Mining mogul Travers Duncan spent $2.8m on stock in White Energy last week, but he didn’t beat fellow director and rich lister Brian Flannery by much: Flannery bought $2.6m.

The two men bought into the company’s (ASX:WEC) capital raising. Proceeds from the entitlement offer will be used to fund WEC’s ongoing legal proceedings against Indonesian coal miner PT Bayan Resources Tbk and Singaporean investor Bayan International.

The court action started in December 2011, when White Energy’s subsidiaries were seeking damages for an alleged breach of a joint venture with the two companies, “including the obligation to supply coal to [the] PT Kaltim Supacoal [joint venture] and the obligation to provide funding”.

The suit continues.

The capital raising was also to pay back loans to Mr Flannery and Mr Duncan.

Mr Duncan owns 17 per cent of White Energy while Mr Flannery owns 16 per cent.

Reaping the benefits

Another big spender was Rhipe (ASX:RHP) chief Dominic O’Hanlon, who bought $2.1m worth of stock on market.

This year Mr Hanlon pulled in a salary — that’s base pay and incentives — of $1m, up 44 per cent on last year.

At the same time, Rhipe’s earnings per share has risen on average by 113 per cent annually for the last three years, and revenue grew by 25 per cent in 2018, so he’s earning his incentives.


Tim Handley at LatAm Autos (ASX:LAA) sold off $350,000 worth of stock, and the company was at pains to say he’s never sold before, and doesn’t plan to sell again.

A spokesman for the company told Stockhead the sale was for tax reasons after Mr Handley moved from Mexico, where he’d lived for many years and where he founded the company five years ago, back to Melbourne.

Huon Aquaculture (ASX:HUO) boss Peter Bender — and he is the boss, holding both the CEO and managing director jobs — transferred $288,871 worth of stock to his wife and cofounder, Frances.

This year Mrs Bender and her husband were named joint Farmer of the Year for their business, which they switched from cattle to fish three decades ago.

Arbitraging some options

Two people made a fortune last week from exercising options and selling off the corresponding stock afterwards.

Dominic O’Hanlon’s Rhipe colleague Mark Pierce made $200,123 by exercising — that is, using — 250,000 options and selling 200,000 of them.

And even though the stock has come down a long way from the heady heights of 44.5c, when Biotron (ASX:BIT) said its drug was showing positive effects on HIV treatment in a phase 2 clinical trial, it’s high enough for directors to still be trading.

Director Robert Thomas exercised 1m options priced at 5c and sold off 2.6m, making $469,679 on the difference.

Biotron directors have been taking advantage of the still-high stock price, which closed down 10 per cent on Friday at 19c, to make some money on their low-priced options while they can.

As investors in Factor Therapeutics (ASX:FTT) know, after the failed clinical trial for venus leg ulcer treatment that failed and has left the board wondering whether to wind the company up, when it comes to biotechs you’ve got to take your chances when you get them.

ASX code Company Director Change Date Volume $ Where Total holdings controlled
LAA LatAm Autos Tim Handley Sell Nov 19 2.5m 350,000 Off market 46.3m
LCA Litigation Capital Management Patrick Moloney Buy Nov 19 1.6m 749677 Exercise options 6.8m
SFH Specialty Fashion Group Michael Kay Buy Nov 12-16 381,914 452824 On market 381,914
ELK Elk Petroleum James Piccone Buy Nov 20 4.5m 0 Employee agreement 4.5m
HUO Huon Aquaculture Group Peter Bender Buy Nov 16 62,496 288871 Off market 58m
KIN Kin Mining Jeremy Kirkwood Buy Nov 15, 16, 21 1.9m 159474 On market and buying in capital raising 3.3m
MAY Melbana Energy Andrew Purcell Buy Nov 21 5.6m 101283 Participating in capital raising 62.7m
WEC White Energy Company Travers Duncan Buy Nov 16 39.9m 2791890 Participating in capital raising 79.8m
WEC White Energy Company Brian Flannery Buy Nov 16 37.8m 2648373 Participating in capital raising 75.7m
AB1 Animoca Brands Yat Siu Buy Nov 16 6m 300000 Participating in capital raising 62m
PEX Peel Mining Simon Hadfield Buy Nov 22 and 500,000 108000 Exercise options 4.3m
RHP Rhipe Dominic O'Hanlon Sell Nov 20 1.6m 2080000 On market 3.9m
RHP Rhipe Mark Pierce Sell Nov 11 200,000 250123 On market 320,000
DEG De Grey Mining Simon Lill Buy Nov 23 1.9m 188334 Exercise options 7m
BIT Biotron Robert Thomas Sell Nov 20-23 2.6m 519679 On market 2.9m
FCT FirstWave Cloud Technology Simon Moore Buy Nov 21 1.1m 250000 Participating in capital raising 3.2m
ADH Adairs Trent Peterson Buy Nov 23 100,000 165363 On market 24.2m
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