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Published:  23 July, 2008

Majestic Wine chairman John Apthorp, who plans to retire in August, has made 24 million after selling around half of his shares in the company he founded. Apthorp sold down his stake from 30% to 15.1%, at 250 pence a share. Majestic Wine's chief executive, Tim How, told the Daily Telegraph last week that the shares were placed with one of two new institutions and a lot of existing investors as well'. John was clearly minded to reduce his holding now that he is heading for retirement, but he remains a substantial shareholder.' Apthorp is being replaced as Majestic Wine's chairman by former Hamleys chairman Simon Burke. Majestic recently released strong Christmas sales results, with like-for-like sales up 10.4% for the nine weeks to 3 January 2005.