Activist investor increases stake in Ranger Direct Lending fund

By Daniel Lanyon on Tuesday 15 August 2017

Alternative Lending

The portfolio has come under pressure in 2017, recently seeing its largest shareholder reduce its stake.

The LIM Asia Special Situations Master Fund has increased its stake in the £243m Ranger Direct Lending fund, the second time in two months the activist investor has bought a substantial stake in the portfolio

Last week, regulatory documents show, the LIM Asia Special Situations Master Fund, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands, bought up nearly four per cent of the Ranger Direct Lending fund’s total share issuance bringing its total holding to 9.2 per cent from 5.48 per cent.

The news comes just days after its largest investor, Invesco Perpetual, trimmed its own positions in the investment trust by a similar amount suggesting the two transaction may be two sides of the same coin.

With a reputation for shareholder activism, the LIM fund increased its stake also in July taking but this recent transaction is its largest buy of Ranger's stock.

Launched in 2015, the portfolio offers exposure to high yielding direct lending platforms and other non-bank debt instruments. While it invests across the private debt landscape although avoids pure P2P exposure instead opting for instruments from multiple direct lending platforms within a diverse group of asset classes, including real estate loans, SME loans. 


Ranger Direct Lending has seen its share price and Net Asset Value hit in 2017, shown in the graph below, due to the collapse of a direct lending platform in the US called Argon Credit that it has $28m of indirect exposure to through the Princeton Alternative Income fund (who lent money to the platform).

The fund was the largest holding in the investment trust. At the time Ranger said there would not necessarily be a hit to its net asset value although it has more recently said it could knock about 4 per cent off the NAV.

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