CAIRN Energy founder Sir Bill Gammell, pictured, has seen his family’s stake in the Edinburgh oil and gas explorer more than halve after selling over £1.7 million worth of shares.
The former Scottish rugby international’s wife, Janice, sold 551,909 shares at 263p each and two trusts in which Gammell has a beneficial interest also sold a total of 98,764 shares at the same price.
The disposals take his stake down to 596,331 shares although Gammell, who is chairman of the company, also has an interest in a further 421,800 shares under an incentive plan.
Last year Gammell was paid £1.8m, almost twice his remuneration in 2010, including a £1.4m pay-off for “loss of office” after he ceded his chief executive’s role to Simon Thomson.
In January, an investor backlash forced the firm to withdraw proposals to hand him £2.5m, plus a £1m donation to charity on his behalf, as a reward for completing the sale of 40 per cent of its Indian business to FTSE 100 miner Vedanta.