Independent – RAB Capital, the troubled London-based hedge fund, yesterday agreed to sell its Asian business as it tries to shore up its finances.
The fund manager, which on top of the general woes affecting the industry has made wrong calls including buying shares in now-nationalised lender Northern Rock, said it was selling the assets and business of its loss-making Northwest brand for £1m to its original owners, at a big book loss. As recently as last June, RAB valued Northwest at £20m. However, the sale will allow the fund manager to save between £3m and £4m in costs annually, and a spokesman said that after tax adjustments the writedown would be closer to £9m.
Northwest’s assets under management, held in three funds, were approximately $300m at the end of December. On a pro-forma basis, the business and assets it is selling generated pretax profit of around £9m in 2007, but analysts believe Northwest may have slipped into the red last year.