Sam Morgan trims Xero holding to below 5% as stock charts record highs

The sale means Mr Morgan is no longer classed as a substantial security holder.

Sam Morgan, who made his fortune when Trade Me was sold to Fairfax Media, has trimmed his holding in Xero, taking advantage of a share price that has soared by 179% this year.

Mr Morgan, a director of Xero, sold 1 million shares at $7.40 apiece in an off-market transaction to New Zealand institutions. The sale reduces his stake to 4.37% of the company and means he is no longer classed as a substantial security holder.

"Xero is my largest individual investment and trimming my shareholding is something I've done simply to restore a bit of balance in my portfolio after Xero's share appreciation in 2012," Mr Morgan says in a statement.

Mr Morgan isn't the only director to trim his holding as the share price has sky rocketed. Last month, the company's three largest shareholders - chief executive Rod Drury, director Craig Winkler and co-founder Hamish Edward sold a total of $22 million shares at $6 apiece in parallel with Xero's $60 million sale of new shares at the same price to Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures and Matrix Capital Management.

That saw Mr Drury's holding reduce to 18.5% from 21%; Mr Winkler's drop to 15.7% from 19.5% and Mr Edward's to 4.9% from 5.7%.

Matrix now owns 9.8%and Valar holds 7% of the cloud-based accounting platform.

Last month Xero posted a wider first-half loss and said the loss will be bigger still in the second half as it takes on workers to chase global sales. Sales soared 119% to $17.3 million in the first half, while operating expenses rose 105% to $22.8 million.

Xero expects to double operating revenue in the full year and said it has sufficient cash to implement its strategy.


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