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Asos co-founder sells £46 million worth of shares to fund divorce settlement

Published 26/05/2016

Nick Robertson sold 1.3 million shares to help pay his ex-wife £70 million following a High Court divorce battle (Asos/PA)
Nick Robertson sold 1.3 million shares to help pay his ex-wife £70 million following a High Court divorce battle (Asos/PA)

The co-founder of online fashion firm Asos has sold off £46 million worth of shares to help stump up cash for a costly divorce settlement.

Nick Robertson sold 1.3 million shares to help pay his ex-wife £70 million following a High Court divorce battle.

Asos announced late on Wednesday his intent sell 1.6% of the firm's share capital through a placing to institutional investors.

The move comes after a High Court judge ruled in March that Mr Robertson would have to hand over about a third of his £220 million fortune to ex-wife Janine Robertson, who was pressing for £110 million.

The pair had both run up legal bills of about £500,000 during the ligation.

In a statement Asos said: "Nick Robertson, one of the company's founders and a non-executive director, announces that he has sold in aggregate 1,305,000 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 3.525 pence per placing share, raising in aggregate gross proceeds of approximately £46 million."

Mr Robertson founded Asos - which stands for As Seen On Screen - in 2000.

The company was floated on London's junior market in 2001 with its shares worth 20p. It is now valued at £2.9 billion.

Mr Robertson oversaw the growth of the brand from a UK business to one with international operations in countries such as the United States, France and Australia.

He stepped down from the role of chief executive in 2015 - making way for Nick Beighton - but has remained a non-executive director at the business.

Asos, which sells more than 80,000 branded and own-brand products, posted a double-digit hike in half-year profits in April.

The group hailed a ''good start'' to its financial year after a bumper festive season helped pre-tax profits surge 18% higher to £21.2 million in the six months to February 29.

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