Home Estate Planning Troubled investment trust D9 confirms ‘managed wind down’ after debt and share woes

Troubled investment trust D9 confirms ‘managed wind down’ after debt and share woes

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Digital 9 Infrastructure (D9) has confirmed it is winding down the company after it bought too many companies and tripped over its large pile of debt.

On Monday, the London-listed investment trust said it plans to send out a circular to all shareholders soon, calling for a meeting to vote on the managed wind down. It is the result of a strategic review, announced in November last year.

D9’s board has already hired advisers to help it sell its assets including Aqua Comms, EMIC-1, Elio Networks, and SeaEdge UK1.

If shareholders reject the wind down, D9’s current policy will remain in place and the board will work with financial advisers to look at alternative options.

Interim independent chair of D9, Charlotte Valeur, said a managed wind down of the company is “likely the best route” to maximise shareholder value.

She said: “The Board will assess the progress of the proposed asset sales on an ongoing basis and will continue to monitor other potential opportunities to realise income and capital value for shareholders as they arise.

“We will also continue to engage in active dialogue with our shareholders throughout this process,” Valeur added.

In July 2023, D9’s fund portfolio mostly included data centres and underwater data cables. It planned to add transmission towers by buying nearly half of Arqiva, which runs TV and radio transmitters and smart metre networks in Britain. 

But the Arqiva deal brought in too much debt and D9 has been struggling financially since. 

It couldn’t pay out dividends as planned and faced pressure from shareholders. So, it tried to claw back some cash through the sale of its top asset, Verne Global data center, for up to £456m.

But this did little to appease investors, with shares dropping nine per cent.

D9’s shares have plummeted nearly 79 per cent over the past five years, with the steepest decline coming in 2023 following consistent liquidity and balance sheet problems.

The business began a formal consultation with unhappy shareholders last October.

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