STC Collaborates with Healthcare Community and Utilizes Information Technology to Empower Consumers

Industry: Healthcare

Health Information Technology Empowers Consumers to Improve Their Immunization Rates

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (PRUnderground) April 3rd, 2017

Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC) will present at this year’s American Immunization Registries Association (AIRA) meeting on the power of giving individuals access to their immunization histories from medical record systems.

STC partners with members of the public health community to implement a consumer engagement tool known as MyIR (My Immunization Record). The free service allows individuals to enroll and authenticate on-line for access to their records. MyIR provides not only the past immunization events to the individual but also evaluates their history and identifies uniquely for each individual what immunizations they are past or currently due for.

Michael L. Popovich, CEO of STC indicated “in reviewing the demographics of over 50,000 individuals who have signed up to access to their family’s immunization events, we found that 72% were women and 60% in the age range of 25-44. We also uncovered that the public is learning to request this information from three key sources: their child’s school, their state health department and provider communities including pharmacies. ” Mr. Popovich indicated “34% of the individuals that enrolled for this services were referrals from schools with 13% each from state health web sites and the immunization provider community.”

Whether it is this year’s influenza shot or the second dose of a pneumonia series MyIR empowers the individual with actionable information to encourage them to protect themselves from disease. Health information technology is accelerating secure data exchanges from these valuable public health data assets directly to the consumer. Dr. Scott Hamstra, a well-respected pediatric physician, added “the ability to push out notifications and collect information specific to recent vaccines for individuals is a new capability that offers significant value and benefit to the lives and families of individuals.” Dr. Hamstra added “technology, data, immunization intelligence and engagement are the four keys to reducing the impact of diseases that are vaccine preventable.”

About Scientific Technologies Corporation

There are tens of thousands of deaths each year from the flu. There are new measles cases occurring when it had been all but eradicated. Whooping cough still kills the young. The impact of pneumonia, cervical cancer, and many more diseases are diminished through the use of vaccines, public health prevention programs, and data intelligence. The battle is fought every day to ensure that individuals are prepared, proactive, and empowered for any event or outbreak — from bioterrorism and newly emerging disease, such as the Zika virus, to the old diseases that never left. Scientific Technologies Corporation (STC), a health technology innovation and services company, is on the front line of this battle with its mission to advance population health outcomes through information technology.

Show off your innovative media relations strategy

Your secret is out: You’re a brand architect who knows how to tell and sell a story.

Now, we’d like all the details. Tell us how you mastered the delicate balance of powerful storytelling, relationship building, reputation management and more to create an impressive media relations strategy across multiple channels. How did you analyze media trends to generate more clicks, more shares and more coverage?

The 2017 Media Relations Awards are here to celebrate your ability to remain calm in the face of a crisis, your willingness to think beyond the standard press release and your dedication to sharable storytelling. Gain recognition for the accomplishments that made a difference for your customers, your clients or your team.

This year’s 20 categories, including Brand Messaging or Position, Integrated Marketing Communications, Product or Service Launch, Press Event or Media Tour, and Social Media Campaign will allow you to share your expertise in a specific discipline. Three new categories, Crisis or Reputation Management, Native Advertising, and Social Influencer Program will celebrate your most innovative strategies and campaigns.

Don’t feel confined to one category; we encourage you to submit any campaign to as many categories as you’d like. Of course, don’t forget the Grand Prize category, which will validate you as a true expert.

Want to see what it takes to be named a winner? Check out the 2016 Media Relations Special Edition

See a full list of categories and eligibility requirements, and read how to enter below.

Eligibility Requirements

These awards are open to in-house, agency and independent communication practitioners in the private, corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. Enter your work, the work of your organization or submit entries on behalf of your client.

Companies from around the world are welcome to enter as long as the entry is submitted in English.

This year’s program is open to any work executed between Jan, 1, 2016, and Feb. 15, 2017, inclusive.

Contact Justine Figueroa to find the perfect category for your campaign or project. You can reach her at 312-960-4304 or justinef@ragan.com

Deadlines/Entry Fees

Early Bird Deadline: March 15, 2017
(Save $50 per entry!)

Final Extended Deadline: May 10, 2017

The fee for this program is $295 per entry. (Entry fee for either Grand Prize category is $395.)

Early bird submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. Central time on March 15, 2017 to receive the $50 discount.

A late fee of $100 per entry will added to all entries after 11:59 p.m. Central time, April 12, 2017.

Please note: Entry fees are non-refundable.

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Prizes

Each category winner will receive:

  • A featured write-up in a Special Edition of Ragan.com
  • An elegant trophy
  • One complimentary registration to any Ragan event, webcast, or conference within 12 months of winning

The winners of the Grand Prize categories also will receive a one-year membership to Ragan Training —a premium online training library featuring hundreds of hours of the very best content from Ragan events. Find out more about the site here: https://ragantraining.com/

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  • Categories

  • Brand Messaging or Positioning

    We want to know how you propelled your organization’s reputation forward. How did you set your brand apart from its competitors and create buzz? Did you see an increased response from media outlets? Tell us about the intricacies for your brand campaign and how you got your story out to the world.

  • Cause Advocacy Campaign

    Tell us how you’re contributing to causes that matter and how you’re raising the public profile of issues you care about. Give us the details of your campaign strategy. Did you overcome a major challenge while trying to raise awareness? What tools did you use to get past it? Share your campaign and results.

  • Crowdsourcing Campaign

    Your campaign took a customer-first approach. How did your media relations campaign prove that the opinions of your audience were most important? How did you cultivate brand ambassadors from your loyal customer base? Tell us how their voices brought attention to your brand and boosted its reputation.

  • New! Crisis or Reputation Management

    You’re the Olivia Pope of crisis communications. You remained cool-headed under pressure and de-escalated a chaotic situation. How did you mitigate a potential media disaster to keep your organization’s reputation in good standing with the public? Tell us about the crisis and how you bounced back using journalists’ help.

  • Executive Visibility

    Your high-level executives are the face of your brand. How do you train them to personify and amplify your message? Which senior executives are you putting out there? We’re looking for campaigns that don’t merely “humanize” top-tier bosses. We want to see campaigns that bring to life unforgettable, genuine personalities—and tie them to the organization’s goals.

  • Global Media Relations

    Your message reached far and wide, and we want to know how you gained the momentum to take your brand international. How does your message cross geographical boundaries? How do you make your message relevant and interesting where you live and useful to those across the oceans? What was your story? Where did it travel?

  • Governmental or Public Affairs Media Relations

    How and why did you collaborate with journalists to meet governmental or public affairs goals? How did your relationship help you engage with your local community? Share how you developed this relationship and how it benefitted your organization. How did you educate the public about your group or its policy?

  • Innovation in Media Relations

    Are you tired of taking the same ineffective, repetitive route when it comes to your organization’s media relations strategy? How did you execute your vision for creating a new process, concept or slogan? What results did your idea bring that changed the way journalists or members of the public think about you or your product, service or cause? Show us.

  • Integrated Marketing Communications

    How did you put together a well-coordinated mix of promotional messages that reinforced your brand awareness to the media? Did you use content marketing and storytelling in your media-relations blitz? What were the results?

  • Media Relations Video

    How did your team or company master the art of video to reach a mass audience? How do you use images and real people to tell an array of stories? Did you keep them short and simple, or did you create long-form videos? Did your videos inspire action or use humor to educate? Show us, and tell us the story behind what’s on the screen.

  • New! Native Advertising

    Did you land coverage in a national publication that helped sell your product or services? How did you collaborate with an editorial team to create an under-the-radar advertorial? Tell us what publications you sought out and why you think your audiences are similar. Share the native ad and metrics to prove that it built brand awareness.

  • Product or Service Launch

    Tell us how your PR department or client impressed journalists with the launch of a product or service. Describe the tactics and strategy, and brag about how sweet the outcome proved to be.

  • Thought Leadership Campaign

    Your organization is staffed by experts with a wealth of industry knowledge. How did you make sure customers and competitors alike knew this? Did you place an op-ed in a local newspaper? Did a team member author a piece for a notable trade publication? Tell us how you used brand storytelling to prove your talent in a particular field and put forth your organization as an industry thought leader.

  • Pitch

    The key components of an impressive pitch are imagination, great writing and outstanding visuals. Did you write an email pitch with a perfect subject line, followed up with a narrative story hook so dramatic, yet concise, that journalists, bloggers and influencers fell over themselves trying to find out more? Did your online press release set a record for click-throughs and average time on your website? Did your multimedia press release get shared hundreds of times on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn? Brag about it.

  • Press Event or Media Tour

    Not only did you handle the chaos of a producing a live event, you thrived under the pressure and created an unforgettable experience. Tell us how you selected your guest list, promoted your event across multiple channels and encouraged social media engagement. Give us the inside story on how you pulled it all together, resulting in outstanding media coverage.

  • Stunt or Special Event

    How did your publicity stunt or special event directly or indirectly generate interest from journalists for your client or highlight your message? What ideas inspired its creation? What led to its success? How did you measure results?

  • Use of a Celebrity or Personality

    Tell us why you thought a celebrity or personality would be the best spokesperson for your brand. Did you hire a local figure, an A-lister or someone in between? How did media outlets respond? How does your product or service reinforce the credibility of your celebrity and vice versa? How did you turn that match into results?

  • New! Social Influencer Program

    The right social influencer can have as much power as a well-known media outlet. Tell us how you scouted the perfect group of influential social media stars to raise your brand’s profile among a certain demographic. Did you reach out to mommy bloggers? Beauty gurus? Instagram-famous Chihuahuas? What metrics determined the ideal influencer? How did you entice them into becoming brand loyalists and public ambassadors? What were the results?

  • Social Media Campaign

    We want to see evidence that you built a publicity campaign aimed at reporters, influencers and bloggers on your social media channel(s). Explain why you chose your channels, what you hoped to do, the results, lessons learned and the effect on your organization internally. We’re interested in hearing the whole story.

  • Grand Prize: Media Relations Campaign of the Year

    We’re seeking well-rounded and robust campaigns that delivered huge success. Share with us everything you did to reach the stars. Winners will be chosen in each of these categories:

    • Over $50,000
    • Under $50,000
    • Under $10,000

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How To Enter

On the entry form, be sure to include a thorough synopsis explaining the purpose and scope of your project. We ask that the synopsis be at least 1,000 words (max: 1,250 words) and include the following sub-headings (when applicable):

  • Goals
  • Strategy and tactics
  • Execution
  • Evaluation: success, results or ROI

Be sure to follow the guidelines laid out in the category descriptions, as the judges will look for those elements when they select the winners.

You will be able to upload up to five additional documents to your submission. We encourage you to include press releases, design concepts, videos, analytics, testimonials and anything else you feel will give us a better sense of your project. Proprietary or internal information can also be attached and will not be shared with the public.

Supporting documents that can’t be uploaded to the system should be mailed to:

Justine Figueroa
Ragan Communications
316 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60601

Enter Online

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FAQs

Are the awards open to organizations outside the United States?

Yes. Entries may be submitted by organization from around the world. The only requirement is that entries be submitted in English.

May an organization or nominator enter more than one entry?

Yes. Enter as many categories as you like. One story, video, design, etc. may also be entered in multiple categories if it meets the criteria. Each entry and each category will require a separate entry fee.

Will you return my entry materials?

No.

Who judges the entries?

Our judges include the editorial staff of Ragan.com, PR Daily.com, and Health Care Communication News.

When and where will the winners be announced?

We try to announce a list of finalists six to eight weeks after the close of the program. The announcement of the winners comes about three to four weeks after the announcement of the finalists. Each of these announcements will be made with a headline on our website, in our daily email newsletter, and on our social media platforms. Emails will be sent to all the entrants to notify them of these announcements.

Will there be an awards luncheon or live ceremony?

There is no live event associated with this program.

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Additional Questions

If you have any questions about the program or problems submitting your entry, please call Justine Figueroa at 312-960-4304 or email her at justinef@ragan.com.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you are interested in sponsoring one of Ragan Communications’ award programs, please contact Kristin Farmer at 312-960-4405 or email her at kristinf@ragan.com.

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Enter Online

IEC calls on disruptive technology for universal energy access

Announcing the LVDC Conference on Sustainable Electricity Access, 22-23 May 2017, in Nairobi

Geneva, Switzerland, 2017-03-30 –The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is stepping up efforts to bring electrical energy to the 1,3 billion people who have no access to electricity, via a disruptive technology – low voltage direct current (LVDC). The IEC is hosting the inaugural LVDC Conference on Sustainable Electricity Access, in Nairobi, Kenya, on 22 and 23 May 2017, in partnership with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

LVDC Logo

LVDC Logo

“Combined with some form of energy storage, LVDC has the potential to bring millions of people out of the dark. The IEC is driving the development of LVDC, making this technology safe and broadly accessible. Holding this conference in Africa will provide a real understanding of electricity access needs to IEC experts and stakeholders. We invite participation of all those concerned with the Sustainable Developments Goals, especially Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all,” said Frans Vreeswijk, General Secretary & CEO of the IEC.

Energy, and especially electricity, is the golden thread that impacts the majority of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and furthermore, the development of every nation and economy. The work of the IEC directly impacts 12 of the 17 SDGs – it provides the technical foundation for the whole energy chain and all equipment that is driven by electricity.

