Alliance Trust (>> Alliance Trust PLC) invoked Elliott Advisors' track record on Thursday, asking shareholders to reject the activist investor's call for a boardroom overhaul and saying the fund was trying to engineer an exit from the investment trust.
Alliance runs one of Britain's oldest investment trusts and is engaged in a tussle with its largest individual shareholder Elliott, aiming to prevent the hedge fund from appointing three directors to its board.
In a campaign started earlier this month, Elliott raised concerns over corporate governance at Alliance Trust and sought support from fellow investors for a boardroom change to help improve the value of the firm.
"The directors proposed by Elliott, who have been identified on its instruction, cannot be considered to be independent," Alliance Trust Chairman Karin Forseke said in a circular sent to shareholders on Thursday.
"We believe their addition to the board would allow Elliott to pursue its own agenda and engineer a quick exit from its shareholding," she added.
The circular, which comes after at least six statements from the two parties last week, told shareholders that Elliott regularly sought to influence and alter the strategic direction its targets through public and disruptive campaigns.
An email to an Elliott spokesman remained unanswered.
The investor has in the past agitated against companies including Actelion (>> Actelion Ltd), Telecom Italia (>> Telecom Italia SpA) and Hess (>> Hess Corp.). It also remains Argentina's main hold-out creditor.
(Reporting by Nishant Kumar; Editing by David Holmes)
By Nishant Kumar