Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Man Who Said 'Au Revoir' to French; Dealbreaker: Woodford Said "Non"

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Man Who Said 'Au Revoir' to French; Dealbreaker: Woodford Said "Non"

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON ENGLISH

NEIL Woodford is the man who broke the deal. As the head of investment for Invesco Perpetual, Woodford oversees assets of more than ?15 billion, largely holdings in energy, tobacco and other industrial stocks.

When chief executives or government officials in those sectors want to make a move, Woodford is key.

Woodford is arguably the best fund manager in the business, with an impressive track record stretching back 20 years.

Last night, as British Energy was putting the finishing touches to its deal with EDF, it called Woodford, as a matter of courtesy, to explain what was happening.

Devastatingly, Woodford said the deal no longer reflected the future costs of electricity and said he would not back it, sparking panic.

Fund managers in the City have a deserved reputation as a f lock of sheep ? they follow each other, and controversy is to be avoided.

Woodford is different. Back when the internet boom was in full flood, he refused to buy into the story. …

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