The UN recognizes that electricity access helps to reduce poverty and hunger, improves educational opportunities and enables higher quality healthcare. In developing economies, LVDC helps governments and policy makers to rapidly improve the living conditions, livelihoods and leisure time of millions of citizens as they gain access to affordable and clean electricity. Against this backdrop, the LVDC Conference on Sustainable Electricity Access will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders including policy makers, power utilities, equipment manufacturers, NGOs, technology gurus, industry experts, systems engineers, funding agencies and insurers.

“I urge all stakeholders to register and attend the conference which will be a thought leadership platform to effectively engage with policymakers and regulators. This event will help us to gain the technological and economic information needed to evolve LVDC standards and drive the technology’s commercialization,” said Charles Ongwae, Managing Director, Kenya Bureau of Standards.

The recent evolution of LVDC
LVDC is a disruptive technology that fundamentally changes and accelerates energy access. Over the last twenty years several mega-trends have created a groundswell of demand for LVDC. The need to mitigate the effects of climate change has seen a renewed focus on Energy Efficiency and sustainability, taking power generation increasingly towards renewable sources and away from fossil fuels. In addition, the cost of energy generation from solar photovoltaics (PV) has become more accessible, while LED lighting has made the conventional incandescent lamp a thing of the past.

Without realizing it, today we live in a “direct current” world, with most of our electronic devices already being able to use current that is produced by renewable sources directly, without conversion. As a result, LVDC is seeing a growth in uses like data centres, e-mobility and related infrastructure, urban homes and buildings for lighting and other applications, public distribution, DC micro-grids, and storage etc.

These trends challenge the traditional model of electricity distribution via alternating current (AC). Also, many of the technical issues that blocked the development of DC are no longer an obstacle. A diverse group of global experts in the IEC is currently preparing the technical foundation needed for the broad roll-out of LVDC.

Vimal Mahendru, Chair of the IEC Systems Committee (SyC) on LVDC, and IEC Ambassador said, “For areas where grid connection is too expensive, LVDC is the only economic way to provide electricity access to everyone: it is clean, safe and affordable. The applications for LVDC are wide, varied and apply in every country in the world. This conference is your opportunity to input your local needs and requirements; to hear about economic benefits linked to LVDC; and to contribute to the development of key performance and risk assessment indicators to allow regulators and systems administrators to benchmark LVDC solutions.”

About LVDC
In technical terms, direct current is constant and flows in one direction. In opposition, alternating current periodically reverses direction in a wave-like pattern. Currently, electricity is converted to AC to be converted back to DC for use by DC driven devices, sometimes multiple times. Using Renewable Energy as DC electricity is more efficient and generates less e-waste in the form of transformers and power adaptors.

Solar cells and other renewable power technologies produce DC power and batteries receive, store and deliver DC power. All electronics and battery driven devices use DC power, which today is often transformed from AC. Everything, from electric vehicles, renewable energy technology, kitchen appliances, lighting, transport, smart phones and tablets to systems with data and embedded electronics, such as the Internet of Things, smart homes and Smart Cities, runs on DC.

Standardization work for LVDC is perhaps one of the biggest societal impact initiatives undertaken by the IEC. It requires a concerted effort by all stakeholders. For further reading, please see the article in e-tech of June 2015 and also visit the SEG4 and Syc LVDC.

About the IEC
The IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes globally relevant International Standards for all electric and electronic devices and systems. It brings together 170 countries, representing 99.1% of the world population and 99.2% of world electricity generation. More than 20 000 experts cooperate on the global IEC platform and many more in each member country. They ensure that products work everywhere safely and efficiently with each other. The IEC also supports all forms of conformity assessment and administers four Conformity Assessment Systems that certify that components, equipment and systems used in homes, offices, healthcare facilities, public spaces, transportation, manufacturing, explosive environments and during energy generation conform to them.

IEC work covers a vast range of technologies: power generation (including all renewable energy sources), transmission, distribution, Smart Grid & Smart Cities, batteries, home appliances, office and medical equipment, all public and private transportation, semiconductors, fibre optics, nanotechnology, multimedia, information technology, and more. It also addresses safety, EMC, performance and the environment.
www.iec.ch

Kenya Bureau of Standards
Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is a statutory body established under the Standards Act (CAP 496) of the laws of Kenya. KEBS commenced its operations in July 1974. The KEBS Board of Directors is known as the National Standards Council (NSC). It is the policymaking body for supervising and controlling the administration and financial management of the Bureau. The Managing Director is the Chief Executive responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Bureau within the broad guidelines formulated by the NSC. Standards provide a common reference point for the assessment of the quality of goods and services. Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimising waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade. For more information, please visit https://www.kebs.org

LVDC Conference on Sustainable Electricity Access
Hotel InterContinental Nairobi; 22 – 23 May 2017, Nairobi, Kenya
http://www.lvdcconference.com

Further Information
Gabriela Ehrlich
Tel: +41 22 919 02 78
Mob: +41 79 600 56 72
Email: geh@iec.ch
Skype: gabriela.ehrlich

Agenus Restructures Business to Sharpen Focus on Clinical Development of Cancer Therapies

- Will Host Conference Call at 9am ET Today -

LEXINGTON, Mass., March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), an immuno-oncology company with a clinical stage pipeline of immune checkpoint antibodies and cancer vaccines, today announced that it is reorganizing its business and operations to sharpen its focus on clinical development of its two checkpoint inhibitor antibodies and vaccine program. Agenus plans to close its Basel site and consolidate key functions to its Cambridge, UK and Lexington, MA facilities, and phase out approximately 50 positions across the organization. Additionally, Robert Stein, M.D., Ph.D., President of R&D, will retire to become a senior R&D advisor exclusive to Agenus.

Agenus' goals for this realignment are to:

  • Accelerate development and commercialization of its product portfolio to drive shareholder value
  • Further extend the Company's cash runway beyond the impact from the recently amended Incyte partnership, which strengthened the balance sheet by $80 million and reduced development expenses
  • Consolidate operations to improve R&D efficiencies  
  • Ensure commercial readiness and manufacturing

Prioritized programs include combination therapies targeting CTLA-4 and PD-1. In addition, Agenus will continue to drive its innovative immuno-oncology portfolio towards clinical development with two preclinical antibodies targeting 4-1BB and TIGIT, as well as AutoSynVax, a clinical-stage neoantigen cancer vaccine. The Company is exploring combination studies with AutoSynVax and Agenus' checkpoint antibodies. Substantial focus will also be placed on the Company's manufacturing operations in Berkeley, CA to ensure GMP readiness. This is particularly pertinent as Agenus progresses its clinical registration trials with an intent to commercialize within the next four years.

As part of the restructuring, approximately 50 positions are planned to be phased out within the next six months. In addition, the Company will transition or consolidate certain key management positions, with the objective of streamlining leadership and reducing costs.

"These changes to our organizational structure make us a leaner and more focused organization, which is critically important for our next phase of advancement towards commercial readiness. We will also maintain a focused R&D effort to rapidly generate and develop best of breed novel immuno-oncology candidates. It is important to indicate that as an agile and efficient company we aim to rapidly deliver effective treatments at affordable prices," commented Dr. Armen.

Having built an extraordinary R&D capability for Agenus and spearheaded the advancement of five programs from discovery to clinical stage in the last three years, Dr. Robert Stein will be retiring from his current role as President of R&D and will become a senior R&D advisor to Agenus. The current R&D leadership, which has been assembled under his tutelage, will continue to have access to Dr. Stein for strategic R&D guidance.

"We are grateful to Dr. Stein for his outstanding leadership and contributions in defining and building our research engine," said Dr. Armen. "I look forward to continuing to work with him very closely in the future. I would also like to acknowledge the contributions of our other colleagues who will be departing the Agenus organization."

Conference Call and Webcast

Agenus executives, including Dr. Armen and Jennifer Buell, Ph.D., will host a conference call today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To access the live call, dial 1-844-492-3727 (U.S.) or 1-412-317-5118 (international) and ask to be joined into the Agenus call. The call will also be webcast and will be accessible from the Company's website at www.agenusbio.com/webcast. A replay will be available on the Company's website approximately two hours after the call and will remain available for 30 days.

About Agenus

Agenus is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body's immune system to fight cancer. The Company's vision is to expand the patient populations benefiting from cancer immunotherapy by pursuing a number of combination approaches that leverage a broad repertoire of antibody therapeutics and proprietary cancer vaccine platforms. The Company is equipped with a suite of antibody discovery platforms and a state-of-the-art GMP manufacturing facility with the capacity to support early phase clinical programs. Agenus is based in Lexington, MA. For more information, please visit www.agenusbio.com; information that may be important to investors will be routinely posted on our website.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the Company's restructuring and clinical development plans. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, the factors described under the Risk Factors section of our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Agenus cautions investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Agenus undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements, other than to the extent required by law. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

Contact:

Agenus Inc.
Michelle Linn, 781-674-4541
michelle.linn@agenusbio.com

SOURCE Agenus Inc.

Research Reports Coverage on Biotech Stocks — Agenus, Intrexon, Progenics Pharma, and Concordia

NEW YORK, March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

In today's pre-market research, Stock-Callers.com directs investors' attention to Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), Intrexon Corp. (NYSE: XON), Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: PGNX), and Concordia International Corp. (NASDAQ: CXRX). According an article on Barron's, Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on the Pharmaceuticals/Biotechnology sector to "Overweight" from "Market Weight" on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017. These stocks research reports can be downloaded now by simply registering for free at:

http://stock-callers.com/registration

Agenus  

Lexington, Massachusetts headquartered Agenus Inc.'s stock finished Wednesday's session flat at $3.92 with a total trading volume of 1.01 million shares. The Company's shares are trading below their 50-day moving average by 2.60%. Shares of the Company, which focuses on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body's immune system for patients suffering with cancer, have a Relative Strength Index (RSI) of 48.08.

On March 24th, 2017, Agenus announced its participation on March 30th, 2017 at the following conferences: The 7th Annual William Blair and Maidstone Life Sciences conference "Cancer Immunotherapy Conference" at the Apella, Event Space Alexandria Center in New York, NY; and the Jefferies Immuno-Oncology Summit at the Boston Harbor Hotel in Boston, MA. Your complete research report on AGEN can be retrieved for free at:

http://stock-callers.com/registration/?symbol=AGEN


Intrexon  

Shares in Germantown, Maryland-based Intrexon Corp. rose 1.40%, ending yesterday's session at $20.23 with a total trading volume of 1.10 million shares. The stock is trading 7.66% below its 50-day moving average. Shares of the Company, which operates in the synthetic biology field in the US, have an RSI of 44.66.

On March 10th, 2017, Intrexon announced the formation of Precigen, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the former, as part of an ongoing evaluation of structural alternatives concerning its business in healthcare.  Intrexon currently intends to consolidate all health-related assets under this new corporate entity as it considers potential strategic options to enhance shareholder value. A free report on XON is just a click away at:


http://stock-callers.com/registration/?symbol=XON


Progenics Pharma  

On Wednesday, New York-based Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s stock saw a decline of 1.16%, to close the day at $10.23. A total volume of 1.21 million shares was traded. The Company's shares have advanced 10.59% in the previous three months and 18.40% on an YTD basis. The stock is trading 0.35% and 35.92% above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, respectively. Additionally, shares of Progenics Pharmaceuticals, which develops medicines and other technologies to target and treat cancer in the US and internationally, have an RSI of 43.89.

On March 24th, 2017, Progenics Pharmaceuticals announced the publication of previously reported results from the Phase-2 study of 1404 in the online edition of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. 1404 is a PSMA-targeted small molecule SPECT/CT imaging agent that is designed to visualize prostate cancer. Sign up for your complimentary research report on PGNX at:

http://stock-callers.com/registration/?symbol=PGNX


Concordia 

Shares in Oakville, Canada headquartered Concordia International Corp. ended the day 0.62% higher at $1.63 with a total trading volume of 594,054 shares. The stock is trading below its 50-day moving average by 25.07%. Shares of the Company, which owns a portfolio of branded and generic prescription products in the US and internationally, have an RSI of 39.15.

On March 15th, 2017, Concordia International announced its financial and operational results for the three and twelve months ended December 31st, 2016. For Q4 2016, consolidated revenue was $170.4 million and adjusted EBITDA was $80.5 million. For the year, consolidated revenue was $816.2 million; GAAP net loss from continuing operations was $1,314.1 million; and adjusted EBITDA was $468.1 million. Register for free on Stock-Callers.com and download the latest research report on CXRX at:

http://stock-callers.com/registration/?symbol=CXRX

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MAXIMUS Contact Center Operations in Texas Recertified as Centers of Excellence

RESTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MAXIMUS (NYSE: MMS), a leading provider of government services worldwide, announced today that two of its customer contact centers in Texas have achieved re-certification as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal. These customer contact centers provide support for the Texas Eligibility Support Services (ESS) and Texas Enrollment Broker Services (EBS) contracts. This is the eighth consecutive year that the Company’s health services operations in Texas have achieved this important distinction.

