Woodford welcomes BAE-EADS deal collapse as boost for fund

Michael Bow
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NEIL Woodford, one of the world’s most successful investors, yesterday publicly welcomed the collapse of BAE Systems’ merger with EADS for the first time.

Woodford, who runs money at retail fund manager Invesco Perpetual and first warned against the merger in October, said the aerospace defence firm would remain just as good an investment on its own now the deal was off.

In an outlook statement for Edinburgh Investment Trust, a FTSE listed fund run by Woodford, he said: “The deal did not look particularly beneficial to shareholders.”

Woodford said BAE, which is 4.4 per cent of the fund’s portfolio, would be a “valuable future contributor” for the fund on its own.

Results from the fund showed Woodford beat the market again, posting a net asset value increase for of 3.4 per cent compared to a 1.9 per cent rise in the FTSE All Share index.

Woodford said he had shied away from mining stocks but given stronger weighting to the pharmaceutical and tobacco sectors and bought into support firm Capita to deliver the results.