Sirtex in play as founder sells up

A decade after he blocked a takeover bid from an unwanted US interloper, Bruce Gray, who founded cancer treatment group Sirtex Medical, has sold most of his stake in the company, potentially putting it in play.

A decade after he blocked a takeover bid from an unwanted US interloper, Bruce Gray, who founded cancer treatment group Sirtex Medical, has sold most of his stake in the company, potentially putting it in play.

A block of 7.27 million Sirtex shares was sold at $12 each late on Tuesday, a slight discount to the market price. Sirtex closed Wednesday down 10ยข at $12.35.

The block of shares traded on Tuesday was equal to 12.9 per cent of the company's capital, and raised $87.24 million for Dr Gray.

Dr Gray has been involved in a dispute with the Sirtex board over the way the company has been managed, and he has been gradually selling down his holding over the past six months, taking advantage of an upswing in the share price as it prepares for greater penetration of its cancer treatment in offshore markets.

The sale by Dr Gray opens the door for a possible takeover of the company since the only other large holder, fund manager Hunter Hall has also been selling down its stake. It retains an 18.7 per cent holding in Sirtex.

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