The BenchmarkPortal Center of Excellence distinction is based on best practice metrics drawn from the world’s largest database of objective and quantitative performance data from thousands of contact centers. Performance data collected from the MAXIMUS contact centers achieved BenchmarkPortal’s rigorous standards of efficiency and effectiveness in areas such as operational efficiency, service-level standards, customer satisfaction and employee training.

Under contracts with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), the MAXIMUS customer contact centers for the ESS and EB contracts provide support for many of the state’s programs including Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and others. The customer contact centers also support the managed care enrollment broker services for the state’s Medicaid population.

“MAXIMUS is committed to providing our clients with high-quality, cost-effective services at our customer contact centers,” said Bruce Caswell, President at MAXIMUS. “Achieving recognition as a Center of Excellence by BenchmarkPortal eight years in a row is a true testament to our dedicated teams in Texas.”

About MAXIMUS

Since 1975, MAXIMUS has operated under its founding mission of Helping Government Serve the People®, enabling citizens around the globe to successfully engage with their governments at all levels and across a variety of health and human services programs. MAXIMUS delivers innovative business process management and technology solutions that contribute to improved outcomes for citizens and higher levels of productivity, accuracy, accountability and efficiency of government-sponsored programs. With more than 18,000 employees worldwide, MAXIMUS is a proud partner to government agencies in the United States, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit maximus.com.

About BenchmarkPortal

From its origins in 1995, BenchmarkPortal has become a global leader in the contact center industry, providing benchmarking, certification, training, consulting and industry reports. The BenchmarkPortal team of professionals has gained international recognition for its innovative approach to best practices for the contact center industry. BenchmarkPortal hosts the world’s largest database of contact center metrics, which is constantly being refreshed with new data. BenchmarkPortal’s mission is to provide contact center managers with the tools and information that will help them optimize their efficiency and effectiveness in their customer communications. For more information, visit BenchmarkPortal.com.

Daily News 30 / 03 / 2017

Debate on the future of Europe: President Juncker held a Citizens’ Dialogue in Malta

As part of a series of debates and dialogues taking place across the Union on the future of Europe, President Jean-Claude Juncker participated in a Citizens’ Dialogue yesterday in Malta, together with Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat, as well as Commissioner Karmenu Vella. He answered questions from participants on a wide range issues from the foreign policy of the Union, to agriculture, the Juncker Plan and the fight against terrorism. Discussing with participants the opportunities the EU offers and how the Union should develop in the years to come, the President underlined that „we have to show that we are able to deliver”. President Juncker reiterated the Commission’s commitment to the Paris Climate deal, underlining that Europe remains proud to be a world leader in the fight against climate change, whilst others step away from their commitments. Asked about what the EU can do to make its citizens feel safe, President Juncker replied „I do think that the European Union as a concept, as a construction, as a history is a guarantee against war and a guarantee for peace”. Speaking of the opening of the Brexit negotiations, President Juncker declared that citizens must come first: „It is citizens first – those Europeans living in the UK and the British people living in other countries of the European Union”. The Citizens’ Dialogue also covered the upcoming proposal on the European Pillar of Social Rights, which the European Commission is set to present in April.  A recording of President Juncker’s Citizens’ Dialogue is available here. Continuing his visit to Malta today, President Juncker will address the plenary of the EPP Congress (+/- 12:45 CET) and his speech will be broadcast live on EbS. (For more information: Margaritis Schinas – Tel.: +32 229 60524; Mina Andreeva – Tel.: +32 229 91382; Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456)

 

U-Multirank 2017: les établissements d’enseignement supérieur de l’UE obtiennent de bons résultats dans les domaines de la mobilité et de l’internationalisation

La quatrième édition du classement universitaire U-Multirank, qui regroupe près de 1 500 universités installées dans 99 pays, a été publiée aujourd’hui. U-Multirank, financé par le programme Erasmus+ de l’UE et lancé par la Commission européenne, est le premier classement mondial permettant aux utilisateurs de comparer facilement les performances des universités de manière multidimensionnelle. Il permet également aux utilisateurs de développer leur classement personnalisé en sélectionnant des indicateurs en fonction de leurs besoins. Les universités peuvent être classées selon leurs performances dans la recherche, l’enseignement et l’apprentissage, le transfert de connaissances, l’orientation internationale et l’engagement régional. Tels sont certains des facteurs que la Commission cherchera à renforcer dans son projet sur la modernisation de l’enseignement supérieur, qui sera présenté plus tard cette année. Selon l’édition 2017 de U-Multirank, la plus importante jamais réalisée jusqu’ici, plus de la moitié des universités de l’UE obtiennent les meilleurs scores en matière de mobilité des étudiants, la moitié attirent aussi du personnel académique international et environ 70% se distinguent en participant à des publications conjointes internationales. Plus d’informations sont disponibles ici. (Pour plus d’informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tél. +32 229 67083 ; Inga Höglund Tél. +32 229 50698)

 

Commission report shows potential of Ecological Focus Areas on EU farms to improve biodiversity

Farmland set aside as ecological focus areas helps improve biodiversity and supports eco-systems services, according to a European Commission report on the first two years since the introduction of ecological focus areas (EFAs) as part of the last reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The report shows that EFAs, introduced in the rules governing direct payments to farmers in 2013, can contribute to addressing the impact of some farming practices on the environment by bringing potential positive effects for biodiversity and for soil, water and climate. According to the rules on EFAs, farmers with arable land above 15 hectares must ensure that at least 5% of this land is an ecological focus area. In 2015, 10% of the land under the obligation was declared as EFA, and data for 2016 shows very similar results. More information is available in a news item online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Clémence Robin- Tel.: +32 229 52509)

State aid: Commission clears Latvian export-credit insurance scheme

The European Commission has found that the Latvian short-term export-credit scheme is in line with EU state aid rules, and in particular with the 2012 Short-term export-credit Communication. The Commission concluded in particular that the kind of insurance cover provided by the scheme to exporters established in Latvia is unavailable in the private market. There is a lack of insurance coverage for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) with a small export turnover; and for single export transactions (i.e. on a transaction-by-transaction basis as compared to insuring the entire export portfolio of a company) for a duration of one half to two years. This is because private insurers are less interested in this type of transactions. In this context, the Latvian scheme allows the State to cover risks of single export transactions and risks incurred by SMEs with a small export turnover. The scheme is authorised until 31 December 2022. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the reference SA.47233. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Yizhou Ren – Tel.: +32 229 94889)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Italian logistics assets by SEGRO and PSPIB

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of joint control over three logistics warehouses in Italy by SEGRO plc („SEGRO”) of the UK and Public Sector Pension Investment Board („PSPIB”) of Canada, via their joint venture SEGRO European Logistics Partnership S.a.r.l. („SELP”) of Luxembourg. Two of the logistic warehouses are located in Bologna and one in Piacenza. SEGRO is a real estate investment trust that owns, manages and develops modern warehousing, light industrial and data centre properties. PSPIB invests the pension plans of the Canadian public sector in a diversified global portfolio including stocks, bonds, private equity, real estate, infrastructure and natural resources. The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of its very limited impact on the market structure. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8419. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Xella by Lone Star

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of sole control over the Xella group by Lone Star. Xella is a diversified building materials group headquartered in Germany. Lone Star is a global private equity firm from the US. Lone Star also controls Forterra, a UK building materials company. The Commission concluded that the acquisition would raise no competition concerns because of the limited increment brought by the transaction and the presence of other competitors in the markets in question. The operation was examined under the normal merger review procedure. More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the public case register under the case number M.8341. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

Concentrations: la Commission autorise l’acquisition d’un ensemble immobilier allemand par Amundi Immobilier et Malakoff Médéric

La Commission européenne a approuvé, en vertu du règlement européen sur les concentrations, l’acquisition du contrôle conjoint de l’entreprise TAS Kapstadtring 2 GmbH basée en Allemagne par l’entreprise Amundi Immobilier S.A. et le groupe Malakoff Médéric, tous deux basés en France. TAS Kapstadtring est propriétaire d’un ensemble immobilier, comprenant un immeuble de bureaux, situé à Hambourg, en Allemagne. Amundi Immobilier est actif dans le secteur de la gestion d’actifs immobiliers alors que Malakoff Médéric exerce ses activités dans le secteur de la protection sociale complémentaire. La Commission a conclu que l’opération envisagée ne soulèverait pas de problème concurrentiel compte tenu de son impact très limité sur la structure du marché. L’opération a été examinée dans le cadre de la procédure simplifiée du contrôle des concentrations. De plus amples informations sont disponibles sur le site internet concurrence de la Commission, dans le registre public des affaires sous le numéro d’affaire M.8370. (Pour plus d’informations: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

PIB par habitant en 2015 dans 276 régions de l’UE – quatre régions situées à plus du double de la moyenne de l’UE

En 2015, exprimé en standards de pouvoir d’achat, le PIB régional par habitant oscillait entre un peu moins de 30% de la moyenne de l’Union européenne (UE) dans la région bulgare de Severozapaden et 580% de cette moyenne dans la région d’Inner London – West au Royaume-Uni. Cette information est extraite des données publiées par Eurostat, l’office statistique de l’Union européenne. Un communiqué de presse est disponible ici. (Pour plus d’informations: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tél.: +32 229 56169)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

First Vice-President Timmermans in Madrid to meet Prime Minister Rajoy and Foreign Minister Dastis and participate in Citizens Dialogue and Parliamentary Committee

On 30-31 March, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans travels to Madrid for a series of meetings and a Citizens’ Dialogue. The First Vice-President will be received on Thursday by Ms Ana Pastor, President of the Congress of Deputies, before appearing at the Joint Committee for the EU of the Spanish Parliament. At 19:30 on Thursday he will deliver the 13th Carlos de Amberes Commemorative Lecture at the Carlos de Amberes Foundation, followed by a meeting with Mr Alfonso Dastis, Minister of Foreign Affairs and State Secretary for the EU. On Friday, First Vice-President Timmermans participates in a Citizens Dialogue with students of Madrid Complutense University at 11:00, which will be live-streamed here. The First Vice-President will conclude his visit by meeting with Mr Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain.(For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 229 58602)

 

Digital Single Market and collaborative economy in focus on Vice-President Ansip’s visit to Ljubljana

Vice-President for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip will visit Ljubljana, Slovenia, tomorrow for a number of meetings on digital progress and the collaborative economy. The Vice-President will meet Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar and hold a working lunch with Minister of Public Administration, Boris Koprivnikar, discussing Slovenian progress in various digital fields, e-government, e-privacy, cybersecurity, digitisation of the SMEs and data economy. He will also visit the National Assembly and present the progress made on the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy to the parliamentary committees on the EU Affairs and Economy. Moreover, he will talk with the Members of Parliament about the collaborative economy, e-commerce and geo-blocking. Vice-President Ansip will hold a welcome speech at a collaborative economy conference organised by the Commission in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Administration and the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) and meet the local startup community. The Vice-President’s speech will be uploaded here tomorrow morning; real time updates from the visit can be followed on @Ansip_EU. (For more information: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tel. +32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tel. +32 229 50698)

 

Energy Union tour: Vice-President Šefčovič in Sweden for political talks and project visits

From 30-31 March, Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič will bring the Energy Union Tour to Sweden. Among others, he will be meeting with the Swedish Energy Minister Ibrahim Baylan, representatives of the Parliament’s Industry Committee and the Haga Initiative, a network of companies committed to reduce their climate emissions by 40% by 2020. The objective will be to discuss the implementation of the 2030 energy and climate framework, Energy Union governance (including the preparation of the National Energy and Climate Plans) and the Commission’s Clean Energy for All Europeans package presented in November last year. Energy Union Vice-President Šefčovič said: “It is a pleasure for me to once again visit Sweden, a Member State well advanced in the energy transition and a strong supporter of our Energy Union project. The visit is a unique opportunity for me to discuss with a broad range of stakeholders the benefits the Energy Union brings to Sweden, and to see what the energy transition means in practice, both at national and local level. I am also curious to see which fresh ideas the Swedish youngsters of the University of Umeå will bring to the table. After all, the Energy Union is first and foremost a project for and driven by Europe’s citizens”. Tomorrow, on 31 March, Vice-President Šefčovič will hold a Citizen’s Dialogue with students of the University of Umeå on „Energising Europe”, focussing on the sustainable production of electricity and its importance for the smart specialisation in the Swedish region of Västerbotten. He will further visit the smart city of Umeå in an ultrafast rechargeable electric buses awarded with the CIVITAS award of technical innovation. Finally, Vice-President Šefčovič will discuss bioeconomy and the role of North Sweden’s forestry in climate change with stakeoholders from the region of Västerbotten. More information on Energy Union is available here. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel. +32 229 56186 – Nicole Bockstaller – Tel.: +32 229 52589)

Commissioners Malmström and Crețu debate EU trade and cohesion policies with social partners and civil society

