When you see substantial shareholders selling their shares in their company on the ASX, whether all of them or just some of them (while still enough shares to net millions of dollars), it is certainly a cause for raised eyebrows. There’s no suggestion that insider trading can automatically suspected generally, or that it is in respect of any companies we mention here. Yet it does beg the question as to why they are selling and would they be if they saw more growth potential in the company.
Selling the furniture
Last week we saw Anthony Scali from furniture detailer Nick Scali (ASX:NCK) sell $50m worth of shares, in a block trade facilitated by UBS. He is still the largest shareholder in the stock with 8%, but this is down from 27% in 2018, just prior to the last time he sold shares. His sale came after a 24% jump in its share price in the 12 months as well as a 35% jump in its profit. We thought we’d look at 5 other companies that have seen major shareholders cash out of late.
5 ASX Stocks that have seen substantial shareholders selling recently
Ever since Cettire listed, founder Dean Mintz has cashed out a few times, and the most recent was in August. He sold $100m worth of shares at $3 per piece, representing 8.7% of the company. The AFR reported Mintz promised not to sell any further shares for the next 60 days – quite a short span if you ask us, but at least he kept his promise. Mintz did better then last time, when he sold $60m at $1.46 back in November 2022. He sold shares one other time, and that was back in March 2022, he sold $47m in shares. Mintz still is a substantial shareholder with a 37% stake, although it is well down from the 65% stake he had at the company’s IPO.
Pacific Current (ASX:PAC)
The parcel traded was under 5% of the company, but still worth $22m. It occurred back in early October, and while the identity of the buyer has still not been reported, we can tell it was just one shareholder, most likely institutional. And there are plenty of them on the register including Regal, Perpetual and River Capital.
Viva Energy (ASX:VVA)
Oil giant Vitol had a 16% stake in Viva Energy, worth over $700m. It did, until it decided to cash out in mid-September. Vitol has owned Viva since it listed in 2018 and still owns 30% post-sale, but it finally decided to take some money off the table. It told the buyers that there was no intention to sell further in the ‘short to medium term’. You might sell shares to take a profit, but because you believe it will fall…we are not so sure based on its performance to date and the unlikelihood of fuel prices falling anytime soon.
Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN)
Paladin is a uranium developer focused in Namibia. Namibia is an African nation that has a significant proportion of the world’s uranium resources, but spooked investors earlier this year when the minister for mining hinted that the government was considering having a free-carried holding in the companies.
There have actually been two block trades by substantial shareholders this year. The first of these was a 3.8% stake worth $91.2m, owned by Ndovu Capital. More recently, in early September, a $47m block of shares was sold by Chinese private equity group HOPU. This trade was under 2% of the company and marked the end of nearly 9 years as a shareholder by HOPU.
Ventia Services (ASX:VNT)
Earlier this month, IPO shareholders Apollo and CIMIC formally exited the business, selling the last $270m in shares held. The pair have done well, given Ventia listed at $1.75 and is now nearly $3. The pair owned 65% of share headed into IPO but wanted to cut their combined stake to 44.6%. This idea was canned to get the IPO away, but the pair clearly wanted to et out at some stage, and now they have.
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