Woodford Patient Capital is officially the biggest UK investment trust launch

20th April 2015


Woodford Patient Capital Trust is sitting comfortably at the top of the list of biggest UK investment trust launches.

The investment trust, which will be managed by star manager Neil Woodford, who already manages the CF Woodford Equity Income fund, has raised £800m during its offer period.

Ian Sayers, chief executive, Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “It’s encouraging to see that Woodford Patient Capital is by far the largest UK investment company launch. It’s a testament to the investment company sector that this distinctive company is taking advantage of the benefits of the closed-ended structure, such as the ability to invest in specialist, small, less liquid assets.”

Craig Newman, chief executive, Woodford Investment Management, added: “The level of investor appetite has exceeded our expectations and as a result the issue was just under 10% oversubscribed. As a result, applications have been scaled back in accordance with the terms set out in the prospectus. The level of scale back is far lower than would have been the case if the size of the issue had not been increased by £300m on 9 April 2015.

“A look at conventional investment trust launches over the past couple of decades or so shows that a capital raise of more than £500m has been an extremely rare event. So to raise more than £800m to invest in a previously overlooked asset class is a tremendous endorsement of the patient capital strategy.”

Largest UK investment company launches

Before the launch of Woodford Patient Capital Trust, the biggest UK investment company new issue was Mercury European Privatisation, which launched in March 1994 having raised £549million. This broke the record set just one month earlier by Kleinwort European Privatisation, which raised £481million. More recently in April 2010, Fidelity China Special Situations was the third largest UK investment company raising £460m.

Year Month Company AIC sector Total assets
1994 Mar Mercury European Privatisation Europe 549
1994 Feb Kleinwort European Privatisation Pan Europe 481
2010 Apr Fidelity China Special Situations Country Specialists: Asia Pacific 460
1993 Dec Mercury World Mining Commodity & Energy 426
2001 Aug Britannic UK Income UK High Income 400

Largest non-UK investment company launches

The largest non-UK investment company was Prodesse, which launched having raised £1,479million in April 2005. MW Tops is the second largest non-UK launch, raising £1,015million in December 2006. F&C Commercial Property is the third largest non-UK launch raising £967m in March 2005.

Year Month Company AIC sector Total assets
2005 Apr Prodesse Sector Specialist: Debt 1479
2006 Dec MW TOPS Hedge Funds 1015
2005 Mar F&C Commercial Property Property 967
2014 Feb Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate Property Direct – Europe 910
2001 Jun Real Estate Opportunities Property 840


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