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Green Mountain Coffee Roaster founder and chairman Robert Stiller sold $66.3 million worth of shares after Starbucks told the company it was near an announcement to enter the single-brewer market, Bloomberg’s Max Abelson and Leslie Patton report. After Starbucks’ announcement on March 8, shares in Green Mountain tumbled some 20 per cent.
However, a company spokesperson told Bloomberg that it had alerted Green Mountain of its pending decision before the 8th.
It is unclear if Stiller had access to the information Starbucks provided the company when he made his trades on February 15 and 24.
Spokespeople for both Starbucks and Green Mountain were not available for comment.
The news cast further doubt on Green Mountain’s prospects, which had nearly recovered after a difficult year.
In October, a presentation from hedge fund magnate David Einhorn leaked that painted a bleak picture of the company. In it, Einhorn alleged possible fraud at Green Mountain to boost numbers.