Nov 11, 2010
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M&S chairman sells shares as CEO sets out stall

Nov 11, 2010

Stuart Rose
LONDON (Reuters) - Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) chairman Stuart Rose sold over 400,000 pounds ($639,000) worth of shares on the same day chief executive Marc Bolland laid out a new strategy for the firm and presented his first set of results. In a regulatory filing the clothing, food and homewares retailer said that Rose sold 100,000 shares on Tuesday at 410.7 pence, reducing his holding to 1.43 million shares.

A spokeswoman for M&S said on Wednesday that it could not comment on individual directors' share dealings.

Insider dealing rules would have prevented Rose from selling shares until after results had been released on Tuesday when Dutchman Bolland said he planned to ramp up investment in M&S' core UK business, online and overseas.

Bolland, enticed from grocer Morrison's (MRW.L) by a 15 million pounds pay deal, will scale back plans to sell branded groceries, axe the Portfolio clothing label and stop selling household electrical goods -- all initiatives launched by Rose, a former executive chairman and CEO of M&S.

Rose will retire as non-executive chairman on Jan. 4 after six and a half years at the firm. He was initially parachuted into the retailer in 2004 to fend off a takeover approach from billionaire retail entrepreneur Philip Green.

He will be succeeded as chairman by veteran investment banker Robert Swannell.

Shares in M&S were down 1.9 percent at 398.4 pence at 1306 GMT, underperforming a 0.6 percent fall for London's blue-chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE.

($1=.6256 Pound) (Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Louise Heavens)

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