Ultimate Leisure chief executive Mark Jones and his operations director Colin Rowlinson have cleared a £600,000 profit after selling their 3.5% stake in Revolution bar operator Inventive Leisure.
The move will be seen as clearing the way for nightclub operator Ultimate to consider a takeover of Inventive.
By retaining their stake, Jones and Rowlinson might have been in danger of a conflict of interest if Ultimate made a bid for Inventive.
Jones and Rowlinson were parachuted in to Ultimate last month after a shareholder revolt forced out the existing management team, including chief executive Bob Senior and chairman Allan Rankin.
Two weeks ago, it was revealed that private-equity firm Alchemy Partners had made an approach to take Inventive private. Jones and Rowlinson sold their 3.5% stake for 157.5p, almost 100% higher than the 86p they paid for most of their shares.
Some of their stake had been built up via so-called contracts-for-difference at 108p, a device that allows a buyer to retain anonymity. Earlier this year, the pair made a profit of around £3.5m when property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz bought Yates Group.
Meanwhile, the Global Beverage Fund has revealed it holds a 5.33% stake in Inventive. The fund was founded in 1990 and holds a global beverage data base that follows the fortunes of 656 publicly-listed companies in 61 markets.