Allied Minds share price buoyed as Neil Woodford-backed tech group reviews strategy

Lynsey Barber
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Allied Minds is seeking a new way with a review (Source: Getty)

Shares in Allied Minds, the Neil Woodford backed innovation group, have been buoyed by news it is reviewing its investment strategy.

It comes after the US-based London-listed firm ditched seven of its subsidiaries in a multi-million pound writedown last month.

The FTSE 250 firm today said it is embarking on an internal review that will report in summer, "focusing on capital allocation and on priorities to strengthen our competitive advantages and accelerate the growth in shareholder value".

Read more: Woodford-backed Allied Minds dives on restructuring writedown costs

Shares jumped as much as four per cent as the markets opened, as it reported pre-tax losses of $128.7m (£99.8m) for the year to the end of December 2016. Revenues came in at $2.7m.

The company also said chief operating officer Marc Eichenberger will stand down.

Allied Minds invests in early-stage companies and R&D to bring them to commercialisation. Neil Woodford's funds own a 29 per cent stake in the firm and is one of its biggest shareholders.

Interim chief executive Jill Smith said of the reveiw:

"Firstly, a more disciplined, systematic, and dynamic approach to capital allocation will be implemented. There will be more intense interrogation and validation of assumptions underpinning our investment decisions, both in origination and in determining the ongoing business and capital plans for our existing subsidiaries. Out of this process we will allocate capital where we see the greatest opportunities for growth, and we will be quicker and more objective in terminating future investments where the path to commercialisation and external funding becomes unclear.

"Secondly, we will seek to broaden our syndication model, bringing in more external investors potentially at an earlier stage in order to provide external validation, and in the case of strategic investors, to bind in commercial partners where this can help accelerate or de-risk progress to commercialisation. The recent HawkEye 360 Series A fundraising, including Razor's Edge and a defence market leader, is a good example of this.

"Thirdly, we have an enviable origination platform, in particular via our AMFI network accessing relatively advanced or proven technologies from federally funded laboratories, and will examine options to bring about an acceleration in the velocity of new investments around more consistent and defined themes where we can leverage our competitive advantages."

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