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Top Trades: Tracking directors' interests in their companies

By Nicholas Bryant

Friday 6th October 2000

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Charles Bidwill reaps the benefits

As a shareholder in debt collection company Baycorp since the late 1980s, UK-based Charles Bidwill has seen the company's size and value grow at a staggering rate - and now he is reaping the benefits.

Mr Bidwill, who resigned from the board of directors last week, has sold down over half of his shareholding in Baycorp in the past two years, netting him $31.5 million.

But Mr Bidwill is still active in the company, according to Baycorp chief executive Keith McLaughlin, an assertion borne out by two purchases valued at $131,000 last year and his continuing to hold 5.77 million shares or 7.2% of the company.

Mr McLaughlin also indulged in a little profit taking - "so as to enjoy the fruits of my labour" - making a scratch over $1.2 million for selling 200,000 shares in September last year.

Fletcher Challenge director Hugh Fletcher, or those close to him, showed questionable judgment in hocking off 50,000 Fletcher Energy shares at $6.13 last July.

Despite some recent pressure, the stock has traded above $9 a share this year.

And of course there is Pacific Retail Group director Mark Dotchin, who breached Securities Commission guidelines on insider trading.

The breach was admitted at the company's annual meeting after questions were asked by analyst Brian Gaynor, although it was not investigated by the Securities Commission.

Directors said Mr Dotchin had no "ill intent" in selling down three parcels of his shares for a profit of $40,000 outside periods recommended by the commission.

PURCHASES IN OWN COMPANIES

CompanyDirector's nameSharesValue ($000)
EldercareDavid Lowry5,750,182855.6
FCL divisionsKerry Hoggard *390,000635.1
BaycorpRosanne Meo500037.31
BaycorpCharles Bidwill12,000131.2
BaycorpJohn Wells500028.25
Pacific RetailNick Gordon1,500,0002520
Pacific RetailMark Hotchin4,304,6677100
Pacific RetailStefan Preston235,250414.8
Pacific RetailRichard Reilly15,00026.55

SALES IN OWN COMPANIES

CompanyDirector's nameSharesValue ($000)
Eldercare David Lowry2,091,055199.9
Fletcher EnergyHugh Fletcher50,000306.5
BaycorpCharles Bidwill3,100,00020610
BaycorpKeith McLaughlin200,0001260
Pacific RetailMark Dotchin 400,00070.8

* As Mr Hoggard's purchase breached FCL directors' rules over share trading, he compensated sellers for any gains made in the days immediately after his purchase.

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