Hargreaves Lansdown co-founder cashes in £300m stake | Business

Peter Hargreaves, the self-made billionaire who co-founded Hargreaves Lansdown, is cashing in a £300m stake in the FTSE 100 investment firm he co-founded.

The company confirmed that Hargreaves, who started the broker with Stephen Lansdown from a spare bedroom in Bristol in 1981, was selling £300m of shares via a placing with institutional investors.

The 74-year-old businessman is Hargreaves Lansdown’s biggest shareholder with a near 24% stake worth almost £1.9bn. The planned share sale equates to about a sixth of his holding.

Last year Hargreaves offloaded a slug of shares worth £580m. At that time he said it was “long-term financial planning to diversify my assets” and that he would continue to be a “substantial” shareholder in the investment platform.

The news saw the shares close down 1% at £16.53. The stock has recovered from last year’s low of £12.77 but is still well below the 2019 high, when they were changing hands for £24.19.

Hargreaves was not the only business founder selling shares on Tuesday, with Will Adderley, a member of the Dunelm founding family, selling nearly £200m of shares in the curtain and cushions chain. His mother and father started Dunelm from a Leicester market stall in 1979.

Adderley sold 15m shares at £12.80 a go, raising £192m. He still retains a near 18% holding, with the family as a whole still speaking for 43%. With Britons stuck at home cash has poured into home furnishings, which has boosted the company’s worth to £2.6bn. The sale weighed on the shares, which closed down nearly 7% at £13.12.

Hargreaves is a divisive figure as while he makes a point of paying his UK taxes – and last year gave £100m to charity – many cannot forgive his politics.

READ  ILI Group sells first energy storage asset to Gore Street Capital fund

In 2016 he made the single biggest donation to the Brexit campaign, handing £3.2m to the Leave.EU group. The money helped pay for an anti-EU mailshot to one in three homes in the country.

Hargreaves has stood by that decision. Last year he said: “I don’t regret my Brexit donation one bit. I strongly believe we will be better out of the EU.”

He added: “It was right that the money enabled the leave campaign to have as big a shout as the remain campaign. Remember, what they had was massive – they had Obama and the Bank of England pushing for remain. It wasn’t balanced at all.”

He also gave £1m to the Conservatives’ election war chest, despite once labelling Boris Johnson a “buffoon”. “That donation was more anti-Corbyn than pro-Tory,” he said. “He would have turned this country into Venezuela.”


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.