UK - The Railtrack Shareholders' Action Group (RSAG) last week instructed its lawyers, Lovells, to prepare the necessary papers to be served on the Treasury Solicitor in respect of documents which the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) has refused to disclose regarding the collapse of the rail infrastructure company.
RSAG represents institutional investors including pension funds who are shareholders in Railtrack.
RSAG said its action results from receipt of a letter from the Treasury Solicitor denying the entitlement of RSAG to receive the documentation requested relating to the decision to put Railtrack into administration. It is anticipated that papers will be served shortly after a full meeting of RSAG on January 15.
Simon Haslam, chairman of RSAG, said: “We cannot put up with DTLR’s delaying tactics any longer. They have given us no option but to pursue the matter in the courts and this we will do.
“All we have requested are the documents relating to the decision by Stephen Byers, secretary of state, to put Railtrack into administration. DTLR have consistently said that the actions of Mr Byers were legal and correct. One would assume that the documents we have requested would prove this, but the fact that we have to apply to the court to see them raises questions. I am forced to the conclusion that the government has something to hide.”
Ben Herbert, a spokesman for the DTLR said the government had refused the shareholders’ action groups requests for disclosure “because they have not demonstrated a legal basis for their request. and our lawyers have advised us that we should decline such a speculative request.”
He added that the government would not use public funds to create value for shareholders and wanted to engage in constructive dialogue instead of wasting money in a long legal process.
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