Embattled fund manager Neil Woodford lowers his stake in Purplebricks

Woodford Investment Management has shaved its stake in Purplebricks.

The reduction is small: Woodford now has 17.64% voting rights, down from 19.25%.

The threshold was crossed on Tuesday and notified to the London Stock Exchange yesterday afternoon.

Embattled fund manager Neil Woodford was the largest stakeholder in Purplebricks, but in June sold around £16m of shares to cut his stake from almost 29% to about 24%.

According to Purplebricks’ recently published annual report, Axel Springer is now the biggest shareholder with a 26.57% stake, with Woodford Investment in second place with 19.26% (as of this week now 17.64%); Merian Global Investors has a 16.6% stake; Toscafund Asset Management 10.43%; and chairman Paul Pindar has 3.53%.

The sell-off by Woodford of almost 5m shares helped his fund liquidate assets of almost £6m and prompted speculation that the buyer may have been Axel Springer which was last week rumoured to be interested in taking over Purplebricks.

Yesterday shares in Purplebricks closed at  121p.

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2 Comments

  1. Charlie Wright

    No matter how much money investors lose on PB, it won’t hurt them as much as all the sellers who paid up front believing they’d sell but didn’t.

    But I feel most sorry for the honest hard working LPE’s among their staff. I hope, when the end finally comes, they’ll be able to use their experience to move into a more rewarding role in the sector.

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  2. Hillofwad71

    Woodford  letting out a little slack into the market to encourage a bid for his stake ?.More interesting will be to find out who has bought it ? Is there anyone out there willing to take out Axel Springer .?

    Bricks is fast losing its shine -a damp squib . Any semblance  of strong management beneath Michael  Bruce’s veneer  is long gone. I wonder if  those  recruits fasttracked  with limited experience from UK to spearhead USA have headed back home?

    With just 162 properties  left in Oz -surely they can palm  those off to a third party agent and wind the whole thing up ?

     

    Axel  must be in despair .In theory now attention has been refocussed back in Blighty you would expect to see some changes .Far from it  September instructions well down on last year

    Yet to make their move to finish the job after taking out Bruces shareholding  perhaps they are seeking to offload to a third party ?

    Maybe they have been preoccupied with the fact they have undergone some corporate changes themselves and become a private company  .This with  the help of the US  powerhouse KKR and the deal yet to close That would be a logical explanation to the delay.

    Certainly have the firepower to swallow Bricks whole.

    What is for certain is that the next trading update is going to be grim -so maybe waiting for that  to go into the public domain first

     

    We  live in interesting times as the Chinese say !

     

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