Row as Micro Focus chief sells half his stake in the software giant for £12m and sends shares plunging
- Kevin Loosemore insisted he sold the stock for ‘personal finance reasons’
- The 60-year-old said he wanted to diversify his wealth
- His move comes after half-year sales at Micro Focus dropped
Shares in Micro Focus plunged after its boss flogged half his stake in the software giant for £12 million.
Executive chairman Kevin Loosemore insisted he sold the stock for ‘personal finance reasons’.
The 60-year-old, who divorced his former wife Joy last year, said he wanted to diversify his wealth.
Shares in Micro Focus plunged after its boss flogged half his stake in the software giant for £12 million
His move comes after half-year sales at Micro Focus dropped and the FTSE 100 company suffered one of this year’s biggest shareholder revolts over pay.
Shares fell 5.7 per cent, or 99.8p, to 1664p after the announcement of Loosemore’s sale, wiping more than £340m off its value.
He said: ‘Until now, all of my assets have been held in Micro Focus shares. Having recently turned 60, it is time for me to diversify a little, although around half my personal wealth remains in the stock.
‘As executive chairman, I remain committed to the business as we continue to execute our established business model.’
Micro Focus shares plummeted 16 per cent at the end of last week, making it the worst-performing company on the Footsie. Loosemore sold two chunks of shares over two days.
Micro Focus was hit by the year’s biggest pay revolt in March
On Wednesday, July 10, he sold 214,658 shares at 1861p each for a total of £4 million. A day later, he cashed in a further 435,342 shares at 1736p each for around £7.6 million.
He still holds more than 640,000 shares worth another £11 million. It comes after a difficult year for Micro Focus and Loosemore, who has been paid £43 million since 2011.
The firm was hit by the year’s biggest pay revolt in March, when 50.4 per cent of shareholders rejected its remuneration report. It included a proposal to extend a controversial bonus scheme which will allow bosses to bag £270 million in bonuses if they can boost the share price to 3400p.
And earlier this month the company admitted it continues to experience problems related to a disastrous £7 billion takeover of the software arm of computer group Hewlett Packard’s software division in 2017.