Interactive Investor

Ruffer launches first share issue in over a decade

17th November 2021 13:49

Tom Bailey from interactive investor

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Existing shareholders will be able to buy one new share for every four they own.

Ruffer Investment Company (LSE:RICA) is offering new shares to retail investors for the first time in more than a decade.

The defensively focused investment trust announced that it will launch a share offering to existing and new retail and institutional investors. The trust will offer a total of 56,190,854 new shares at 296.5p per share. Investors will be able to buy them at a discount of 2% to the closing share price on 15 November.

There’s recently been strong demand for its shares, and as a result the trust has been trading at a premium to its net asset value per share. When a trust is trading at a premium, it often decides to issue new shares to raise capital.

Existing shareholders will be able to buy one new share for every four they own. The remaining shares will be available to new retail and institutional investors. This will be the first time in 11 years that Ruffer has offered retail investors new shares.

The trust has returned investors 16.1% year-to-date. In contrast, the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) Flexible Investment sector has returned 13.2%.

Some of that performance has been thanks to the trust’s fortuitous foray into bitcoin. Towards the end of 2020, the trust announced that it had built a position in the cryptocurrency. The trust’s managers, Hamish Baillie and Duncan MacInnes, argued that it was an uncorrelated asset and also a potential hedge against inflation. In April, the trust sold out of its position, citing fears that bitcoin’s price was now too speculative. The sale netted the trust around £320 million.

It was recently announced that Jonathan Ruffer, the former manager of Ruffer Investment Company and founder of Ruffer Investment Management, had sold a big stake in the trust. According to the filing, he sold a total of 540,000 shares, leaving him with 499,335 shares. His remaining holdings are currently valued at £1.52 million, representing 0.2% of the trust’s shares in existence. The proceeds of the sale will be used for charitable purposes.

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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