Microsoft reseller Bytes says more than 100 undisclosed share trades linked to ex-CEO

Surprise resignation of chief exec happened after FCA probe began, claims filing

One of Micrsoft's largest cloud and tech licensing resellers, Bytes Technology Group (BTG), today gave the London Stock Exchange an update on the investigation surrounding the abrupt resignation of its CEO and an ongoing probe by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

According to the filing, former chief exec Neil Murphy's departure was "prompted by a voluntary request for information (RFI)" from the FCA.

The update noted: "The RFI indicated that Mr Murphy may have conducted additional transactions that were not disclosed to the market or the FCA since the Company's IPO." Murphy had promised to let the board know how he was planning to respond to the FCA but abruptly quit with immediate effect last month.

According to the investigation, "it transpired that Mr Murphy had engaged in unauthorized and undisclosed trading of the Company's Ordinary Shares on 66 trading days between 6 January 2021 to 10 November 2023, totalling 119 transactions."

And it isn't just Murphy on the hook. There were also 15 additional transactions conducted on behalf of Murphy's wife, or so the filing claims.

The company's board professed itself shocked at the antics of its now former CEO. It said: "Given Mr Murphy's longstanding leadership position in the Company, the Board of Directors is saddened as well as shocked by Mr Murphy's actions, which it finds hard to comprehend."

"His actions were entirely at odds with the values of openness, honesty, and transparency which have been and which remain central to the Group's culture and to its ongoing success."

Murphy's transactions mean that the Director's Shareholding information has had to be revised to take into account the new information and comes on the heels of a previous investigation into a share purchase by a PCA (person closely associated) of a former non-executive director, Alison Vincent.

The announcement coincided with an abrupt drop in the share price of BTG as markets digested the news. The price has recovered somewhat this morning, but still stands at 518.50p at the time of writing, an 8.55 percent fall. ®

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