Neil Woodford has managed to raise a little more cash for his disgruntled investors, after selling a chunk of shares in Oakley Capital Investments.
The beleaguered fund manager had previously held 19.4 per cent of Oakley, a listed private equity firm which owns stakes in Time Out and telecoms business Daisy.
But he has now cut that to 7.35 per cent, raising around £54million for investors who want their money back from his troubled Equity Income fund.
Usually such large stakes are difficult to sell. It’s not easy finding buyers willing to pick up large numbers of shares, and any interested bidders will know Woodford needs to sell which may lead them to push for a bargain.
Whip round: Beleaguered fund manager Neil Woodford has cut his holding in Oakley from 19.4 per cent to 7.35 per cent, raising around £54m for investors
But it appears Peter Dubens and David Till, Oakley’s founders, were willing to come to Woodford’s aid.
Entrepreneur Dubens, who started his career as a driver for Bahamas-based billionaire Joe Lewis, stumped up the cash to buy 5.3m shares at 220p each.
Till bought 222,222 shares for the same price. Between them, they spent more than £12million.
Other investors who scooped up some shares included the AVI Global Trust, a London-listed investment trust which increased its stake in Oakley from 10 per cent to 11.9 per cent. Oakley ended the day up 3.6 per cent, or 8p, at 231.5p.
Stock Watch –
Video games developer Team 17 was pushing the right buttons for investors, saying that profits and revenue for the year would be ahead of expectations.
The firm, which created Worms, released new titles including Hell Let Loose and My Time At Portia during the first six months of the year.
In April, another game, Yoku’s Island Express, won a Bafta for best debut game.
Shares in the company yesterday climbed 11.3 per cent, or 28p, to 275p.
Reneuron, another in Woodford’s portfolio, suffered more damage. Woodford sold a few shares, taking his stake down from 35.4 per cent to 34.6 per cent and raising around £728,000.
But the biotech firm, which researches how stem cells can help stroke patients, slid 2.1 per cent, or 5p, to 237.5p.
Online trading firm Plus500 was also slipping, as investors yet again expressed their displeasure with management.
It suffered a shareholder revolt in January over amended pay policies for its top two executives. Asaf Elimelech and Elad Even-Chen, Plus500’s chief executive and chief finance officer respectively, who took home more than £6million each last year, up from just over £2.5million the year before.
Now Steven Baldwin, who chairs the nominations committee, is in the firing line.
More than 20 per cent voted against him, in what the firm admitted was a protest against a lack of diversity on the board.
Penelope Judd, the firm’s chairman and only female director, saw 14 per cent of investors rally against her. Plus500 ended the day down 1.7 per cent, or 9.8p, at 580p.
Rolls-Royce was hoping for take-off as it bought Siemens’ electric aeroplane start-up for an undisclosed sum. Based in Germany and Hungary, it employs around 180 specialist electrical designers and engineers. Rolls’ shares rose 1.9 per cent, or 16.8p, to 923.8p.
The FTSE 100 had its best day since the beginning of February, up 1.2 per cent, or 85.73 points, to 7443.04, helped by a rise from miners after copper prices – under pressure due to the US-China trade war – soared following strikes at one of the world’s largest mines in Chile.
Antofagasta was up 4.7 per cent, or 40.8p, to 900.8p, while Glencore climbed 3 per cent, or 8p, to 278p and Anglo American edged up 2.7 per cent, or 56.5p, to 2165p.
Shared workspace company IWG was given yet another boost by boss Mark Dixon, who bought another £143,000 worth of shares after snapping up £837,000 worth last week.
Analysts at Peel Hunt said it suggests he sees ‘further value’ in the business. Its share rose 3 per cent, or 10.5p, to 357.5p.
Meanwhile Goals, whose shares are suspended after the discovery of accounting errors, said it was bringing Deloitte on to its team.
The five-a-side football firm, which has Mike Ashley as its biggest shareholder, said Deloitte would assess ‘future corporate options’. This may even include a sale of the whole business.