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Unitholders say no to AIMS Property Securities Fund wind-up bid, in first of two scheduled votes

UNITHOLDERS voted against a winding-up of dual-listed AIMS Property Securities Fund by a six-point unit-holding margin on Friday, according to an update from the manager.

The resolution was voted down by stakeholders with a collective interest of 44.36 per cent in the fund - with unitholders representing a 38.3 per cent interest in favour of the winding-up - at a meeting in Sydney.

AIMS Capital Management, which shares a parent with the fund manager, divested its stake in the company on Dec 5, a bourse filing released later on Friday showed. The units were sold for A$14 million (S$13.8 million), or A$1.57 apiece, to a fund in an off-market transaction on Dec 5 - slashing the effective stake of fund-related entities from 41 per cent to roughly 21 per cent.

Claud Chaaya, the manager's director of property funds management, confirmed in an email to The Business Times that AIMS leaned on its entire voting block for the winding-up resolution. This is the same tactic that it used during a previous attempt to scrap the fund.

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Also on the agenda was a successful resolution directing the manager to have the fund rated by an appropriate agency and to undertake a strategic review of the fund's investment strategy and policy.

The clash over the fund's future was scheduled just days ahead of another wind-up vote, organised by a team-up of disgruntled unitholders, which is still set to be held on Dec 10.

Friday's meeting was called by the fund's responsible entity, AIMS Fund Management.

Samuel Terry Asset Management and Sandon Capital Investments, which together control 18.6 per cent of the fund, have raised publicly concerns such as the fund's portfolio allocation to related-party investments, as well as how the counter is trading at a discount to net asset value.

But Samuel Terry's previous bid to wind up the fund was foiled in January 2017, with AIMS Capital Management voting as a block with its controlling stake.