Sir Ken Morrison has been fined £210,000 by the Financial Services Authority for failing to inform investors of his sale of shares worth hundreds of millions of pounds in the supermarket he founded.
The retail legend reduced his holding in Morrisons from more than 6% at the time of his retirement in 2008 to just 0.9% three years later. But no announcement was made to investors, meaning the market was “misled” over the chain’s ownership.
Sir Ken, who did not benefit financially from the rule breach, saw his fine cut from an initial £300,000 following a settlement with the watchdog.
“Investors are entitled to know when major and influential shareholders significantly reduce their interest in a listed company,” said the FSA’s acting enforcement director, Tracey McDermott.
“Sir Ken should have been aware of his obligations and his failure to meet them has resulted in this fine.”
She added: “The rules are designed to enhance transparency and provide investors with timely information regarding voting rights in issuers. Failure to comply with the rules risks damaging investor confidence in the financial markets.”
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