POWER Leisure, the parent company of bookmaker Paddy Power, said yesterday that its directors and major shareholders sold 15m worth of Power stock in a bid to improve liquidity in the company's shares.
The sale was conducted as a placing at 3.59 a share by the group's brokers Goodbody and ING Barings and involved 4.3m shares.
When it came to the market last December, Power put in place a a lock-in deed allowing directors and major shareholders to sell up to 15pc of their holdings after the release of the interim results for the six months to June 2001.
The results were released last week and the share sale involved some 9pc of the group's total equity, raising the free float of the group's shares from 33pc to 42pc.
The biggest single tranche was sold by director John Corcoran, one of the founders of the company. He sold 3.525m worth of shares to cut his holding in the group by 2pc from 16.8pc to 14.8pc.
Managing director Stewart Kenny sold 2.2m worth of stock, reducing his stake by 1.3pc from 8.7pc to 7.4pc.
Director David Power, another founder, reduced his stake from 11.9pc to 10.8pc by selling 1.79m worth of stock. Other executives apart from Mr Kenny who sold shares include finance chief Peter O'Grady Walshe, who now holds 1.4pc of the share capital following his sale of 429,950 worth of shares.
Rowan Nominees, another major shareholder, reduced its holding to 6.7pc from 7.9pc through the sale of 2m worth of stock. The Bank of Ireland and ICC Bank also reduced their holdings.