Trade and cohesion policies feature high on the agenda of the plenary session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the EU advisory body which comprises workers’ and employers’ organisations and other interest groups, bridging the EU and civil society. In the first debate of the plenary session, Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström outlined the EU’s progressive and ambitious trade policy agenda, telling the Committee that „there has never been a more important time to defend openness, to shape globalisation, to engage with the world and project our values”. This debate comes at an important moment, when the Commission is negotiating trade agreements with important partners such as Japan, Mexico, and the Mercosur countries. The Commissioner highlighted the implementation of sustainable development provisions in trade agreements, and mentioned in particular the EU-Canada trade agreement, known as CETA. This deal promotes EU standards and includes legally binding commitments to ensure trade does not happen at the expense of the protection of social rights or the environment. The Commissioner also stressed the Commission’s determination to ensure that trade is not only free, but fair and rules-based, emphasising the crippling cost of distortions and dumping to the European economy. The discussion on trade was followed by a separate debate on the EU’s cohesion policy post 2020 with Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Crețu. More details about the plenary session are available here. The full speech of Commissioner Malmström is available here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Axel Fougner – Tel.: +32 229 57276)

European Commission reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica is at the United Nations Office in Geneva today, where he will hold an Executive Briefing on the European Union’s approach to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SGDs, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, were agreed by the international community in 2015, as a universal and comprehensive Framework for action. Commissioner Mimica said: „The European Union, alongside our partners, was a driving force for high ambition for the 2030 Agenda. As a result we have a universal, global framework for achieving sustainable development, and ending poverty once and for all. But we cannot stop here. Our main challenge now is to ensure that we maintain the momentum. And that we turn the rhetoric into results.” Commissioner Mimica presented to the UN Membership the proposals made by the European Commission in November 2016, which incorporate the 2030 Agenda and the SGDs in its policies. Commissioner Mimica also presented the „External Investment Plan”, which will help to catalyse private sector investment in partner countries, to contribute to sustainable economic growth and financing for development.” (For more information: Carlos Martín Ruiz de Gordejuela – Tel.: + 32 229 65322; Christina Wunder – Tel.: + 32 229 92256)

Commission appoints members to advisory group on ethics in science and new technologies

The European Commission has today appointed 15 high-calibre experts on natural and social sciences and humanities, philosophy, ethics and law to the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE). The Group will advise the Commission on all areas of science and technology policy which involve ethical, societal and fundamental rights issues. The appointments follow the decision by President Juncker and Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, to have a dedicated group of experts to provide independent ethical advice. The Group will report to the President and to the College of Commissioners as a whole, and is placed under the direct responsibility of Commissioner Moedas. Commissioner Moedas said: „Innovation is driving rapid changes and it is our responsibility to ensure that developments are for the good of humanity. The wellbeing of future generations will be determined by the ethical considerations we apply to our policies today. That is why I am delighted that the renewed European Group on Ethics is up and running. The fifteen exceptional men and women appointed today will be an important support to a Commission that seeks to address the major societal challenges for the benefit of all citizens.” For more information on the list of members and the mandate of the EGE, see here. (For more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.: + 32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tel.: +32 229 87278; Maud Noyon – Tel.: +32 229 80379)

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Reports Positive Topline Data Demonstrating Anabasum Reduces Acute Pulmonary Exacerbations and Multiple Inflammatory Biomarkers in Phase 2 Study in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

Anabasum achieves primary study objective of acceptable safety and tolerability; Management to host conference call and webcast today at 8:00 a.m. EDT

NORWORD, MA–(Marketwired – March 30, 2017) – Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP) („Corbus” or the „Company”), a clinical stage drug development company targeting rare, chronic, serious inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, today announced positive topline data from its Phase 2 study evaluating multiple doses of anabasum (fka JBT-101 or Resunab) compared to placebo for the treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis („CF”). The 16-week study dosed 85 adult CF patients with baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) percent predicted ≥ 40%, who were enrolled without regard to their specific CFTR mutation or infecting pathogens and continued with all baseline treatment regimens.

Anabasum successfully achieved the primary objective of the study by demonstrating an acceptable safety and tolerability profile at all doses with no serious or severe adverse events related to the study drug.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. („CFFT”), the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, supported the Phase 2 study.

Anabasum cohorts showed a dose-dependent reduction in a number of acute pulmonary exacerbations defined as those requiring intravenous (IV) antibiotics compared to placebo. Patients in the highest dose cohort of anabasum (20 mg orally, twice per day) had a 75% reduction in the annualized rate of pulmonary exacerbations requiring IV antibiotics compared to placebo cohort.

Additionally, anabasum caused a consistent reduction in multiple inflammatory cell types in sputum, including total leukocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, and macrophages. Inflammatory mediators, including interleukin-8, neutrophil elastase, and immunoglobulin G, were also reduced in sputum by anabasum in a dose-dependent manner. These patient data provide evidence of biological activity of anabasum in resolving ongoing innate immune responses in lungs of CF patients and support the observed reduction in pulmonary exacerbations.

Serum concentrations of orally-administered anabasum in CF patients were similar to those previously observed in healthy volunteers. FEV1 remained stable throughout the duration of the study in all treatment cohorts.

„We are delighted that in this first-in-CF patient study, anabasum demonstrated an acceptable safety profile and potential clinical benefit in reducing acute pulmonary exacerbations in CF patients and that these findings are supported by biomarker data consistently showing reduction of inflammation in the lungs,” stated Yuval Cohen, PhD, CEO of Corbus. „These positive results coincide with our third anniversary as a company and come on the heels of positive data from our Phase 2 study in systemic sclerosis. We are very grateful to all the patients, investigators and clinical staff who participated in this study and to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics for their support.”

„The reduction in acute pulmonary exacerbations along with reductions in inflammatory cells and inflammatory mediators in sputum demonstrate the potential for anabasum as a new inflammation-targeting therapeutic in cystic fibrosis that can broadly target patients without regard to their specific CFTR mutations. The outcomes of this 16-week study indicate that anabasum has the potential to address the important unmet need for treatments that target inflammation in CF,” commented James Chmiel, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, Associate Director of the LeRoy W. Matthews Cystic Fibrosis Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, and Principle Investigator of Corbus’ Phase 2 cystic fibrosis clinical study.

Study Design and Results

This was an international, multi-center, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study supported in part by a $5 million Development Award from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. The primary objective of the study was to test safety and tolerability of anabasum in adults with CF who had FEV1 ≥ 40 percent predicted and remained on background CF medications, including prophylactic antibiotics. Patients were enrolled without regard to their CFTR mutation, infecting pathogen, or baseline treatment. Acute pulmonary exacerbations requiring IV antibiotic treatment were captured as an event of special interest during the study. Secondary objectives included measurement of plasma concentrations and metabolites of anabasum and change from baseline in FEV1 percent predicted and Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised Respiratory Symptom score. Additional outcomes included change from baseline in sputum and blood biomarkers of inflammation.

Eighty-five patients on stable standard-of-care medications were dosed with anabasum or placebo at 21 sites in the U.S. and Europe and treated for 84 days, with a follow-up period of 28 days off treatment. During the first part of the study (Weeks 1-4) patients were randomized to placebo (n = 35), 1 mg/day anabasum (n = 26) or 5 mg/day anabasum (n = 24). During the second part of the study (Weeks 5-12), anabasum patients were randomly assigned to anabasum 20 mg once per day (n = 31) or anabasum 20 mg twice per day (n = 30) with 11 patients from the placebo cohort randomly assigned to the 2 anabasum cohorts. Twenty-four patients continued to receive placebo in Weeks 5-12.

After dosing, 10 patients discontinued early from the study; 3 patients withdrew consent, 5 withdrew due to adverse events (2 on placebo, 3 on anabasum), 1 subject was lost to follow-up and 2 patients withdrew for treatment-unrelated reasons. Baseline characteristics were similar between anabasum and placebo cohorts.

Safety

During Weeks 1-4, treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) occurred in 14 (54%) of patients in the anabasum 1 mg cohort, 13 (54%) of the anabasum 5 mg cohort and 15 (43%) of the placebo cohort. During Weeks 5-12, TEAEs occurred in 21 (68%) patients in the anabasum 20 mg once per day cohort, 19 (63%) of the anabasum 20 mg twice per day cohort and 14 (58%) of the placebo cohort. Six serious adverse events (SAEs) occurred the anabasum-treated patients and 6 SAEs occurred in placebo-treated patients. Three severe TEAEs occurred in the anabasum-treated patients and 4 in placebo-treated patients. None of the serious or severe TEAEs were assessed by site investigators to be related to study drug. The most common drug-related adverse event that occurred in more than 2 individuals was mild dry mouth observed in 8 (13%) of anabasum patients and no placebo patients. As expected, the respiratory system was the most common source of TEAEs overall.

Cmax values for anabasum were similar to those previously measured in healthy human volunteers after similar doses of anabasum.

Acute Pulmonary Exacerbations

Treatment with anabasum yielded a dose-dependent reduction in acute pulmonary exacerbations. The highest dose of anabasum (20 mg twice per day) was associated with a 75% reduction in the annualized rate of pulmonary exacerbations requiring treatment with IV antibiotics, compared to placebo. Similar levels of reduction were also observed in acute pulmonary exacerbations defined by new or worsening respiratory symptoms requiring treatment with any antibiotic.

Inflammatory Cells and Biomarkers

Patients treated with anabasum 20 mg twice a day showed a consistent reduction in multiple inflammatory cell types in their sputum at the end of active treatment compared to placebo, including total leukocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes and macrophages. They also had a consistent reduction in inflammatory mediators in their sputum including interleukin-8, neutrophil elastase and immunoglobulin G.

Next steps

Barbara White, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Corbus, stated, „We are delighted that anabasum demonstrated a safety profile that was well tolerated by the CF patients in this study, especially given the challenges in safely targeting inflammation in CF. In a study of just 12-weeks of active dosing, we are especially encouraged by the consistency in data that couple clinical benefit in pulmonary exacerbations with improvement in the inflammatory response in the lungs. We believe these findings reflect the underlying mechanism of action of anabasum in activating resolution of innate immune responses without immunosuppression.”

Corbus will engage in further evaluation of the data and design of the next clinical trial in partnership with CF experts, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc., Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutic Development Network and European Cystic Fibrosis Society Clinical Trials Network. Thereafter, Corbus will enter into discussions with the relevant regulatory agencies.

Anabasum was granted Orphan Drug Designation and Fast Track status for the treatment of CF by the FDA in 2015 and Orphan Drug Status from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2016.

For more information on the Phase 2 study with anabasum for the treatment of CF, please visit ClinicalTrials.gov and reference Identifier NCT02465450.

Conference Call and Webcast Information

Corbus management will host a conference call for investors, analysts and other interested parties today, March 30, 2017 at 8:00 am EDT to discuss the topline data from the Phase 2 Study evaluating anabasum for the treatment of CF.

The conference call and live webcast will be accompanied by presentation slides. To participate in the call, please dial (877) 407-3978 (domestic) or (412) 902-0039 (international). The live webcast and accompanying slides will be accessible on the Events page of the Investors section of Corbus website, www.corbuspharma.com, and will be archived for 60 days.

About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis („CF”) is a chronic, life-threatening, genetic disease caused by inheriting two dysfunctional CFTR genes that normally regulate salt and water movement across cells in the respiratory and digestive systems. CF affects approximately 30,000 patients in the U.S and 75,000 patients worldwide. People with CF have thick, sticky mucus that clogs their airways, with recurrent bacterial infections and chronic inflammation in their lungs. In the gastrointestinal tract, they also have mucus accumulation, bacterial overgrowth, and inflammation. The dysfunctional CFTR genes cause an exaggerated inflammatory response that compounds the damage from a coexisting infection in the lungs and gut. CF results in destruction of lung tissue, lung fibrosis, pancreatic insufficiency, CF-related diabetes, malabsorption, malnutrition, growth retardation, and liver disease, including cirrhosis. The harmful inflammation and accompanying fibrosis in CF damages multiple organs, impairs organ function, reduces health-related quality of life, and can lead to death.

About Anabasum

Anabasum is a novel synthetic oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug that preferentially binds to the CB2 receptor expressed on activated immune cells and fibroblasts. CB2 activation triggers endogenous pathways that resolve inflammation and halt fibrosis. Preclinical and Phase 1 studies have shown anabasum to have a favorable safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile. It has also demonstrated promising potency in preclinical models of inflammation and fibrosis. Anabasum is designed to trigger the production of „Specialized Pro-resolving Lipid Mediators” that activate an endogenous cascade responsible for the resolution of inflammation and fibrosis, while reducing production of multiple inflammatory mediators. Anabasum has direct effects on fibroblasts to halt tissue scarring. In effect, anabasum triggers endogenous pathways to turn „off” chronic inflammation and fibrotic processes, without causing immunosuppression.

About Corbus

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat rare, chronic, and serious inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. Our lead product candidate, anabasum, is a novel synthetic oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug designed to resolve chronic inflammation, and fibrotic processes. Anabasum is currently in Phase 2 clinical studies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis and skin-predominant dermatomyositis, with a fourth Phase 2 trial in systemic lupus erythematosus planned to commence during the first half of 2017.

For more information, please visit www.CorbusPharma.com and connect with the Company on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, as amended, including those relating to the Company’s product development, clinical trials, clinical and regulatory timelines, market opportunity, competitive position, possible or assumed future results of operations, business strategies, potential growth opportunities and other statement that are predictive in nature. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry and markets in which we operate and management’s current beliefs and assumptions.

