InvestmentsJun 11 2019

The shares Woodford sold to raise cash

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The shares Woodford sold to raise cash

Stock exchange filings have revealed the shares Neil Woodford has been selling as he seeks to raise enough cash to reopen his stricken Equity Income fund.

Although investors are unable to place cash into the fund or take money out while the fund is suspended, the fund manager has been selling shares to raise money to meet any redemptions from investors looking to sell when the fund reopens.

The fund was suspended on June 3 after the Kent County Council pension fund informed Woodford Investment Management that it was withdrawing £255m.

Another spark that prompted the fund to be suspended was a profit warning from outsourcer Kier Group on the same day the fund was suspended. The company's shares fell 20 per cent that day.

The Woodford fund will be closed for at least 28 days but the suspension could yet be extended.

In anticipation of redemptions and to meet the cost of Kent County Council's withdrawal, Mr Woodford has already sold a raft of shares.

On June 6, Mr Woodford cut his stake in Kier from 20 per cent to 15 per cent.

On the same day, according to official stock market filings, Mr Woodford cut his stake in Provident Financial from 23 per cent to 18 per cent. Provident Financial shares have fallen from £6.50 to £5.30 over the past year.

Also on that day Mr Woodford cut his stake in BCA Marketplace, a car auctions business with a market cap of £1.5bn, to 7 per cent, having previously held 12.5 per cent of the business.

The shares have fallen in value from £2.36 on June 11, 2018, to £1.84 on the day Mr Woodford sold.

On the same day he reduced his holding in Countryside Properties, a FTSE 250 listed house builder with a focus on London and the south east.

Mr Woodford cut his holding in that company from 15 per cent to 10 per cent.

Mr Woodford also reduced his holding in another housebuilder, Crest Nicholson, to 10 per cent from the previous 15 per cent.

On June 7, Mr Woodford cut his stake in loans company Amigo from 10 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

He also cut his stake in online estate agency Purplebricks from 28 per cent to 19.25 per cent over a series of transactions.

When launching the Equity Income fund, Mr Woodford spoke of his desire to invest in university spinouts.

One of the ways this has happened was via an investment in IP Group Plc, but on June 7 he cut his stake from 19 per cent to 14 per cent in this firm.