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Cofunds gets a new shareholder and reaches fund pact

Fund supermarket Cofunds has bolstered its depleted coffers by signing up retail fund administrator International Financial Data Services as its fifth shareholder.

The move comes as Cofunds&#39 backers – M&G, Jupiter, Gartmore and Thread- needle – have concluded months of wrangling by striking a deal with FundsNetwork parent Fidelity which ensures the funds of each company are available on both platforms.

Cofunds and FundsNetwork hope that their backers&#39 funds will be available on both platforms from mid-December but acknowledge that it could be early January.

IFDS will become an equal 20 per cent shareholder in Cofunds as part of the investment deal, which comes just weeks after the supermarket published a financial statement showing it made an operating loss of £34.6m in 2001.

Although Cofunds is not divulging details, chief executive Clive Boothman says IFDS&#39s investment will “help on the financial side quite considerably”.

The other shareholders are believed to have ploughed a total of £80m into the business.

Cofunds will be able to use IFDS&#39s IT resources if the supermarket should need to, which Boothman says highlights how the deal represents more than a cash injection.

He says: “This development offers not only capital investment but also access to the very considerable intellectual and technological resources of IFDS. It also maintains the independent model, which has been Cofunds&#39 trademark.”

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