Thursday 20 August 2020 10:47 am

Shuttered Woodford fund to pay out £183m to investors next week

Investors trapped in the failed Woodford Equity Income will receive a £183m payout next week, following the sale of a number of assets.

Link Fund Solutions agreed a £224m deal to sell 18 healthcare stocks, representing around half the remaining fund’s assets in June to Acacia Research. The firm then offloaded the bargain stocks just days after the deal.

Read more: Woodford investors have lost £1bn since fund was frozen

Link, which has overseen the suspension and liquidation of the fund, has written to investors telling them they should expect to be paid “on or around 26 August 2020”.

The payout adds to the £142m paid in March and the £2.1bn in January, meaning investors have received around £2.4bn of their money back.

Woodford Equity Income fund was suspended last June after becoming overwhelmed by investor redemptions, leading to the industry’s biggest crisis in years. The suspension eventually led to star stockpicker Neil Woodford shuttering the business in October.

The update, published by Link today, has no mention of when the remaining illiquid assets in the fund will be sold. Link Fund Solutions, the fund’s administrator, merely said the sale may “take some time”.

“This means the process will drag on for even longer for investors, who just want to get as much of their money back as possible and move on from the sorry saga” said Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at investment platform AJ Bell.

Read more: FCA launches probe into Woodford depositary Northern Trust

Investors will also have to wait even longer for the fund’s report and accounts, which have been delayed again. “It is now expected that the annual accounts will be published by 30 September 2020 at the latest”, Link said in a letter to investors.

“When they finally arrive the accounts will provide a bit more clarity to investors on the sale process and costs involved, but will now be over six months out of date by the time they are published” added Suter.

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