Woodford strikes maiden deal for newly minted venture fund

 
Michael Bow
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ASSET manager Neil Woodford clinched the first known investment from his record-breaking venture capital fund yesterday, as the vehicle started trading in London.

The Woodford Patient Capital Trust, which raised £800m from investors on Monday, will take a 17.2 per cent stake in healthcare minnow Sphere Medical, worth about £3.7m.

Sphere makes monitoring and diagnostic devices for people in critical care in hospital and is listed on the junior stock market.

The Cambridge-based firm generated £13.2m overall from investors, which it will use to increase production facilities.

Woodford’s Patient Capital trust, which listed shares on the main market at 100p, rose to a high of 105.85p in trading on its debut yesterday before closing at 102p.

“We have the best part of 30 ideas ready to go, so we hope to execute on those relatively quickly,” Woodford said in a video blog posted online yesterday.

“It’s an exciting day but the future is what this trust is about and we know we’ve got to deliver. We’re getting busy from day one and the challenge is ahead of us.”

The £800m raised from investors was a record haul and the biggest investment trust ever listed in the UK on a nominal basis.

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