OAKTREE Capital Management has called for Ranger Direct Lending (RDL) to stop its “costly, distracting and misguiding” opposition to the appointment of its board nominees.
RDL announced this week that the alternative finance-focused investment trust would be wound up after a shareholder backlash over its performance and opposition to the appointment of new investment manager Ares Capital Management. Oaktree – which owns 19.8 per cent of the fund – has now reiterated calls to allow its own representatives to be named on the board to help oversee the closure.
“Oaktree believes that, now more than ever, new directors are needed to maximize shareholder value in the wind down,” said an open letter from Oaktree to RDL, released in a stock exchange announcement on Tuesday.
“Even the board has conceded that it will need to appoint additional independent non-executive directors to oversee the wind-down.
“We urge the board to put the interest of shareholders first and do the right thing by immediately entering into discussion with Oaktree to add Oaktree’s nominees instead of continuing with a costly, distracting and misguided effort to block highly-qualified, shareholder-supported nominees.”
Oaktree, which had previously called for the closure of the fund, has nominated Dominik Dolenec and Greg Share to be voted onto the board at RDL’s annual general meeting on 19 June to “provide much-needed additional oversight and experience to this complex process.”
The London-listed fund said in a stock exchange announcement on Monday morning that “the board has concluded that in the interests of certainty and protecting shareholder value the company should move to realise its assets in an orderly manner.”
The letter added that Ares Capital Management had withdrawn its application to become the fund’s new investment manager, despite RDL’s claims that the majority of shareholders approved of the appointment.