ASX Snippets: PMV, LTR, APT, CWN

Some snippets out of Thursday’s ASX trading session from Premier Investments (ASX: PMV), Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR), Afterpay (ASX: APT) and Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN).


Premier Investments says it has seen a modest recovery in sales as the lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne have eased, and now ended.

The company’s AGM was told yesterday the recovery in sales came despite lockdowns across Sydney, the ACT and Melbourne forcing the business to close more than half of its stores.

In an update issued to the AGM Premier said its total sales for the 17 weeks to the end of November fell 3.5%, much better than the 9.5% slide in the first seven weeks of the half.

Stores in NSW, ACT, Victoria and New Zealand have progressively reopened since mid to late October as lockdown measures were wound back. The ACT re-opened fastest of all

Over the past three weeks, the business has been able to have all its stores globally open and trading, with sales gaining 10.1 per cent over that period when compared to the same time last year.

Premier chair, Solomon Lew told the meeting that the company had lost a total of 42,000 trading days in this financial year, with more than half its stores being forced to close at various times.

However, with lockdowns largely done and dusted, the business is feeling positive for the key Christmas period.

“Whilst there are some significant trading weeks ahead, the customer reaction to Premier Retail’s product provides the Group confidence for the remainder of the half,” he told the meeting.

Premier shares lost just under 1% to end at $29.98.


Liontown Resources has raised the $450 million it was aiming for on Wednesday to develop its Kathleen Valley lithium mine in WA’s Goldfields region.

Liontown shares dropped to a low of $1.577 when trading recommenced yesterday after completing the $450 million raising at $1.65 a share.

The issue was made at a 14% discount to the last close on Tuesday before the offer was announced on Wednesday morning of $1.92.

The shares ended down 16.1% at $1.61.

Liontown said in a statement the issue saw “strong demand received from high-quality domestic and offshore institutions providing a strong endorsement of Liontown’s world-class Kathleen Valley Project.”

The Share Purchase Plan for smaller shareholders (aimed at raising up to $40 million) is down to start a week today, December 10.

Liontown’s CEO, Tony Ottaviano said in Thursday’s statement “The strong demand from both domestic and offshore institutions for this landmark equity raising is testament to the world-class nature of the Kathleen Valley Project and represents a strong endorsement of our development pathway.”

“The Placement was well supported by existing Liontown shareholders and will also see new investors join the register. The introduction of these high-quality institutions together with the support shown by current shareholders has ensured that we emerge well capitalised with certainty of funding for the Stage 1 capital cost of the initial 2.5 Mtpa development at Kathleen Valley.”


Afterpay’s shareholder vote on its $39 billion takeover by US payments group Square (which is now going rename itself, Block) has been delayed until later this year or early 2022 which could in turn push back the closing date for the deal

Afterpay shareholders had been due to vote on the blockbuster takeover by Square (Block) next Monday, which would have been one of the final hurdles facing the biggest takeover in Australian history.

But in an ASX announcement, Afterpay said the ballot was being delayed by a regulatory approval it needed from Spain’s central bank.

Afterpay, which has a European licence with the Bank of Spain, said it had decided to push back the shareholder meeting until either later this year, or the new year.

Afterpay shares dropped 6% to $100.70 on Thursday as investors worried, despite assurances from the company that the deal is still on.

Both companies still expect the deal to close in the March quarter of 2022, but it may not be wrapped up in January, as suggested in a recent Afterpay document.

“Afterpay and Square are confident that the Bank of Spain condition will ultimately be satisfied,” the company said.

Afterpay said its directors continued to unanimously recommend shareholders vote in favour of the deal, which will result in Australian investors being paid in US-listed or ASX-listed Square (Block) shares.

Square announced on Wednesday that it was changing its name to Block, as it sought to highlight its other businesses beyond the white payment terminals that were its original idea.

“We built the Square brand for our Seller business, which is where it belongs. Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same. No matter how we grow or change, we will continue to build tools to help increase access to the economy,” CEO Jack Dorsey said. he resigned as CEO of Twitter this week.

In its statement, Square said the change to Block “has many associated meanings for the company — building blocks, neighbourhood blocks and their local businesses, communities coming together at block parties full of music, a blockchain, a section of code, and obstacles to overcome.”


Crown Resorts has rejected the third takeover offer from Blackstone but will still open its books to the private equity giant in the hope that it will increase its $12.50 a share offer.

Crown said on Thursday that Blackstone’s bid received a fortnight ago “does not represent compelling value for Crown shareholder”.

“However, the Crown Board has offered Blackstone the opportunity to access non-public information to allow Blackstone to undertake initial due diligence inquiries on a non-exclusive basis so that it can formulate a revised proposal that adequately reflects the value of Crown,” the company said in an ASX statement.

The decisive move comes just days after Crown formally appointed Ziggy Switkowski as its chairman after receiving regulatory approvals.

Crown shares last traded at $11.02, up 0.7% on the day. Investors remain unconvinced that the company will be snapped up unless there is a much higher price.


About Glenn Dyer

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.

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