Shaftesbury’s largest shareholder, Hong Kong billionaire Samuel Tak Lee, has served the Chinatown landlord with a writ for £10 million following a long-running dispute.
Property tycoon Lee, a 26% shareholder, has locked horns with the firm since December 2017 when it embarked on a £265 million fundraising to boost its portfolio.
The placing was priced at 952p, a 5% discount on the previous day’s closing price.
Lee, who owns the sprawling neighbouring Langham Estate, claimed his Shaftesbury stake had been diluted by the move.
He is seeking damages for alleged losses in the region of £10.4 million. Lee “has serious doubts regarding the ability and desire of Shaftesbury’s board to protect shareholder value going forward”, his spokesman said today.
Shaftesbury, led by Brian Bickell, considers the claims without merit and intends to defend the allegations robustly.
The firm added that it has extended numerous invitations to talk to Lee, which he has snubbed.