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Real-Time news about Promethean (London Stock Exchange): 0 recent articles
|landsker: well the market obviously thinks the break up value is worth no more than the current 5p share price, what a shambles of a company this has been, good riddance to the bosses who stepped down today, they are ok they have made a tidy amount out of the ppl venture, more than can be said for its investors|
|mjcrockett: ....and the buyer is Metage, surprise, surprise. This brings their holding to 20.5% and should herald some radical changes.
It will be interesting to see the impact on the share price in the morning.
|mjcrockett: I would have thought "liquidation" was a nice word, when the assets involved - cash and property alone - are worth much more than the share price. I am amazed that the share price is not moving up. Am I missing something?
|hugepants: Just doing some quick arithmetic. Net cash about 7p per share after ALL creditors. Lets say write-down of 30% of property on balance sheet gives 4p of property. So cash + property = 11p. All the IP and the tens of millions spent on R&D valued at a lot less than hee-haw. The share price suggests all the remaining cash will be spent on nothing of value. If the past 5 years is anything to go by then this seems likely. This company should be sold immediately while there is something left to sell. dyor etc.|
You are right. Its big game poker.
Big players could be wondering about letting it go bust and hoping to buy bits off the receivers, or letting it be refunded, knowing they they could increase their stake where lots of private investors couldn't. It took me some time to realize that if you can afford to maintain your stake, then it doesn't matter what the share price is when refunding occurs: hence its the small guy that gets shafted by dilution and the big guy actaully can benefit by increasing his stake at low prices.
The small guy has the advantage that he can buy without moving the price, is never pressured by others to track, match or exceed an index, can take risks which you wouldn't want somebody to do with your pension, etc, so its not all to the same persons advantage.
There really is a catch 22. I have seen companies go under because the low price leads to dilution and dilution leads to low prices. When nobody has a stomach for it, including the banks, that's it, game over.
I helped out one company that had just a few days cash left. The shares are up because the danger is over, and because the danger is over, others have joined in at a higher price. If the market was not so pessismistic it could almost start a virtuous circle!
Back to PPL. The management must know that fund raising is getting harder and if they don't find cash from their own assets they could be filing receivership paperwork sometime - unless they have a dirty deal, a firm offer of finance to the detriment of the small shareholders, which they are planning to use.
I'm personally in favour of trusting the management are honest, and hoping they can sell the transpantation stuff to fund Dolly and family.|
|jimbo11: This article has just been released at the website www.savedollythesheep.com
Update - 10/01/03
(by Paul Scott, Director, Willowdrive Ltd)
First Update of the New Year
Firstly may I wish everyone a Happy New Year, and I trust you all enjoyed the break over Xmas.
With the holiday season now over, we are determined to crank up the pressure on management at PPL to bring matters to a speedy conclusion. Several of us wrote to our CEO, Geoff Cook, again before Xmas but true to form have not received a reply.
Yesterday I tried to speak with Mr Cook to arrange a meeting, but both the CEO and the FD were not in the office, so I cannot yet report on whether they will agree to see me or not.
Our strategy for the New Year
I have recently consulted with the larger supporters of this Action Group, and we are agreed on the strategy to pursue. As mentioned above, we have requested a meeting with the Board, to see if there is a way of reaching agreement on unlocking shareholder value.
The company has already publicly stated that they are open to takeover approaches, and it could be that discussions with interested parties are already underway. We just don't know. The most frustrating aspect of this Action Group is that our Board have almost totally ignored the existence of the Action Group, and overall are simply dreadful at communicating with shareholders.
Perhaps they decided that a "tough it out" strategy would be the best approach ? Well if so, it isn't working. Supporters are becoming more & more angry at the contempt shown to us by our Board. We are by far the largest shareholding block, and yet the Board have not made any attempt to establish dialogue. I am not in the habit of meekly caving in when things get difficult, and my position remains the same - the Action Group pushes on until we succeed.
As such we can only conclude that they are against shareholder value and need to be removed. What is even more incredible is that the company has given no general update to shareholders for several months now. The Xenotransplantation project should by now have been sold, but we have heard nothing. The lack of future funding remains the biggest issue facing the company, yet we have heard nothing other than the complacent sounding circular letter sent belatedly to the many concerned shareholders who wrote to the company in the autumn.
