Friday, 9 October 2015

Woodford said to be increasing his stake in Allied Minds; squeaky bum time for short sellers?

Here is an interesting tale about Allied Minds, a UK-listed business that recently came under attack from short sellers Kerrisdale Capital, a New York-based hedge fund.

In case you don't remember the back story, have a look at this FT Alphaville article:

Now, I'm told 10 million shares of Allied Minds have already traded today at pixel time.

This is a rather large amount given the average trading volume in Allied Minds stock is around 300,000 shares a day.

And good market sources tell me Invesco has just offloaded a 5pc stake. The buyers of the stock are said to be long-term institutional investors Woodford Investment Management (founded by former Invesco star fund manager Neil Woodford), Aviva and Oppenheimer.

Prior to today's stake building, Woodford owned 23pc of Allied Minds and it's likely, I'm told, he may continue to increase his stake.

Allied Minds shares are up almost 7pc at 400p at pixel time.

So what does this mean for the short sellers of the stock?

Well, I'm not sure but given core management and long-term institutional shareholders now own most of Allied Minds's shares how will short sellers be able to buy back stock to cover their short positions?


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