BTR boss sells nearly half his share stake

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The Independent Online
ALAN JACKSON, managing director of BTR since 1991, sold half his shares in the industrial conglomerate at the end of last year, raising more than pounds 1m.

Despite protestations from the company that the sale was a 'personal matter' the market reacted coolly to the deal, marking the shares 15p lower to 358p.

Norman Ireland, chairman, said that Mr Jackson had cleared the disposal with him, as he was required to do under Stock Exchange listing rules.

Mr Ireland said he had first been approached about the disposal in July but because of various acquisitions and the company's close season, both of which constrain directors from selling shares, the sale had to wait.

He denied that the disposal had any implications for the company's strategy and pointed out that Mr Jackson, who is 57, still held substantial options and warrants.

The sale of 275,000 shares at 374p leaves Mr Jackson with 294,000 shares. He benefited from a bounce in BTR's share price since the middle of December, when they traded at 339p.

That rise followed prolonged underperformance since the summer, reflecting worries in the market about the company's treatment of acquisition provisions. The shares peaked in July at 410p.

The share sale follows the disclosure in the Independent last May that Mr Jackson, despite heading BTR for two years, has no contract with the company.

Directors' service contracts showed that he was employed by BTR Nylex, an Australian subsidiary, paid in Australian dollars and only seconded to head office.

As a result his pounds 448,000 salary was not recorded in the 1992 accounts. It is understood that the 1993 report will spell out all directors' remuneration.

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