Overstock chief ‘still in the game’ after selling 10% holding

September 12, 2018
Chris Wheal

Patrick Byrne, chief executive of bitcoin-friendly online retailer Overstock.com, has told investors not to worry about his sale of a 10% stake in the company.

 

Overstock price correlates 85.5% with the price of bitcoin

Shares in Overstock fell nearly 20% last week after a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed Byrne sold common stock in the company worth a total of nearly $16m. They fell a further 5% on Tuesday after he sold a further $5m on Monday.

Open letter

“Don’t worry, I’m still in the game,” Byrne (left) said in an open letter to investors, explaining the sale as necessary to meet his tax obligations. He added, however, that much of the funds would be reinvested.

Byrne’s letter continued: “Within a matter of days, I will reinvest most of this money into two co-investments with Overstock and Medici Ventures (thus I am eating a double dose of my own cooking, as months ago I promised you I would).”

Medici Ventures is a venture capital firm wholly-owned by Overstock that invests in blockchain projects.

Price correlation with bitcoin

While neither company has significant bitcoin holdings, Byrne noted “sadly” that Overstock’s share price has for much of this year shared an 85.5% positive correlation with the bitcoin price.

Indeed, Overstock shares peaked at $89.90 in January and have since fallen 70% to close on Tuesday at $26.80. Bitcoin peaked at $19,870 in December and has since fallen 68.5% to $6,256 as of 7.30 on Wednesday morning [London time].

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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