Alliance Trust To Close Private Equity Business

Mar 15 2011 | 2:50am ET

With an unhappy hedge fund breathing down its neck, Alliance Trust said it will quit the private equity business.

The British investment firm said yesterday it would close its Alliance Trust Equity Partners, which has about £110 million in assets under management, over the next few months. "The Trust will look to wind down the exposure over the coming months in order to maximize the returns to the shareholders," the firm said.

Alliance Trust will focus on its Asset Management and Savings business following calls by hedge fund Laxey Partners for the firm to do more to boost its share price. The firm's p.e. business managed less than 4% of its total assets.

Laxey has pushed Alliance to institute discount control mechanisms, such as automatic share buy-back programs, to improve its share price.

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