I missed this clear signal from the Emap directors. I noticed two of them (Cathcart and Griffiths) buying up stock on the 11th of December, and missed announcements of further director activity which strongly reinforced the signal…

7th December Emap announces ‘ has terminated all discussions with parties interested in Emap Communications’. Share price falls from 825p to close at 746p on 7th December.

11th-14th December- Five out of the nine Emap Directors buy shares between 732p and 757p, increasing their existing holdings by between 1/4 and three times. Those directors are Carter, Rough, Harrison, Cathcart and Griffiths. Clearly these individuals passionately believed that the market had got it wrong, and was undervaluing EMAP.

21st December- Emap announce an offer worth 931p per share.

Why this was a clear signal:

1. many directors buying, both exec and non exec

2. directors buying significant positions, up to three times the size of their existing position

3. market fed up with lack of bid, arb/hedge funds unwinding positions, therefore opportunity to buy undervalued shares

Why I missed it? Because my system for following directors share activity wasn’t rigorous enough.

Message for you: Pay attention to directors share dealing activity