Former Ryman boss cashes up $9m in shares
Former Ryman Healthcare chief executive Simon Challies has sold shares in the company worth more than $9 million.
Challies, 47, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 10 years ago and chose to retire last month as the effects of the condition began to become more apparent.
‘‘It’s time to spend more time with my family now. I have a son Sam who is 17, and my wife Tracey,’’ Challies said yesterday from Fiji, where he is on a break.
‘‘I thought I should sell some shares now because I don’t know about the progress of the disease.’’
He oversaw one of Ryman’s biggest periods of growth as the company embarked on new ventures in Melbourne, where it is also building retirement villages.
The Challies Family Trust sold 1 million shares at the current share price of $9.08 a share, while forfeiting 212,914 shares under the conditions of Challies’ employee share scheme.
His trust retains another 699,360 shares worth about $6.3m. Challies said he did not intend to sell more in the immediate future.
Ryman has 28 retirement villages under its belt in New Zealand and more in the pipeline.
Under Challies’ watch Ryman has raised employment standards for its staff, and was recently involved in a government initiative to lift wages.
Although it has been at the fore- front of village development over three decades, Challies and the company’s new chief executive, Gordon MacLeod, have both predicted a future surge in retirement home living as more people reach retirement age.
Ryman operates sharepurchase schemes for management and staff, and provides finance for them to buy the shares.
In a recent statement to the New Zealand stock exchange, the company announced it would offer interest-free loans to management staff for the 2017 year of up to $13m, repayable when the employee leaves the company or when the shares are sold.
The price is determined by the share price at the time.
The company has also allocated $1m for an employee scheme, in which each staff member contributes a minimum of $500 and up to a maximum of $10,000 towards the purchase of Ryman shares.
If a staff member contributes $1000 to purchase shares, then the company will lend a further $1000 up to a maximum of $10,000.