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“Extremely disappointing” – AJ Bell’s Ryan Hughes comments on further delay to the wind-up of ex-Woodford fund

Ryan Hughes, head of investment research at AJ Bell.

Link fund solutions has today issued an update on progress of the former Woodford Equity Income fund wind-up. Ryan Hughes head of investment research at AJ Bell, comments:

“It looks like investors in the ex Woodford Equity Income fund need to brace themselves for a further delay in the sale of the remaining assets with Link now saying that it’s possible that the wind-up of the fund may not be completed by the end of 2022, having previously hoped the process would be finished by then.

“This will be extremely disappointing for investors locked in the fund.  It seems that little progress has been made on disposing the remaining assets in the fund since Link’s last update just over three months ago. It’s interesting that Cambridge Innovation Capital is no longer listed in the assets to be sold which leaves nine positions remaining. Investors may be heartened to see that the value of those assets has actually increased since the last update with a 13% pick up in the value stated by Link since the end of February, which compares favourably to the performance of the FTSE All Share index but this will be of little comfort given the longer term performance.

“Investors will be more focused on when they can finally get the remainder of their money back and there is no commitment in the latest update on this front. It’s been 15 months since investors had their last distribution which shows just how challenging it is to try and sell the remaining assets into a market where the buyers hold all the cards. While Link will be trying to ensure they get the best possible price for the assets, it’s also important to balance the length of time investors are having to wait. I suspect many would now simply accept a lower price to get the sale completed so they can draw a line under this sorry saga and move on, not least as we are now close to 3 years since the fund suspended.”

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