Woolworths’s CEO Ian Moir sold a third of his shares in the upmarket retailer this week.
Moir disposed of 29 392 shares worth R2.5 million on Monday to settle tax on his vested restricted share plan (RSP) shares.
RSP is Woolworths’s retention scheme used to keep senior executives and employees who are critical to delivering its long-term strategy.
On Tuesday Moir sold 672 400 shares worth R57 million ($3.7 million). According to the JSE’s stock exchange news service a portion of the proceeds will be used to pay tax and the rest to diversify his portfolio. Moir still holds 1 475 451 shares and share instruments in the retailer.
Viv Govender, a Senior Analyst at Lehumo Capital reckons Moir could be looking for better returns elsewhere while Jeleze Hattingh, Portfolio Manager at Element Investment Management said it was a negative sign and perhaps signals it is not time to buy the upmarket food and clothing retailer.
Last month the retailer warned that it expects conditions to become more difficult in South Africa and Australia – its two main markets of operation.
The company’s share price was down 2 per cent on Thursday to R84.40.