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Woodford to raise fresh assets for Patient Capital

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Neil Woodford is looking to attract a wave of new cash into his £774.5m Patient Capital Trust in a bid to invest in a number of untapped opportunities.

In an announcement to the the stock exchange, the trust’s board said it is “currently looking at ways it can raise additional capital in the year ahead and will consult with, and gauge interest from, investors”.

The portfolio, which aims to deliver long-term capital growth by investing in both quoted and unquoted UK firms, launched in April last year and Woodford has quickly deployed the money raised by the trust.

The fund, which has a large bias towards the healthcare sector, is now almost fully invested, with the remaining cash all committed, according to Hargreaves Lansdown.

The investment trust currently has 60 holdings and Hargreaves Lansdown head of investment research Mark Dampier expects Woodford would look to add 20 to 30 holdings with any new money.

He says: “Neil Woodford believes there remain plenty of unexploited opportunities in early growth businesses. Investing in these include early-stage companies within areas such as life science, healthcare, energy, utility, technology, industrial and consumer sectors, especially in companies with new disruptive technologies.

“By contrast, he feels many other more mainstream financial assets have already been bid up too far in price.”

Dampier warns, however, that if and when there is a capital raise, a new large tranche might cause the trust’s share price to fall to a discount, to its net asset value, in the short-term.

Since its inception to 12 January, the trust has delivered a total return of -1.45 per cent against an IT UK All-Companies sector average loss of 1 per cent for the term, according to FE Analytics.

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