Sunday 25 March 2018 9:10 am

Micro Focus bosses buy shares after price collapse

Five Micro Focus board members bought nearly £700,000 worth of shares in the technology company following a steep drop in its share price last week.

Stock market filings show that Micro Focus board members bought £694,342 worth of shares in the company on Wednesday and Thursday last week following a dip in its share price.

Last week Micro Focus announced that revenues were falling faster than expected in January and that its chief executive Chris Hsu was stepping down with immediate effect.

Shares fell by as much as 55 per cent on the news, wiping £4.5bn off its market capitalisation.

After the share price fall the company’s chief executive chairman Kevin Loosemore bought £203,000 worth of shares, non-executive directors Darren Roos, Richard Atkins and Karen Slatford bought nearly £350,000 shares between them while chief financial officer Chris Kennedy bought £92,800.

Former chief operating officer Stephen Murdoch, who has stepped into Hsu’s shoes, bought nearly £50,000 worth of shares in the company.

The collapse in the tech company’s share price follows bumper payouts for some of its top bosses last year.

In November Loosemore was paid £24m, making him one the FTSE 100's best-paid execs, while three other execs were also handed awards worth tens of millions of pounds.

The remuneration came as part of Micro Focus' $1.2bn (£850m) takeover of Attachmate in 2014.

Following the collapse in its share price AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said: “It was not for nothing that Micro Focus used to be nicknamed ‘Hocus Pocus Micro Focus’ by analysts in the 1990s, as a result of its volatile earnings and reputation for dishing out profit warnings.”