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Neil Woodford's Patient Capital Trust tries to soothe investors' concerns after shares plunge

Woodford Patient Capital Trust said the fallout from the suspension of the Equity Income Fund had not affected its “operational performance”.

Neil Woodford is one of Britain's best known investors

Neil Woodford’s Woodford Patient Capital Trust PLC (LON:WPCT) tried to soothe investors’ concerns after its shares plunged 20% in a week following the suspension of redemptions from the fund manager’s unlisted flagship equity fund.

FTSE 250-listed Woodford Patient Capital Trust saw £129mln wiped off its value last week after the suspension of withdrawals from the Woodford Equity Income Fund on June 3 to stop investors from cashing out.

READ: Neil Woodford suspends trading in flagship fund after investor withdrawals

Investors had taken out about £560mln from the Equity Income Fund in the four weeks leading up to the decision to halt withdrawals following a poor performance by the fund.

While the funds are separate, the Woodford Equity Income Fund has a 9% stake in Patient Capital following a controversial deal in March.

Patient Capital Trust 'pleased' with operational progress of portfolio companies

On Monday, Patient Capital Trust said the fallout from the suspension of the Equity Income Fund had not affected its “operational performance”.

The trust said it was pleased with the operational progress of its portfolio companies, which it believes continue to have the potential to deliver attractive returns.

Its chair, Susan Searle, said: "The board is closely monitoring the situation and is engaging with its shareholders and advisers. Separately, the board is in regular dialogue with the portfolio manager."

He added: “The board wishes to emphasise the long-term approach of the Company and will continue to keep shareholders updated as necessary."

Neil Woodford has been reducing stakes in at least 21 companies to help free up cash to meet a flood of redemption requests.

Hedge funds reportedly circling Patient Capital Trust

Over the weekend it was reported that Patient Capital Trust’s 28% discount to net asset value could attract attention from activist hedge funds.

Patient Capital is the most bet-against investment trust in the FTSE 350 with short positions in the trust rising to 4.4% of the stock from 2% at the beginning of March, according to data provider IHS Markit.

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