By James Wells

MELBOURNE: Clive Peeters directors Greg Smith and Peter Lord have sold one million shares each worth a total of $5.2 million from their existing shareholding in the publicly-listed Narta retailer to institutional investors.

A statement released to the Australian Stock Exchange today said the partial sell down was designed to improve the liquidity of the Clive Peeters stock.

“Clive Peeters announced today that family companies associated with two of the directors, Greg Smith and Peter Lord, have released two million shares from their existing shareholding to institutional investors,” the statement said.

“Mr Smith’s and Mr Lord’s family companies have each sold one million shares at $2.60, in well supported transactions brokered by Austock Securities Limited. They will each retain 41.5 million shares, representing approximately 65 per cent of the issued capital of the company.”

In the statement, Clive Peeters chairman Brian Pollock said the company had received feedback from the market “that the lack of liquidity and small free-float was a limiting factor for us in the market”.

“The interest from the investment community was strong and we are delighted to welcome a number of prominent new shareholders onto our register of late.”

Smith and Lord both emphasised that their family interests had no intentions of selling more of their holdings in the near term.

“Despite no longer being bound by escrow conditions Peter and I are committed to the ongoing growth of the business and only released this minor part of our families’ shareholdings in Clive Peeters to generate greater liquidity in Clive Peeters stock,” Smith said.