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QuotedData’s morning briefing 23 September 2021

In QuotedData’s morning briefing 23 September 2021:

  • Acorn Income has published a circular convening the meetings necessary to get shareholder approval for its plan to liquidate and offer investors a choice of cash or a rollover into an open-ended fund managed by Unicorn – the Unicorn UK Income Fund – this will be the default option. The fund was launched in 2004 and is the best performing fund in the IA UK Equity Income sector since launch. The income shares in the Unicorn fund will not be subject to an entry charge and, further, will benefit from a waiver of the annual management charge for the 12 months from the date of issue. Holders of the zero dividend preference shares will be paid out in full earlier than their scheduled repayment date of 28 February 2022. The company’s remaining revenue reserves will be paid out as a dividend on 8 October.
  • JPMorgan Multi-Asset has declared a second interim dividend of 1.025p – in line with its plan to pay 4.1p this year and at least match dividend increases to inflation (CPI) going forward.
  • SDCL Energy Efficiency Income is one of the companies that has been promoted to the 250 Index in the latest rebalancing.
  • At Civitas’s AGM yesterday, a vote that would have allowed the company to issue up to 20% of its share capital without first offering it to existing shareholders saw 27.1% of votes cast against it. The vote was a special resolution and so needed 75% of votes to be cast in favour – it was defeated, therefore. Civitas says that Pensions and Investment Research Consultants Limited (PIRC), a proxy adviser recommended the rejection of the resolution. Civitas still has permission to issue up to 10% without pre-emption. [We disagree with PIRC’s recommendation – share issuance at a premium to NAV is good news for investors in investment companies and REITs – but Civitas should have no difficulty coming back and asking shareholders for the authority to issue more shares if it runs out of permissions. It will have to convene another meeting, however, and this costs shareholders money. We note that Yew Grove REIT, which had a similar problem at its May EGM but managed to get the resolutions passed, announced this morning that it went back to dissenting shareholders and talked them around. The key message from this is perhaps that PIRC is not infallible and institutions should do a bit more thinking for themselves.]
  • Civitas also put out a statement saying it would make a full response to a recent letter published by a short-seller, which criticised the company for conflict of interest issues in a small number of transactions, shortly. In the short statement the board said: “This letter was issued without any engagement on the author’s part with the board of Civitas. It is the board’s belief that the letter is based on factual inaccuracies, incorrect assumptions, erroneous comments and assertions which are not grounded in fact.” Civitas’s response will be published on its website and we will provide details when it is.
  • Home REIT has raised £350m in a significantly oversubscribed issue, substantially exceeding its target of £262m. Home REIT will deploy the net proceeds on an acquisition pipeline worth £400m, representing thousands of new homes for some of the most vulnerable members of society.

We also have results from European Opportunities, Gulf Investment and Supermarket Income REIT.

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