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Woodford wants Invesco to do a shares deal

Neil Woodford is seeking talks with his former employer Invesco Perpetual over the transfer of some of his favourite shareholdings.

 
Woodford wants Invesco to do a shares deal

Neil Woodford is seeking talks with Invesco Perpetual over the potential transfer of some of his favourite share holdings to his new fund.

Woodford, who left Invesco to set up his own firm earlier this year, told The Sunday Times he offered to open discussions last month in an attempt to prevent problems in case a large number of his former investors wish to switch to the Woodford Equity Income fund, which is formally launched today.

There is concern that Mark Barnett, Woodford's successor on the Invesco Perpetual Income and High Income funds, could have to sell some of his holdings to provide money for investors seeking to withdraw their investments. This could cause share prices in the stocks involved to fall temporarily. It could make trading in some smaller companies almost impossible.

Woodford, who managed £33 billion for Invesco Perpetual, retains major exposure to a number of these stocks through the £3.7 billion funds he runs on behalf of St James’s Place, a financial salesforce.

These include property developer Raven Russia (RUS), building materials supplier Breedon Aggregates (BREE), home emergency insurer Homeserve (HSV), litigation finance fund Burford Capital (BURF) and drug developers e-Therapeutics (EXTP) and Oxford Pharmascience (OXP).

Woodford told the newspaper: ‘After 26 years, leaving Invesco was going to be quite a shock to the system – both for me and them.

‘Clearly if you are motivated by the interests of your client, you want to keep the friction costs of moving as low as possible.

‘To do that, you have to have two consenting adults. I am sure there will be an accommodation.'

Eleswhere, Woodford and Invesco are working together. Both have lent their support to Imperial Innovations (IVO), a business incubator seeking to raise up to £150 million.

Invesco Asset Management owns 42.7% of the firm, principally through funds now managed by Citywire AAA-rated Barnett, while Woodford Investment Management holds 2.9% through its St James’s Place mandate.

Imperial Innovations enjoyed recent success with the flotation of allergy specialist Circassia Pharmaceuticals, which raised over £200 million and is still held by Barnett.

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  • E-Therapeutics PLC
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  • HomeServe PLC
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