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On September 30th last year, with MAN above 300p,  we saw directors of MAN Group plc (EMG, 219p) buying warrants at around 57p, rather than buying the shares outright.

Probably a good thing really, as MAN Group shares lost 40% of their value in the following six weeks, more than twice the 57p paid for the options.

For our comments on MAN Group in September, read ‘MAN Group Directors step in to buy after results announced’ (WEAK signal).

So what now with the reorganisation and renaming of funds?

With no new directors purchases since September last year, I’m happy to stay on the sidelines here. If management don’t feel the shares offer value, with a yield above 8%, then why should you.

I’d agree with Tempus here, ‘A buy for the brave’, but let the MAN directors show their courage first!

MAN Group (EMG, 316p) directors have announced the purchase of warrants in MAN, spending GBP 930,000 to give them exposure to 1.64m shares in MAN Group plc.

The warrants cost 57.59p each, and give them a return of the average share price over three years less the strike price (undisclosed). For details of directors transactions see the MAN Group plc website.

Peter Clarke CEO bought 1.12m warrants. He also owns 4.6m shares having picked up a few more last week just short of four pounds.

Kevin Hayes CFO bought 260,000 warrants, as did Christof Moller, who sold 45812 shares to pay for them.

John Aisbitt, non executive Chairman, bought 100,000 shares at 340p taking his holding to 1.6m shares.

Are these moves significant?

I see the warrants as a way to reduce risk to the downside (you only lose 57.59p if the company goes bust, not 300p+), and would prefer to see outright share purchases as a stronger signal of a directors commitment to the group.

Having said that I think these purchases say more about the directors using their experience to see a buying opportunity where others see collapsing markets.

So these purchases count a WEAK Signal.

MAN Group results (link to Dow Jones comment here  ) were announced yesterday, revealing a 40% drop in performance fees in the first half, but a reassuring statement on regulatory capital.

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July 2022