Motorpoint shares plunge after founder sells £22m stake to fund divorce


Shares in car retailer Motorpoint have plummeted after one of its founders announced plans to sell £22 million worth of shares in the company to fund his divorce.

Founder and non-executive director David Shelton sold 11 million shares in the business at 200p each due to “divorce proceedings”, the company said in an update to shareholders.

Shares in the firm sank by more than 14% in early trading on Friday after he offloaded the stake of more than 9% in the business he helped to launch in 1998.

After the stock market closed on Thursday, Mr Shelton and his associates originally revealed plans to sell more than 8 million shares worth £19.8 million but confirmed on Friday morning that the share sale had surpassed original expectations.

Motorpoint confirmed in a separate announcement that it saw this as a buying price by snapping up £5.2 million worth of the share placing by Mr Shelton.

The sale price of 200p was around 17% less than the closing share price of the business, at 240p, on Thursday.

Despite the sale, the co-founder and his associates still hold around 2.4 million shares in the business, around 3% of the company’s share capital.

In July, the retailer said it delivered revenue growth over the first three months of the year despite the “challenging consumer backdrop” and political uncertainty.

However it said gross profits margins were below the same period last year as it was affected by “unusually high” levels of supply.

Shares in the company slid 14.3% to 205.7p in early trading on Friday.