Hedge fund sells £20m stake in property group

Harworth Group on site at Riverdale Park, Doncaster

Pelham Capital has sold a stake worth £20m in property group Harworth, shrinking its longstanding holding.

The hedge fund has been invested in the company for more than a decade but has now sold off more than two-thirds of its stake.

Pelham Capital became a substantial shareholder in the group, then called UK Coal, 10 years ago. It then grew its stake over the next three years to 8.55% by the end of 2013 which it has held since.

Pelham, which holds its Harworth investment in its $3bn long/short fund, has retained a 2.5% stake in the business.

Nick Roditi, the hedge fund manager who made his name working for George Soros, has invested more than £13m to increase the stake held by his company the London & Amsterdam Trust.

The Trust is the second largest shareholder and now owns 22.08%, behind only the Pension Protection Fund which holds 24.97%.

Harworth Group specialises in transforming challenging former industrial and large-scale sites for redevelopment.

It now owns and manages 18,000 acres of land across the North and Midlands and has been responsible for landmark projects including the Advanced Manufacturing Park and residential developments at Waverley in Rotherham and the Gateway 45 Leeds.

Harworth’s share price had been on a long upward trend, from a 70p low in July 2016 in the weeks after the EU referendum to a peak of 160p in January this year.

However its value fell steeply ahead of lockdown – dropping by one-third in a week in early March, before slipping further and getting close to 80p.

It staged a slight recovery in June and has been trading around and above 100p for the last six weeks, to value the group around £330m.