Michael O’Leary sells four million Ryanair shares

Chief executive is believed to have grossed €72 million from share sale in airline

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has sold off 4 million shares in Ryanair at a price of €18 each. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has sold off 4 million shares in Ryanair at a price of €18 each. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has sold off a significant volume of his shares in the Irish airline.

Mr O’Leary disposed of four million shares on Friday, June 2nd, according to a disclosure released to the Irish Stock Exchange.

Each share was sold for €18 by Mr O’Leary, meaning he gained around €72 million from the transaction.

Mr O’Leary is Ryanair’s third largest shareholder holding over 4.1 per cent of the company. The largest shareholder is HSBC Bank, which holds 8.65 per cent, followed by multinational financial services firm Fidelity Investments, which holds 5.87 per cent.

At the end of May Ryanair announced that profits grew after tax by 6 per cent to €1.316 billion in the 12 months to March 31st and it announced plans to return €600 million to investors through a share buy-back scheme.

Last week, both Citigroup and UBS downgraded Ryanair from a ‘buy’ rating to ‘neutral’. According to UBS, the airline is the best-of-breed short-haul operator in Europe, but it now sees a balanced risk and reward and therefore downgraded the stock.