Naspers CFO sells R92 million in shares

Naspers chief financial officer Basil Sgourdos has sold 45,995 Naspers N ordinary shares worth R92.06 million.

According to a trading update released on Monday, 17 July 2023, Sgourdos exercised 45,995 Naspers share options and the linked Prosus N.V. share options. 

He disposed of 27,300 shares to cover taxes and took delivery of the remaining 18,695 shares in his recently established family trust. He also moved an additional 25,522 Naspers N ordinary shares to the trust.

Sgourdos joined Naspers in 1994 and has been the Group CFO of Naspers since July 2014.

This is not the first time Sgourdos has sold shares in the company this year.

Daily Investor reported in January that Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk and Sgourdos had sold R1.8 billion of their Naspers and Prosus shares after the companies announced their open-ended share buyback programme in June 2022.

Two other directors – Mark Sorour and Steve Pacak – also sold shares shortly after announcing the share repurchase programme.

This did not sit well with some industry players, including Counterpoint Asset Management executive director and portfolio manager Piet Viljoen.

“Directors of Naspers are selling large chunks of shares while the company is in a buyback program. Have they no shame?” Viljoen asked.

He said it is never a good sign when executives sell shares when a repurchase programme is ongoing.

He previously said if Naspers’ management was truly concerned about creating shareholder value, they would unbundle their Tencent stake and give investors the full value of their holding.

Sgourdos’ selling of his shares comes less than a month after Naspers reported a significant drop in earnings and a $1.4 billion operating loss in its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2023.