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PSP Investments Takeover Bid For Webster

Webster Limited (ASX: WBA) price action received a boost, having emerged the company is an acquisition target for PSP Investments. The Canadian pension fund has tabled a takeover bid that values the agricultural firm at $854 million. The stock has rallied by more than 50% in response to the takeover bid.

Under the terms of the takeover bid, PSP Bidco and Sooke Investments are to acquire all shares of Webster that they currently do not own at $2 a share. The takeover price represents a 57% premium to Webster closing share price before the announcement was made.

The acquisition of Webster will provide the pension fund manager with access to Webster’s walnut and almond orchards in New South Wales and Tasmania. The agricultural firm also owns irrigable land for cotton, among other annual crops. It is also engaged in cattle and sheep production.

Shareholders are to vote on the PSP takeover bid early next year. An independent board committee has already approved the deal. Webster CEO, Maurice Felizz, has echoed his support for the deal reiterating that PSP boasts of a track record in managing and investing in agricultural assets. The transaction, according to the executive, represents a positive outcome for all investors, given the premium on offer.

CardieX Medical Device Sales Milestone

Cardiex Ltd (ASX: CDX) was a big mover after announcing positive results for its medical device division. The unit is fresh from registering its highest sales growth in 5 years, with sales increasing by 88% in the first quarter of fiscal 2020.

Sales for the company’s flagship XCEL medical device was up 88%, consequently exceeding the $900k mark. The chief executive officer, Craig Cooper, expects sales growth to persist, heading into the year-end as they roll out new pricing sales and marketing campaigns.

Sales growth in the medical unit affirms what it’s turning out to be a transformational year as Cardiex continues to benefit from strategic partnerships. In addition, the company has expanded its operations by establishing china operations expected to drive the growth of the traditional ATCOR business.

The company has also made impressive strides in transitioning from a pure medical device company to becoming a multi-platform provider of consumer and medical device software. Going forward, focus is on growing sales in the ATCOR division. The company has already inked partnerships and licensing agreements expected to drive sales.

FYI Resources Commences Alumina Trial Production

FYI Resources Ltd (ASX: FYI) rallied by 5% after confirming the commencement of trial production of high purity alumina at a recently commissioned plant in Welshpool Western Australia. Trial production marks an important technical, and corporate milestone as the company moves to start commercializing its HPS strategy.

The chief executive officer, Roland Hill, expects an outcome from the trial program to help validate pre-feasibility study results as well as provide excellent data for inputs. The trial production comes at a time of growing demand for high purity alumina given its physical and chemical properties that make it ideal for use in sapphire glass used in electronic screens for smartphones, tablets, and televisions.

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Tech giants are under immense pressure to do more to combat carbon emission into the atmosphere. While the likes of, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) have reaffirmed their commitment to the same, their employees continue to question their growing ties to the oil and gas industry.

$20 Billion Cloud Services Push

The more than $20 billion spent by up oil and gas companies is one of the reasons why Amazon and Microsoft won’t be severing ties with the energy industry anytime soon. The likes of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and BP plc (NYSE:BP) spend a big chunk of the money on cloud services provided by the likes of Microsoft and Amazon.

 Most people would argue that denying the energy companies cloud services would do little to force them to change their ways about carbon emission. However, employees working for tech giants providing the services, think otherwise.

Amazon and many other tech giants have continued to provide oil and gas companies tools that continue to fuel their businesses, leading to more carbon emissions.  In addition to providing solutions for sorting data on the web, the tech giants are increasingly furnishing the energy industry with tools for pinpointing exact drilling points, which by all means, will lead to more carbon fuel into the atmosphere

 While Jeff Bezos, the tech billionaire behind Amazon, has pledged to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, he has also indicated that he does not see anything wrong with doing business with the likes of Exxon Mobil. 

Bezos has reiterated that they will continue working with the energy companies to ensure they have the best tools. In addition, the tech billionaire has unveiled sweeping changes that he says will make the giant e-commerce carbon neutral by 2040. One of the initiatives involves a transition to renewable energy over the next decade.

Employees Outcry

Even as tech giants CEO insist that denying energy companies cloud service will do little to combat carbon emissions, their employees want to hear none of it. Some Microsoft staffers continue to question Microsoft’s partnership with oil and gas companies, which they insist continue to exacerbate the situation.

 Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, insists they will continue working energy companies as by doing so; they stand a fair chance of coming up with sustainable energy production methods rather than doing nothing. The CEO has also reiterated that there is no CEO in the energy industry that sits down and says; ’we are going to deny climate change.

 Workers from tech giants Google Microsoft Amazon Apple insist the companies are doing little to combat carbon emissions. In recent marches in support of the Global Climate Strike, the workers made it clear of the need to reduce fossil fuel use. The workers continue to align in networking platforms and planning demonstrations, all in the effort of shinning the light on climate change issues.

