

Tom Treanor, Executive Director, Asset Value Investors introduced the new initiative, stating, “The poor performance of Symphony International Holdings Ltd (SIHL) has gone on long enough. We have two key aims and we need the support of our fellow shareholders to make them a reality.”

We aim to:

  1. Ensure all shareholders are fully informed as to our concerns regarding the stewardship of SIHL and the independence of the Board, which in our view is inherently conflicted and whose actions have failed to protect shareholder interests ahead of those of the management team;
  2. Gather together sufficient support (30%, including our own 15.4% stake) to requisition an EGM to remove the current directors and replace them with new directors willing and able to properly represent the interests of shareholders. Following their appointment, the new board would be given a mandate to consult widely with shareholders to build a consensus for the optimal path forward to maximise value for the benefit of all shareholders.

SIHL listed in 2007 with an investment objective focussed on growth through consumer-related investments in Asia. Performance has been abject in absolute terms and when measured against market indices or peer funds. Furthermore, SIHL today trades at a discount in excess of 50% to estimated NAV. It is AVI’s view that the substantial discount at which SIHL trades represents the market’s verdict on the Company’s performance track record, investment proposition, its governance, its Manager, and its Board.

A detailed presentation has been published on its dedicated website www.savesymphony.com and analyses key interconnected areas that require urgent action:

  1. Disastrous NAV and Share Price Performance
  2. Misrepresented Performance and Material Non-Disclosure
  3. Persistently Wide Discount to NAV
  4. Manager Compensation dwarfing Shareholder Returns
  5. Conflicted Board
  6. The 2017 Wind-Up Vote That Wasn’t: Shareholder Exit Frustrated
  7. Forced Partial Sale of Minor International investment at Distressed Prices

Contacts

Tom Treanor
tom.treanor@assetvalueinvestors.com