MYOB co-founder sells $62m Xero stake for charity

The founder of global accounting firm MYOB and Xero's second-largest individual shareholder is gradually reducing his Xero holdings to fund philanthropic activity.

Through his private charitable trust Givia, Craig Winkler has reduced Xero shareholding from 12.7% to 10.5% via a block trade with First NZ Capital Securities. Winkler made a key investment in Xero in 2009 and later sold part of it to a consortium of investors including PayPal founder Peter Thiel.

The latest transaction represents three million shares for a consideration of about $62 million.

Winkler indicated he intends to liquidate Givia's portfolio holdings, including Xero shares, over the next 10 years to fund charitable activity; this will be done in such a way as to minimise market impact.

Winkler's trust, run alongside his wife Di, focuses on disability, environmental concerns and the welfare of indigenous Australians.

Xero chief executive Rod Drury said: "We're proud of Craig's continued support of Xero including as one of our directors, and his significant commitment to philanthropy."

"For the market, it will provide a larger free float and increased liquidity in Xero," Drury said.

"As Xero executes on the next stage of our global growth, we are seeing global and regional institutional investors take positions in Xero. It's gratifying to see strong institutional demand and interest in Xero while retaining a strong commitment from strategic shareholders."

Read more: DiXeroMYOBGiviaaccountingAustralianCraig WinklerFirst NZ Capital SecuritiesPayPalPeter ThielRod DruryASXsoftware
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