Woodford Patient Capital Trust (WPCT ) has confirmed that BenevolentAI was the holding whose revaluation blew a 5.5% hole in its net asset value (NAV) last week as well as knocking the value of the suspended Woodford Equity Income fund.
Last Thursday evening, when the trust revealed the 4p per share reduction in NAV it said it was unable to reveal the company whose value had been written down, ‘due to confidentiality obligations’ but would provide a further update when able to do so.
Yesterday, following BenevolentAI’s announcement of a $90 million investment from Temasek, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, the trust said the company was the subject of the revaluation by its administrator Lind Fund Solutions.
Although Temasek’s minority stake has halved Benevolent’s valuation to $1 billion, the trust’s board welcomed the investment. ‘The capital raised provides funding for its next stage of development and introduces a new, high quality, long-term institutional investor,’ it said.
Led by Baroness (Joanna) Shields, a former government minister and Facebook executive, BenevolentAI has developed a technology platform that enables drugs companies to develop new treatments for diseases such as Parkinson’s, ulcerative colitis and sarcopena.
In a statement Shields said: ‘We are pleased that Temasek has invested in us to support our mission to bring more effective medicines to the patients who need them.
‘This year, we have demonstrated strong commercial and scientific progress and this funding will further scale our technology and support the development of our pipeline of potentially transformational medicines.’
At the end of April, the company accounted for 8.4% of Patient Capital and 4.5% of the £3.1 billion Equity Income fund in which trading was suspended in June after a wave of redemptions from worried investors.
WPCT shares have risen 1.6p to 47.5p in the past week but have fallen 43% this year and trade 33% below their NAV as a result of the crisis at the Equity Income fund with which it shares many of its investments.
According to its most recent fact sheet, the fund fell 11.7% in the first seven months of the year while the FTSE All-Share rose 14.9%. It had lost 4.9% since launch in 2014 compared to the 36.7% All-Share return, a dismal return reflecting Woodford's bad stock picks and investor loss of confidence in the fund's large holdings in unquoted companies, several of which have been marked down like Benevloent.
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