Platforms sign up for investment trusts’ intermediary share issues

BB Healthcare trust and Aurora Investment trust have launched intermediary offers to make the funds more accessible to retail investors through platforms and wealth managers.

The BB Healthcare trust launched in December with an IPO that raised £150m and now has a market capitalisation of £224m. Run by Bellevue Asset Management, the trust has returned 17 per cent since launch and paid a dividend of 1.75p.

Ordinary shares issued in the second issue will rank alongside the existing ordinary shares in issue, with shareholders set to receive any final dividend declared for the financial period to 30 November 2017.

The board is hoping increased interest in the trust will create liquidity, enabling further investment in new and existing healthcare companies.

AJ Bell Securities, Alliance Trust Savings, Cornhill Capital, Equiniti Financial Services, iDealing.com, Interactive Investor, Jarvis Investment Management Redmayne-Bentley, TD Direct Investing, Walker Crips Stockbrokers, WH Ireland and SVS Securities have signed up to distribute the shares.

Chairman of BB Healthcare trust Justin Stebbing says: “The structural growth trends in healthcare remain very much in place and Bellevue’s investment approach has fulfilled our expectations. By growing the company with this placing and retail offer there is the potential to increase liquidity and marketability, as well as broadening the investor base.”

The Aurora Investment trust has been managed by Phoenix Asset Management since January 2016 following several years of dire performance. Since then it has returned 25 per cent and grown from £16m to £73m. The board is optimistic the share issue will further boost assets under management, improving liquidity and creating a larger equity base over which to spread fixed costs.

AJ Bell, Alliance Trust Savings, Redmaybe Bentley Stockbrokers, Saga Share Direct, Selftrade, Shareview and the Share Centre have signed up to distribute the shares.

Lord Howard Flight, chairman of Aurora Investment Trust, says: “Since the investment manager changed to Phoenix Asset Management in January

2016, Aurora has performed well for shareholders…Phoenix see further opportunities in the stock market to put their investment approach to work for the benefit of shareholders. We are now proposing the issues that should make the company more accessible to shareholders and broaden the investor base, further increasing the liquidity and marketability of the shares.”