Dual-listed sleep device manufacturer ResMed has completed the $US225 million purchase of Wisconsin-based asthma and pulmonary specialist, Propeller Health. ResMed, listed in both the US and on the ASX, said on Monday it will allow Propellor to operate as a stand-alone business as part of its new parent’s Respiratory Care portfolio. Propeller’s digital medicine platform consists of small sensors that attach to consumers’ asthma inhaler and pair with a mobile app to automatically track medication use and provide feedback and insights. ResMed shares were last trading at $15.39 on the ASX, up 37 per cent from $11.15 a year ago. The company paid $US750 million for health software provider MatrixCare in November.
Origin Energy Ltd (ORG):
APLNG Australia Pacific LNG has ramped up plans to refinance part of its giant debt stack, in an effort to be more profitable for its owners including Origin Energy. Street Talk understands APLNG is in front of major banks seeking about $3 billion in fresh funds, which would be used to refinance what was initially a $US8.5 billion project finance facility required to get the project up and running. Sources said APLNG had tapped investment bank JPMorgan to arrange the meetings and advise on the new debt deal. It is understood the process started in December, with some documents in front of lenders. It is expected to take a few months to complete.
Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (APT):
Afterpay has rejected rival Zip Pay's call for industry-wide responsible lending checks, saying the government shouldn't take a one-size-fits-all approach to the buy-now, pay-later sector. The rift comes ahead of Afterpay and Zip's scheduled appearance before a Senate committee later this month in Brisbane where Young Rich listers, Zip's Larry Diamond and Afterpay's Nick Molnar, will give evidence. Zip's co-founder Peter Gray said the buy-now, pay-later providers should comply with a limited version of responsible lending obligations, by verifying customers' identity, income and credit history. But in a statement, Afterpay executive chairman and co-founder Anthony Eisen said there were "distinct differences" in the products offered in the buy-now, pay-later sector and traditional responsible lending checks shouldn't apply to Afterpay.
Nine Entertainment (NEC):
Nine has confirmed it is selling the events business inherited from its $4 billion merger with Fairfax Media last month. The company has appointed former Nine digital and marketing boss Alex Parsons as acting managing director of Events and Entertainment to manage the sale process, as Martin Jolly heads out the door. “The events division is a strong and vibrant business that will be enhanced by the sale to a buyer who can realise its full value, and I am looking forward to positioning it for further growth and expansion,” Mr Parsons said. “Nine will continue to have a strategic commercial partnership through our ongoing events such as the Sun Herald City2Surf and the Good Food Month.” Mr Jolly is leaving to allow him to join other parties that may bid for the events business.
Mesoblast Ltd (MSB):
Mesoblast chief executive Silviu Itescu says his regenerative medicine company should better explain its commercial strategy to the investment community and talk less about the technical details of its technology as it embarks on one of the most critical years in its 15-year history. Mr Itescu, the company’s founder who will give a major presentation today at the JPMorgan Biotech Showcase conference in San Francisco, denied that this year was a do-or-die year for Mesoblast, which is the only Australianlisted company that the nation’s richest man, packaging magnate Anthony Pratt, has a stake in. Mr Itescu claimed Mesoblast started the year with the most mature cell therapy product pipeline and technology platform in the regenerative medicine industry.
Resolute Mining Ltd (RSG):
Resolute Mining will weigh up a spin-off or sale of its Ravenswood gold mine in Queensland as it looks to reposition itself as a London-listed, Africa-focused gold play. The decision on Ravenswood comes at a time when the Australian dollar gold price is trading near its highest level on record, with many local gold stocks trading at significant premiums and on the hunt for potential acquisitions. Resolute chief executive John Welborn told The Australian the company was set to make a decision on the future of Ravenswood in the first half of this year. Resolute has been mining the underground Mt Wright deposit at Ravenswood for several years, but that mine is set to close in coming months. Instead, Resolute is planning to develop Ravenswood as a larger, low-grade openpit mine that will produce about 140,000 ounces a year over a forecast 14-year mine life.
Bingo Industries Ltd (BIN):
Bingo Industries has maintained it sees no lessening of competition with its acquisition of Dial a Dump, but has offered to sell its Banksmeadow facility to placate the concerns of the competition watchdog. In a note to the market, chief Daniel Tartak said the deal was “inherently pro-competitive”. “We remain firmly of the view that the acquisition would not substantially lessen competition in any relevant market, including landfill and Building and Demolition (B&D) processing,” he said. “We believe that this acquisition is inherently pro-competitive as it enables us to more readily compete against the larger national and international players in the industry.” It added that if the sale were to go ahead, surplus funds could be handed back to shareholders through a buy-back.
Hub24 Ltd (HUB):
Superannuation and investment platform HUB24 is outperforming the market going into lunch trade after hitting a $10 billion funds under management milestone. According to data from Strategic Insights, HUB24 is now in overall second place for quarterly net inflows as at September 30, 2018 as customers move away from the major banks. “We’re delighted to maintain our position as the platform provider with the fastest growth rate in the market,” managing director Andrew Alcock said. “In the midst of structural change and much distraction across the industry we have maintained momentum with advice networks and individual practices continuing to choose HUB24 because of our commitment to constant innovation, market-leading technology and superior customers service.” He added that many clients were moving away from incumbent providers to transition their FUA to HUB24. Shares in the company were last up 5.91pc to $12.36.