Hargreaves Lansdown co-founder cashes in £300m stake

Peter Hargreaves, the self-made billionaire who co-founded Hargreaves Lansdown, is cashing in a £300m stake in the FTSE 100 funding agency he co-founded.

The firm confirmed that Hargreaves, who began the dealer with Stephen Lansdown from a spare bed room in Bristol in 1981, was promoting £300m of shares by way of a inserting with institutional traders.

The 74-year-old businessman is Hargreaves Lansdown’s greatest shareholder with a close to 24% stake price nearly £1.9bn. The deliberate share sale equates to a few sixth of his holding.

Last yr Hargreaves offloaded a slug of shares price £580m. At that point he mentioned it was “long-term financial planning to diversify my assets” and that he would proceed to be a “substantial” shareholder in the funding platform.

The information noticed the shares shut down 1% at £16.53. The inventory has recovered from final yr’s low of £12.77 however remains to be effectively beneath the 2019 excessive, once they have been altering palms for £24.19.

Hargreaves was not the one enterprise founder promoting shares on Tuesday, with Will Adderley, a member of the Dunelm founding household, promoting practically £200m of shares in the curtain and cushions chain. His mom and father began Dunelm from a Leicester market stall in 1979.

Adderley offered 15m shares at £12.80 a go, elevating £192m. He nonetheless retains a close to 18% holding, with the household as an entire nonetheless talking for 43%. With Britons caught at residence money has poured into residence furnishings, which has boosted the corporate’s price to £2.6bn. The sale weighed on the shares, which closed down practically 7% at £13.12.

Hargreaves is a divisive determine as whereas he makes some extent of paying his UK taxes – and final yr gave £100m to charity – many can’t forgive his politics.

In 2016 he made the single biggest donation to the Brexit campaign, handing £3.2m to the Leave.EU group. The cash helped pay for an anti-EU mailshot to 1 in three houses in the nation.

Hargreaves has stood by that call. Last yr he mentioned: “I don’t regret my Brexit donation one bit. I strongly believe we will be better out of the EU.”

He added: “It was right that the money enabled the leave campaign to have as big a shout as the remain campaign. Remember, what they had was massive – they had Obama and the Bank of England pushing for remain. It wasn’t balanced at all.”

He additionally gave £1m to the Conservatives’ election battle chest, regardless of as soon as labelling Boris Johnson a “buffoon”. “That donation was more anti-Corbyn than pro-Tory,” he mentioned. “He would have turned this country into Venezuela.”

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