Alliance Trust Says Rothschild’s RIT Made Informal Approach

  • Alliance Trust says not certain transaction will take place
  • Approach comes as Alliance Trust conducts strategic review

Alliance Trust Plc said it received an informal merger approach from Jacob Rothschild’s RIT Capital Partners Plc.

RIT didn’t provide detailed terms and it’s not certain that a transaction will take place, Alliance Trust said in a statement on Monday, when U.K. markets were closed for a public holiday.

“The board of Alliance Trust will incorporate any formal merger proposal received from RIT into its strategic review, alongside the other options being considered,” the Dundee, Scotland-based company said. “Shareholders are strongly advised to take no action and to await the outcome of the board’s strategic review.”

Alliance Trust, founded in 1888, is reviewing its business after a boardroom battle last year with activist hedge-fund manager Elliott Advisors led to the departure of Katherine Garrett-Cox as chief executive officer. Robert Smith was appointed chairman in February, replacing Karin Forseke, who also stepped down.

Alliance Trust has gained about 13 percent to 508.5 pence in London trading since this year’s low on Feb. 11, valuing the company at about 2.6 billion pounds ($3.8 billion).

RIT, a London-based investment trust led by Chairman Rothschild, had total net assets of 2.4 billion pounds at the end of 2015, the most ever, according to its annual results. Its market value is about 2.5 billion pounds. Officials at the company weren’t immediately available to answer calls on Monday.

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