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Aims Property Securities Fund faces another wind-up vote - The Business Times
By Annabeth Leow

BOUTIQUE Australian firm Samuel Terry Asset Management has launched another attempt to wind up Aims Property Securities Fund, less than two years after its previous bid.

Samuel Terry and fellow unit holder Sandon Capital Investments, which together control 18.6 per cent of the fund, have called for a shareholder vote in Sydney on Dec 10.

Mr Woollard, managing director of Samuel Terry, said in a phone briefing that he believes that a winding-up could unlock the fund's net tangible assets per unit of A$2.37 (S$2.32) for the year to June 30.

Samuel Terry and Sandon Capital are irked that the fund is trading at a discount to its net asset value (NAV). They are also unhappy at its portfolio allocation to related-party investments.

Some such investments are stakes in the Singapore-listed Aims AMP Capital Industrial Reit and the unlisted Aims Real Estate Opportunity Fund.

In a joint statement, Samuel Terry and Sandon Capital raised objections to the fees payable to Aims in relation to these portfolio allocations. They said the fees - the quantum of which is unclear because (Aims Property Securities Fund) refuses to disclose them - are largely responsible for the fund continually trading well below its NAV.

This was disputed by Aims Capital Management, which said that it does not charge Aims Property Securities Fund any management or performance fees.

George Wang, founder and executive chairman of Aims Financial Group, the parent of Aims Capital Management, told The Business Times in an e-mail that Aims Property Securities Fund is a "fund of funds" that puts money into both listed and unlisted products. "The fees charged by the managers of these products are standard market practice and have not caused under-performance," he said.

In any case, the fees have been waived since 2016, after the remuneration structure was tweaked to give the manager the right to vote in the meeting for Samuel Terry's first winding-up attempt. Mr Wang added: "For the unlisted fund assets that were recently purchased, a wind-up would dilute the stamp duty and transaction costs. These assets require time to realise their growth potential, especially long-term development upside." Samuel Terry's previous bid to wind up Aims Property Securities Fund was defeated in January last year, with 46.24 per cent voting against the motion, backed by Aims Capital Management's controlling stake.

Asked if Aims Capital Management, with its sizeable stake of 41 per cent, will repeat the tactic, Mr Wang said: "We will exercise our right to vote as a block against the motion, to protect the future benefit (sic) to unit holders of the fund."

But Mr Woollard has not ruled out going to court to prevent such a move. "We expect that they'll try to vote that 41 per cent against us. We believe that they should not be entitled to vote," he said.

Aims Property Securities Fund closed up on the ASX by 2.87 per cent, at A$1.795, after the news.

link: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/aims-property-securities-fund-faces-another-wind-up-vote