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Vertu Motors completes £2m shares buy back action as CEO increases holding

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Vertu Motors has completed a £2 million share buy back transaction to boost its employee benefit trust” as chief executive Robert Forrester increased his own shareholding in the car retail PLC.

Announcements issued via the London Stock Exchange this morning (May 13) revealed that the AM100 PLC had acquired 3,960,331 shares at a price of just over 50p per share and Forrester himself purchased 39,297 shares.

Forrester now holds almost 7.5 million of the business’s 357.6 million shares.

Vertu’s chief operations officer David Crane and chief financial officer Karen Anderson also each exercised options over 30,000 ordinary shares, on May 11, under the Vertu Company Share Option Plan, with an exercise price of 39.25p.

News of the share buy-back comes just two days after Vertu revealed that it had successfully leveraged car retail’s “sector tailwinds” to deliver a 41.9% rise in turnover and 228% rise in adjusted pre-tax profits in a record-breaking set of 2021/22 annual financial results.

Revenues rose to £3.62bn (2021: £2.55bn) as adjusted profit before tax reached £80.7m (2021: £24.6m) during the period to February 28.

Today’s London Stock Exchange announcement regarding the PLC’s £2m shares buy-back action, completed by Ocorian Limited, the trustee of the company's employee benefit trust, said: “The acquired shares were purchased by the trustee to be held for the purposes of the employee benefit trust, and may be used to transfer shares to individuals when options are exercised. 

“This could include the Company's Long Term Incentive Plan, under which each of the executive directors of the Company is a potential participant, and other share options and share schemes, under which other PDMRs are potential participants. They are therefore regarded as having a notional interest in the acquired shares.”

Vertu announced back in August last year that it had embarked on a £3m share buyback programme after upgrading its 2021 profit before tax expectations to £50m to £55m.

The scheme was prompted by its board’s opinion that “the share price of the company for some time has traded at a discount to the tangible net asset value” and “below the intrinsic value of the business”, a trading update issued at the time stated.

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