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Woodford Patient Capital Trust debuts; first investments announced

Kit Klarenberg
Written By:
Kit Klarenberg

Neil Woodford’s highly anticipated Patient Capital Trust (PCT) debuted on the London Stock Exchange yesterday morning, in the largest ever investment trust launch in UK history.

Over seven million shares were traded in the first 90 minutes; by the close of trading the Trust’s share price had leaped by 2.25 per cent, putting the Trust on instant premium to net asset value. Today, the Trust has announced its first investment – AIM-listed diagnostics firm Sphere Medical holdings – and confirmed that around 30 other shares are being considered. PCT will invest £4m in Sphere, the equivalent of a 17.2 per cent stake and 23m shares.

“We have the best part of 30 ideas to go,” says Woodford in a video address on the Trust website. “We hope to execute on those relatively quickly, and we have other quoted ideas that we will populate the fund with too.”

Woodford went on to state he would remain tight-lipped about the other shares he is currently eyeing until they were finally decided. “We clearly want to keep our ideas quite close to our chest as we did when we launched the income fund in June last year. We will go quiet for a little while. We have a job to communicate exactly what the businesses are that we’re investing in and certainly with unquoted portfolio, which will be completely unknown to investors.”

“This is a publicly quoted company and we have to be very careful about selective disclosures,” Woodford continues, “we have some obligations as a regulated firm, so we think it is entirely appropriate not to be prematurely transparent about what we’re doing – but we will be transparent once the capital is deployed.”

“It’s an exciting day but the future is what this trust is about,” Woodford concludes. “We know we’ve got to deliver…the challenge is ahead of us.’