Woodford investors miss out as Oxford Nanopore IPO skyrockets

James Baxter-Derrington
clock • 3 min read
Woodford investors miss out as Oxford Nanopore IPO skyrockets

Oxford Nanopore Technologies has debuted on the London Stock Exchange to strong investor demand as shares in the former Woodford favourite rose more than 40% on open.

The biotech firm set an offer price of 425 pence per share, which would have given the firm a total market capitalisation of approximately £3.4bn.

However, the stock opened considerably higher at 545 pence per share before rising as high as 622 pence per share, up 47% on its initial offer price.

I believe that our unique technology will open up many new possibilities for positive impact."

Investors in the former Woodford Equity Income fund, now LF Equity fund, will not be able to reap the benefits of Neil Woodford's long-standing belief in the company, as Link Fund Solutions sold off the fund's early investment in the firm last year for a severe writedown of more than 50%.

The disgraced manager himself is also set to miss out on the extraordinary rise, having posited a 43% weighting to Oxford Nanopore in his proposed WCM Partners Healthcare portfolio, however, he has yet to apply for regulatory approval.

However, investors in the former Woodford Patient Capital trust, now managed by Tim Creed and Roger Doig under the new name Schroder UK Public Private, will benefit from the IPO.

The trust took advantage of an offer to sell 10% of the portfolio's holding in Oxford Nanopore, which, combined with the remaining shares valued at the offer price of 425p, amount to a 21.4% uplift to the last disclosed fair value of the holding as 30 June 2021.

Creed and Doig said: "We are proud to have supported Oxford Nanopore and its management team in its exciting development.

"Schroder UK Public Private Trust has been a supporter of Oxford Nanopore and this highly successful IPO underpins the quality of Oxford Nanopore's technology and the commercial progress achieved over the last years.

"We remain highly confident in Oxford Nanopore's ability to generate significant further shareholder value for the company in the mid- and long-term. We are also pleased that the listing will continue the further re-balancing of the Company's portfolio."

Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore, added: "Today is a very proud day for the entire Oxford Nanopore team, but we believe we are only in the foothills of a long and exciting journey.

"We are living on the cusp of the genomic era. I believe that our unique technology will open up many new possibilities for positive impact, both through enabling new discoveries in scientific research, and through more accessible, faster, richer biological insights in health, agriculture, food and understanding environments.

"We are delighted by the positive response we have received from investors around the world during this process and look forward to welcoming our new shareholders. Our focus remains on continuing to innovate, grow, and working towards our goal of enabling the analysis of anything, by anyone, anywhere. This IPO brings us a step closer to being able to fulfil that ambition."

Unconditional dealings will open in the shares on 5 October 2021.

First published by our sister title Investment Week

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