Fresh setback for Woodford fund as Rutherford Health goes bust 

Fresh setback for long-suffering Woodford investors as cancer firm Rutherford Health goes bust

Investors who handed their money to Neil Woodford were dealt another blow yesterday as Rutherford Health collapsed.

The stock picker pumped millions of pounds of savers’ cash into Rutherford, a cancer treatment firm. But investors are unlikely to see any of it back.

Savers still have £140.9million locked in Woodford’s flagship Equity Income fund. Rutherford was one of the few companies the doomed fund still held.

Stock picker Neil Woodford (pictured) pumped millions of pounds of savers’ cash into cancer treatment firm Rutherford Health, but investors are unlikely to see any of it back

Its failure came just days after Woodford, who was ousted from running the fund in 2019, was pictured enjoying the sun on Salcombe Bay, near his £6.3million Devon bolthole.

Rutherford’s liquidation will also knock those who were invested in the stock market-listed Woodford Patient Capital Trust, now known as the Schroder UK Public Private Trust, having been picked up by Schroders following Woodford’s downfall.

The managers of that trust, Tim Creed and Roger Doig, said they were ‘disappointed’ by the collapse of Rutherford, and that it would punch a £22.8million hole in the value of its assets.

They blamed the ‘flawed expansion strategy pursued by the company’. 

More than £240million was spent on developing four therapy centres, specialising in ‘proton beam therapy’, which the NHS sees little reason to use traditional methods of cancer treatment.

That meant that Rutherford wasn’t pulling in enough money from patients to cover costs. 

Since taking over the trust from Woodford, Schroders has had to provide several million pounds to Rutherford in loans.