Malone stake slips below 5% of iiNet

02/07/2014 - 10:31

Internet pioneer Michael Malone has quietly ended another formal link to the ISP he founded and floated, selling more than 1.1 million shares in iiNet to net almost $8.5 million, a move which takes him below the 5 per cent substantial shareholder limit.

Malone stake slips below 5% of iiNet
Former managing director of iiNet Michael Malone.

 

Internet pioneer Michael Malone has quietly ended another formal link to the ISP he founded and floated, selling more than 1.1 million shares in iiNet to net almost $8.5 million, a move which takes him below the 5 per cent substantial shareholder limit.

The series of on-market transactions by his private company, Perth Internet, in March (and one this week) reduced his holding to almost 7.9 million shares, a 4.8 per cent stake in the business that is still worth a hefty $34.9 million based on recent share price of about $7.40.

Mr Malone founded iiNet in his mother’s Padbury garage in 1993 and listed the business on the ASX in 1999.

After an acquisition-fuelled growth splurge, which nearly undid the business in 2006, Mr Malone led a turnaround and firmly established iiNet as the nation’s number three telco behind Telstra and Optus.

At the time of iiNet’s troubles, Mr Malone acquired 6.3 million shares at lows of about 60 cents.

He started to pull back from the business last year, taking extended leave in November and then formally resigning as a director and chief executive in March; the latter decision reached while spending three weeks climbing mountains in Argentina.

Mr Malone, the 2006 40under40 awards First Amongst Equals winner, has since joined the board of Hong Kong-based satellite service provider Speedcast, and advisory board of specialist investor relations advisory firm Market Eye.

The recent share sales follow previous big sell-downs. In August last year, interests associate with Mr Malone sold $28.5 million worth of shares, more than double the value of a similar sale a year earlier when his interests took home $13.2 million.

In 2009, his interests sold a parcel of shares worth $6.6 million – the last of the equity he acquired when iiNet ran into financial trouble.

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