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Woodford Pat Cap still copping heat over unlisted investments

The trust’s net asset value has been written down by roughly 5% due to a reduction in the valuation of Industrial Heat

Woodford Investment Management -
Woodford could face legal action from investors

He may have already fallen on his sword, but fund manager Neil Woodford’s unlisted investment choices continue to inflict wounds on his former investment trust, Woodford Patient Capital Trust PLC (LON:WPCT).

In a statement on Monday, the trust said its net asset value has been written down by roughly 5% due to a reduction in the valuation of Industrial Heat, which is attempting to develop a much-derided 'cold fusion' nuclear technology.

READ: Woodford Equity Income investors should brace for up to 70% losses

Link Fund Solutions, which is employed to value the fund’s unquoted investments, said the downward revaluation of the trust’s fifth largest holding reflected “a delay in operational progress” at the unlisted American business, which was one of Woodford’s largest investments as it was also held by his former Equity Income fund.

This follows another reduction of Industrial Heat’s valuation by Link in August that cut the WPCT NAV by around £30mln.

There was some positive news, however, as a valuation uplift was bestowed on a previous Woodford investment that had been written down in September due to a difficulty in raising funds at the time.

The second investee business, which remained unnamed, “has since secured funding which has led to a revaluation”, Link said, but this will only see the trust’s NAV increase by roughly 0.7p per share.

Overall, the trust - which should by the end of the year be renamed Schroder UK Public Private Trust PLC after Schroders was appointed as the new manager - said the NAV will be cut by 4.3p per share as of the end of October to around 58p per share.

Meanwhile, litigation funding companies are looking to support legal claims against Woodford, according to weekend newspaper reports.

Law firms including Slater & Gordon have been inundated by furious, out-of-pocket Woodford investors as well as litigation funders, the Telegraph reported, ever since the fund manager said he was closing down his investment firm after being sacked by Link as manager of the Equity Income fund. 

Augusta, a litigation backer based in London, is in talks to provide backing to the "several" law firms that are investigating potential claims against Woodford, the paper said, with redress likely to be sought via "a coordinated group action".

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