Board backs Texton Property Fund’s management
Its former CEO Rob Kane is attempting a takeover, saying he has sufficient support — but Texton says it’s not happening
Texton Property Fund’s board has thrown its weight behind the company’s management saying that takeover attempts by its former CEO Rob Kane won’t succeed.
Kane wants to become a key shareholder in Texton and bring in a new managerial team, which he says will turnaround the company and help it compete with other listed small- to medium-cap real estate groups.
Kane was CEO of Vunani Property Investment Fund, which listed in 2011. A consortium bought its external management contract in November 2013 and the fund was renamed Texton Property Fund in 2014. He left Texton in June 2015.
The board released a statement on Thursday saying it had full confidence in its directors, despite Kane having written a letter to shareholders a few weeks ago, motivating for a takeover of the struggling company to take place, and for the replacement of five directors, including the acting CEO Marius Muller; the CFO Inge Pick; chair Dempsey Naidoo; and two non-executive directors Thys van Heerden and John Legh.
Kane said last week that he was close to gaining enough support from key institutional investors to bring about a takeover and changes to management, but the board said this was not true and that his plan lacked support.
“While the reports state that a number of shareholders have, off the record, verbalised their acceptance of Mr Kane’s takeover plans and are waiting for him to garner sufficient support, management has engaged with a significant number of institutional shareholders and retail investors who have rejected Mr Kane’s proposal,” the board said.
Texton has been one of the worst performing property stocks on a share price basis in recent years. Its price has plummeted from R12.14 on March 6 to R4 at the end of trade on Thursday. It has exposure to assets worth about R5.4bn and a market capitalisation of R1.5bn.
Naidoo has said he will not make himself available for re-election as a director at the upcoming AGM on November 27.
Texton’s board declined to be interviewed by Business Day on Thursday.