A major shareholder in South Africa’s largest sawmiller has sold off eight million shares in the company.

Blackstar Investors plc sold the shares in York Timber Organisation Ltd for £12.87m.

The deal represented an internal rate of return of 103% for Blackstar, but the company said it would retain its remaining shares in the sawmiller.

“We remain optimistic about the prospects for York and have retained our interests in its share capital of 10.4% of its ordinary shares and our initial interest, through a special purpose vehicle, in its preference shares,” said Blackstar director Andrew Bonamour.

York recently announced a 540% growth in annual operating profits.