RAB Capital founders cash in by selling £25m stake

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The Independent Online

The two founders of RAB Capital have cashed in £25m between them in a share sale that brings several of the world's richest families on to the shareholder register.

The two founders of RAB Capital have cashed in £25m between them in a share sale that brings several of the world's richest families on to the shareholder register.

The shares were placed with a number of RAB's wealthy clients, including the investment vehicles of the Mittal family - Britain's richest - and the Solvays of Belgium.

RAB was set up in 1999 by Philip Richards and Michael Alen-Buckley and its flagship funds are known as a significant investor in the UK's oil and mining sectors. The company has about £1bn under management.

Mr Richards, a former army officer, and Mr Alen-Buckley, the son in law of the property tycoon Lord Forte, raised £12.5m apiece by selling stock at 50p yesterday. RAB floated in March 2004 at 25p per share. Other directors and employees also sold stock and exercised options yesterday. In all, £28.6m of shares were sold.

The deals come in the same week that RAB paid £9.5m to buy Cross Asset Management, another hedge fund manager, in its first acquisition since coming to market. Mr Richards said: "We have just made an acquisition to broaden the range of investment funds available, and we also need a stable and broad shareholder base for the future.

"Having 80 per cent in the hands of the founders is not consistent with having a listed company. We want this business to go on in perpetuity, like Barclays bank."

Messrs Richards and Alen-Buckley hold 62 per cent, equally split between them. The pair set up RAB after working together at Smith New Court, the broker. The family of Lakshmi Mittal, the steel magnate who is Britain's richest man, has bought 4.5 per cent of RAB through its Karrick Trust, while Sofina - the listed Belgian investment house controlled by the Solvay family, whose wealth comes from the chemicals industry - now holds 5.5 per cent.

Schehrezade Sadeque and Christopher de Mattos were the other RAB directors selling shares yesterday, raising £350,000 and £300,000 respectively. RAB is valued at £215m.

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