The efforts of leading fund manager Neil Woodford to sell off his holdings in many leading UK companies including Purplebricks has become ‘frantic’, it has been revealed.
Woodford last week cut his stake in at least 21 companies as he rushed to raise funds to repay investors wanting to withdraw their cash from his flagship £3.7 billion Equity Income Fund, which he recently suspended.
This compares with the previous four weeks when he sold just two of his stakes.
Among the most significant sales this week were a stake of 5% in intellectual property company Allied Minds, 9.63% in Purplebricks, 7.42% in property investor NewRiver REIT and 5.45% in used-vehicle market BCA Marketplace.
He also reduced his holdings in builders Crest Nicholson and Kier Group, as well as Circassia Pharmaceuticals.
As The Negotiator reported last week, Woodford reduced his shareholding in Purplebricks to 23.9%.
Over the weekend former City minister Lord Myners told the BBC that the UK’s financial regulator “should have been awake” to problems at Woodford’s investment fund, and that the Financial Conduct Authority had missed “clear warning signs” that things were going wrong
Woodford’s Equity Income Fund has also been dropped by one of the UK’s leading funds ‘supermarkets’, Hargreaves Lansdown, which included the fund in its ‘top 50’ list and was one of his key supporters after he went solo.
Woodford was a star fund manager at Investco Perpetual before setting up his own fund in 2013, the same year he was awarded a CBE.