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Nick Train: the football club that was my best ever investment
by Robert St George on Oct 29, 2013 at 11:11
Nick Train, the Citywire AAA-rated manager, has dubbed Manchester United as the single best investment of his distinguished 32-year career
Train was a shareholder in the Premiership champions during its spell on the London Stock Exchange through the 1990s, when he made a return of 30 times his initial investment. ‘That was all about the exponential rise in the value of TV sporting rights,’ Train observed.
For comparison, the most profitable position in his current portfolio is Dr Pepper Snapple, where he has recorded a mere tenfold gain.
This has been one of his best performing companies over the past year, with Celtic’s shares having appreciated by 68% since the end of 2012.
Yet Train, who has been a Celtic shareholder for eight years now, noted that the firm had had a disappointing run until its recent rally. ‘Frankly it hasn’t been one of our most rewarding investments, and perhaps it never will be,’ he admitted.
The manager nevertheless took confidence from the ‘latency’ of Celtic’s attractive valuation. Train highlighted Manchester United’s present enterprise value of around £2 billion and Arsenal’s of almost £1 billion.
In contrast, Celtic’s is less than a tenth of that.‘There is no doubting the calibre of the franchise,’ Train argued.
Train manages the CF Lindsell Train UK Equity fund, which has returned 69% in the three years to the end of September versus a 33.4% rise in the FTSE All Share. The fund's maximum drawdown of 8.92% is the seventh best in its 264-fund strong peer group.
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