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Oaktree pushes for board seats to help wind down Ranger Direct fund

Mon 11th June, 2018 11:24pm
By Liana B. Baker
    NEW YORK, June 11 (Reuters) - Investor Oaktree Capital
Management  OAK.N , the world's largest distressed debt asset
manager, said in a letter to shareholders on Monday it would
continue a push to elect its two board nominees at Ranger Direct
Lending Fund  RDL.L , a closed-end fund that announced it was
winding itself down.
    Ranger Direct Lending is listed in the U.K. but is a mostly
North American credit portfolio. A wind-down means Ranger will
close down its investments and return its more than $200 million
assets to shareholders.
    On Monday, Ranger said it would abandon its plan to bring
aboard Ares Capital Management  ARES.N  as its investment
manager, following pushback from activist shareholders who
wanted the fund shut down instead. 
    Ranger added that it would appoint additional independent
directors to its board after consulting with shareholders to
help shut down the fund, but does not support any board nominees
selected by Oaktree, or another dissident shareholder that has
nominated directors, Hong Kong-based investment adviser LIM
Advisors.
    Rangers' earlier plan to appoint Ares and continue to trade
publicly was opposed by Oaktree, a Los Angeles-based alternative
asset manager with $121 billion under management and the
second-largest shareholder in the company.
    Ranger did not respond to a request for comment on Oaktree's
letter.
    LIM Advisors is the third-largest investor in Ranger and
also supports the shutdown. Together, the duo owned about 30
percent of Ranger's stock as of Monday. LIM could not be reached
for comment.
    While Oaktree supports Ranger's shutdown, it said in its
letter Monday that the nominees it proposed, Dominik Dolenec and
Greg Share, would help Ranger wind down the fund in an efficient
manner.
    A shutdown of the fund will see it halt investing in new
loan portfolios and allow existing ones to mature, thereby
returning cash to investors over a period of up to 18 months or
so, according to a previous Oaktree letter.
    Shareholders votes are due before this Friday, ahead of
Ranger's annual general meeting on June 19. 
    Ranger had a market capitalization of 129.95 million pounds
($173.86 million) on Monday.
    
    ($1 = 0.7474 pounds)

 (Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York
Editing by Tom Brown)
 ((liana.baker@thomsonreuters.com; 6462234850 @lianabaker;
Reuters Messaging: liana.baker@thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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