This is an APPALLING way to treat shareholders.
Therefore, our first step is meet the Board as soon as possible, if they are willing to do so. At least we cannot then be accused of failing to attempt a dialogue.
The second step, should the above not result in anything meaningful, is to submit Resolutions for the next AGM (due in May 2003) to oust key members of the Board and replace them with our own appointees. Papers are being drawn up to do this, and will be submitted to the company if our meeting is unsuccessful.
Why an AGM, not an EGM ?
The mechanics of organising so many shareholders into supporting an EGM Requisition would be a nightmare due to our support being very fragmented. The core larger supporters of the Action Group all feel that substantially the same end is achieved by submitting Resolutions for the AGM, yet requires only a handful of people to sign the papers. We only need 5% of the shares to submit Resolutions for an AGM, but 10% to call an EGM. Also, an EGM involves considerable extra costs for the company, and the last thing we want to do is to cause the cash to disappear even more quickly than the prodigious rate the of cash burn our Board are managing on their own !
By submitting our AGM Resolutions to take control of the Board, we believe a clear deadline will be put in place, which should focus our Board's minds on shareholder value. No Board relishes the thought of having to fight to keep their jobs in a full shareholder vote, and we believe unless the Board have unlocked shareholder value in a meaningful way by then, we stand a very good chance of taking control of the Board.
Should we succeed, we would immediately cut the cash burn, and put the company unequivocally up for sale, to achieve the best possible shareholder value in the short term.
Update on Support
I was pleased to see the share price dip down again before Xmas, as this stimulates buying by Action Group supporters. So it was this time, and I am delighted to announce yet another significant increase in our support. Here are the stats of our current support;
165 Action Group supporters
We together hold 17,056,493 shares
This represents a whopping 13.9% of the total
I am very mindful of the fact that an awful lot of people are relying on me personally to press ahead with this Action Group to the best of my ability. Rest assured, I won't let you down.
Just to reiterate, if any supporters add to, or reduce your shareholding, please either email me or submit a revised form in the Vote Now section, clearly stating in the comments box that it is an update on an existing position. This ensures I have the most up to date information on support.
(Director, Willowdrive Ltd)|
|eugene1234: Small investors threaten to break up PPL
PAUL Scott, the activist investor at the centre of an attempt to break up Edinburgh biotech firm PPL Therapeutics, upped the pressure on the beleaguered firm yesterday, after his action group became the largest shareholder block.
Scott claims the group, which represents disenchanted small investors in PPL, now holds 11.1 of shares - ahead of INVESCP Perpetual UK with 10.9% and Aberforth Partners with 10%.
The action group wants to unlock value in the company by returning its cash pile to shareholders and to seek takeover bids from third parties.
Scott said: "In the last three days, 22 new supporters have joined, meaning that the group now represents an unprecedented 117 private shareholders in PPL Therapeutics. Furthermore, 18 existing shareholders - including myself - have taken advantage of the lower share price to buy more shares.
The widespread buying sent PPL’s shares soaring 33%, or 1.75p, to 7p on the back of some frantic buying.
Scott added: "We are expecting a response from the company any day, which has now taken about a month for them to prepare - typical of the disdain reserved for small shareholders at most struggling companies.
"PPL badly needs an agent provocateur to make something happen. In the absence of any news from the company we can only assume the worst - ie more cash burn, with no prospect of a return for shareholders."
But a spokesman for PPL said: "Paul Scott will be treated like any other shareholder of the company. You can assume that if he requests a meeting, we would very much consider it."
Scott has a history of taking the cause of the underdog to break up companies which he perceives are underperforming. In the past he has targeted Expocentric, Actinic, Teamtalk and Protagona. He wants to force PPL to hold an extraordinary general meeting in a bid to leverage the votes of his action group.
PPL employs close to 150 people, the bulk of which are based in Edinburgh. Any successful attempt to break up the company would inevitably lead to large scale job losses and deprive Scotland of one of its highest profile biotech prospects - which achieved world renown in 1997 with the cloning, in partnership with the Roslin Institute, of Dolly the sheep.
