Former Carphone Warehouse director David Ross, who stood down as deputy chairman last December, has sold 24 million shares in the retailer – about 15 per cent of his stake.

The disposal netted Ross about £38m. Traders speculated he might have been forced into the sale in order to refinance his Kandahar property business.

However, sources close to Ross said he wanted to raise money to invest in new projects. It is understood he intends to remain a long-term shareholder in Carphone Warehouse.

Ross quit his Carphone Warehouse role after accidentally breaking Stock Exchange rules by failing to inform the retailer’s board that he had used shares as collateral against personal loans.

He also resigned then from the board of storage firm Big Yellow. Yesterday Ross sold shares in that business as well.