In Trading Places, Stockhead analyses the week’s substantial holder filings of ASX small-caps. Substantial shareholders are defined as those holding 5 per cent or more of a company’s shares and these could be directors, individual investors or institutional investors.

Shareholders are required to announce to the exchange when their shareholding becomes substantial, when they have ceased to be substantial shareholders or any change in their holdings above 5 per cent.


In mid-March Regal Funds Management spent $7.2 million on a 9.36 per cent stake in coal player Atrum Coal (ASX: ATU). Since then Atrum has risen 55 per cent off the back of Atrum announcing an inferred resource of 174 million tonnes at its Canadian project as well as confirming it was Tier 1 quality.

Last Friday, Regal bought another $2.7 million shares in Atrum and now owns 12.02 per cent of the company.

Spheria Asset Management have a busy buyer of late. It bought $1.1 million of shares in Austin Engineering (ASX: ANG) and now hold 5.12 per cent of the company. It also bought $1.8 million of shares in Ainsworth Game Technology (ASX: AGI), giving it a 5.16 per cent stake.

Spheria also topped up in two companies it was already a substantial holder in. It increased its stake in GR Engineering Services (ASX: GNG) from 6.03 per cent to 7.33 per cent as well as in HT&E (ASX: HTE) from 5.20 per cent to 6.62 per cent – the latter costing $2.6 million.

Schroder’s stake in edtech firm 3P Learning (ASX: 3PM) went up from 6.35 per cent to 7.91 per cent thanks to $2.5 million in purchases over the last six months.

If you thought all there was to New Zealand was agriculture and adventure movies, you’d be wrong – they have fund managers too. One of these is Auckland-based Salt Funds Management and with a $495,000 investment it became substantial holders in aged care operator Eureka Holdings (ASX: EGH) with a 5 per cent stake.


The biggest sale this week was in building services firm John Lyng Group (ASX: JLG). Insurance group PSC sold $14 million of shares taking its stake from 7 per cent to 2.36 per cent.  Considering the stock has risen by over 80 per cent since late November, it is possible it was cashing out its gains.

Fund manager SG Hiscock sold its 5.64 per cent stake in gold explorer Oakdale Resources (ASX: OAR) for just under $200,000. This came as Oakdale’s takeover of private company Orzinca was completed. As part of the deal, Orzinca boss Andrew Knowles became a substantial holder in Oakdale, holding 16.44 per cent of the company.

Adam Smith Asset Management spent over three years selling Centrepoint Alliance (ASX: CAG) shares. Last week its stake had changed by over 1 per cent since its last update so it had to update the market. Its stake had fallen from 6.69 per cent to 5.69 per cent and it had sold 1.6 million shares in that time.

New York-based fund manager Bergen Asset Management reduced its stake in UUV Aquabotix (ASX: UUV) from 35.75 per cent to 33.46 per cent.

Despite selling nearly 3 million shares, its purchase netted only $28,264. It had bought 4 million shares at the end of last year for $200,000 but UUV continued its long slow decline since its IPO, listing at 20 cents but now trading at 0.8 cents.


ASIC took a 12.92 per cent stake in Yowie (ASX: YOW). But this was not a buy, the stake used to belong to Wilson Asset Management.

To make sure its bid for the chocolatier would not be foiled, Keybridge applied to the Takeovers Panel to get them declare ‘Unacceptable Circumstances’.

Last Friday, the panel ruled in Keybridge’s favour and the shares were vested in ASIC for sale.

If Keybridge ends up fully acquiring Yowie it will obtain these shares but for this week its stake only increased from 18.06 per cent to 18.71 per cent.