Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin sells £5m of shares in pub chain days after Government announces boost for firms in hospitality sector
The chairman of JD Wetherspoon, Tim Martin, sold £5million of shares in his pub chain days after the Government announced its £4billion boost for firms in the hospitality sector.
The 65-year-old sold 510,725 shares at a price of £9.84 per share, according to a statement released on Friday evening after the stock market had closed for the weekend.
The sale reduces his stake in the FTSE250 pub chain he founded in 1979 to 27.4 per cent.
Up in lights: Wetherspoons shares were trading at more than £16 before the pandemic but plunged to a low of £5.59 on March 19
A spokesman for Wetherspoons declined to comment on the sale.
Wetherspoons shares were trading at more than £16 before the pandemic but plunged to a low of £5.59 on March 19, the day before Boris Johnson ordered all pubs, bars and restaurants to close.
The no-frills pub chain was boosted by last Wednesday’s mini-Budget, when Chancellor Rishi Sunak slashed VAT on food and non-alcoholic drinks by 15 per cent until January.
Martin, a vocal campaigner for tax equality between pubs and supermarkets, said he was ‘extremely grateful’ for the measures.
To survive the prolonged closure of its 875 pubs across the UK and Ireland, Wetherspoons has raised around £140million through a share placing and has taken out a £48.3million loan through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
It re-opened all of its 750 pubs in England on July 4. The remainder are set to re-open in phases, starting with its Scottish pubs on Wednesday
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