Wednesday 27 November 2019 4:08 pm

Shares in publisher Future drop as chief executive takes £15m bonus

Shares in publishing firm Future dropped as much as 10 per cent today after boss Zillah Byng-Thorne cashed in a bumper £14.6m bonus.

In a regulatory filing Future said that Byng-Thorne had sold roughly 1.04m shares priced at £14 each. Chief financial officer Penny Ladkin-Brand pocketed £7.7m after offloading 550,000 shares.

Read more: Boss of publisher Future set for £18m payday after shares surge

The sell-off comes as Future’s top executives reap the rewards of a period of rapid growth at the media group.

Future, which owns titles including Tech Radar and Four Four Two, has enjoyed a steady period of revenue and profit growth, with its shares rising twentyfold over the last five years.

The strong performance has been fuelled by an aggressive acquisition spree, with the firm recently snapping up a raft of consumer titles from TI Media for £140m.

The sell-off means that Byng-Thorne has cashed in the majority of her 1.25m share bonus, which became exercisable last week.

Future said the chief executive and finance boss trimmed their holdings “in part to satisfy certain tax obligations and other costs associated with the vesting of the options”.

It came as part of a wider share placing in which a raft of other senior managers, including some who had left the company with so-called good leaver status, sold shares.

Read more: Media group Future buys Barcroft Studios as results beat expectations

In total the placing, overseen by Numis and Nplus1 Singer, raised gross proceeds of roughly £43.7m from the sale of more than 3.1m shares.

The company said Byng-Thorne and Ladkin-Brand do not intend to sell any further shares in the next 90 days.