Shareholders Harwood Capital and Wellcome Trust have sold their holdings in the Quarto Group, as Harwood m.d. Christopher Mills steps down as a non-executive director from the company.
C.e.o. Marcus Leaver said the sale of the Harwood and Wellcome stakes will bring about “increased liquidity in the shares of Quarto”.
"I am grateful for Christopher’s support over the last three years as we have established a clearer operational structure and strategic roadmap in developing an even more successful Quarto,” he said. “We have increased earnings and reduced debt substantially during this time.”
Christopher Mills added: “In the three years since Harwood took a hands-on approach to our investment in Quarto with the support of Wellcome and others, the share price has improved by close to 50%. The corporate governance of the company is now in accordance with best practice, the management team of Tim Chadwick, chairman, and Marcus Leaver, c.e.o, has set a clear strategy and the company is beginning to fulfill the potential I have always believed it had. I wish Quarto well with the further value creation the company is capable of."
Mills will step down when Quarto appoints a new non-executive director by May 2016 (the company’s next annual meeting) at the latest. He will retain his personal holding of 100,000 shares in the company.
Earlier this month Quarto said it was on track to meet its targets in reducing debt and growing earnings - and ahead of the group’s “traditionally strongest fourth quarter”.
Revenues for the group's core publishing businesses were up on the prior year by 7.9% to $44.9m (£29.1m)– from $41.6m (£27m) in 2014 – with underlying publishing revenues up 1.3%.