Top dogs at acquisitive engineering firm Melrose have dumped millions of shares on the market received as a result of the company's executive incentive plan.
Executive Chairman Chris Miller, Chief Executive David Roper, and Chief Operating Officer Simon Peckham were all awarded about £30m-worth of shares, while Finance Director Geoffrey Martin was awarded £19m-worth after the incentive plan was approved on Wednesday at a general meeting of the company.
Seven other employees were also awarded shares worth a total of around £17m.
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Finance house Investec arranged for just under 17m of the newly awarded shares to be placed with institutional investors at 400p each. The shares sold represent around 4% of the firm's issued share capital.
Miller sold 4m shares, Roper 4.2m, Peckham 3.75m and Martin 2.58m while other employees lobbed out 2.44m shares in aggregate.
A repeat performance could be in the offing in the future after options over 2012 incentive shares in the company were granted (8,500 per director) for nil consideration to Messrs Miller, Roper, Peckham and Martin at Wednesday's meeting.
In a statement issued to shareholders the firm said: "During the term of the existing incentive plan, the management team has been extremely successful in generating real returns for shareholders."
Evidently, the directors were not successful enough to persuade them to hold on to all of their shareholdings, however. If Melrose pays the same dividend this year as it did last (13p) then the Chairman's sale of 4m shares, for instance, means he will miss out on £520,000 in dividend income before tax.
Melrose's top directors were entitled to 10% of any increase in the shareholder value since July 2007, which was around 134% at the time the shares were issued.
The share price has risen 34% over the past year and currently has a market cap of around £1,730.6m.
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