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Future attacked by short-seller ShadowFall

The London-based hedge fund said the publisher was using acquisitions to mask organic growth rates much weaker than its trumpeted 11%

Future PLC -

Publisher Future PLC's (LON:FUTR) shares were pummelled after the release of a scathing 69-page report published by the short-seller Shadowfall. 

The London-based hedge fund blasted Future’s portfolio of titles as “little more than a collection of generally low quality, often distinct and shrinking assets” and criticised its “self-serving management reward structure”.

Future, the publisher of titles including Classic Rock, What Hi-FiTotal Film, FourFourTwo, Tom's Guide and Crackberry, was using acquisitions to mask a rate of organic revenue growth that was much weaker than the 11% figure shown in its accounts, ShadowFall said.

The FTSE 250 group in October acquired a batch of magazines including Country Life, Horse & Hound and Woman’s Weekly for £140mln.

ShadowFall, founded by former equity analyst Matthew Earl, said Future was acquiring assets at a price of less than two times sales, while the group itself was trading for nearer seven times its revenues.

Future shares, which had skyrocketed more than 1,100% over the past three years to highs above 1,500p, dropped more than 15% on the day to finish on 1,280p.

Quick facts: Future PLC

Price: 905 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £887.03 m

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