Invesco has more than halved its stake in alternative finance-focused investment trust Honeycomb, taking advantage of a share buy-back programme announced earlier in the week.
The investment management firm previously had a 36.28 per cent stake in the trust, which it has now reduced to a 16.22 per cent holding, according to a Honeycomb stock market update.
Invesco was previously the largest shareholder in Honeycomb, according to Bloomberg data.
Analysts at brokerage Numis had speculated that the selling shareholders included Invesco, as the firm has been under pressure to reduce its illiquid holdings.
Meanwhile, investment manager M&G has increased its stake in Honeycomb to 5.36 per cent from 4.54 per cent, according to a separate Honeycomb stock market update.
Honeycomb announced on Monday that major shareholders were planning to sell “a significant percentage” of their shares, in response to “substantial investor demand”.
It also announced that it will buy back up to 2.2 million shares.
Approximately £85m of Honeycomb’s stock was sold by Monday evening, as investors took advantage of a share buy-back programme which valued the trust at 850p per share – a 16 per cent discount to December’s net asset value of 1014.9p.
Honeycomb invests in credit assets originated by non-bank lending platforms and other originators of specialist lending assets, primarily in the UK.
“The announcement essentially gives the company time to seek to place out the stakes held by selling shareholders,” said Numis research earlier this week. “The placing will inevitability attract value investors and depending on the nature of buyers it is likely to bring the future of the fund into question.
“A potential catalyst for value investors has recently been removed after the continuation vote, due in 2021, was brought forward to December 2019. Shareholders approved continuation, although clearly had an eye on a different exit mechanism, rather than a protracted wind-down.”