Packer crowned as top buyer with $133 million investment

Christopher Webb April 14, 2012

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James Packer has increased his share of Crown to 48 per cent. Photo: Louise Kennerley

JAMES Packer well and truly dominated proceedings this week, spending nearly $133 million on Crown shares.

The buying increased his interests' grip on the gambling concern from 46 per cent to 48 per cent.

Elsewhere, Harry Boon was the latest director of PaperlinX to surface as a buyer of the much-diminished group's scrip.

Boon - the company's chairman - was buying shares earlier this week and increased his stake nearly twelvefold, rounding it up to 250,000 shares.

Boon joined the board in 2008 and not long after he took up 6000 shares at $1.25 apiece in a share issue - a total cost of $7500. Now, he's just bought 229,000 shares for $19,374.

He's not the only one having a punt on the stock - now valued lock stock and barrel by the market at $54 million. Toby Marchant, the managing director charged with shaving PaperlinX's costs, dug deeper into his wallet than Harry Boon, and recently bought 900,000 shares. That increased his ordinary share stake eightfold.

But towering over her fellow directors was IT expert Lyndsey Cattermole - the wealthiest of the lot. Late last month, she spent nearly $200,000 and increased her stake by nearly tenfold.

Their buying range was 8.4¢ to 9.9¢.

Investors who fancy punting on a loss-incurring conveyance such as PaperlinX can join the party at 8.8¢, which is where the shares closed yesterday.

PaperlinX was one of the few industrials on the buying side of the ledger this week.

Overall, buying totalled $135 million, thanks to Mr Packer, while sellers collected about $2.7 million.

Well down the buyers' list was Nicholas Politis who has been a recent buyer of AP Eagers' scrip at $13.40 a share. Other directors of the car dealer who recently bought shares were Peter Henley and Timothy Crommelin.

Their buying range was $13.10 to $13.60 a share.

Yesterday, Eagers' shareholders had some good news and saw their shares improve 70¢ to $14.20.

The company yesterday forecast record first-half results with underlying pre-tax earnings tipped to improve 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

Elsewhere, Pacific Star Network this week dropped from 27¢ to 20¢, following on from the demise of Melbourne Talk Radio.

Director Ronald David Hall had a buying order on at 20¢ and picked up an odd lot of 405 shares. He might have followed that up yesterday with a further 4000 shares.

Last month, directors cut the full year forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation from $1.3 million-$1.5 million to $900,000-$1 million.

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