Robert Friedland adds to Peregrine Diamonds stake

by James Kwantes

Mining tycoon Robert Friedland is back buying stock in younger brother Eric’s Baffin Island-focused diamond play, Peregrine Diamonds.

On May 14, he purchased (indirectly) 11,500 shares at 39.5 cents, following that up the next day with a purchase of 66,500 shares at 42 cents, as outlined by Canadian Insider. He bought another block on May 17 – 10,500 shares at 43 cents – for a total spend of about $37,000.

Chump change for a billionaire, right? But he picked up the shares at a roughly 20% discount to the $10-million Peregrine financing at 50 cents that he and Ned Goodman’s Dundee did back in October. Friedland’s latest buys take his stake up to 13.25% of outstanding shares, slightly higher than CEO Eric’s stake of 12.7%. (Eric was also buying shares a month ago, as you can see in the Canadian Insider filing.)

A bit of sibling rivalry should be good for all shareholders, giving the mining power players more skin in the game as Peregrine waits to see if De Beers opts in to its Chidliak diamond project – and holds off on processing its bulk sample until De Beers decides one way or the other.

I wrote up Peregrine Diamonds here and took a speculative position in the company a while back (in the mid-30s). The brothers have an outstanding track record of shareholder value creation – Robert’s current Ivanplats pain notwithstanding – and I like the potential upside here, whether with De Beers or another deep-pocketed partner.

Disclosure: I own shares of Peregrine Diamonds. Please read my disclaimer.

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