17 Nov 2017

Xero founder set for $95m pay day from share sale

3:33 pm on 17 November 2017

The founder of accounting firm Xero is selling down his stake in the company although he's pledging to keep leading the company.

Rod Drury is selling three million shares at $31.50 each to institutional and professional investors, bringing him $94.5 million.

Xero CEO Rod Drury

Xero CEO Rod Drury Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

He said the sale would increase liquidity in Xero shares and the strong demand from buyers was backing for the company's progress and aims.

"Personally, the transaction will provide an important foundation for my future plans to pursue a range of philanthropic and social endeavours," Mr Drury said in a statement.

He said he is not abandoning the company he founded and brought to the market a decade ago.

"Xero remains my absolute day to day focus as we have so much opportunity. We have a lot more to do in order to realise our global growth aspirations, and I remain fully committed to Xero and building our global business from New Zealand."

Mr Drury will remain the company's largest shareholder with close to 13 percent of its shares, worth at current values at about $575 million.

The sell down comes just after Mr Drury said Xero would quit the local stock exchange and list only on the Australian market.

That move has been strongly criticised by local brokers and investors who've called it illogical and a betrayal of the market that helped Mr Drury and Xero to get started.

Xero's share price fell nearly 3 percent on news of Mr Drury's sell down.