Hi-tech value in manufacturing

Resources Corner

M&A action is hotter than ever in the tech sector with TPG sweetening its bid for iiNet while Vocus Communications sold its 10 per cent stake in Amcom in a move that aims to give the proposed merger of those two companies the best chance of success. This comes despite a move by TPG to grab an 18.6 per cent interest in Amcom, which Vocus says was solely focussed on TPG’s own commercial interests.
 
Hi-tech manufcturing
 
The Federal Government has contributed $50 million to the Manufacturing Transition Programme which aims to provide grants to 19 businesses of between $1 million to $5 million to help improve their competitiveness.
 
It’s an attempt to boost manufacturing and the focus is on highly specialised manufacturers with a list of promising companies receiving the grants. There’s Ferra Engineering, an arms and aerospace materials manufacturer; National Glass, a maker of high performance glass and the listed ASX darling Cochlear also received a grant which it says will be used to invest in new capital equipment and plant improvements. 
 
High on growth
 
nearmap Limited (ASX:NEA) is celebrating its first commercial sales in the US as it powers ahead with its expansion. The visual analytics company says it has sold annual subscriptions of its photo mapping products and data services. 
 
Rewardle Holdings Limited (ASX:RXH) has secured AirAsia as a partner for its rewards program. The marketing technology provider will add gift vouchers for flights across the AirAsia network to its rewards system. 
 
M&A
 
Vocus Communications Limited (ASX:VOC) has sold its 10 per cent stake in Amcom Telecommunications Limited (ASX:AMM) in a move that aims to give the proposed merger of the two companies the best chance of success. The internet and telecom services provider says the move comes after TPG telecom grabbed an 18.6 per cent interest in Amcom which Vocus says was solely focussed on TPG’s own commercial interests.
 
TPG Telecom Limited (ASX:TPM) has sweetened its $1.4 billion takeover for iiNet Limited (ASX:IIN) to $1.56 billion which has since been backed by iiNet’s board. TPG lobbed the original bid last month and a competing cash and scrip offer for iiNet was launched by M2 Group Limited (ASX:MTU) last week. iiNet’s board have unanimously recommended TPG’s latest offer under which its shareholders can receive value of at least $9.55 per iiNet share. 
 
Quickflix Limited (ASX:QFX) has struck a deal with Foxtel and its Presto movie and TV subscription video on demand streaming service.  The video streaming company will distribute Presto to its existing and future customers on a range of consumer devices. 
 
SurfStitch Group Limited (ASX:SRF) say they will pay $13.8 million in cash and 4.8 million shares to acquire Magicseaweed and Stab Magazine. The online surfwear retailer hopes the online surf content network will drive sales to SurfStitch and traffic across all platforms. A fully underwritten institutional placement will raise the $37.5 million needed to fund the acquisition. The company also reaffirmed full year revenue guidance of $199 million.
 
Technology One Limited (ASX:TNE) says it will pay $12 million cash for unlisted company Desktop Mapping Systems. The acquisition will allow Technology One access to spatial data which it will embed with its own enterprise data to help provide software solutions for governmental and asset intensive organizations. 
 
Crowd sourced media company Newzulu Limited (ASX:NWZ) will partner with Tribune Publishing to utilise its syndication and sale networks to distribute New Zulu content. The company says it will utilise Tribune’s broad reach in the US to expand the scope of its live streaming platform.
 
Earnings
 
AusNet Services (ASX:AST), previously known as SP AusNet, has reported an annual profit fall after suffering a series of one-off charges. The energy networks business saw its net profit decline 87.3 per cent to $22.6 million in the year to the end of March but dip just 2.5 per cent to $312.8 million on an adjusted basis.
 
Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) has warned of an IT security breach at its recently acquired Asian telecommunications and services provider Pacnet. Australia’s largest telco says the breach occurred prior to Telstra taking ownership of Pacnet and Telstra was only made aware of the breach once the deal was tied up in April.
 
BioTech
 
Shares in Cochlear Limited (ASX:COH) gained after the Abbott government revealed funding for 19 Australian high-value manufacturing businesses. The bionic ear maker is one of the companies who will receive between $1 million and $5 million to improve competitiveness by investing in new capital equipment and plant improvements.
 
Bega Cheese Limited (ASX:BGA) has also welcomed the Federal Government’s manufacturing transition grant. The cheese maker says its $5 million grant is part of a high value dairy bio-nutrient extraction project to be installed at its manufacturing facility.
 
ResMed Inc (ASX:RMD) is set to sell Rhinomed Limited’s (ASX:RNO) snoring technology online. The US based sleep disorder company will sell Rhinomed’s Mute snoring technology into the UK market. The company says the over the counter product has shown solid signs of effectively reducing snoring in improving sleep quality. 
 
Medical Developments International Limited (ASX:MVP) has its eye on further global expansion after landing European approval for the sale of Penthrox earlier in the week. The Australian medical company says approval in the UK, France, Belgium and Ireland validates the company’s pain relief product as world class.