George Soros’s investment firm is among a pack of funds to have taken out huge bets against a maker of red carpets for the Queen.
Soros Fund Management, backed by the billionaire known for ‘breaking the Bank of England’ in 1992, has disclosed a 1.25 per cent ‘short position’ in Victoria, according to Bloomberg data.
Investment: George Soros is a billionaire and founded the Soros Fund Management in 1970
The Kidderminster-based company made the red carpet for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Short-selling means investors profit if a share price falls – which would be bad news for Victoria after a stellar run over the past six years.
The carpet maker was founded 123 years ago in the reign of Queen Victoria. It floated in 1963 and gained a Royal Warrant in 2013.
Victoria has grown rapidly since the appointment of New Zealander Geoff Wilding as executive chairman in 2012.
He turned a stock market value of £15 million into £890 million thanks to a string of audacious acquisitions.
Purchases include Interfloor, Ezi Floor, Abingdon Floorings, Grass Inc in the Netherlands, Keraben in Spain and Ceramiche Serra in Italy.
But in August, Wilding sold a 4.23 per cent shareholding at 827p a share. On Friday, Victoria’s shares closed at 710p, though Wilding still has a 16 per cent stake.
Mark Hiley, of researcher The Analyst, said: ‘The valuation and margins look high relative to peers like Headlam. Floor covering markets are cyclical and Victoria has a lot of debt.’