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Gerry Harvey Gets An “Extra Advantage” Buying His Own Shares

When your share value is falling, and sales are sliding there’s nothing like dipping into the piggy bank to buy your own “cheap” shares in the hope that the market generates a wee bit of confidence.

Following Harvey Norman’s recent $164 million capital raising it’s been revealed that the biggest investor was no other than Harvey Norman Chairman, Gerry Harvey who according to the AFR ended up with more than he was entitled to.

The Australian Financial Review claims that he not only took advantage he “took, extra advantage”.

The capital raising entitled every holder of 17 ordinary shares access to one extra share for $2.50. But it also came with a top-up facility. Any renounced shares can’t be sold to the highest bidder but have to instead be sold on to existing shareholders at the massively discounted price of $2.50 a pop. Underwriting by another name, really.

By their count, he ended up with some 1 million more than he’d have been entitled to in a strict 17-for-1 raise, or roughly a third of the top-up facility. The rest of the board also took up their full entitlements and then some. And at $2.50, they’re all easily in the black.

In Harvey’s case, he spent $53.6 million buying up 21.4 million shares. Those shares are worth $71.4 million at Wednesday’s $3.33 closing price.

Harvey did say he’d be selling assets to buy more shares in his company, which he reckons is woefully under-priced which at $2.50 is a bargain which even a rank share market player could work out.


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