These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking expressions, including, but not limited to, „expect,” „anticipate,” „intend,” „plan,” „believe,” „estimate,” „potential,” „predict,” „project,” „should,” „would” and similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. These statements relate to future events or our financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include those set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Reports Positive Topline Data Demonstrating Anabasum Reduces Acute Pulmonary Exacerbations and Multiple Inflammatory Biomarkers in Phase 2 Study in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

Anabasum achieves primary study objective of acceptable safety and tolerability; Management to host conference call and webcast today at 8:00 a.m. EDT

NORWORD, MA–(Marketwired – March 30, 2017) – Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRBP) („Corbus” or the „Company”), a clinical stage drug development company targeting rare, chronic, serious inflammatory and fibrotic diseases, today announced positive topline data from its Phase 2 study evaluating multiple doses of anabasum (fka JBT-101 or Resunab) compared to placebo for the treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis („CF”). The 16-week study dosed 85 adult CF patients with baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) percent predicted ≥ 40%, who were enrolled without regard to their specific CFTR mutation or infecting pathogens and continued with all baseline treatment regimens.

Anabasum successfully achieved the primary objective of the study by demonstrating an acceptable safety and tolerability profile at all doses with no serious or severe adverse events related to the study drug.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. („CFFT”), the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, supported the Phase 2 study.

Anabasum cohorts showed a dose-dependent reduction in a number of acute pulmonary exacerbations defined as those requiring intravenous (IV) antibiotics compared to placebo. Patients in the highest dose cohort of anabasum (20 mg orally, twice per day) had a 75% reduction in the annualized rate of pulmonary exacerbations requiring IV antibiotics compared to placebo cohort.

Additionally, anabasum caused a consistent reduction in multiple inflammatory cell types in sputum, including total leukocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, and macrophages. Inflammatory mediators, including interleukin-8, neutrophil elastase, and immunoglobulin G, were also reduced in sputum by anabasum in a dose-dependent manner. These patient data provide evidence of biological activity of anabasum in resolving ongoing innate immune responses in lungs of CF patients and support the observed reduction in pulmonary exacerbations.

Serum concentrations of orally-administered anabasum in CF patients were similar to those previously observed in healthy volunteers. FEV1 remained stable throughout the duration of the study in all treatment cohorts.

„We are delighted that in this first-in-CF patient study, anabasum demonstrated an acceptable safety profile and potential clinical benefit in reducing acute pulmonary exacerbations in CF patients and that these findings are supported by biomarker data consistently showing reduction of inflammation in the lungs,” stated Yuval Cohen, PhD, CEO of Corbus. „These positive results coincide with our third anniversary as a company and come on the heels of positive data from our Phase 2 study in systemic sclerosis. We are very grateful to all the patients, investigators and clinical staff who participated in this study and to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics for their support.”

„The reduction in acute pulmonary exacerbations along with reductions in inflammatory cells and inflammatory mediators in sputum demonstrate the potential for anabasum as a new inflammation-targeting therapeutic in cystic fibrosis that can broadly target patients without regard to their specific CFTR mutations. The outcomes of this 16-week study indicate that anabasum has the potential to address the important unmet need for treatments that target inflammation in CF,” commented James Chmiel, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, Associate Director of the LeRoy W. Matthews Cystic Fibrosis Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, and Principle Investigator of Corbus’ Phase 2 cystic fibrosis clinical study.

Study Design and Results

This was an international, multi-center, double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study supported in part by a $5 million Development Award from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. The primary objective of the study was to test safety and tolerability of anabasum in adults with CF who had FEV1 ≥ 40 percent predicted and remained on background CF medications, including prophylactic antibiotics. Patients were enrolled without regard to their CFTR mutation, infecting pathogen, or baseline treatment. Acute pulmonary exacerbations requiring IV antibiotic treatment were captured as an event of special interest during the study. Secondary objectives included measurement of plasma concentrations and metabolites of anabasum and change from baseline in FEV1 percent predicted and Cystic Fibrosis Questionnaire-Revised Respiratory Symptom score. Additional outcomes included change from baseline in sputum and blood biomarkers of inflammation.

Eighty-five patients on stable standard-of-care medications were dosed with anabasum or placebo at 21 sites in the U.S. and Europe and treated for 84 days, with a follow-up period of 28 days off treatment. During the first part of the study (Weeks 1-4) patients were randomized to placebo (n = 35), 1 mg/day anabasum (n = 26) or 5 mg/day anabasum (n = 24). During the second part of the study (Weeks 5-12), anabasum patients were randomly assigned to anabasum 20 mg once per day (n = 31) or anabasum 20 mg twice per day (n = 30) with 11 patients from the placebo cohort randomly assigned to the 2 anabasum cohorts. Twenty-four patients continued to receive placebo in Weeks 5-12.

After dosing, 10 patients discontinued early from the study; 3 patients withdrew consent, 5 withdrew due to adverse events (2 on placebo, 3 on anabasum), 1 subject was lost to follow-up and 2 patients withdrew for treatment-unrelated reasons. Baseline characteristics were similar between anabasum and placebo cohorts.

Safety

During Weeks 1-4, treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) occurred in 14 (54%) of patients in the anabasum 1 mg cohort, 13 (54%) of the anabasum 5 mg cohort and 15 (43%) of the placebo cohort. During Weeks 5-12, TEAEs occurred in 21 (68%) patients in the anabasum 20 mg once per day cohort, 19 (63%) of the anabasum 20 mg twice per day cohort and 14 (58%) of the placebo cohort. Six serious adverse events (SAEs) occurred the anabasum-treated patients and 6 SAEs occurred in placebo-treated patients. Three severe TEAEs occurred in the anabasum-treated patients and 4 in placebo-treated patients. None of the serious or severe TEAEs were assessed by site investigators to be related to study drug. The most common drug-related adverse event that occurred in more than 2 individuals was mild dry mouth observed in 8 (13%) of anabasum patients and no placebo patients. As expected, the respiratory system was the most common source of TEAEs overall.

Cmax values for anabasum were similar to those previously measured in healthy human volunteers after similar doses of anabasum.

Acute Pulmonary Exacerbations

Treatment with anabasum yielded a dose-dependent reduction in acute pulmonary exacerbations. The highest dose of anabasum (20 mg twice per day) was associated with a 75% reduction in the annualized rate of pulmonary exacerbations requiring treatment with IV antibiotics, compared to placebo. Similar levels of reduction were also observed in acute pulmonary exacerbations defined by new or worsening respiratory symptoms requiring treatment with any antibiotic.

Inflammatory Cells and Biomarkers

Patients treated with anabasum 20 mg twice a day showed a consistent reduction in multiple inflammatory cell types in their sputum at the end of active treatment compared to placebo, including total leukocytes, neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes and macrophages. They also had a consistent reduction in inflammatory mediators in their sputum including interleukin-8, neutrophil elastase and immunoglobulin G.

Next steps

Barbara White, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Corbus, stated, „We are delighted that anabasum demonstrated a safety profile that was well tolerated by the CF patients in this study, especially given the challenges in safely targeting inflammation in CF. In a study of just 12-weeks of active dosing, we are especially encouraged by the consistency in data that couple clinical benefit in pulmonary exacerbations with improvement in the inflammatory response in the lungs. We believe these findings reflect the underlying mechanism of action of anabasum in activating resolution of innate immune responses without immunosuppression.”

Corbus will engage in further evaluation of the data and design of the next clinical trial in partnership with CF experts, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc., Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutic Development Network and European Cystic Fibrosis Society Clinical Trials Network. Thereafter, Corbus will enter into discussions with the relevant regulatory agencies.

Anabasum was granted Orphan Drug Designation and Fast Track status for the treatment of CF by the FDA in 2015 and Orphan Drug Status from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2016.

For more information on the Phase 2 study with anabasum for the treatment of CF, please visit ClinicalTrials.gov and reference Identifier NCT02465450.

Conference Call and Webcast Information

Corbus management will host a conference call for investors, analysts and other interested parties today, March 30, 2017 at 8:00 am EDT to discuss the topline data from the Phase 2 Study evaluating anabasum for the treatment of CF.

The conference call and live webcast will be accompanied by presentation slides. To participate in the call, please dial (877) 407-3978 (domestic) or (412) 902-0039 (international). The live webcast and accompanying slides will be accessible on the Events page of the Investors section of Corbus website, www.corbuspharma.com, and will be archived for 60 days.

About Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis („CF”) is a chronic, life-threatening, genetic disease caused by inheriting two dysfunctional CFTR genes that normally regulate salt and water movement across cells in the respiratory and digestive systems. CF affects approximately 30,000 patients in the U.S and 75,000 patients worldwide. People with CF have thick, sticky mucus that clogs their airways, with recurrent bacterial infections and chronic inflammation in their lungs. In the gastrointestinal tract, they also have mucus accumulation, bacterial overgrowth, and inflammation. The dysfunctional CFTR genes cause an exaggerated inflammatory response that compounds the damage from a coexisting infection in the lungs and gut. CF results in destruction of lung tissue, lung fibrosis, pancreatic insufficiency, CF-related diabetes, malabsorption, malnutrition, growth retardation, and liver disease, including cirrhosis. The harmful inflammation and accompanying fibrosis in CF damages multiple organs, impairs organ function, reduces health-related quality of life, and can lead to death.

About Anabasum

Anabasum is a novel synthetic oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug that preferentially binds to the CB2 receptor expressed on activated immune cells and fibroblasts. CB2 activation triggers endogenous pathways that resolve inflammation and halt fibrosis. Preclinical and Phase 1 studies have shown anabasum to have a favorable safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetic profile. It has also demonstrated promising potency in preclinical models of inflammation and fibrosis. Anabasum is designed to trigger the production of „Specialized Pro-resolving Lipid Mediators” that activate an endogenous cascade responsible for the resolution of inflammation and fibrosis, while reducing production of multiple inflammatory mediators. Anabasum has direct effects on fibroblasts to halt tissue scarring. In effect, anabasum triggers endogenous pathways to turn „off” chronic inflammation and fibrotic processes, without causing immunosuppression.

About Corbus

Corbus Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat rare, chronic, and serious inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. Our lead product candidate, anabasum, is a novel synthetic oral endocannabinoid-mimetic drug designed to resolve chronic inflammation, and fibrotic processes. Anabasum is currently in Phase 2 clinical studies for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis and skin-predominant dermatomyositis, with a fourth Phase 2 trial in systemic lupus erythematosus planned to commence during the first half of 2017.

For more information, please visit www.CorbusPharma.com and connect with the Company on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, as amended, including those relating to the Company’s product development, clinical trials, clinical and regulatory timelines, market opportunity, competitive position, possible or assumed future results of operations, business strategies, potential growth opportunities and other statement that are predictive in nature. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the industry and markets in which we operate and management’s current beliefs and assumptions.

These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking expressions, including, but not limited to, „expect,” „anticipate,” „intend,” „plan,” „believe,” „estimate,” „potential,” „predict,” „project,” „should,” „would” and similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. These statements relate to future events or our financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include those set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Proposed Placing of Shares

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT, INCLUDING THE APPENDIX AND THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN IT, IS RESTRICTED AND IS NOT FOR PUBLIC RELEASE, PUBLICATION, OR DISTRIBUTION, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN OR INTO THE UNITED STATES, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN, HONG KONG, NEW ZEALAND, SINGAPORE, SOUTH AFRICA OR ANY OTHER JURISDICTION IN WHICH SUCH RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION WOULD BE UNLAWFUL. PLEASE SEE „IMPORTANT NOTICE” BELOW.

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

 

AO World plc

(„AO World” or the „Company”)

PLACING OF NEW ORDINARY SHARES

 

30 March 2017

Proposed Placing

AO World today announces a placing to raise up to £50 million, through the issue of up to 42,063,157 new ordinary shares in the Company (the „Placing Shares„) representing up to approximately 9.99% of the Company’s existing issued ordinary share capital (excluding any treasury shares) to institutional investors (the „Placing„). The Placing is being conducted through an accelerated bookbuilding process (the „Bookbuild„) which will be launched immediately following this announcement (together with the Appendix, the „Announcement„) and will be subject to the terms and conditions set out in the Appendix.

Steve Caunce and John Roberts have indicated their intention to subscribe for Placing Shares representing £2 million each. Additionally, Chris Hopkinson (non-executive Director) and Mark Higgins (CFO) have indicated their intention to participate in the Placing. Further details of the Placing and any participation by such Directors will be set out in the announcement to be made on the closing of the Bookbuild which is expected to be made later today.

Jefferies International Limited („Jefferies„) and Numis Securities Limited („Numis„, and together with Jefferies, the „Joint Bookrunners„) have been appointed as joint bookrunners in respect of the Placing. Rothschild is acting as financial adviser to the Company.

Background to and reasons for the Placing

At our IPO in 2014 we set out our strategy to be the best electrical retailer in Europe, and since then we have delivered on this strategy across the 4C’s:

·     Countries: successfully expanded from being a UK-only operation to being an international retailer

·     Categories: grown from being a seller of major domestic appliances (MDA) and some small domestic appliances (SDA) to selling electricals across multiple categories, including, audio visual (AV) and computing and also expanding our existing ranges

·     Customers: our customers are at the heart of what we do, borne out by our strong customer review site and NPS scores that remain consistently high in both the UK and Germany

·     Culture & Brand: being exceptional in the moments that matter because we care more

As a result of this progress across the 4C’s of our strategy, over the last four years (FY13-FY17E), we expect to have more than doubled annual revenues to c.£700 million. To support both this growth and to maintain our market leading customer proposition in the UK and Europe across multiple categories, we have invested in our inventory which has increased approximately sevenfold over the same period*. Taking into account this growth and the Board’s expectation for continued progress both in the UK and Europe, today’s capital raising underpins our further growth prospects.

