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Directors and staff at Gateley rake in £11m from share sale

Stock exchange: Fourth major Gateley share sale

Directors and staff at Gateley have sold £11.4m worth of shares – making it £38.4m in total since the law firm listed six years ago.

It announced yesterday that “certain directors and staff” were planning to sell around 5m shares at a price of 220p each. They represent 4.2% of Gateley’s issued share capital.

Liberum Capital was acting the sole bookrunner in relation to the placing, which was effected by way of an accelerated bookbuild to institutional investors.

In the end, 5.2m shares were sold, the stock exchange was told today.

This is the fourth major share sell-off since the firm listed – in February 2020, directors and staff sold 5.5m shares at 200p, raising £11m [1]; a year earlier it was 4m shares at 150p, making £6m [2]. In October 2017, internal shareholders sold 6.6m shares at 150p for £10m [3].

This has steadily diluted the partners’ ownership of the national firm, which stood at 70% when it went public.

Under the terms of the lock-in agreements partners signed when Gateley was admitted to AIM in 2015 and renewed for a further five years [4] in 2019, they can sell 10% of their shares in any 12-month period.

Chief executive Ron Waldie said: “The placing is consistent with the board’s commitment to allow and incentivise our directors and employees to realise part of the value they have helped to create in an orderly fashion.”

In a separate announcement earlier this week, Gateley said its 2018 save as you earn option plan would mature on 1 November. As a result, it is to issue 292,800 shares via a block listing. It is the latest in a series of incentive schemes put in place over the years by the firm to mature.

Gateley’s shares closed yesterday at 237.5p, down 20p from the all-time high hit a month ago.

In August, partners and staff at DWF sold nearly £14m of shares [5], while this year has also seen bosses at Knights, Keystone Law, Anexo Group also rake in millions [6] from share sales.