It looks like an easy enough mistake to make, but the ramifications have been mega.
And someone at Macquarie Capital is going to be absolutely terrified when they get into the office this morning…
Over the course of yesterday, billionaire Arcadia boss Sir Philip Green reportedly saw £5m knocked off his stake in MySale, an Australian flash sales fashion website that made its debut on AIM yesterday.
Apparently an employee (as yet unnamed) at Macquarie, which was advising on the float, quoted MySale’s share price in pounds rather than pence.
Because the employee had entered £2.26 rather than 226p, the share price was actually quoted as 2.26p.
As this was some 100 times lower than expected, it triggered a widespread shares sell-off by the many automatic trading programmes that now permeate the markets, as it looked like the shares were completely flooring.
So MySale shares fell up to 27% yesterday.
Green had bought a 25% stake in MySale through Shelton Capital, which is run by his wife Tina. MySale will sell excess stock from some of Green’s retail empire, including Miss Selfridge and BHS.
Green sounded relaxed about the slip – sort of. “These things happen, what can you do?” he said. “Nobody did it on purpose. It’s annoying […] but I’ve got a day job to do.”
MySale turned over £102m in 2012-13 with an operating profit of £4.9m.
The share price was due to be corrected for this morning’s trading.
The company issued the following statement: “The MySale Group plc’s trading currency is currently in GBP, as opposed to British pence as intended,” it said. “For clarification, the placing price was 226 pence versus the quoted GBP price today of £2.26.”