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Woodford ups unquoted holdings with four new positions in October

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Neil Woodford has increased the number of unlisted stocks held within the £3.4bn Woodford Equity Income fund to ten after initiating four new investments last month.

The largest of the four positions is a £17m holding in semiconductor business Spin Transfer Technologies. The company is a subsidiary of Allied Minds, the technology firm which is itself Woodford’s 11th largest holding at 2.4 per cent of his portfolio.

The three other positions are in a trio of healthcare companies: Emba, Viamet, and Stratified Medical.

Following the purchase of these new positions, the fund now has just over 5 pe cent of its assets in unlisted companies.

“We are very excited about the long-term growth potential this part of the portfolio represents,” said Stephen Lamacraft, a fund manager at Woodford Investment Management.

The manager also added a position in engineering outsourcer Babcock International during the market volatility in October – a month which saw the FTSE All Share fall as much as 11.6 per cent below its September peak before recovering sharply.

“We have been attracted to the business for some time and have been patiently waiting for an entry point. Over the course of this year, the shares have fallen from £13 in late February to trade as low as £10 briefly in the last few weeks,” Lamacraft said.

Lamacraft said the team was also “surprised” to see Rolls-Royce shares sell off so aggressively following the manufacturer’s profit warning; Woodford used the falls to top up his position in the company, which now accounts for 3.1 per cent of his portfolio.

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