As Oracle of Oxford calls it a day Malin set to feel Woodford effect

WEIF remains co-investor in three of Malin’s four main investee companies

Neil Woodford. Photograph:  Richard Cannon

Neil Woodford. Photograph: Richard Cannon

 

The so-called “Oracle of Oxford”, UK investment manager Neil Woodford, decided to call it a day on Wednesday when, a day after he was ousted from his troubled Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF), he quit his firm’s last two funds.

“I personally deeply regret the impact events have had on individuals who placed their faith in Woodford Investment Management and invested in our funds,” the once-revered stock picker said, adding that it was a “highly painful decision” to close the remaining two funds.

The WEIF, valued at more than £10 billion (€11.6bn) at its peak in 2017, had fallen to £3.7 billion in June when client withdrawals were put on ice as the rate at which money was being pulled threatened to turn into a stampede.

On this side of the Irish Sea, the focus has been on life sciences investment company Malin Corp, in which WEIF had a 23 per cent stake – and which has had its own issues in recent years.

WEIF sold its stake last month, removing an overhang that had weighed heavily on the stock.

However, WEIF remains a co-investor in three of Malin’s four main investee companies: Immunocore, whose key pipeline product is an eye cancer treatment; Kymab, which is working on a treatment of eczema; and Viamet, which focuses on antifungal products.

These holdings, along with all of Woodford’s other investments, are set to be liquidated in the coming months. Malin has told this newspaper that the sales “don’t impact the underlying value of these businesses”.

But investors are betting that the distressed sale prices will have to be reflected in the Irish company’s next portfolio update.

Shares in the company slid by almost 7 per cent on Wednesday.

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