Britain’s best known fund manager Neil Woodford has denied being involved in a conspiracy to ‘injure’ infrastructure company Stobart Group.
Woodford, founder of Woodford Investment Management, told the High Court on Monday that he was ‘shocked’ at allegations made by Stobart Group bosses.
He told Judge Jonathan Russen that allegations he conspired with Stobart’s former chief executive Andrew Tinkler were ‘completely unfounded’.
Neil Woodford has denied being involved in a conspiracy to ‘injure’ infrastructure company Stobart Group.
Bosses at the Stobart Group, which began life when founder Eddie Stobart went into business as an agricultural contractor in Cumbria in the 1960s, have sued Tinkler over claims he conspired with other businessmen to harm the company’s interests.
There is also a dispute over money spent on air travel, and Stobart bosses have requested a judge rule that Tinkler was lawfully dismissed.
Fund manager Neil Woodford sells an estimated £1.4bn in…
Former Stobart boss denies claims he conspired against…
Share this article
Tinkler, who was chief executive between 2007 and 2017 denies any wrongdoing, saying he was removed from his post unfairly, and has counter-claimed.
In a written witness statement given to the judge Woodford said: ‘I am shocked to see that Stobart has chosen to make allegations that I was a party to a ‘conspiracy’ to use ‘unlawful means’ to ‘injure the company’.
‘Those allegations are untrue and there is no evidential basis for them.’
He added that he had managed funds invested in Stobart for more than 10 years.
‘Why I would want to ‘injure’ Stobart, in which I have chosen to invest my investors’ funds, is never explained, as is the allegation that I conspired with Andrew Tinkler to pursue his interests over those of Stobart.’
‘I owe duties to the funds I manage, and it is in the best interests of these funds for Stobart to be as successful as possible.’ Woodford said.
Woodford said he had ‘consistently held the belief’ that retaining Tinkler on the Stobart board was in the company’s best interests and those of investment funds he managed.
He added that in his view, Tinkler was the ‘entrepreneurial brains’ behind Stobart and a ‘value creator’.
The trial continues.