Thursday, 4 December 2014

Costolo’s Family Trusts Sell Half Their Twitter Stock

Twitter Inc. (TWTR) Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo’s family trusts halved their stake in the social network again, as the executive’s sales accelerate.
After the sale, the trusts have a quarter of the Twitter stock they held in early November. The Richard Costolo 2001 Living Trust and Lorin Costolo 2001 Living Trust, named for his wife, sold 141,730 shares in transactions on Dec. 1 for $5.68 million, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. The trusts now own 141,730 shares. On Nov. 3 and Nov. 17, the trusts sold 283,460 shares for $11.6 million, filings showed.
Costolo has been taking steps to diversify his investments after holding on to all his shares in the microblogging service’s initial public offering. He still owns 36,028 shares in the company directly and 509,828 unvested restricted stock units after the share sale. Until July, the CEO and his family trusts hadn’t sold a single share of Twitter stock. That month, he sold 16,698 shares, followed by 20,106 shares in October.
“Dick’s stock sales were done in accordance with a trading plan put on file 90 days ago to help him diversify his investments over time,” Jim Prosser, a Twitter spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Officer
 Dick Costolo’s family trusts halved
 their stake.

Meanwhile, Costolo has been working to rally investors around Twitter’s potential. The company held an all-day education session for investors and analysts last month, giving details on plans for improvements to its product. Twitter’s stock, which rose less than 1 percent to $39.06 at yesterday’s close in New York, has declined 39 percent so far this year.
In a Nov. 3 filing, the CEO for the first time included the mention of a 10b5-1 trading plan, typically adopted by executives to sell stock on a regular basis. Twitter has no stock-ownership requirements for its executives.
Costolo also has 8.52 million options worth $318 million at the closing price, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Most of those are currently exercisable, including 4.03 million granted at 43 cents each in 2009 and 3.17 million granted at $1.83 apiece in 2010, prior to the company’s IPO.

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