Patrick Byrne, Overstock.com founder and CEO, is selling about 10% of his stock in the company to fund several investments, he revealed in a letter to shareholders.
In the letter, Byrne stated that Overstock shareholders should not be alarmed at the revelation, which occurred initially in a United States Security and Exchange Commission filing, as most of the money will be used in co-investments with Overstock and Medici Ventures, an associated block-chain business. According to the SEC filing, Byrne has sold about $20 million in Overstock shares between September 6 and 10. Since September 5, Overstock share prices have fallen from $30.67 to $26.80 at the close of market, September 11.
Byrne added that he is encouraged by the speed of improvements in Overstock’s retail business and that the Medici Ventures model is working well, allowing the company to invest capital in blockchain innovations, coupled with the tech and corporate support.
In March, Byrne said that Overstock would change its retail business strategy in the face of competition particularly from Wayfair.com, based on “high growth, negative GAAP net income, funded out of our negative cash conversion cycle.” Overstock will focus on boosting sales and market share in lieu of profits. For the first quarter, Overstock.com posted a company net loss of $50.9 million, or $1.74 per diluted share, versus a net loss of $5.9 million, or 23 cents per diluted share, in the year-earlier period.