Cambium Global Timberland has launched a tender offer to buy around a fifth of its shares in the first return of capital since investors voted to wind up the AIM-listed company nearly two years ago.
The £23 million timber fund has been a major disappointment for shareholders, losing 71% since floating on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2007.
Last October it sacked its investment manager CP Cogent and made Robert Rickman, a non-executive director and qualified forester, operations manager. The following month it slashed its net asset value (NAV) from 40p to 33p per share as it began to value its assets on a ‘held for sale’ basis and was hit by poor market conditions in Brazil and the strength of the dollar.
Cambium is looking to return around £5 million to its long-suffering investors by purchasing 20 million shares at 25p per share. The purchase price is 16.3% higher than the closing level of the shares at 31 December, although it is a big discount to the NAV.
When Cambian got shareholder approval in February 2013 to wind up operations it warned disposing of all its assets could last up to four years.