Director Trades: Who was buying and selling big last week?
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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.