Jupiter halves stake in controversial fast fashion retailer Boohoo

Fund group stuck by Pretty Little Thing owner amid investigation for slavery in its supply chain

Jupiter Fund Management has reduced its holding in fast-fashion retailer Boohoo to 4.7% from 9.8%, making it now the third largest shareholder in the business, according to an RNS feed.

T Rowe Price International is currently the largest, owning 11.2% of shares, followed by Invesco Advisers with a 4.8% stake.

ESG Clarity‘s sister title Portfolio Adviser asked Jupiter why it had ditched a substantial chunk of its shares in the business but did not hear back in time for publication.

Its decision came off the back of a turbulent year for Boohoo, which has been battered by pandemic-related disruptions. The fast fashion retailer saw two thirds of its value wiped in 2021, losing 20% in a single day after cutting its full-year sales guidance to 12-14% from 20-25% in December.

The Pretty Little Thing and Debenhams owner has also been in the spotlight for its ESG failings, having last summer faced fresh allegations of exploitative labour practices at one of its approved factories in Leicester.

Jupiter was among a handful of major backers to stand by the cut-price retailer after it was investigated for slavery in its supply chain, with six of its funds, all former Merian vehicles, maintaining punchy positions in the stock as of last summer.

However, data from FE Fundinfo shows that only three of its funds – UK Dynamic Equity, Midcap and Smaller Companies Focus – hold Boohoo in their top 10 holdings currently.

Just one other fund, Holland Advisors Equity, counts Boohoo among its biggest investments compared to last August when it appeared in the top holdings of L&G Growth Trust, Baillie Gifford British Smaller Companies and Premier Miton UK Growth.

Funds with largest weighting to Boohoo 

Jupiter UK Mid Cap3.9
Jupiter UK Dynamic Equity3.8
Holland Advisors Equity3.4
Jupiter UK Smaller Companies Focus3.1
Source: FE Fundinfo

This article first appeared on Portfolio Adviser


Natalie Kenway

Natalie is editor in chief at MA Financial covering ESG Clarity, Portfolio Adviser and International Adviser. She was previously global head of ESG insight for ESG Clarity and has been an investment journalist...