WPP Group ceo Sir Martin Sorrell has reportedly sold around £12 million ($21m; €17.8m) of his shares in the London-headquartered global communications services conglomerate.

The transaction is said to be connected with the £29m Sorrell was ordered two months ago to pay to former wife Sandra in one of the UK's largest ever divorce settlements.

Apart from £23.5m in cash, the award also includes a £3.2m town house and two £90k underground parking spaces at London's upscale Harrods department store.

Sir Martin's shares have been acquired by WPP, the world's second largest agency group. According to the company, it bought the stock "to satisfy future share awards to employees".

Despite the large hole in his finances brought about by the split with his wife, Sir Martin is not facing penury. His remaining stake in the business is estimated at around £80m.

Data sourced from The Times Online (UK) and reuters.com; additional content by WARC staff