Woodford-backed tech firm to float
NEIL Woodford is set for a much-needed boost after a biotechnology company he backs told investors it planned to float within a year.
Oxford Nanopore, which has developed pocketsized DNA scanners, is considering a dual-listing in London and Hong Kong – and could be valued at £1.5bn.
It would mean Woodford’s funds, which own about 12.5pc of the Oxford University spin-out, could be sitting on shares worth nearly £190m.
The holding would hand the embattled fund manager a fresh lifeline.
Under Financial Conduct Authority rules, no more than 10pc of a fund manager’s money can be in unlisted companies. At the moment around 7.8pc of the Woodford Equity Income fund is in private companies but that would drop to 5.4pc if Oxford Nanopore floated on the stock market.
The company has been lauded as a British ‘unicorn’, meaning it is worth more than $1bn (£760m). IP Group, another major investor with 18pc, stands to gain around £270m from a listing.