The capital raising will allow us to suitably capitalise the business to support our continued growth and increasing scale, provide flexibility to react to market opportunities and changes, and strengthen our balance sheet for our supplier partners. This will provide improved flexibility to take the right commercial and investment decisions for the growth of the business, with fewer financial constraints.

Steve Caunce, Chief Executive Officer of AO World, said:

„This is our first capital raising since our IPO and the proceeds will support our continued growth and increasing scale as we pursue our proven strategy. We have seen another year of strong growth – in the UK and in Europe – as we continue to deliver on our 4C’s strategy and opened our European distribution centre in Bergheim. This was achieved in spite of the challenging dynamics in our markets. We remain as committed as ever to doing business the AO way and continuing to deliver for our customers, our people, our supplier partners and our investors. The strength in our UK business and our investment in mainland Europe have positioned us well for the future, and this will be further strengthened by the capital raising.”

Shareholder consultation

Ahead of the proposed Placing, AO World consulted with a number of its leading shareholders regarding the rationale of the proposed Placing. The Board believes that the proposed Placing is in the best interest of shareholders.

Details of the Placing

The Bookbuild will open with immediate effect following this Announcement. The exact number of Placing Shares to be placed and the price at which the Placing Shares are to be placed will be determined by the Company and the Joint Bookrunners at the close of the Bookbuild and announced by the Company shortly thereafter. The timing of the closing of the Bookbuild, pricing and allocations are at the discretion of the Company and the Joint Bookrunners.

Under the terms of the Placing, AO World intends to place up to 42,063,157 new ordinary shares of 0.25 pence each in the capital of the Company, representing up to approximately 9.99 per cent of the existing issued ordinary share capital of the Company as at 30 March 2017. Members of the public are not entitled to participate in the Placing.

The Placing Shares will, when issued, be credited as fully paid and will rank pari passu with the existing ordinary shares of 0.25 pence each in the capital of the Company including the right to receive all future dividends and distributions declared, made or paid by reference to a record date falling after their issue.

The Company will apply for admission of the Placing Shares to listing on the premium listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority (the „FCA„) and to trading on the main market for listed securities of London Stock Exchange plc (together, „Admission„). It is expected that settlement of subscriptions in respect of the Placing Shares and Admission will take place and that trading in the Placing Shares will commence at 8.00 a.m. on 3 April 2017.

The Placing is conditional upon, inter alia, Admission becoming effective. The Placing is also conditional upon the placing agreement between the Company, Jefferies and Numis (the „Placing Agreement„) becoming unconditional and not being terminated. Further details of the Placing Agreement can be found in the terms and conditions of the Placing contained in the Appendix to this Announcement (which forms part of the Announcement).

By choosing to participate in the Placing and by making a verbal offer to acquire Placing Shares, investors will be deemed to have read and understood this Announcement (including the Appendix) in its entirety and to be making such offer on the terms and subject to the conditions in the Announcement, and to be providing the representations, warranties and acknowledgements contained in the Appendix.

Your attention is drawn to the detailed terms and conditions of the Placing set out in the Appendix to this Announcement.

Director Lock-up

Each of the Directors of the Company has agreed that until (but excluding) 29 March 2018, he or she will not dispose of any ordinary shares in the Company that he or she holds immediately following completion of the Placing, without obtaining the prior written consent of the Joint Bookrunners, subject to certain customary exceptions and excluding bona fide gifts to charities.

Concert Party

Together John Roberts and Steve Caunce (the „Concert Party”) are considered to be acting in concert with each other in relation to the Company for the purposes of the Takeover Code. Prior to the proposed equity issue John Roberts and Steve Caunce respectively hold 109,237,235 shares (equivalent to 25.9 per cent of the issued share capital) and 51,236,382 shares (equivalent to 12.2 per cent of the issued share capital). In aggregate the Concert Party holds 38.1 per cent of the issued share capital of AO World.

The Takeover Code and the Concert Party

Brief details of the Takeover Panel, the Takeover Code and the protections they afford are given below.

The Company is a public company incorporated in England and Wales and its shares are admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market for listed securities. Accordingly, the Takeover Code applies to all takeover and merger transactions in relation to the Company and operates principally to ensure that the shareholders of the Company are treated fairly and are not denied an opportunity to decide on the merits of a takeover and that shareholders of the same class are afforded equivalent treatment. The Takeover Code also provides an orderly framework within which takeovers are conducted and the Takeover Panel has now been placed on a statutory footing.

The Takeover Code governs, inter alia, transactions which may result in a change of control of a company to which the Takeover Code applies. Under Rule 9 of the Takeover Code any person who acquires, whether by a series of transactions over a period of time or not, an interest (as defined in the Takeover Code) in shares which, taken together with shares in which he is already interested or in which persons acting in concert with him are interested, carry 30 per cent. or more of the voting rights of a company which is subject to the Takeover Code, that person is normally required to make a general offer to all the remaining shareholders to acquire their shares.

Similarly, Rule 9 of the Takeover Code also provides that when any person, together with persons acting in concert with him, is interested in shares which, in aggregate, carry more than 30 per cent. of the voting rights of such company, but does not hold shares carrying 50 per cent. or more of such voting rights, a general offer will normally be required if any further interest in shares is acquired by any such person.

An offer under Rule 9 must be in cash and must be at the highest price paid by the person required to make the offer, or any person acting in concert with him, for any interest in shares of the company in question during the 12 months prior to the announcement of the offer.

Persons acting in concert include persons who, pursuant to an agreement or understanding (whether formal or informal), co-operate to obtain or consolidate control of that company.

Immediately following the proposed equity issue the Concert Party will be interested in an increased number of shares, although this will be a reduced amount of the enlarged issued share capital of AO World in percentage terms.  Further announcements will be made in due course outlining the Concert Party’s resultant shareholdings arising out of the proposed equity issue.  Accordingly no obligation under Rule 9 will arise as a result of their participation in this proposed equity issue. Should any member of the Concert Party acquire any interest in shares apart from pursuant to the arrangements described above, the Takeover Panel may regard this as giving rise to an obligation upon that member of the Concert Party to make an offer for the entire Existing Share Capital of the Company at a price no less than the highest price paid by the individual member of the Concert Party or any other member of the Concert Party in the previous 12 months.

 

* Based on FY13 and FY17E average month end inventory levels


For further information, please contact:

 

AO World plc                                                                                      +44 (0)1204 672400

Mark Higgins

Chief Financial Officer

 

Jefferies                                                                                              +44 (0)20 7029 8000

Nick Adams

Lee Morton

Max Jones

 

Numis                                                                                                  +44 (0)20 7260 1000

Alex Ham

Luke Bordewich

Michael Burke

 

Rothschild                                                                                           +44 (0)20 7280 5000

Bod Buckby

Jonathan Finn

 

Tulchan Communications                                                                  +44(0) 20 7353 4200

Susanna Voyle                                                                                    ao@tulchangroup.com

Michelle Clarke

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE

 

This Announcement is for information only and does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or otherwise acquire, any securities in any jurisdiction. Persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser.

This Announcement has been issued by and is the sole responsibility of the Company.  No representation or warranty, express or implied, is or will be made as to, or in relation to, and no responsibility or liability is or will be accepted by the Joint Bookrunners or by any of their respective affiliates or agents as to or in relation to, the accuracy or completeness of this Announcement or any other written or oral information made available to or publicly available to any interested party or its advisers, and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.

Each of the Joint Bookrunners is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is acting for the Company in connection with the Placing and no-one else and will not be responsible to anyone other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to its clients nor for providing advice in relation to the Placing, the contents of this Announcement or any transaction or any other matters referred to herein. In connection with the Placing, each of the Joint Bookrunners and any of their respective affiliates, acting as investors for their own accounts, may subscribe for or purchase Placing Shares and in that capacity may retain, purchase, sell, offer to sell or otherwise deal for their own accounts in such Placing Shares and other securities of the Company or related investments in connection with the Placing or otherwise.

The distribution of any information in this Announcement and the offer, sale and delivery of the Placing Shares in certain jurisdictions may be restricted by law.  No action has been taken by the Company or the Joint Bookrunners that would permit an offering of such shares or possession or distribution of this Announcement or any other offering or publicity material relating to such shares in any jurisdiction where action for that purpose is required.  Persons into whose possession this Announcement comes are required by the Company and the Joint Bookrunners to inform themselves about, and to observe, any such restrictions.

This Announcement may contain statements that are, or are deemed to be, forward-looking statements. In some instances, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terms such as „projects”, „forecasts”, „anticipates”, „expects”, „believes”, „intends”, „may”, „will” or „should” or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to: general economic and business conditions; demand for the Company’s products and services; competitive factors in the industries in  which the Company operates; exchange rate fluctuations; legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments; political risks; terrorism, acts of war and pandemics; changes in law and legal interpretations; and the impact of technological change. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of such statements and, except as required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events  or otherwise. The information contained in this Announcement is subject to change without notice.

Members of the public are not eligible to take part in the Placing.  In the European Economic Area („EEA„) other than the United Kingdom, the Announcement is directed only at and may only be communicated to persons who are „qualified investors” within the meaning of Article 2(1)(e) of EU Directive 2003/71/EC („Prospectus Directive„), as amended, in each case as implemented in the relevant jurisdiction („Qualified Investors„).  In the United Kingdom, the Announcement is directed only at Qualified Persons who are also (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments who fall within the definition of „investment professionals” in Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 („Order„); (ii) high net worth bodies corporate, unincorporated associations and partnerships and trustees of high value trusts as described in Article 49(2) of the Order; or (iii) persons to whom it may otherwise lawfully be communicated (together „Relevant Persons„).  In the United Kingdom, any investment activity to which the Announcement relates is only available to and will only be engaged in with Relevant Persons and elsewhere in the EEA with Qualified Investors, and any other persons within the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the EEA who receive the Announcement should not rely on or act upon the Announcement.

The Placing Shares have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the „Securities Act„), or with any securities regulatory authority of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States, and may not be offered, sold, resold, pledged, delivered, distributed or transferred, directly or indirectly, into or within the United States except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and in compliance with any applicable securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States. There has been and will be no public offering of the Placing Shares in the United States or elsewhere.

The Placing Shares have not been and will not be registered under the applicable securities laws of Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore or South Africa and, subject to certain exceptions, may not be offered or sold, directly or indirectly, in Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore or South Africa. There has been and will be no public offering of the Placing Shares in Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa or elsewhere.

APPENDIX

FURTHER DETAILS OF THE PLACING

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

 

Participation in, and principal terms of, the Placing

1.         The Joint Bookrunners are arranging the Placing severally, and not jointly, nor jointly and severally, as Joint Bookrunners and agents of the Company.

2.         Participation will only be available to persons who may lawfully be, and are, invited to participate by any of the Joint Bookrunners. Each of the Joint Bookrunners and their respective affiliates are entitled to enter bids as principal in the Bookbuild.

3.         The Bookbuild will establish a single price payable in respect of the Placing Shares (the „Placing Price”) to the Joint Bookrunners by all Placees whose bids are successful. The Placing Price and the aggregate proceeds to be raised through the Placing will be agreed between the Joint Bookrunners and the Company following completion of the Bookbuild and any discount to the market price of the Ordinary Shares will be determined within the limits specified by the Listing Rules of the UK Listing Authority, as published pursuant to Part 6 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Placing Price and the final number of Placing Shares will be announced on a Regulatory Information Service following the completion of the Bookbuild.

4.         To bid in the Bookbuild, prospective Placees should communicate their bid by telephone or in writing to their usual sales contact at one of the Joint Bookrunners. Each bid should state the number of Placing Shares which the prospective Placee wishes to acquire at the Placing Price ultimately established by the Company and the Joint Bookrunners or at prices up to a price limit specified in its bid. Bids may be scaled down by the Joint Bookrunners on the basis referred to in paragraph 6 below.

5.         The Bookbuild is expected to close no later than 5p.m. (London time) on 30 March 2017, but may be closed earlier or later, at the discretion of the Joint Bookrunners. The Joint Bookrunners may, in agreement with the Company, accept bids that are received after the Bookbuild has closed.

6.         Each Placee’s allocation will be confirmed to Placees orally by the relevant Joint Bookrunner following the close of the Bookbuild, and a trade confirmation will be dispatched as soon as possible thereafter. The relevant Joint Bookrunner’s oral confirmation to such Placee will constitute an irrevocable legally binding commitment upon such person (who will at that point become a Placee) in favour of such Joint Bookrunner and the Company, under which such Placee agrees to acquire the number of Placing Shares allocated to it and to pay the relevant Placing Price on the terms and conditions set out in this Appendix and in accordance with the Company’s corporate documents.

7.         Subject to paragraphs 3 and 4 above, the Joint Bookrunners will, in effecting the Placing, agree with the Company the identity of the Placees and the basis of allocation of the Placing Shares.

