Reckitt executive cleans up again as Harf nets £23m

The deputy chairman of Reckitt Benckiser, the maker of the Cillit Bang household cleaner, is cashing in more than £23m of shares, marking the latest eye-watering payout at the Anglo-Dutch company.

Peter Harf, a non-executive director, has cashed in shares worth £13.4m and has notified the consumer goods giant he plans to do the same with 304,811 shares valued at £9.8m over the coming days. Reckitt Benckiser said the deputy chairman is selling for personal reasons and intends to remain in the same role on the board.

But the £23.2m share bonanza, which will leave Mr Harf with only a small shareholding, has rekindled memories of the £90m that Bart Becht, the former chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, received in 2010.

However, the record-breaking payout to Mr Becht, who stepped down on 1 September, was for long-term performance-related share and bonuses schemes. In contrast, the shareholding that Mr Harf is selling pre-dates the merger between Reckitt & Colman and Benckiser in July 1999.

A German citizen, he is still the chief executive of Joh A Benckiser, a financial holding company that has a 15 per cent stake in Reckitt Benckiser. But the company insisted that Mr Harf's personal share disposals should not be interpreted as an indication that JAB may start to offload its shareholding. Mr Harf is also the chairman of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer and Coty, the global fragrance and cosmetics company.

Reckitt Benckiser – which acquired SSL, the owner of the Durex condoms and Scholl footcare brands, in 2010 – grew its net income by 15 per cent to £465m in its third quarter.

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