August 8, 2019 / 12:10 PM / 3 months ago

Burford Capital considers share buyback after Muddy Waters short attack

Aug 8 (Reuters) - Burford Capital, a London-listed fund that finances lawsuits in return for a cut of any payouts, said it is considering buying back shares, a day after short-seller Muddy Waters criticised its accounts and said it had bet on its shares falling.

“The board is ...considering the company buying back its own shares, given the potential investment return the shares represent at their current price,” it said in a statement.

Muddy Waters, known in financial markets for regularly declaring short equity positions on the basis of its in-house research, had also criticised Burford’s top shareholder Invesco Asset Management and under-fire British money manager Neil Woodford for what it termed improper behaviour.

In a detailed response on Thursday, Burford called the Muddy Water report “false and misleading”.

Shares in Burford were 10.2% higher at 666.5 pence at 1154 GMT, after climbing more than 20% on the announcement.

The stock lost 2 billion pounds ($2.43 billion) in value after Wednesday’s report.

$1 = 0.8238 pounds Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely

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