Investments  

Woe for Woodford as bad news hits investments

Woe for Woodford as bad news hits investments

Embattled fund manager Neil Woodford is facing bad news for two of his investments this morning.

The shares of Eddie Stobart Logistics, which Mr Woodford is the largest single holder of, were suspended this morning as the chief executive left the company and accounting problems meant its annual results would not be published on time.

Meanwhile, the board of the Woodford Patient Capital investment trust, which Mr Woodford also manages, announced this morning it had revised down the value of one of the trust’s unquoted holdings, IH International.

In a statement to the stock exchange, released this morning, Eddie Stobart Logistics said it was re-evaluating its accounting practices and would delay publication its its interim results until September.

Pending clarification of the impact of this issue, Eddie Stobart has applied to suspend trading of its ordinary shares on Aim, from 7.30am today.

Mr Woodford’s funds own 23 per cent of the company, making him the single largest shareholder. 

The shares are mostly held in his Equity Income fund which was suspended on June 3 following a wave of investor withdrawals. Since then Mr Woodford has been selling shares to raise sufficient cash to re-open the fund. 

The impact of the suspension of Stobart shares is that he can’t sell them, making it harder to raise cash. 

The shares have tumbled in value from £1.33 to 70p over the past year. 

Meanwhile the news about IH International, which was prompted by a "reassessment of the current progress of the business", means investors in Woodford Patient Capital face a reduction in their investment and shares in the trust have fallen by 6 per cent since the news was announced.  

The trust's board confirmed earlier this year that they were reviewing the fund management contract with Neil Woodford’s company, Woodford Investment Management, following a period of under performance.

The trust has lost 46 per cent this year to date, compared with an 8 per cent loss for the average fund in the AIC UK All Companies sector in the same time period. 

david.thorpe@ft.com