Australia's largest intellectual property law firm IPH is set to swallow rival Xenith IP after an upgraded $192 million takeover offer was backed by the board on Friday. The deal creates a $1.6 billion legal giant and brings to end months of negotiations in a three-way tussle after Xenith was determined to merge with its similar sized rival QANTM. The updated IPH offer implies a value of $2.15 per share, with Xenith investors set to receive $1.28 cash and 0.1261 IPH shares for every Xenith one. Xenith investors can alternatively elect to receive up to 100 per cent scrip or up to 100 per cent cash consideration per Xenith share in the deal, set for a vote in the week of July 15.
Blue Sky Alternative Investments Ltd (BLA):
Shareholders in embattled fund Blue Sky will vote on a change of its management to Wilson at an extraordinary general meeting in June. In a note to the market this morning, Blue Sky said discussions with Wilson Asset Management were continuing in relation to transitioning to its management services and that it hoped shareholders would vote on the resolution on June 17. “It is presently intended that at this EGM resolutions necessary to effect a change of manager to WAMI will be presented to shareholders,” it said. “However, BAF reserves the right to change the date of the EGM and/or to propose alternate resolutions to be put to BAF shareholders in the event that binding legal documentation in respect of the WAM Management Proposal has not been executed prior to the date the notice of meeting for the EGM is required to be despatched to shareholders.”
iSelect Ltd (ISU):
iSelect is facing court action after the consumer watchdog launched proceedings against the listed comparison website, for allegedly misleading customers on energy plan comparisons. In proceedings instituted in the Federal Court, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said that iSelect has claimed consumers using its website would benefit from comparing all plans available since at least November 2016, and that it would recommend the most competitive plan. But the ACCC alleges that iSelect did not compare all available plans, and did not necessarily recommend the most competitive plan, but rather limited the number of plans it compared based on commercial arrangements, without disclosing that information to customers. “iSelect told consumers they would help them compare all energy plans available in their area from all their partner retailers,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims.
OZ Minerals Limited (OZL):
OZ Minerals says its underground development of the Carrapatena copper and gold project has reached first ore, as the company’s Prominent Hill mine put in a solid first quarter of the year. OZ Minerals pumped $116 million into the underground drive to its flagship development project, and chief executive Andrew Cole said this morning it remained on track for commissioning in the fourth quarter of the year. The company’s Prominent Hill mine produced 25,575 tonnes of copper and 32,947 ounces of gold in the first quarter, at an all-in-sustaining cost of $US91 a pound of copper, down slightly from the previous quarter, and Mr Cole said it remains on track to meet annual production guidance of 97,000 to 109,000 tonnes of copper and 115,000 to 125,000 ounces of gold.
Wesfarmers Ltd (WES):
Wesfarmers' controversial $1.5 billion takeover bid for Lynas Corporation has attracted the attention of the corporate regulator, which raised questions last week about the companies' confidential discussions held before the offer was made public and Lynas directors bought stock in their company. Wesfarmers, the $38 billion Perth-based conglomerate behind companies including Target and Bunnings, went public with its $2.25 a share offer on March 26. Lynas chairman Mike Harding rejected the bid as "opportunistic". It has become one of the more colourful takeover battles in recent memory involving allegations Wesfarmers employed aggressive tactics, including inappropriately involving the Malaysian government.
Bravura Solutions Ltd (BVS):
Superannuation, wealth management and life insurance software company Bravura Solutions has made a non-binding $172 million takeover proposal for fellow financial services tech player GBST Holdings. The $2.50 per share proposal is an attempt from Bravura, which listed on the ASX for the second time in 2016 and is worth $1.1 billion, to get GBST to open up its books and grant the company an eight week due diligence period. Bravura's pitch to GBST shareholders is based on the possible acquisition providing them with greater certainty than the exposure to the company's fluctuating share price and its ongoing investments to renew its software platforms.
Orion Minerals Ltd (ORN):
South African base metals play Orion Minerals has topped up its coffers at an eye-catching 29 per cent premium to its last traded price. Orion, which is aiming to reopen the old Prieska project in South Africa’s Northern Cape, went into a trading halt yesterday pending an equity raising. According to a term sheet obtained by The Australian, Orion is raising $8 million at 4c per share, a handsome premium to its last traded price of 3.1c per share. The raising is being backed with at least $4m from “experienced South African-based resource investors” as well as $3m from its single largest shareholder Tembo Capital. The funds from the placement will primarily be used to complete the bankable feasibility study into Prieska, continue exploration programs on the company’s other South African tenements, and to fund ongoing general working capital.
Spark New Zealand Ltd (SPK):
Spark New Zealand has been fined $675,000 by the NZ District Court for breaches of the fair trading act relating to the implementation of a ‘welcome credit’ bonus and notice periods for termination of contracts. The proceedings, to which Spark pleaded guilty in a previous court hearing, were brought by the New Zealand Commerce Commission in July 2018. “Spark has fully co-operated with the Commerce Commission during this process, which resulted from mistakes with no malicious intent,” it said in a statement today. The telco confirmed the fine would not alter its full year guidance.