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This column had a sudden change from what I had planned to discuss. It’s not every day that a billionaire American-Canadian financier known for his Midas touch in global commodity financing and investing announces that his principal investment vehicle plans to commit a sizable sum to take a stake in a JSE-listed mid-cap alternative energy company.But that is indeed what happened on March 14 when Renergen announced that Robert Friedland, known for his interests in Canada-listed Ivanhoe Mines, had agreed to become a strategic investor in the Free State-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) and helium project.Ivanhoe, with a market value of $10bn, has interests in various commodities, mostly in the Democratic Republic of Congo and SA, where it has a stake in the Platreef project involved in platinum group metals, nickel, gold and copper.In the announcement, Renergen said Ivanhoe was taking an initial 4.35% stake for $13.3m at a 5% discount to the 30-day average price, paying R36.625 a sha...

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