The company is currently valued at about £8m, despite having an estimated £20m in the bank. Scott’s group has already said it will accept a bid for the company of 14.7p per share, or £18m.
It is believed that one PPL shareholder has made a tentative approach to German pharmaceutical giant Bayer about a possible bid. The Edinburgh company is working with Bayer on its flagship emphysema treatment, alpha-1 antitrypsin, which is not expected to reach the market until 2007.
However City sources yesterday downplayed the likelihood of Bayer being interested in making a takeover approach.
One analyst, who declined to be named, said: "Why would they want to take on all the risk?"
Geoff Cook, PPL’s chief executive, hopes to raise vital funds by off-loading the company’s US-based xenotransplantation business and by making proteins for other companies.
Earlier this year the US division created five ‘knock-outR17; piglets with organs that could eventually be used in human patients.|
|pdyke14856: Dolly the Sheep creator PPL fires back at critics
Wed 11 Dec 2002(108594)
LONDON (ShareCast) - PPL Therapeutics, who helped create Dolly the sheep, attacked shareholders who are trying to force the company to sell up or return cash to shareholders as misguided
The Scottish firm, where the share price has tumbled since the start of the year, has come under attack from investors led by activist Paul Scott, who, it is reported has over 11% stake in the pharmaceutical company.
In defence of PPL, Chief Executive Geoff Cook said the move was not in shareholders' best interests. He added that he was open to takeover approaches although it was perhaps unrealistic to expect big player to buy the business.
Cook, it was reported, also said he hoped to sell PPL's pig organ business early next year which would produce some cash. The company's scientists have developed piglets whose organs could be used in human operations.|
For anyone not subscribing to the Willowdrive Ltd free newsletter, here is the text of last night's announcement/press release - we are now the largest single shareholder block !
As always, this email is being simultaneously sent to all 395 subscribers of the Willowdrive Ltd (free) newsletter facility - the company set up in 2001 to campaign for unlocking shareholder value.
(should you no longer wish to receive my emails, an unsubscribe link is provided at the bottom of every email, and I apologise for troubling you)
We achieved a major milestone today with the PPL Shareholder Action Group at www.SaveDollyTheSheep.com
In the last 3 days, 22 new supporters have joined, meaning that the group now represents an unprecedented 117 private shareholders in PPL Therapeutics. Furthermore, 18 existing shareholders (including myself) have taken advantage of the lower share price to buy more shares. Peel Hunt have been selling at 5.25p.
As such, our support has rocketed to controlling 13,612,638 PPL shares, or 11.1% of the total.
This means supporters of the Action Group website have now overtaken ALL Institutional shareholders to become the largest single shareholding block, our main short term stated aim.
The website has also proved highly successful, with over 4,400 hits, and a very lively Bulletin Board encouraging a full & frank debate as to the company's future.
The recent share price fall has been caused by Institutional sellers, reinforcing our view that there is little (if any) real Institutional support for PPL. Certainly not enough to make a Rights Issue fund raising even remotely possible when the cash runs out in 2004.
Supporters have taken advantage of this price fall to mop up more shares, bringing a resolution of our issues much closer.
In tonight's Editorial on the site I also cover alarming comments from the company to Shares Magazine's small companies expert James Quinn, and the burning issue of the £7m+ write off which PPL must address in its next set of accounts relating to expenditure on its ill-conceived Manufacturing Agreement with Bayer.
Finally, tonight's Editorial also urges supporters to prepare for an EGM showdown in the new year, by transferring all shares held in Nominee accounts to directly held certificated form, to be sure you can make your voice heard.
In this way we are hopeful of requisitioning an EGM to make wide-reaching changes to the Board, and unlock shareholder value before the remaining cash has been frittered away.
After a "fallow patch" things have very much hotted up with PPL. We are expecting a response from the company any day, which has now taken about a month for them to prepare - typical of the disdain reserved for small shareholders at most struggling companies.
Now that we control the largest block of shares, I fully expect to be able to bring matters to a satisfactory conclusion in the not too distant future.
Thankyou to everyone who is giving the Action Group such sterling support.
Promethean share price data is direct from the London Stock Exchange