In a surprise move late last night, the Ray White Group sold its complete shareholding in the REA Group (realestate.com.au). The long time second largest shareholder sold 13.5 million shares at $5.75 per share, yielding $77.6 million. This represents a change of ownership of 10.8% of the REA Group shareholding base. It is believed that the shares have been acquired by a number institutional investors and, surprisingly, not by News Corp.
This sale follows hot on the heels of a transaction in October last year in which New Limited purchased 3m shares in the REA Group from Ray White for $4.50 a share.
The Ray White Group first became a substantial shareholder in the REA Group (formerly realestate.com.au) in August 2002 when it acquired 15.8% of the shareholding from Macquarie Bank at around $0.15 per share.
Sam White is expected to continue as a Board Member of the REA Group - a position he has held since September 2002. Sam will also personally retain a smaller shareholding the REA Group.