January 10, 2020 / 9:42 AM / 14 days ago

UPDATE 1-Woodford investors to get first payout from collapsed fund on Jan 30

(Adds detail, background)

LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Investors in British money manager Neil Woodford’s collapsed 3 billion pound ($3.92 billion) equity income fund will get their first payment on or around Jan. 30, slightly later than first announced, the fund’s authorised corporate director said on Friday.

Corporate director Link Fund Solutions said in October it would wind up the fund, after it was frozen for four months to stop a disorderly scramble for the exit by investors following a lengthy period of underperformance.

Woodford, under fire from investors, lawmakers and regulators, closed down his investment management firm as a result.

Hundreds of thousands of individual savers invested in the equity income fund, which had heavy exposure to hard-to-trade stocks.

Link previously said the first payment would be around January 20 but in a letter to investors on Friday it said that the later date was required by regulations.

Link also said in the letter this would also allow “a significant portion of the fund’s holdings in money market instruments to be liquidated in a way that minimises costs”.

BlackRock, hired by Link to sell the fund’s investments, has realised 1.9 billion pounds, representing 63% of the value of the fund, Link said. PJT Park Hill, which is also working with Link, is continuing to explore a sale of the more illiquid assets, which include biotech stocks.

The fund’s assets have dropped 14.9% in value since it was frozen on June 3, 2019, compared with a 9.4% rise in the FTSE All Share index, Link said.

The final valuation of the assets will be made on January 17. ($1 = 0.7662 pounds) (Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Simon Jessop and Jane Merriman)

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