News Shorts: Sirtex Battles, iSelect In Play, RWC Relists
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Are Sirtex Medical and its US suitor, Varian Medical Systems heading for a protracted court date? The question arose after the news yesterday that the US group is now trying to get a canceled Sirtex shareholders meeting back on the road so it consider the American company's $28 a share offer.
News emerged yesterday that Varian is seeking a Federal Court order to allow Sirtex shareholders to consider its proposed takeover offer.
Sirtex called off the meeting after Chinese private equity firm CDH Investments dropped a $33.60, $1.9 billion bid for Sirtex days before Sirtex shareholders were due to vote on the offer from Varian Medical Systems.
Varian last week stuck with its $28 a share offer for Sirtex and said it would not lift it to match the Chinese offer.
Now Varian is in the Federal Court seeking orders that a shareholder meeting be reconvened on May 31.
In a statement on Monday to the ASX, Sirtex said the Federal Court would reconsider Varian’s desire to have a shareholder meeting and, if approved, a date would be set in July.
Sirtex said it continued to support the Varian bid, but the timeline set by the court would allow sufficient time to allow the company to assess the offer from CDH.
The CDH proposal faces various regulatory hurdles. It requires approval by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and approval under the US Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.
It also requires no notification to CFIUS (the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States), and no regulatory intervention in Australia, USA, Germany, Italy, Belgium, United Kingdom or Ireland.
Sirtex shares dipped more than 1% to end at $29.04 yesterday.
Shares in price comparison service iSelect have jumped as 21% yesterday on suspicions of a raid by UK-based broker Compare The Market that saw a 10.15% in the ASX listed group change hands.
The shares ended up 16% at 64 cents which values iSelect at around $120 million.
iSelect says its board has not been contacted by IHA, a group that appears to be related to Compare The Market - which focuses on insurance products but also offers credit card, power, and hotel price comparisons.
iSelect has had a number of profit downgrades in the past few months and the shares are down 55% so far in 2018 and over 70% in the past year.
And shares in plumbing supplies and connections group, RWC leapt more than 22% yesterday to close at $5.60 after the came out of a trading halt in the wake of its takeover of privately-owned John Guest, a similar company in the UK. the shares hit a day’s high of $5.99, the highest they have been for a year.
The trading halt was lifted after the company released details of the first stage of its $1.1 billion capital raising including $A945 million institutional component. The company that it has successfully completed its institutional entitlement offer, raising approximately $946 million at the offer price of $4.15 per new share.
Support for the raising was strong, with existing shareholders taking up over 98% of the new shares available to them while the shortfall bookbuild was significantly oversubscribed with strong demand from both existing and new institutional investors. Eligible retail shareholders will be given the opportunity to subscribe for 1 new share for every 1.98 Reliance shares held at the discounted price of $4.15 per new share.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.