• Warrego Energy puts out initial substantial shareholder notice for Gina Rinehart entities following takeover bid
  • Whitehaven Coal finishes November with a new substantial shareholder as two of its directors sell down holdings
  • Neuren Pharmaceuticals loses a substantial shareholder after rising more than 320% in the past year

Trading Places is Stockhead’s semi-regular, pretty damn fascinating recap of the latest red flag buying and selling of ASX stocks. It is here that the rubber really hits the road for fund managers, stakeholders, distant (and not-so-distant) relatives and other famous or infamous investors.

Specifically, Trading Places tracks substantial shareholder movements – namely when a trade in a company’s stock crosses or falls below the 5% threshold.

Substantial shareholders are usually directors, individual investors, institutional investors… or their distant (and not-so-distant) relatives, which they will refer to as listed related bodies corporate or something similar. You can see in detail these listed bodies on the company’s ASX announcement.

Shareholders are required by basic human decency (and the law) to publicly declare via the exchange when their personal stake goes below or above 5%, and from there, every movement in their holdings while owning above 5%.

The becoming and ceasing to be substantial shareholders are the ones we think are worth noting, where a trade takes an investor over the 5% threshold or has them drop back below.

Here’s the form to get you started, if reading this makes you twitchy.

November market overview

Markets built on their October gains with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gaining 6.6% in November.   Large caps outperformed mid and small caps as the S&P/ASX 50 added 7% versus 5% for the S&P/ASX MidCap 50 and 4.9% for the S&P/ASX Small Ordinaries.

There was plenty of changes in holdings throughout the positive month. Here’s some that got our attention at the month’s end.

Recent Buys

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort

Wordpress Table Plugin

Warrego bidding war heats up

Perth basin small cap gas explorer Warrego Energy (ASX:WGO) put out an initial substantial shareholder announcement for Australia’s richest woman Gina Rinehart and related entities.

WGO said at the date of the notice the Hancock entities “do not have a relevant interest in Warrego shares”.

However, the notice said “Hancock is required to give us this notice by section 671B(1)(c) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as it is making a takeover bid for Warrego Energy”.

Rinehart and Kerry Stokes-backed Beach Energy (ASX:BPT) are in a bidding war for WGO. On Friday WGO said the Hancock team had increased its takeover bid from 23 cents to 28 cents/share to acquire all of the the fully paid ordinary shares.

The increase came hours after Beach raised its bid to 25¢, some 25% above the initial proposal that had already got the recommendation of WGO’s board.

Shares in both BPT and WGO have been surging as investors anticipate a bidding war.  On Monday shares in WGO were up more than 12%  and have risen ~100% in a month.

State Street ends November as Whitehaven Coal substantial shareholder

US financial services giant State Street Corporation ended November as a substantial shareholder of Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC)

WHC in November saw some large sales from its directors.  Managing director and CEO Paul Flynn sold more than 900,000 ordinary shares totalling ~$7.9 million and chairman and non-executive director Mark Vaile sold down 200,000 shares for ~$1.7 million indirectly.

WHC advised that regional and localised flooding have hampered production at its open cut mine operations.  ROM production was lower than planned across all three open cut mines primarily as a result of disruption caused by rain and flooding impacts in September.

At the end of November State Street had become a substantial shareholder in several ASX listed companies, across various sectors.

WGO, WHC share price today


Recent Sells

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort

Wordpress Table Plugin

Milford ceases to be substantial shareholder in Neuren

At the end of November  across sectors there were companies who had lost substantial shareholders.  Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) saw Milford Asset Management cease to be a substantial shareholder.

NEU has seen its share price rise more than 320% in the past year with  the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepting for review a New Drug Application (NDA) of trofinetide for the treatment of Rett syndrome. It will be the first drug for the treatment of the rare neurological disorder.

It was last week’s stock of the week for Morgan’s healthcare analyst Scott Power.

Continuing in healthcare drug development company Pharmaxis (ASX:PXS) and Elixinol Wellness (ASX:EXL) also lost substantial shareholders at the end of the month.

Regal Funds Management ceased to become a substantial shareholder in EXL, which recently announced that it is set to merge with  Sustainable Nutrition Group (ASX:TRN), buying up 100% of  ordinary shares and 100% of TSN unlisted options under TSN board-recommended Schemes of Arrangement.

NEU, PXS, EXL share price today: