AMP Life’s appeal against its loss of voting rights at the upcoming AMP Capital China Growth Fund (AGF) extraordinary general meeting has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, preventing the majority unitholder from voting on the future of the fund.
AMP Life lodged the appeal following the decision of the New South Wales Supreme Court that it could not vote on the resolution to wind up the fund, initially proposed by LIM Advisors which owns close to 10 per cent of the units.
Commenting on the Court of Appeal’s decision, AMP Capital Funds Management chair Adam Tindall said it was important that unitholders had “clarity” on AMP Life’s voting position.
“Today, the Court of Appeal dismissed AMP Life's appeal against the Supreme Court's decision. We remained impartial in the matter. We respect the right of all unitholders to act in their own best interests, including AMP Life,” he said.
Prior to the decision, LIM Advisors published an open letter calling on AGF unitholders to support their resolution to have the fund wound up at the meeting, to be held on 28 July.
In the letter, LIM Advisors provides seven reasons why unitholders should vote to wind the fund up, arguing that the responsible entity, AMP Capital, has managed the fund poorly and “repeatedly ignored positive and fair ways” of dealing with the discount to net asset value each unit trades at.
Mr Tindall said the company has “always acted in the best interests of all unitholders,” and advises unitholders consider the two resolutions before voting.
“If investors tell us they want to wind up AGF, we will do so and will continue to act in their best interests to get their funds back to them as quickly as possible,” he said.
Mr Tindall has previously warned unitholders that as the AGF trades in the China A share market through the Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) system it could take between nine and 18 months “before all proceeds could be distributed to unitholders” in the event of a wind-up, based on an analysis conducted by KPMG.
LIM Advisors argued in its letter that this is not the case, saying repatriation of capital is more likely to take “anywhere from one to three months”.
“We have considerable experience investing in China and challenge AMP Capital’s statements,” the company said.
Mr Tindall said the decision is now with unitholders.
“Ultimately, the future of AGF is in our unitholders’ hands. I strongly urge them to carefully consider the two resolutions before them as set out in the explanatory memorandum and exercise their right to vote,” he said.