Court throws out Aurora fund takeover bid

Aurora Funds Management yesterday won court orders against Primary Securities which tried to topple it as the responsible entity for a listed fund in a rogue shareholder meeting on January 15.

In January, activist investor Tim Staermose and Primary Securities arranged a meeting for the unitholders of the Aurora Absolute Return Fund (ASX: ABW) in Canberra to vote on resolutions to remove Aurora as the responsible entity of the fund with Primary Securities.

The January 15 vote was successful according to Primary, but Aurora refused to recognise it, saying not all unitholders were given enough notice.

Yesterday afternoon, Supreme Court of New South Wales declared the January 15 meeting and its resolutions to replace the responsible entities as invalid, citing the fact 25% of the unit holders of ABW had not received adequate notice as one of the reasons.

The court ordered ASIC to update its registers to show Aurora Funds Management as the responsible entity of the fund.

It has also ordered Primary Securities to pay Aurora Funds Management's costs of the proceedings.

Aurora Funds Management, which acts as a responsible entity for several funds, had a tough year with a failed takeover bid for Molopo Energy and $1 million that went missing from Aurora Property Buy-Write Income Trust that was later traced back to its chief financial officer.

"We are not hiding the fact that we are going in to investigate," Primary Securities managing director Robert Garton-Smith told Financial Standard in January.

The orders issued yesterday have been stayed for seven days to allow Primary to appeal the orders.

Read more: Aurora Funds ManagementASICAurora Property Buy-Write Income TrustMolopo EnergyRobert Garton-SmithTim Staermose
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