Three company directors have cashed in more than £31m worth of stock in their respective companies over the past week.

Taking advantage of share price strength is the reason behind two of the biggest share sales, while satisfying demand from institutions at a stroke.

A third appears to be winding down his corporate stake ahead of departure.

GAMING GROWTH

The biggest deal of the week involves video game developer Frontier Developments (FDEV:AIM), where chief executive David Braben’s wife Wendy sold 1.25m shares, 3.2% of the company’s issued share capital, at £12 apiece for a total value of £15m.

Frontier said the sale was in response to investor demand, and that Braben and his wife have promised not to sell any more shares for the next 12 months, unless they get written consent from the firm’s brokers Jefferies and Liberum.

The company has had a good time of late, and its shares have gained ground following the success of its recently launched Planet Zoo game.

Another firm that’s been in the ascendancy recently is Dart Group (DTG), owner of the Jet2 airline and tour operator.

Executive chairman Philip Meeson, who masterminded the Jet2 acquisition in 1983, has offloaded a one million share stake. The first tranche of 685,000 shares was struck at £14.31 per share, with another 315,000 sold off at £13.58.

That nets Meeson just shy of £14.1m.

Dart Group’s shares have risen markedly since mid-September, when they were priced around the 800p mark, as it takes advantage of the demise of rival Thomas Cook.

LEAVING THE BROTHERHOOD

One company that hasn’t had such a good time recently is Close Brothers (CBG), the FTSE 250 merchant bank which has struggled with lower profitability in the past year.

Chief executive Preben Prebensen announced alongside the company’s annual results that he will be leaving the firm after 10 years in the role, but will remain in charge for the next 12 months as the company looks for his successor.

Ahead of his departure, Prebensen sold 150,000 shares last week at £14.42 each, netting him around £2.1m.

It comes after Close Brothers said in a trading update that its performance in first quarter trading ‘reflects lower activity levels across our markets’, but that it remains ‘well positioned’ in a wide range of market conditions.

Every Thursday, Shares will roundup the biggest director deals over the past week.

For a full list of the past week’s most significant director trades, click here.

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Issue Date: 28 Nov 2019