Hargreaves top investor sells shares at discount; stock drops

(Reuters) – Hargreaves Lansdown <HRGV.L> co-founder biggest shareholder Peter Hargreaves has sold 34.4 million shares in the investment platform, at more than a 6% discount to the stock’s last close, a bookrunner said Friday.

Shares of the company opened 5.2% lower at 16.2 pounds on the London Stock Exchange, near the sale price of 16 pounds a share, taking the year-to-date losses to 15%.

The stake sale represented 7.3% of Hargreaves’ outstanding shares, according to Reuters calculations.

“The sale of some of my shares in Hargreaves Lansdown is part of a process of long-term financial planning to diversify my assets,” Hargreaves said.

After the stake sale, Hargreaves owns nearly one-fourth of the company and remains the biggest shareholder, according to the bookrunner.

The bookrunner added that due to strong investor demand he had decided to increase the size of the sale.

Barclays Bank <BARC.L>, acting through its investment bank, is bookrunner and Numis Securities is acting as co-bookrunner on the sale.

Hargreaves’ stock, which underperformed the wider UK index in 2019, was the biggest loser in the blue-chip bourse by 0808 GMT.

(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)