(Adds comments from Ebner, details about stake sale)
By John Miller and Rupert Pretterklieber
ZURICH, March 10 Swiss investor Martin Ebner put
his remaining 17 percent stake in phone retailer Mobilezone
up for sale on Friday at 14.55 Swiss francs per share,
he told Reuters, saying he is exiting as an anchor shareholder
amid a push to re-focus his Patinex vehicle's investments on
Mobilzone shares were trading at 14.55 francs at 1200 GMT
and are little changed in 2017.
Ebner, a billionaire who is one of Switzerland's best-known
investors, began selling what had been a roughly 30 percent
stake in Mobilezone about six months ago, reporting to the SIX
Swiss Exchange when his holdings fell below thresholds of 25
percent and 20 percent.
Ebner put the remaining 5.4 million shares up for sale
after the Regensdorf-based company on Friday reported 2016
profit rose 20 percent to 48.5 million Swiss francs ($47.9
million) on sales of just over 1 billion francs.
Mobilezone plans a steady 0.60 franc dividend.
By mid-day, Ebner said in a telephone interview, about 1.8
million shares had changed hands.
"There is very good demand because the results are
outstanding," Ebner said.
Ebner estimated he was selling at a discount as a way to
compensate for his exit as an anchor shareholder and ease
Mobilezone's transition to a company with a full free float.
"Now I'm sort of leaving them out in the cold," Ebner said.
"In order to soften the blow, I'm selling the shares at what I
consider to be 10 percent below their fair market value."
Ebner declined to comment on growth assets he is adding as
he restructures his Patinex vehicle, but did say he is now
"heavily invested" in pharmaceutical companies, including
Galenica and privately held Novimmune, a Geneva-based
monoclonal antibody specialist that Ebner said could have
capital needs in the near future.
According to Reuters data, the top holdings of Ebner and his
wife Rosmarie include a 17 percent stake in Galenica, 14.1
percent of banking software maker Temenos Group and
nearly a third of communications software company Myriad
($1 = 1.0127 Swiss francs)
(Editing by Michael Shields)