Lastminute.com's management, including co-founders Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane-Fox, could turn their virtual millions into cold, hard cash for the first time starting Monday.
With the end of the company's post-flotation lockup period, directors are for the first time enabled to cash out, and the opportunity will present them with a test of loyalty, observers say.
Don't expect Hoberman and Lane-Fox to take the money and run anytime soon though, says a company spokesman, who maintains the two are "absolutely committed to the business long term".
Lastminute floated in March at 380p and charged to 487p, before settling at their current level of around 180p. Shares dropped 6.25 percent or 11.5p to 172.5p in early trading Monday. At the current price, Hoberman and Lane-Fox's 16 percent stake is worth about £41m compared to about £117m at its high point.
Individual investors who bought in at the flotation are unlikely to sell anytime soon. With the 35 shares allotted to most -- a tactic to allow everyone to get at least a small piece of the company -- the shares won't be worth anything until they head past 380p again.
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