Former RFG boss cashes out as stock hits record low

RFG-CEO-Commercial-Gary-Alford-1024x683Former Retail Food Group chief executive Tony Alford has cashed out of the scandal-plagued franchisor, selling the bulk of his stake in the business for a fraction of what it would have been worth just eight months ago.

Alford has offloaded 7.5 million shares in the last three weeks and has ceased to be a substantial holder in the business, documents lodged with the ASX on Wednesday evening show.

RFG’s share price has traded at record low 78 cents this week, having declined more than 82 per cent since allegations of unscrupulous business practices within its franchise network were published by Fairfax Media last December – torching $600 million in market cap.

The former chief had been selling his stake down since October last year, departing with around 243,000 shares between October and December, when the stock was trading at around $4.40 (before sinking to around $2.40 by the end of the year).

He sold another 300,000 shares in March when the stock was trading at around $1 a share.

Alford appears to have walked away with around $6.7 million from the sales, a fraction of the circa $36 million he would have made from his stake if it was sold last November.

It follows around 2.4 million in shares Alford offloaded last September by decoupling himself from RFG subsidiaries, which netted him around $12 million.

Joining RFG in the 90s Alford became RFG’s chief executive in mid-2016 after overseeing the company’s commercial operations. He is regarded as one of the architects of the company’s operational model, having held a variety of senior positions in the business over more than 15 years.

A series of high profile media allegations against RFG last year were said to be one of the key motivators behind an ongoing Senate Inquiry into the effectiveness of the Franchising Code of Conduct.

Since then the business has struggled, booking a $87.8 million loss for the first-half of fiscal 18 and signalling 200 store closures.

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