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Zooplus & Les Nouveaux Constructeurs


Zooplus Ag, is Europe’s largest online pet supplies retailer. Based in Germany, the company made total sales of €177.8 million in 2010, which is a staggering increase when compared to total sales of €52.5 million in 2007. Its ambitions don’t stop there either, CEO Dr. Cornelius Patt is targeting sales of €500 million by 2014. Investors have been impressed with the strides the company is taking, and demand has pushed the company’s price from around €30 at the start of 2010, to its current level of €103. This has culminated with the company now being included in the German SDAX index as of 29thJune 2011.

Andrea Skersies is the company’s Chief Marketing Officer, and heads up the Sales & Marketing division within the company, as well as sitting on the management board. It was Mr Skersies who became the most recent member of the board to profit from the stocks good run, selling shares worth a total €422k at €103.09 on Monday. The director follows in the footsteps of his fellow management board colleagues including Dr. Patt & CFO Florian Seubert, who have also sold stock in the last three months. In fact since April when the price hit €80 for the first time, the management board has dumped a total of €6.563 million.

Les Nouveaux Constructeurs was founded by Olivier Mitterand in 1972. The company focuses on Real Estate in France, Germany & Spain, and has built over 60,000 homes and apartments. Along with the rest of the European real estate sector, the company was hit by the continuing European financial crisis, and saw its share price drop from highs of €27 in February 2007 to lows of €1.15 in November 2008. The company has seen a steady recovery since then, paying dividends in 2010 and 2011.

The Mitterand name has some weight in France, and Mon. Mitterand is no exception. The nephew of the former French president Francois Mitterand and brother of current culture minister Frederic Mitterand, Olivier founded the company 40 years ago and remains as its Chairman & CEO.  It is no surprise therefore that M. Mitterand is a long term investor, and last week he made his 40th purchase in the company since it went public in 2006. What is particularly interesting is that M. Mitterand follows the pattern of a number of other French directors who are looking to take advantage of short term price instability to increase their stake over the long term.

Despite owning over 75% of the company the director has rarely invested more than €75k in any one purchase. Also with exception of trades in May 09 he has rarely missed the bottom of short term price decreases, as the chart above show.