Gerald Ronson’s company Heron this week successfully blocked two resolutions proposed at the annual general meeting of Crest Nicholson.

Heron, which is planning a takeover of Crest, holds 23.4% of its shares. It used this stake to vote down proposals that would have given Crest’s board the ability to either issue or buy back 5% of company shares without shareholder approval.

Crest confirmed that the resolutions had not been passed in a statement on Monday, heightening the hostility between the firms.

Heron voted to protect its stake in the company, which could have been diluted had the resolutions been passed. Heron has indicated that it would be willing to pay between 345p and 430p a share for Crest, valuing the company at about £480m.

Crest has made it clear that the approach is unwelcome

Crest has made it very clear that the approach is unwelcome, and has urged shareholders to take no action. The board has dismissed the price, even at the higher end of the range, saying that it “significantly undervalues” the company. Crest has refused to open its books to Heron as a result.

Last week Heron repeated its plea for Crest shareholders to put pressure on the board to provide the information it required to make a formal offer.