Friday, June 18, 2010

BlueBay founders net £21m each from share sale

By Louise Armitstead Published: 2:46PM GMT 19 Feb 2010

Hugh Willis, chief executive of BlueBay Asset Management, has sold shares worth £21m. Hugh Willis, chief executive of BlueBay Asset Management, has sold shares worth £21m.

Hugh Willis and Mark Poole, who started the Mayfair-based specialist provider of debt products in 2001 and floated it on the London Stock Exchange in 2006, each placed 6.5m BlueBay shares at 325p.

The sale has reduced their combined stake in business from 25pc to 17.3pc, or 16.8m shares each

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In a statement the company said: "The principal purpose of the placing is to enable Mr Willis and Mr Poole to continue to make available seed capital for BlueBay fund launches over the coming years."

Both founders have agreed not to sell any more shares for at least a year. Credit Suisse and Citigroup were bookrunners on the deal.

Shares in BlueBay fell 3.6pc to 334p on the news, despite the company announcing strong half-year results.

A note from analysts at Citi said although the sale of these shares would affect BlueBays share price in the short term, it would improve the company"s free float and liquidity and have a more positive effect in the future.

For the half year to December 31, 2009, assets under management jumped 105pc to $34.3bn, with pre-tax profits soaring from £8.6m to £26m. The dividend rose to 7.5p a share.

The group said 2010 has started well with net inflows of around $1.8bn.

Mr Willis, chief executive, said: "Just as calendar 2009 was the year in which investors returned to credit markets and focused primarily on investment grade credit as their entry point, 2010 is likely to be the year in which investors begin to add higher beta credit products to their portfolios, in search of increased returns."


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