Split-capital investment trusts have several different classes of share, each of which have different rights over the same underlying pool of assets. The original splits from the 1970s and 1980s had a sensible structure but in the 1990s bank debt was added to the mix, which produced very high gearing. Trust managers also entered cosy 'you buy mine, I'll buy yours' agreements with the result that a dangerous pyramid structure was created. The result was that when share prices fell, there was a downward spiral which resulted in the insolvency of several trusts and losses of over two-thirds of their investment for many more shareholders.
Splits occur when a company issues more shares to its stockholders (such as two shares for one), or in the case of a reverse split, issues fewer shares (such as one share for two). For example, suppose you own 100 shares of the stock YUP, and they are currently valued at $20 per share. If the stock undergoes a 2-for-1 split, you will have 200 shares of stock valued at $10 per share. (The value of the stock changes so that the current value of the holding stays the same at the time of the split.)