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Applegreen’s (APGN) CEO and chief operating officer are looking for a near £23m windfall from a share sale in the listed petrol forecourt operator.

B&J Holdings Ltd, an entity directly controlled by boss Bob Etchingham and COO Joe Barrett are proposing to sell up to six million shares in the business to meet investor demand and increase liquidity in the stock.

Brokers Shore Capital and Goodbody – the joint bookrunners to the placing – intend to price the shares at €4.50 (383p) each, a 7.7% discount to yesterday’s closing price of 415p but a significant premium to the less than 300p flotation price.

The placing represents about 7.5% of Applegreen’s current issued share capital. Etchingham and Barrett, who own 75% and 25% of the share capital of B&J respectively, will continue to hold a 60% stake in Applegreen if all six million shares are sold in the business.

The pair founded Applegreen in 1992 in Ireland, with an IPO coming in June 2015, valuing the group at about €300m and netting Etchingham and Barrett a combined €21.7m pay day.

Applegreen now has 220 sites, the majority in the Republic of Ireland, with the rest in the UK, along with a small number in New York in the US, and employs close to 3,000 staff. It has an extensive retail and food offer on its forecourts after striking partnerships with brands such as Burger King, Subway, Costa and Greggs.

Latest results showed that food sales fuelled a 15% boost in profitability to €13m (£10.8m) in the six months to 30 June, with revenues up 7.4% to €556m (£465.2m) as it grew its portfolio of sites.

The share price has grown almost 30% since the flotation but has dropped 3.1% this morning to 395p on news of the placing

Morning update

It’s a quiet morning elsewhere on the stock exchange ahead of results for Morrisons, Poundland and Booker tomorrow.

The FTSE 100 has opened 0.2% up at 6,676.89 points. Ocado shares have suffered more heavy falls (see below) first thing, down another 5.9% to 261.6p. Compass Group (CPG), SSP (SSPG) and Tesco (TSCO) are among the early risers, up 1.8% to 1,450p, 1.5% to 319.9p and 1.1% to 162.5p respectively.

Yesterday in the City

Ocado (OCDO) had another horror show yesterday with shares crashing 14% to 277.6p despite the online grocer reporting sales growth of 15.4% to £314m in the 12 weeks to 7 August. It seems investors took a dull view to CEO Tim Steiner’s comments that the market remained competitive with “sustained and continuing margin pressure”.

Hilton Food Group (HFG) had a markedly better day, with the stock climbing 4.6% to 602p on a strong set of half-year numbers. The red meat supplier revenues up 9.1% to £631.9m as volumes jumped 4.5%, helped by more business with Tesco.

Associated British Food (ABF) continued its slump after heavy losses on Monday, with the share price down a further 2.2% to 2,752p. It is now down 13% this week on worries about future growth at Primark.

Booker (BOK) is down 1.6% to 175.6p ahead of a trading update on Thursday; Morrisons (MRW) dipped 0.4% to 192.6p as its half-year results loom; Tesco (TSCO) fell 1.2% to 161.4p; and Sainsbury’s (SBRY) was 1% lower at 236.6p.

The FTSE 100 suffered further losses as the City weighed up US interest rate outlook and falling oil prices. The blue-chip index fell 0.5% to 6,665.63 points.