8.         A bid in the Bookbuild will be made on the terms and subject to the conditions in this Appendix and will be legally binding on the Placee on behalf of which it is made and except with the relevant Joint Bookrunner’s consent will not be capable of variation or revocation after the time at which it is submitted. Each Placee will also have an immediate, separate, irrevocable and binding obligation, owed to the relevant Joint Bookrunner, to pay it (or as it may direct) in cleared funds an amount equal to the product of the Placing Price and the number of Placing Shares that such Placee has agreed to acquire. Each Placee’s obligations will be owed to the relevant Joint Bookrunner.

9.         Except as required by law or regulation, no press release or other announcement will be made by the Joint Bookrunners or the Company using the name of any Placee (or its agent), in its capacity as Placee (or agent), other than with such Placee’s prior written consent.

10.       Irrespective of the time at which a Placee’s allocation pursuant to the Placing is confirmed, settlement for all Placing Shares to be acquired pursuant to the Placing will be required to be made at the same time, on the basis explained below under „Registration and Settlement”.

11.       All obligations under the Bookbuild and Placing will be subject to fulfilment or (where applicable) waiver of the conditions referred to below under „Conditions of the Placing” and to the Placing not being terminated on the basis referred to below under „Right to terminate under the Placing Agreement”.

12.       By participating in the Bookbuild, each Placee agrees that its rights and obligations in respect of the Placing will terminate only in the circumstances described below and will not be capable of rescission or termination by the Placee after confirmation (oral or otherwise) by a Joint Bookrunner.

13.       To the fullest extent permissible by law, neither the Joint Bookrunners, the Company nor any of their respective affiliates or persons acting on behalf of them shall have any responsibility or liability to Placees (or to any other person whether acting on behalf of a Placee or otherwise). In particular, neither of the Joint Bookrunners, nor the Company, nor any of their respective affiliates or persons acting on behalf of them shall have any responsibility or liability (including to the extent permissible by law, any fiduciary duties) in respect of the Joint Bookrunners’ conduct of the Bookbuild or of such alternative method of effecting the Placing as the Joint Bookrunners and the Company may agree.

 

Conditions of the Placing

The Placing is conditional upon the Placing Agreement becoming unconditional and not having been terminated in accordance with its terms. The Joint Bookrunners’ obligations under the Placing Agreement are conditional on certain conditions, including:

(a)       Admission of the Placing Shares occurring at or before 8:00 a.m. (London time) on the Closing Date;

(b)       the Company having complied with all of the agreements and undertakings and satisfied or performed all of the conditions and obligations on its part to be performed or satisfied under the Placing Agreement on or before the Closing Date;

(c)       in the joint opinion of the Joint Bookrunners, there having been no material adverse change in or affecting, or any development reasonably likely to involve a material adverse change in or affecting, the condition (financial, operational, legal or otherwise) or earnings, management, business affairs, solvency, credit rating or prospects of the Company and its subsidiaries (the „Group”) taken as a whole since the date of the Placing Agreement;

(d)       the publication by the Company of, among other announcements, the results of the Placing on a Regulatory Information Service;

(e)       the Company allotting and/or issuing, as applicable, subject only to Admission, the relevant Placing Shares in accordance with the Placing Agreement; and

(f)         the delivery to the Joint Bookrunners of certain documentary conditions precedent.

If: (i) any of the conditions contained in the Placing Agreement, including those described above, are not fulfilled or (where applicable) waived or extended in writing by the Joint Bookrunners by the relevant time or date specified (or such later time or date as the Company and the Joint Bookrunners may agree); or (ii) the Placing Agreement is terminated in the circumstances specified below, the Placing will lapse and the Placees’ rights and obligations hereunder in relation to the Placing Shares shall cease and terminate at such time and each Placee agrees that no claim can be made by it in respect thereof.

The Joint Bookrunners may, at their discretion, extend the time for satisfaction of, or waive compliance by the Company with, the whole or any part of any of the Company’s obligations in relation to the conditions in the Placing Agreement. Any such extension or waiver will not affect Placees’ commitments as set out in this Announcement.

None of the Joint Bookrunners shall have any liability to any Placee (or to any other person whether acting on behalf of a Placee or otherwise) in respect of any decision it may make as to whether or not to waive or to extend the time and/or date for the satisfaction of any condition to the Placing nor for any decision it may make as to the satisfaction of any condition or in respect of the Placing generally and by participating in the Placing each Placee agrees that any such decision is within the absolute discretion of the Joint Bookrunners.

 

Right to terminate under the Placing Agreement

The Joint Bookrunners are entitled, at any time on or before the Closing Date, to terminate the Placing Agreement in accordance with its terms in certain circumstances, including: (i) any breach of the representations or warranties given by the Company in the Placing Agreement, or any failure to perform any of the Company’s obligations in the Placing Agreement by the times specified therein which, in either case the Joint Bookrunners consider to be material; (ii) any of the conditions in the Placing Agreement not having been satisfied, or waived by the Joint Bookrunners; or (iii) if there has been, in the joint opinion of the Joint Bookrunners, any material adverse change in or affecting, or any development likely to involve a material adverse change in or affecting the condition (financial, operational, legal or otherwise) or earnings, management, business affairs, solvency, credit rating or prospects of the Group taken as a whole since the date of the Placing Agreement; or (iv) the application for Admission is withdrawn or refused by the FCA or the London Stock Exchange (the „Exchange”), or in the joint opinion of the Joint Bookrunners, will not be granted.

By participating in the Placing, Placees agree that the exercise by the Company or any Joint Bookrunner of any right of termination or other discretion under the Placing Agreement shall be within the absolute discretion of the Company or such Joint Bookrunner or for agreement between the Company and the Joint Bookrunner(s) (as the case may be) and that neither the Company or such Joint Bookrunner need make any reference to, or consultation with, Placees and that neither they nor any of their respective affiliates or any persons acting on behalf of them shall have any liability to Placees whatsoever in connection with any such exercise.

 

Lock-up

The Company has undertaken to the Joint Bookrunners that, between the date of the Placing Agreement and 180 days after the Closing Date, it will not, without the prior written consent of the Joint Bookrunners enter into certain transactions involving or relating to the Ordinary Shares, subject to certain, customary carve-outs agreed between the Joint Bookrunners and the Company.

By participating in the Placing, Placees agree that the exercise by the Joint Bookrunners of any power to grant consent to the undertaking by the Company or a Director of a transaction which would otherwise be subject to lock-up restrictions shall be within the absolute discretion of the Joint Bookrunners and that they need not make any reference to, or consultation with, Placees and that they shall have no liability to Placees whatsoever in connection with any such exercise of the power to grant consent.

 

No Prospectus

No offering document or prospectus has been or will be published or submitted to be approved by the FCA in relation to the Placing.

Placees’ commitments will be made solely on the basis of the information contained in this Announcement. Each Placee, by accepting a participation in the Placing, agrees that the content of this Announcement and all other publicly available information previously or simultaneously published by the Company by notification to a Regulatory Information Service or otherwise filed by the Company is exclusively the responsibility of the Company and confirms that it has neither received nor relied on any other information, representation, warranty, or statement made by or on behalf of the Joint Bookrunners or any other person and none of the Joint Bookrunners nor any other person will be liable for any Placee’s decision to participate in the Placing based on any other information, representation, warranty or statement which the Placees may have obtained or received. Each Placee acknowledges and agrees that it has relied on its own investigation of the business, financial or other position of the Company in accepting a participation in the Placing. Nothing in this paragraph shall exclude the liability of any person for fraudulent misrepresentation by that person.

 

Registration and Settlement

Settlement of transactions in the Placing Shares (ISIN: GB00BJTNFH41) following Admission will take place in CREST. Subject to certain exceptions, the Joint Bookrunners and the Company reserve the right to require settlement of, and delivery of, the Placing Shares to Placees by such other means that they deem necessary if delivery or settlement is not practicable in CREST within the timetable set out in this Announcement or would not be consistent with the regulatory requirements in the Placee’s jurisdiction.

Each Placee allocated Placing Shares in the Placing will be sent a trade confirmation in accordance with the standing arrangements in place with the relevant Joint Bookrunner stating the number of Placing Shares allocated to it at the Placing Price, the aggregate amount owed by such Placee to the Joint Bookrunner and settlement instructions. Each Placee agrees that it will do all things necessary to ensure that delivery and payment is completed in accordance with the standing CREST or certificated settlement instructions in respect of the Placing Shares that it has in place with the relevant Joint Bookrunner (unless otherwise agreed).

It is expected that settlement will be on 3 April 2017 in accordance with the instructions set out in the trade confirmation or contract note (as applicable).

Interest is chargeable daily on payments not received from Placees on the due date in accordance with the arrangements set out above at the rate of two percentage points above LIBOR as determined by the Joint Bookrunners.

Each Placee is deemed to agree that, if it does not comply with these obligations, the Joint Bookrunners may sell any or all of the Placing Shares allocated to that Placee on such Placee’s behalf and retain from the proceeds, for the Joint Bookrunners’ account and benefit, an amount equal to the aggregate amount owed by the Placee plus any interest due. The relevant Placee will, however, remain liable for any shortfall below the aggregate amount owed by it and may be required to bear any stamp duty or stamp duty reserve tax (together with any interest or penalties) or other similar taxes imposed in any jurisdiction which may arise upon the sale of such Placing Shares on such Placee’s behalf.

If Placing Shares are to be delivered to a custodian or settlement agent, Placees should ensure that the trade confirmation or contract note (as applicable) is copied and delivered immediately to the relevant person within that organisation.

Insofar as Placing Shares are registered in a Placee’s name or that of its nominee or in the name of any person for whom a Placee is contracting as agent or that of a nominee for such person, such Placing Shares should, subject as provided below, be so registered free from any liability to UK stamp duty or stamp duty reserve tax.

If there are any other circumstances in which any stamp duty or stamp duty reserve tax (including any interest and penalties relating thereto) is payable in respect of the allocation, allotment, issue or delivery of the Placing Shares (or for the avoidance of doubt if any stamp duty or stamp duty reserve tax is payable in connection with any subsequent transfer of or agreement to transfer Placing Shares), neither of the Joint Bookrunners nor the Company shall be responsible for the payment thereof. 

Placees (or any nominee or other agent acting on behalf of a Placee) will not be entitled to receive any fee or commission in connection with the Placing.

 

Representations, Warranties and Further Terms

 

By submitting a bid and/or participating in the Placing each Placee (and any person acting on such Placee’s behalf) irrevocably:

 

1.         represents and warrants that it has read and understood the Announcement, and accepts the terms and conditions set out in this Appendix, entirely;

2.         acknowledges that no offering document or prospectus has been prepared in connection with the Placing and represents and warrants that it has not received a prospectus or other offering document in connection therewith;

3.         acknowledges that none of the Joint Bookrunners, the Company, any of their respective affiliates or any person acting on behalf of any of them has provided, nor will provide, it with any material regarding the Placing Shares or the Company other than this Announcement; nor has it requested any of the Joint Bookrunners, the Company, any of their affiliates or any person acting on behalf of any of them to provide it with any such information;

4.         acknowledges that the Company’s Ordinary Shares are admitted to trading on the Exchange and the Company is required to publish certain information in accordance with applicable laws and regulations by notification to a Regulatory Information Service (collectively, the „Exchange Information”), which includes the Company’s financial information, including balance sheets and income statements, and that it is able to obtain or access the Exchange Information;

5.         acknowledges that the content of this Announcement is exclusively the responsibility of the Company and that none of the Joint Bookrunners, nor their respective affiliates or any person acting on behalf of any of them has or shall have any liability for any information, representation or statement contained in, or omission from, this Announcement or any information previously published by or on behalf of the Company, including, but not limited to, the Exchange Information, and will not be liable for any Placee’s decision to participate in the Placing based on any information, representation or statement contained in this Announcement or otherwise. Each Placee further represents, warrants and agrees that the only information on which it is entitled to rely and on which such Placee has relied in committing itself to acquire Placing Shares is contained in this Announcement and any information previously or simultaneously published by the Company by notification to a Regulatory Information Service (and acknowledges that information previously published may since have been superseded or become out of date), such information being all that such Placee deems necessary or appropriate and sufficient to make an investment decision in respect of the Placing Shares and that it has neither received nor relied on any other information given, or representations, warranties or statements made, by any of the Joint Bookrunners or the Company nor any of their respective affiliates and none of the Joint Bookrunners or the Company will be liable for any Placee’s decision to accept an invitation to participate in the Placing based on any other information, representation, warranty or statement, provided that nothing in this paragraph excludes the liability of any person for fraudulent misrepresentation made by that person;

6.         acknowledges that it may not rely, and has not relied, on any investigation that the Joint Bookrunners, any of their affiliates or any person acting on their behalf, may have conducted with respect to the Placing Shares or the Company, and none of such persons has made any representation, express or implied, with respect to the Company, the Placing Shares or the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the Exchange Information or any other information; each Placee further acknowledges that it has conducted its own investigation of the Company and the Placing Shares and has received all information it believes necessary or appropriate in connection with its investment in the Placing Shares;

7.         acknowledges that it has made its own assessment and has satisfied itself concerning the relevant tax, legal, currency and other economic considerations relevant to its investment in the Placing Shares;

