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Future of Aquila Energy Efficiency uncertain as investors look set to vote against continuation

Biotech trusts top performance charts in February

Valeria Martinez, Investment Week, 28 February 2023:

The Aquila Energy Efficiency trust looks set to fail its continuation resolution, as over half of proxy votes cast so far have come against it.

In a London Stock Exchange announcement yesterday afternoon (27 February), the company revealed that votes representing 83,768,843 shares (83.8% of share capital) had been cast by proxy so far, with 46.55m (55.6%) voting against continuation.

Based on the current proxy votes cast, the resolution is not expected to pass today’s (28 February) general meeting at 2pm this afternoon, as these needed approval of more than 50%.

“Should the resolutions not pass at the general meeting, as currently indicated by the proxy votes cast, the board of the company will consult with shareholders over proposals for the future of the company, with further announcements to be made in due course,” the company said in a statement.

“A further announcement confirming the final votes cast will be made as soon as practicable after the conclusion of the general meeting.”

The shares of the trust had been trading at a persistent discount of around 25% before yesterday’s announcement. Shares reacted positively to the news, up 6.5% to 77p, equivalent to a 20% discount to net asset value.

James Carthew, head of investment companies at QuotedData, said: “We recommended that shareholders vote against continuation. The next step should be to find a merger partner, we think.”

According to Carthew, the “obvious candidate” is SDCL Energy Efficiency, although it is trading on a discount of 13.5%, having widened steadily since early December 2022. However, he said this should not be a barrier to a merger.

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