Market Report: Sherborne Investors builds 10% stake in Electra Private Equity


Ed Bramson’s Sherborne Investors is back – but is activism or passivism his game?

Sherborne revealed it has built up a 10.24 per cent stake in Electra Private Equity and the news sent Electra, which owns a mixed portfolio including the caravan park owner Park Resorts and the housebuilder Cala, 10 per cent higher, up 250p to 2,750p.

Mr Bramson’s successful management shake-up at F&C Asset Management in 2012 was followed last year by a passive investment in private-equity group 3i, where he made close to a  40 per cent return.

Liberum Capital’s Rob Jones argued: “We think Sherborne’s strategy with Electra will mirror their activity with 3i, taking a position in what they perceive to be an undervalued company, adopting a ‘buy and stake build’ strategy and undertaking an orderly disposal. I do not believe they will be an activist investor.”

The FTSE 100 was broadly flat during the day but slipped back 7.84 points to 6,802.43 at the close.

The packaging specialist Mondi reported a 22 per cent jump in full-year profit driven by consumer goods packaging growth in emerging markets and it soared 61p to 1,096p.

Growing customers, a bigger dividend, an upbeat outlook and sales up 17 per cent to £139.9m for 2013 all helped the property website business Rightmove leap 130p to 2,755p.

Laird, which supplies parts for smartphones, said pre-tax profit for 2013 fell  1 per cent to £60.1m and its margins were squeezed. It lost 14.5p to 314.5p.

The small cap Just Retirement, which sells annuities to pensioners, reported high demand for mortgages at its half-year results and advanced 12.5p to 252.5p.

The property group Candover Investments said its net asset value a share increased to 715p at the end of 2013, up 18 per cent on a year ago, and it ticked up 51p to 540p.

Aim-listed GW Pharmaceuticals received orphan drug designation,  designated to treat one rare medical condition, by the FDA for Epidiolex in the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (a severe form of childhood-onset epilepsy) and was 26.25p better at 332.75p.

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