Sir Ken Morrison is reportedly facing a probe by the Financial Services Authority over his sale of shares worth more than £350m.
The watchdog has kicked off an investigation, according to the Daily Telegraph, after Sir Ken allegedly failed to disclose sales that significantly reduced his voting rights in the supermarket.
FSA rules require that all sales by major shareholders in a business are made known to the company within two days and announced publicly the next day.
The sales in question reportedly took place between September 2009 and last June, reducing Sir Ken’s voting rights from 6% to less than 0.1%. The shares sold would be worth £380m at yesterday’s value, the Daily Telegraph said.
Morrisons said in a statement: “The company understands that these changes in voting rights have arisen as a result of Sir Ken Morrison retiring as one of the trustees of certain family trusts and other estate and tax planning exercises undertaken by Sir Ken following his retirement as a director of the company.
“Based on an analysis by the company's brokers of the company's share register, the company estimates that the members of the wider Morrison family continue to own approximately 9% of the company's issued share capital.”
Sir Ken fires broadside at ‘non-retailer’ Bolland (4 June 2010)