George Soros’s lieutenant cuts stake in AO World

A billionaire lieutenant of the “man who broke the Bank of England” has begun selling down his multi-million-pound stake in AO World in a new blow to the online retailer. 

Nicholas Roditi, dubbed George Soros’s “most trusted adviser”, has reduced his stake that he holds through a Cayman Islands investment company from 4.9pc to 3.6pc. 

A stock market filing was initially issued in error indicating that Mr Roditi had bought a shareholding worth nearly £20m. An amended filing is expected to be published later on Tuesday. 

Mr Roditi oversaw one of Mr Soros’s best-performing funds since its launch 30 years ago. 

Mr Soros earned the moniker “the man who broke the Bank of England” after betting against the pound in September 1992 when the UK was forced to leave the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

With an estimated fortune of £2bn, Zimbabwe-born Mr Roditi has since branched out into property development. He is one of the biggest investors in Harworth Group, the London-listed developer that is regenerating mining districts previously owned by UK Coal.

His decision to reduce his exposure to AO, whose shares have fallen by three quarters over the past year, comes with Mayfair rival Marshall Wace and fellow billionaire Ken Griffin, the Chicago-based financier behind Citadel Advisers placing big bets against the company’s fortunes.

Bolton entrepreneur John Roberts set up AO two decades ago and remains the company’s biggest shareholder.

The retailer’s shares surged as the pandemic hit with customers moving online to buy electrical appliances during Covid lockdowns.

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