Monday 15 July 2019 9:24 am

Micro Focus chairman dumps £11.6m in shares

The chairman of Micro Focus has cashed in around £11.6m worth of shares in the British IT firm, saying he wants to “diversify” his portfolio.

Read more: Micro Focus boosts profit margin but revenue stalls

Kevin Loosemore has sold 650,000 shares – approximately half his stake – to invest the cash elsewhere. 

“Until now, all of my assets have been held in Micro Focus shares. Having recently turned 60, it is time for me to diversify a little, although around half my person wealth remains in the stock,” Loosemore, one of the FTSE’s best-paid executives, said.

Shares in the FTSE 100 listed software giant slumped at the end of last week, reflecting Loosemore’s big sell-offs.

The chairman sold 214,658 shares at 1,861p each last Wednesday before selling 435,342 shares at 1,736p each the next day.

Loosemore attempted to reassure the market, as Micro Focus’ share price dropped over five per cent to 1,674p on his announcement.

“As executive chairman, I remain committed to the business as we continue to execute our established business model. Micro Focus has tremendous opportunity to prosper and to increase value and I will continue to work to deliver that,” he said.

Loosemore and his cohorts suffered a shareholder rebellion against a higher pay proposal earlier this year after investors blasted a £110m bonus plan for executives.

The board had given executives an extra year to achieve a target share price that would have triggered the payments.

Interim results published last week showed Micro Focus was still struggling to integrate its acquisition of Hewlett Packard’s software arm almost two years after completing the sale.

It warned investors that complexities with the integration “continue to require detailed attention and substantial programme planning and execution”.

The technology outfit saw revenue fall 7.5 per cent to $1.66bn (£1.32bn), leaving it set to record a  revenue decline of between four and six per cent margin over its full year.

Read more: British IT giant Micro Focus says it’s ‘back on track’

Meanwhile Micro Focus’ profits doubled to $1.4bn as it booked a $1.7bn gain from its disposal of software business Suse.

Main image credit: Getty