Lining their nests
Massmart and Discovery release millions of shares into the market
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