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Woodford’s 19 assets are being sold to Acacia
Posted on Friday, 05 June 2020 13:00
Link Fund Solutions, the administrator of Woodford Investment Managements shareholders, has reached an agreement to sell a portfolio of 19 life sciences company stakes accumulated by Neil Woodford, to Acacia Research for up to GBP 223.90 million. LF Equity Income Fund, formerly LF Woodford Equity Income Fund, said the assets are from portfolio A and portfolio B. The sale of these interests could, in some cases, take up to six months to complete, with the administrator saying an update will be provided in relation to this process. By offloading to Acacia, the company will be able to make further capital distributors to investors in due course. The news comes one year after Woodford’s flagship fund was forced to suspend withdrawals from its USD 3.70 billion business due to a lack of capital to meet redemptions. Media report suggested Woodford Equity Income was full of toxic assets that caused the company to collapse, while two other funds owned by the investor – Income Focus and Patient Capital – were given to other managers to run. Investors in the business were hit by major losses and will be reimbursed with the cash raised from the sale to Acacia. The portfolio included stakes in companies such as Theravance Biopharma, Oxford Nanopore and Mereo Biopharma, Sky News reported prior to the announcement. Link Fund Solutions still has around GBP 200.00 million-worth of assets to dispose of. Acacia is an industry leader in patent licensing. By partnering with patent owners, the company applies its deep legal and technology expertise to patent assets to unlock financial value. Clifford Press, chief executive of the buyer, said: “This transaction is representative of the exceptional capabilities of Acacia’s transactional team with the financial and structuring support of our strategic partnership with Starboard Value LP. “Despite pandemic conditions in the USA and UK, this transaction was enabled by the resources that Acacia brought to bear, including experience in complex financial structures; and highlights the flexibility and agility of our investment team – all supported by our ready access to capital.” Acacia plans to finance the acquisition using USD 35.00 million in cash currently in escrow, the issue of USD 115.00 million in new Starboard notes and cash on hand. © Zephus Ltd