Lin­ing their nests

Mass­mart and Dis­cov­ery release mil­lions of shares into the mar­ket

Finweek English Edition - - Companies & Markets -

MANY MIL­LIONS were added to the pock­ets of eight se­nior man­agers at di­ver­si­fied re­tailer Mass­mart last week af­ter they ex­er­cised their op­tions and sold the un­der­ly­ing shares for a com­bined R20m. New For­mats CE Gareth Owens took a large chunk of that sum af­ter sell­ing more than 120 000 shares to raise R9,3m. With 37 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the re­tail and FMCG in­dus­tries, Owens is also a mem­ber of Mass­mart’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee. The shares rep­re­sent 22% of his share­hold­ing in the group, which he’s amassed over the past 38 years from his as­so­ci­a­tion with Mass­mart.

Owens wasn’t the only ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber to sell a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of his Mass­mart shares: Kevin Vyvyan-Day joined him with the sale of 50 000 shares worth R4m.

Mass­mart gave no rea­son for those trans­ac­tions, but share­hold­ers should be sat­is­fied that both still hold a com­bined 1m shares in the com­pany.

Six direc­tors of Mass­mart’s sub­sidiaries also ex­er­cised op­tions and sold their shares. Non-ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Michael Ru­bin sold 20 000 shares he pre­vi­ously owned to take home R1,5m. Mass­mart’s for­mer de­vel­op­ment di­rec­tor and re­tail con­sul­tant in the United States and Canada still holds an­other 29 500 Mass­mart shares.

CE Grant Pat­ti­son seemed to be at­tempt­ing to show all his col­leagues the way when he trans­ferred 433 000 shares to his fam­ily trust. His fam­ily’s nest is now lined with an ex­tra R33,7m. Pat­ti­son holds a to­tal of 1,9m shares in the re­tailer he joined as as­sis­tant to the chair­man in 1998. We don’t know how wealthy he was then, but the R159m his fam­ily’s stake is worth is surely a long way from his be­gin­nings at Mass­mart.

Ex­e­cu­tion brains. Sonja Se­botsa

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