Woodford Investment Management  

Link Fund Solutions up for sale amid FCA fine over Woodford

Link Fund Solutions up for sale amid FCA fine over Woodford
 

The company under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority for its handling of the collapse of the Woodford Equity Income fund is up for sale.

Link Group, parent company of Link Fund Solutions, which was the authorised corporate director of the Woodford fund, has said it is exploring divestment options for the subsidiary.

In a statement yesterday (October 21), Link Group said it has appointed Macquarie Capital and UBS Securities Australia as its advisers on the process.

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The move signals that Link does not intend to support its subsidiary through the investigation by the FCA, which the regulator has said could result in a £50mn fine and £306mn in redress.

The news comes a month after a potential takeover of Link Group, including Link Fund Solutions, collapsed.

The FCA had warned the firm looking to buy Link, Dye & Durham, that its approval of the takeover was conditional on D&D’s ability to make up any shortfall in Link Group’s ability to pay any redress imposed.

At the time the deal fell through, Link said it was “disappointed” at the outcome.

Fund collapse

As the authorised corporate director of Woodford Investment Management, Link has been under investigation by the FCA since the collapse of the Woodford Equity Income Fund.

The fund, once worth £10bn, began struggling with a wave of redemption requests in 2019.

After a scramble to sell shares to improve the fund’s liquidity, Link announced in October of that year that the fund would be wound down and Neil Woodford fired. 

Thousands of investors saw their money trapped in the suspended fund and lose considerable sums as a result.

At the point of its suspension, the fund was £3.5bn in size - though it had shrunk to £2.9bn by the time capital started being repaid.

sally.hickey@ft.com