04/04/2012 - 10:53

MinRes founder reaps big reward on sell-down

04/04/2012 - 10:53


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MinRes founder reaps big reward on sell-down

When all of the directors of a listed company start selling shares, outsiders normally begin looking for problems.

But highly successful mining and contracting company Mineral Resources has barely missed a beat, despite four directors collectively selling shares worth $190 million over the past month.

Over that period, the company’s share price has come off its all-time high of $13.33 (recorded in February), but is still trading around $12, meaning long-term investors are well and truly in the black.

The biggest seller has been founder and executive director Chris Ellison, who last week raised $41.4 million from share sales at $12 a share.

Last week’s sale was the fourth big tranche of MinRes shares that Mr Ellison has sold since 2007, lifting his total proceeds from share sales to $156 million.

He is also the fourth MinRes director to complete a large share sale in the past month.

Executive chairman Peter Wade has sold $25 million worth of shares and non-executive directors Mark Dutton ($6.2 million) and Joe Ricciardo ($5.3 million) were also big sellers.

After all of his share sales, Mr Ellison retains 27 million shares in the company, worth nearly $325 million.

That compares to the $57.5 million he paid in 2009 for iron ore heiress Angela Bennett’s Mosman Park mansion, in what was the most expensive residential property purchase recorded in Perth.

Mr Ellison has more than 30 years commercial experience, mostly in contracting businesses in the Pilbara.

He was the founding shareholder of three mining and contracting businesses that were brought together in 1993 to form Mineral Resources ahead of its float on the ASX.

In its most recent results for the half-year to December 2011, the company lifted net profit 33 per cent to $80.5 million.



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