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Webster Limited Scheme Implementation Agreement

Webster Limited (ASX: WBA) was up by more than 50% on announcing the signing of a binding Scheme Implementation agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, PSP Bidco and Sooke Investments are to acquire all the ordinary shares of Webster that they don’t already own, for a cash price of $2 per share.

 The $2 a share Preference Share scheme gives Webster a market capitalization of $724 million with an enterprise value of $854 million. The scheme consideration will see shareholders walking away with $2 per each share held representing a 57% premium over Webster share closing price as of October 2, 2019.

Once the scheme is finalized, Webster, which operates walnut and almond orchards, will have to transfer certain assets to a new entity formed by PSP investments for a total value of $276.7 million. Some of the assets up for transfer include the Kooba property aggregation as well as hay properties and southern grazing stock. Implementation f the scheme is, however, subject to the approval of Webster shareholders.

Hammer Metal Bronzewing South Gold Project Development

Hammer Metals Ltd (ASX: HMX) was up by more than 15% after announcing positive results as part of an ongoing drilling program at the Bronzewing South gold project. Upon testing five targets as part of the 14 whole programs, the company uncovered significant intersections of gold mineralization at the project at different depth.

The exploration and mining company is planning to initiate a phase 2 program that will test five targets developed by IP and gravity data. Plans are also in the pipeline to commence RC and air core drilling programs along with Bronzewing South and Orelia trends.

 The aggressive exploration and mining operation comes months barely after Hammers Metal completed the acquisition of the Bronzewing South gold project. The company has already generated multiple drilling targets that continue to show tremendous prospects of mineralization.

Separately, the company has confirmed the appointment of Mr. Dan Thomas as the new managing director. He joins the company with vast experience in project management as well as corporate development and mergers & acquisitions across resource sectors.

4DS Memory IMEC Megabit Integration Milestone

4DS Memory Ltd (ASX: 4DS) was up by 16% after providing a positive update on the development of its memory technology. The company has since reached an agreement with IMEC to move forward with the integration of its memory technology in Imec’s megabit platform.

The integration will allow 4DS memory to demonstrate the full potential of its Interface Switching ReRam technology. The integration involves the monitoring and analysis of speed as well as retention. The two intend to produce an initial lot of 300mm wafers in the fourth quarter.

Megabit memories are becoming increasingly popular, given their ability to collect statistically significant and meaningful data. Their high endurance speed, as well as data retention and yield, makes them ideal for high volume memory makers.

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Change Financial Narrowing Net Loss Growing revenues

Change Financial Ltd (ASX: CCA) was unchanged as it reported an impressive financial report for the year ended June 30, 2019. Revenue growth has led to the narrowing of net loss consequently strengthening the sentiments of the stock in the market.

According to the chair Teresa Clarke, the fiscal year was pivotal as Change Financial successfully exited unprofitable businesses to focus on high growth areas with tremendous potential. The company exited the mobile banking and blockchain business, consequently reducing its operating losses for the year.

The buildup of innovative payment and card issuing platform targeting financial institutions was one of the biggest highlights for the year. In addition, Change Financials delivered revenues of $1.8 million for the 2019 fiscal year, up from $1.1 million reported a year ago. Net loss from operations nearly halved to $4.7 million from $9 million reported a year ago.

Woomera Acquires High Prospect Gold Project

Woomera Mining Ltd (ASX: WML) was up by 6% after confirming the completion of the purchase of the Mt Venn Gold project on acquiring Yamarna West Pty from Cazaly Resources. The acquisition provides the company with exposure to an underexplored greenstone belt that has shown great gold prospects.

The Mr. Venn Gold project will be the focus of the company’s exploration activities going forward even as it continues to work on other similar projects. The company has already drilled seven lithium targets at its Magpie Range project. At the Mt Cattling project, the company has already inked deals for 29 consents from landowners. With the deal, the company is planning to commence soil sampling.

Woomera has also completed a $1.5 million placement, raising sufficient capital to oversee its ongoing exploration projects. The company has also applied for the Federal Government Junior Minerals Exploration Incentive Scheme. Credits from the scheme should allow eligible shareholders to enjoy tax offset for the fiscal 2019/2020 year.

Benitec Capital Raise For BB-301 Development

Benitec Biopharma Ltd (ASX: BLT) was little changed after announcing a $2.25 million direct offering. The offering saw the company issue 2.8 million American depositary shares priced at $0.70 per ADS. The offering attracted interest from sophisticated and professional investors in the U.S.

The biopharmaceutical company intends to use net proceeds from the offering for product development as well as general corporate purposes. The offering comes just weeks after the biotechnology company confirmed plans to complete three non-surgical studies for an Investigational New Drug Application as part of a Phase 1 trial for patients with Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD).

BB-301 is the company’s AAV-based gene therapy that has shown prospects of silencing mutated disease-causing genes. The three studies will support optimization and confirm the efficiency of vector transduction in key tissue compartments. According to the Chief Executive Officer, Jerel Banks, Benitec has an opportunity to come up with a novel genetic medicine capable of addressing a fatal disorder where unmet medical needs exist.

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