Woodford buyers skip out on hundreds of millions of pounds from sale to Acacia


arren Buffett encouraged traders to be fearful when other individuals are greedy and greedy when other folks are fearful. It does not get the job done all the time — from time to time it is best to promote a slipping financial investment early the initially slice is the most affordable.

But in the garden sale of the Woodford Fairness Earnings fund investments final calendar year, the consumer was obviously correct to be greedy. The seller improper to be so fearful.

Acacia Research, a US investor, acquired a bunch of the failing fund’s smaller investments for $282 million from the fund’s administrator, Url.

It quickly bought on a bunch for $185 million, leaving it a handful left, a number of of which have surged in worth.

Woodford investors may possibly want to glance absent now…

In accordance to new filings from Acacia, at the get started of this 12 months the remaining belongings have been truly worth $267.4 million — virtually as considerably as it paid for the full whole lot. It will get worse. A person, Immunocore, floated in February, expanding Acacia’s stake value by $31.9 million.

These days, one more, Oxford Nanopore, heads for a bumper IPO. Acacia values its Nanopore stake (purchased for $20.8 million) at $111 million. Don’t be surprised if the IPO success in a significantly greater valuation than that once the bankers weave their magic.

Two other Woodford shares, Arix Bioscience and Sensyne Wellbeing, have also surged given that Acacia acquired them.

Hyperlink claims the sale to Acacia must be “judged as a whole” alternatively than stock by stock.

But from the earnings Acacia is now scheduling in its accounts, it is tricky not to conclude that Woodford investors ended up allow down terribly yet all over again.

(This tale initial appeared in the Night Standard newspaper on 30 March)