Joff Wild

Senior staff at Acacia Research Corp have sold $62,956,898 worth of stock in the company over the last 12 months, according to information published on the MarketBrief website and Tweeted by Patrick Anderson of the Gametime IP blog. This sum was reached after Robert Harris II, the NPE’s President, sold a tranche of shares on 8th September. In total, over the last 12 months, MarketBrief reports that Harris has sold $14,995,295 of stock. In the same period, Paul Ryan, the firm’s chairman and CEO has sold $16,312,857 of shares; while Dooyong Lee, the CEO of Acacia Research Group, has sold $19,028,677-worth.

If you add the Harris, Ryan and Lee totals together you get to just over $50 million, which means other senior staff members have generated more than $12.5 million between them since around this time last year. Over the same time period, says MarketBrief, “no shares of Acacia Research Corp were purchased by company insiders”.

As this blog has chronicled, over the last three years or so Acacia’s share price has gone through the roof. In November 2008, the company’s market capitalisation was just $90 million. As of Friday 9th September it stood at $1.84 billion – that is extraordinary growth. In the last year alone it has grown in value by over 160%.

Given the job they have done for the firm’s shareholders, I would be surprised if there is a single one who begrudges Acacia’s senior staff – and Harris, Ryan and Lee in particular – the opportunity to cash in some chips. If the markets value Acacia at close to $2 billion then who are they to argue? Whether the markets have got it right, of course is another thing altogether. There will be other senior executives in other IP-based businesses hoping that such valuations continue for as long as is needed for them to generate their big pay-day. But they may be getting slightly nervous.