UK - London-based legal firm Allen & Overy has taken onboard the interests of a group of Railtrack shareholders who lost their money following the government's decision to hand over management of the rail group to the private sector.
Litigating partners, Andrew Clark and John O’Connor are investigating the claims of shareholders who, at September 3, 2001, held in excess of 20% of Railtrack. These include Deutsche Asset Management (0.16%), Fidelity Investments (4.02%), Legg Mason Investors (0.58%), Marathon Asset Management (0.04) and Morley Fund Management (4.5%).
A spokesman for the group of shareholders said: We represent pension and investment funds and individual shareholders both in the UK and overseas who are extremely angry at the action which has been taken against them.
“They are determined to see value to their shares restored and are actively considering all available options, including litigation on the making of the order and past funding promises.
“In addition, this obviously has serious implications for the willingness of institutions in future to commit the funds of pensioners and private investors to public/private finance partnerships.
Simon Fraser, CIO for Fidelity Investments added: “At this stage we do not know what route the government or the administrator, working with the board of Railtrack, is going to take to compensate shareholders.
“The situation is very complex, since the quoted company is not the company which is in administration.”
Fraser concluded that Fidelity expects to speak to both the government and the administrator to ensure the government does not ride roughshod over shareholders’ interests.
By Janet Du Chenne
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