GVC Holdings Plc the owners of Ladbrokes, saw their share price plummet on Friday, after two senior executives of the gaming firm sold off shares worth in excess of £20m. A move that saw GVC Holdings share price fall by as much as 20% at one stage on Friday. At close of trading yesterday, GVC’s share price was £5.88 a share, having recovered somewhat, but still some £0.955 down on the previous day, or 13.96%.
The two executives who sold shares in the company that initiated the dramatic fall in the share price, were Chief Executive Kenny Alexander and Chairman Lee Feldman. In taking this action, this move by Alexander and Feldman ‘spooked’ investors, with concern that both were looking to exit the company. Thus subsequently seeing a big run on the company’s shares throughout Friday.
Commenting on the sale of nearly two thirds of his shareholding in GVC, CEO Kenny Alexander said of his sale and that of Chairman Lee Feldman: “We have both held large personal shareholdings in GVC for a long time and continue to do so. Both of us remain fully committed to GVC and, whilst I continue to have the support of our shareholders, I’m here for the long term and at the very least I have a current plan that will take 3 plus years to accomplish. We reported excellent results earlier this week and we both remain convinced of the exciting prospects for the business. Therefore while we continue at GVC we will not reduce our holdings below the current levels.”
Alexander retains 666,666 shares in GVC whilst Feldman retains 287,408 in the company after their respective sales were made. Russ Mould an Investment Director at AJ Bell commented: “Investors are clearly spooked by this. The two directors have pledged not to sell any more while they ‘continue’ at GVC. Investors may have read that statement as implying the pair aren’t going to be around that long.”
Whilst a spokesperson for GVC said that the sale of shares by the executives was to satisfy an institutional buyer.