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Dr. Mark Sinclair
Dr. Mark Sinclair, Mentor Education

Rural Funds merger to head to court.

26 November 2013

The ongoing fracas between Rural Funds Management unitholders unhappy about a merger between chicken, wine and almond orchard funds into a single, listed real estate investment trust will head to court.

The Victorian Supreme Court is the next step to try and resolve the heated dispute whereby they will attempt to stop a meeting for RiverBank unit holders to vote on RFMs plans to merge which the dissenters say the unit price reset is against the RiverBank constitution as it would wipe approximately 7.4% off the units, and that paying a 15% premium on the value of the Wine Fund assets would confer a benefit to this fund and be an illegal related party transaction.

On its website, RFM says a company associated with the principal of Segue Financial Services, Sunset Amber Pty Ltd, served the court documents and this represents only a small portion of investors commenting that “it is disappointing that a small group of advisers from Melbourne’s inner east has elected to take this action given the overwhelming support demonstrated by votes received by RFM to date.”

Segue Financial Services portfolio manager DeLancey Worthington who holds units in the RiverBank Fund said that Sunset Amber is funding the court battle themselves and, “Sunset Amber is a trust with a trustee. Segue is one of the advisers in the Investor Action Group. RFM is falsely claiming there’s financial links between Segue, Sunset Amber and ProTen. But there is no such thing.”

Court proceedings mean the unitholders meeting has been postponed until at least 9 December.

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