The entrepreneur behind Moneysupermarket.com, Simon Nixon, has pulled out of his plans to sell a potential £100m stake in the price comparison website which he founded over 20 years ago, less than a day after announcing that he would.
Nixon intended to sell 35m shares, worth a 6.4% stake in the company. The multimillionaire announced his decision on Tuesday afternoon, only to back out of the sale on Wednesday morning.
It is understood that Nixon was going to reduce the offer from 35m shares, equalling 6.4% down to 22m shares, with a price range of between 268 pence and 270p per share.
The strange U-turn was revealed shortly after the stock market opened in London this morning, in a statement by investment bank Citigroup stating that Nixon’s sale would not go through: “Further to yesterday afternoon’s announcement, Simon Nixon has decided not to proceed with the proposed sale of shares”.
News of the cancellation sent shares in Moneysupermarket down 6.3% to 268.5p by 08:50am this morning. It is not clear why Nixon pulled out of the share sale.
The 46-year-old multimillionaire floated the price comparison site on the London Stock Exchange in 2007 and as a non-executive deputy chairman of the company he is no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the business but still retains a 16.5% stake in the website.
As of last year, the website had 40m users and sales of over £248m.