Billionaire Stephen Lansdown Sells $137 Million Stake

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Stephen Lansdown is continuing to pare his stake in Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, the financial firm he co-founded with fellow British billionaire Peter Hargreaves.

A Guernsey-based company that Lansdown controls sold 103 million pounds ($137 million) of shares in an offering this week through Barclays Plc, according to terms seen by Bloomberg, taking his total stock sales in the firm this year to more than $300 million.

Lansdown wasn’t immediately available for comment. A Hargreaves Lansdown representative declined to comment. Shares in the firm declined 3.1% in early trading in London, making it one of the biggest fallers in the FTSE 100.

The Covid-19 pandemic has crippled global travel, shelved sporting events and kept large portions of the population at home. Few industries are unaffected, and many fall squarely within the orbit of Lansdown’s family office, Pula. Its holdings include Bristol City soccer club, a luxury safari business in Botswana and a golf course in Guernsey, the British crown dependency where he moved in 2010 after stepping down as chairman of Hargreaves Lansdown.

Lansdown, 68, has sold more than $700 million of stock within the past five years, leaving him with a stake of about 5.7% worth almost $575 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He sold a chunk of shares earlier this year to support other investments and give him the flexibility to pursue new ones after markets rebounded sharply from their March lows in the fallout from the virus crisis.

Hargreaves, 74, also has cut his holding in the Bristol-based company they founded in 1981, selling a 7% stake this year worth 550 million pounds.

Shares of Hargreaves Lansdown have returned about 1,300%, including reinvested dividends, since the company’s initial public offering in 2007. The stock has slumped about a fifth this year.

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