The Hill family trust has sold down a tenth of its stake in Michael Hill International, in a move its founder and namesake Michael Hill says will enhance the stock's liquidity following its listing on the Australian stock exchange.

The trust, Hoglett Hamlet, sold 16 million shares to a number of unrelated parties for A$25.6 million (NZ$27.3m). It had owned 164.3 million shares, or 42.9 per cent of the jewellery chain, and now holds 38.9 per cent.

"Since the move of Michael Hill International Ltd to ASX there has been very strong demand from Australian investors," Hill said in a statement. "We have often been advised that the Hill family could enhance the liquidity and appeal of the company's shares if we reduced our holding."

Hill said the trust doesn't have any current plans to sell further shares, and Hill family interests still own 48.7 per cent of the company.


In June, Hill outlined his succession plan, with 10 per cent of the company transferred to trusts for daughter Emma and son Mark, shortly before Michael Hill's listing on the ASX.

Australia is Michael Hill International's biggest market and its financial reports are in Australian dollars.

The shares last traded at $1.69 on the NZX, up 69 per cent this year. On the ASX, they last traded at A$1.605, and have gained 28.4 per cent since listing.