CBL managers, director get $65M payday selling shares at discount as escrow ends

Harris sold 5 million shares for a gain of $16.3 million, while Hutchison sold 5.4 million shares for a $17.6 million gain.

CBL Corp's managing director Peter Harris, deputy chair Alistair Hutchison and senior managers have sold 8.5 percent of the company - 20 million shares - after a restriction on their holdings lifted following the release of its full-year results.

The shares were sold in a block sale to Australian and New Zealand investors at $3.26/A$3 apiece, the company said in a statement. The shares were halted for the sale, which will generate $65 million. The price is a discount of 8.9 percent to the last trading price on the NZX of $3.55.

Harris sold 5 million shares for a gain of $16.3 million, while Hutchison sold 5.4 million shares for a $17.6 million gain. Senior managers sold 9.6 million shares, meaning they will share in a $31 million payday. Harris's holding has reduced to 22.8 percent from about 25 percent, while Hutchison's declined to 19.5 percent from 21.8 percent.

Harris said he and Hutchison remain "committed and substantially invested in CBL".

The company released a statement to the NZX with a headline that the sale of 8.5 percent of the stock was to increase share market liquidity.

"Advice from our advisers suggests this transaction will provide additional liquidity in the market for CBL shares which we believe will benefit all shareholders," said chairman John Wells.

The company has about 236 million shares on issue and at yesterday's closing price had a market capitalisation of $837 million.

On March 1, CBL said it expected underlying operating profit to rise by between 18 percent and 22 percent in calendar 2017 on revenue growth of 12 percent to 16 percent.

CBL listed on the NZX in 2015, raising $90 million to help fund the acquisition of Australia's largest surety bond insurer Assetinsure, selling shares at $1.45 apiece. The company began life as Contractors Bonding Ltd in 1973, and derives the bulk of its revenue from international operations, meaning its bottom line is influenced by unrealised foreign exchange movements.

(BusinessDesk)

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