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Co-Founder of Woodford Firm Puts 15 Million Pounds of Property Up for Sale: Times

Lucca de Paoli

(Bloomberg) -- The co-founder of Neil Woodford’s investment firm is selling two properties with a combined asking price of about 15 million pounds ($18 million), the Times of London reported, citing documents related to a private sale.

Craig Newman, who worked with Woodford at Invesco Perpetual before they started their own firm, is seeking 10 million pounds for a house in Oxfordshire, England, the county where Woodford Investment Management is based, the newspaper said. He also put up for sale a house in Berkshire, about 30 miles west of London, with an asking price of almost 5 million pounds, the Times said.A Woodford Investment Management spokesman told The Times that Newman was not raising money in a hurry and said it was “categorically untrue” he was setting up a legal fund.

The report comes as the company’s 3.7 billion-pound mutual fund remains frozen to investor withdrawals. Woodford also sold 1.75 million of his shares in the Woodford Patient Capital Trust Plc -- about 60% of his holding -- and the directors of the publicly traded fund are considering replacing him as portfolio manager A spokesman said the sale was to “meet personal financial obligations, including a tax liability.”

Woodford Investment Management gated its flagship fund after struggling to meet redemption requests following a period of poor performance. The suspension is intended to give Woodford time to raise cash by offloading stakes in unlisted and smaller companies that he had built up in recent years. The move drew criticism from Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who said it highlights the risks of money managers who offer investors daily access to their money, but buy hard-to-sell assets.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucca de Paoli in London at gdepaoli1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shelley Robinson at ssmith118@bloomberg.net, Paul Jarvis, Brian Wingfield

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