iSoft founders net £38m from shares sales

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The Independent Online

The founders of iSoft, the medical software company, yesterday cashed in about £38m of their shareholdings as part of a £42m sell-off of iSoft shares.

The founders of iSoft, the medical software company, yesterday cashed in about £38m of their shareholdings as part of a £42m sell-off of iSoft shares.

Patrick Cryne, one of the founders and current executive chairman, sold three million shares at 425p, netting him £12.75m. Stephen Graham, the chief operating officer who was also part of the management buyout that created iSoft, pocketed about £12m. Roger Dickens, who was chairman of iSoft when it listed in 2000 but now acts as a consultant to it, was also part of the share sale. His trade was not disclosed but is understood to be around a similar level.

Mr Cryne, 53, still holds a 4 per cent stake in the business. Yesterday's windfall comes on top of £10m he cashed in last year from selling five million shares. A lifelong fan of Barnsley FC, he bought the club last year in a £5m deal with Peter Ridsdale, the former chairman of Leeds United.

Mr Cryne, Mr Graham and Mr Dickens founded iSoft while part of KPMG, the consultancy group, in 1994. They bought out the company in 1999 before floating it in 2000 at 150p. Since then, it has expanded rapidly and last year secured a £700m merger with rival software company, Torex, after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.

Yesterday's trades came as the shares were near an all-time high of 446p last week. A number of other directors also cashed in. Mark Woodbridge, iSoft's business development director, sold 266,342 shares, making £1.1m. Geoff White and Colin Wall, two non-executives, sold 60,000 and 121,000 shares respectively, pocketing them £255,000 and £514,250.

"Mr Graham and Mr Cryne still own about 6.5 per cent of the company, which shows their commitment to iSoft," a company spokesman said.

Tim Whiston, iSoft's former finance director who was appointed chief executive this year, bought £200,000 worth of shares and the finance director John Whelan bought £100,000 worth.

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