THREE directors from global education services provider Navitas have pocketed a combined $18.6 million from the sale of more than 6 million shares following the release last week of another strong profit. Navitas managing director Rod Jones and director Peter Larsen sold 2.5 million shares each, reaping a combined $15.5 million, while another director who was with the company before listing, Peter Campbell, sold 1 million shares for $3.1 million. Despite the sell-down, the trio remains dominant on the register, with a combined holding just under the 30 per cent mark and worth around $320 million earlier this week. Mr Jones remains the biggest of those with around 15.5 per cent of the company's stock, worth more than $165 million, Dr Larsen holds more than 8 per cent and Mr Campbell retains 5.5 per cent. He said the sale was primarily aimed at injecting some liquidity into the stock and providing access to a reasonable parcel of shares to investors that had been unable to acquire them on market. "People were struggling to get any shares," Mr Jones said. "It was also an opportunity to monetise a small part of our investment." He said Bell Potter handled the tranche and the investors were institutional players. Mr Jones said the directors had to be cautious with respect to how they released stock to ensure it did not negatively affect the market. Navitas has been one of the top-performing companies on the ASX during the past year, almost alone among the listed sector in shrugging of the global financial crisis. The company lifted net profit after tax by 32 per cent to $49.2 million. Something of a unique company globally, Navitas has a significant exposure to the international student market, notably focused on developing nations, offering bridging courses to universities as well as degree courses and applied technical studies in Australia and a growing number of offshore destinations. The company also recruits students and conducts work placement. Mr Jones said the inherent nature of the education market meant that it was not as affected by the recent global financial crisis as most industries because, in many cases, the decision to spend was not dictated by present financial conditions. "Probably the area we are in is not recession proof but it is certainly cushioned a lot from recession," he said. "In the countries where the students are coming from the (education) opportunities are limited. "Parents hold education in the highest esteem; if they can't get that opportunity in their own country they will look overseas. "In some cases they have been saving since the kids were born." On top of that, local demand had also risen because many young Australian workers hit by the downturn were seeking to qualify for entry into university. Tsang interests grow stake in Mindax INTERESTS associated with Mindax non-executive director Andrew Tsang have increased their stake in the company to 24.85 per cent, the biggest holding in the company. About 2.2 million shares worth almost $1.1 million were purchased between May and August to bring the total to more than 32 million shares. Mr Tsang is the largest individual stakeholder in a consortium that includes two family members and a private company, Fujian Xiang Rong Construction (Group) Co Ltd. Burswood-based Mindax is chaired by Gilbert George and has a range of minerals interests.
© Business News 2018. You may share content using the tools provided but do not copy and redistribute.