8.         acknowledges that none of the Joint Bookrunners, their respective affiliates or any person acting on behalf of any of them has or shall have any liability for any information made publicly available by or in relation to the Company or any representation, warranty or statement relating to the Company or the Group contained therein or otherwise, provided that nothing in this paragraph excludes the liability of any person for fraudulent misrepresentation made by that person;

9.         if it is located in the United Kingdom it is a Relevant Person and if it is located elsewhere in the EEA it is a Qualified Investor;

10.       acknowledges that the Placing Shares have not been and will not be registered under the US Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the „Securities Act”), or with any securities regulatory authority of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States, and may not be offered, sold, resold, pledged, delivered, distributed or transferred, directly or indirectly, into or within the United States except pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and in compliance with any applicable securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States; and represents and warrants that it is and, at the time the Placing Shares are acquired, will be either (i) outside the United States and acquiring the Placing Shares in an „offshore transaction” in accordance with Rule 903 or Rule 904 of Regulation S under the Securities Act; or (ii) a „qualified institutional buyer” (a „QIB”) as defined in Rule 144A under the Securities Act, which is acquiring the Placing Shares for its own account or for the account of one or more QIBs, each of which is acquiring beneficial interests in the Placing Shares for its own account, pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and in compliance with any applicable securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States; if acquiring the Placing Shares for the account of one or more other persons, it has full power and authority to make, and does make, each of the representations, warranties, undertakings, agreements and acknowledgements contained herein on behalf of each such account;

11.       represents and warrants that it (i) has such knowledge and experience in financial and business matters to be capable of evaluating the merits and risks of an investment in the Placing Shares, (ii) will not look to the Joint Bookrunners for all or part of any such loss it may suffer, (iii) is able to bear the economic risk of an investment in the Placing Shares, (iv) is able to sustain a complete loss of an investment in the Placing Shares and (v) has no need for liquidity with respect to its investment in the Placing Shares;

12.       acknowledges that the Placing Shares have not been and will not be registered and that a prospectus will not be approved in respect of any of the Placing Shares under the securities laws or legislation of Australia, Canada, Japan or South Africa and, subject to certain exceptions, the Placing Shares may not be offered, sold, or delivered or transferred, directly or indirectly, in or into those jurisdictions;

13.       represents, warrants and undertakes that, if resident in Australia (i) it is a professional investor as defined in Section 9, and for the purposes of Section 708(11), of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) of Australia, or the minimum amount to be paid by it for the Placing Shares to be subscribed for by it will be not less than AUD 500,000, and (ii) it is not acquiring the Placing Shares for the purpose of resale, transfer or the granting, issuing or transferring interests in, or options over them, and will not offer any Placing Shares for resale in Australia within 12 months of any such Placing Shares being issued to it unless the resale offer is exempt from the requirement to issue a disclosure document under Section 708 of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) of Australia;

14.       acknowledges that the Placing Shares are being subscribed for investment purposes, and not with a view to offer, resell or distribute within the meaning of the United States securities laws;

15.       acknowledges that it is not acquiring any of the Placing Shares as a result of any form of „general solicitation” or „general advertising” within the meaning of Rule 502(c) of Regulation D under the Securities Act, or any „directed selling efforts” as defined in Regulation S under the Securities Act;

16.       acknowledges that no representation has been made as to the availability of any exemption under the Securities Act for the reoffer, resale, pledge or transfer of the Placing Shares;

17.       acknowledges that any Placing Shares offered and sold in the United States are „restricted securities” within the meaning of Rule 144(a)(3) under the Securities Act and further agrees that so long as the Placing Shares are restricted securities, it will segregate such Placing Shares from any other shares in the Company that it holds that are not restricted securities and will not deposit the Placing Shares into any depositary receipt facility maintained by any depositary bank in respect of the Company’s shares;

18.       acknowledges that, if the Placing Shares were offered to it in the United States, it has consulted its own independent advisors or otherwise has satisfied itself concerning, without limitation, the effects of United States federal, state and local income tax laws and foreign tax laws generally and the US Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 („ERISA”), the US Investment Company Act and the Securities Act;

19.       represents, warrants and agrees that, unless otherwise agreed with the Company, it is not (a) (i) an employee benefit plan as described in Section 3(3) of ERISA and subject to ERISA, (ii) a plan subject to Section 4975 of the US Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the „Code”), (iii) any entity whose assets are treated as assets of any such plan by reason of such employee benefit plan’s or plans’ investment in the entity, or (iv) a „benefit plan investor” as such term is otherwise defined in the regulations promulgated by the US Department of Labor, and (b) if it is a governmental plan, church or other plan which is subject to any federal, state or local law that is substantially similar to the provisions of Title I of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code, its purchase, holding or disposition of Placing Shares will not constitute or result in a nonexempt violation under any such substantially similar law;

20.       represents and warrants that the issue to it, or the person specified by it for registration as holder, of Placing Shares will not give rise to a liability under any of sections 67, 70, 93 or 96 of the Finance Act 1986 (depositary receipts and clearance services) and that the Placing Shares are not being acquired in connection with arrangements to issue depositary receipts or to issue or transfer Placing Shares into a clearance service;

21.       represents and warrants that it has complied with its obligations in connection with money laundering and terrorist financing under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, the Terrorism Act 2000, the Terrorism Act 2006, the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (as amended) and the Serious Crime Act 2015 and any related or similar rules, regulations or guidelines, issued, administered or enforced by any government agency having jurisdiction in respect thereof (the „Regulations”) and, if making payment on behalf of a third party, that satisfactory evidence has been obtained and recorded by it to verify the identity of the third party as required by the Regulations;

22.       if a financial intermediary, as that term is used in Article 3(2) of the EU Prospectus Directive, represents and warrants that the Placing Shares purchased by it in the Placing will not be acquired on a non-discretionary basis on behalf of, nor will they be acquired with a view to their offer or resale to, persons in a Member State of the EEA which has implemented the Prospectus Directive other than to Qualified Investors, or in circumstances in which the prior consent of the Joint Bookrunners has been given to the offer or resale;

23.       represents and warrants that it has not offered or sold and will not offer or sell any Placing Shares to persons in the EEA except to persons whose ordinary activities involve them in acquiring, holding, managing or disposing of investments (as principal or agent) for the purposes of their business or otherwise in circumstances which have not resulted in and which will not result in an offer to the public in any member state of the EEA within the meaning of the Prospectus Directive;

24.       represents and warrants that it has only communicated or caused to be communicated and will only communicate or cause to be communicated any invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity (within the meaning of section 21 of the FSMA) relating to the Placing Shares in circumstances in which section 21(1) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 („the FSMA”) does not require approval of the communication by an authorised person;

25.       represents and warrants that it has complied and will comply with all applicable provisions of the FSMA with respect to anything done by it in relation to the Placing Shares in, from or otherwise involving, the United Kingdom;

26.       represents and warrants that it and any person acting on its behalf is entitled to acquire the Placing Shares under the laws of all relevant jurisdictions and that it has all necessary capacity and has obtained all necessary consents and authorities to enable it to commit to participation in the Placing and to perform its obligations in relation thereto (including, without limitation, in the case of any person on whose behalf it is acting, all necessary consents and authorities to agree to the terms set out or referred to in this Appendix) and will honour such obligations;

27.       undertakes that it (and any person acting on its behalf) will make payment in respect of the Placing Shares allocated to it in accordance with this Appendix on the due time and date set out herein (unless otherwise agreed), failing which the relevant Placing Shares may be placed with other acquirers or sold as the Joint Bookrunners may in their sole discretion determine and without liability to such Placee, who will remain liable for any amount by which the net proceeds of such sale falls short of the product of the relevant Placing Price and the number of Placing Shares allocated to it and may be required to bear any stamp duty, stamp duty reserve tax or other similar taxes (together with any interest or penalties) which may arise upon the sale of such Placee’s Placing Shares;

28.       acknowledges that none of the Joint Bookrunners, nor any of their respective affiliates, nor any person acting on behalf of them, is making any recommendations to it, advising it regarding the suitability of any transactions it may enter into in connection with the Placing and that its participation in the Placing is on the basis that it is not and will not be a client of any Joint Bookrunner in connection with its participation in the Placing and that the Joint Bookrunners have no duties or responsibilities to it for providing the protections afforded to their respective clients or customers or for providing advice in relation to the Placing nor in respect of any representations, warranties, undertakings or indemnities contained in the Placing Agreement nor for the exercise or performance of any of their respective rights and obligations thereunder including any rights to waive or vary any conditions or exercise any termination right;

29.       undertakes that the person whom it specifies for registration as holder of the Placing Shares will be (i) itself or (ii) its nominee, as the case may be. None of the Joint Bookrunners or the Company will be responsible for any liability to stamp duty or stamp duty reserve tax or other similar taxes resulting from a failure to observe this requirement („Indemnified Taxes”). Each Placee and any person acting on behalf of such Placee agrees to participate in the Placing and it agrees to indemnify the Company and the Joint Bookrunners on an after-tax basis in respect of any Indemnified Taxes;

30.       agrees that its commitment to acquire Placing Shares on the terms set out herein and in the contract note or trade confirmation will continue notwithstanding any amendment that may in future be made to the terms of the Placing and Placees will have no right to be consulted or require that their consent be obtained with respect to the Company’s or the Joint Bookrunners’ conduct of the Placing;

31.       acknowledges that any agreements entered into by it pursuant to the terms and conditions set out in this Appendix, and all non-contractual or other obligations arising out of or in connection with them, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and it submits (on behalf of itself and on behalf of any person on whose behalf it is acting) to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts as regards any claim, dispute or matter arising out of any such contract (including any dispute regarding the existence, validity or termination of such contract or relating to any non-contractual or other obligation arising out of or in connection with such contract), except that enforcement proceedings in respect of the obligation to make payment for the Placing Shares (together with any interest chargeable thereon) may be taken by either the Company or the Joint Bookrunners in any jurisdiction in which the relevant Placee is incorporated or in which any of its securities have a quotation on a recognised stock exchange;

32.       agrees to indemnify on an after tax basis and hold the Company, the Joint Bookrunners and their respective affiliates harmless from any and all costs, claims, liabilities and expenses (including legal fees and expenses) arising out of or in connection with any breach of the representations, warranties, acknowledgements, agreements and undertakings in this Appendix and further agrees that the provisions of this Appendix shall survive after completion of the Placing;

33.       represents and warrants that it has neither received nor relied on any „inside information” (as defined In the EU Market Abuse Regulation) concerning the Company prior to or in connection with accepting this invitation to participate in the Placing and is not purchasing Placing Shares on the basis of inside information; and

34.       agrees that the Company, the Joint Bookrunners and their respective affiliates and others will rely upon the truth and accuracy of the foregoing representations, warranties, acknowledgements and undertakings which are given to the Joint Bookrunners on their own behalf and on behalf of the Company and are irrevocable.

The agreement to settle a Placee’s acquisition of Placing Shares (and/or the acquisition by a person for whom such Placee is contracting as agent) free of stamp duty and stamp duty reserve tax depends on the settlement relating only to an acquisition by it and/or such person direct from the Company for the Placing Shares in question. Such agreement also assumes that the Placing Shares are not being acquired in connection with arrangements to issue depositary receipts or to issue or transfer the Placing Shares into a clearance service. If there are any such arrangements, or the settlement relates to any other dealing in the Placing Shares, stamp duty or stamp duty reserve tax or other similar taxes may be payable, for which neither the Company nor the Joint Bookrunners will be responsible and the Placees shall indemnify the Company and the Joint Bookrunners on an after-tax basis for any stamp duty or stamp duty reserve tax paid by them in respect of any such arrangements or dealings. If this is the case, each Placee should seek its own advice and notify the Joint Bookrunners accordingly.

In addition, Placees should note that they will be liable for any stamp duty and all other stamp, issue, securities, transfer, registration, documentary or other duties or taxes (including any interest, fines or penalties relating thereto) payable outside the UK by them or any other person on the acquisition by them of any Placing Shares or the agreement by them to acquire any Placing Shares.

Each Placee, and any person acting on behalf of the Placee, acknowledges that the Joint Bookrunners do not owe any fiduciary or other duties to any Placee in respect of any representations, warranties, undertakings or indemnities in the Placing Agreement.

Each Placee and any person acting on behalf of the Placee acknowledges and agrees that any Joint Bookrunner or any of its affiliates may, at its absolute discretion, agree to become a Placee in respect of some or all of the Placing Shares.

The Joint Bookrunners do not intend to disclose the extent of any such investment or participation otherwise than in accordance with any legal or regulatory obligation to do so.

When a Placee or person acting on behalf of the Placee is dealing with a Joint Bookrunner, any money held in an account with such Joint Bookrunner on behalf of the Placee and/or any person acting on behalf of the Placee will not be treated as client money within the meaning of the rules and regulations of the FCA made under the FSMA. Each Placee acknowledges that the money will not be subject to the protections conferred by the client money rules; as a consequence, this money will not be segregated from such Joint Bookrunner’s money in accordance with the client money rules and will be used by such Joint Bookrunner in the course of its own business and the Placee will rank only as a general creditor of such Joint Bookrunner.

Past performance is no guide to future performance and persons needing advice should consult an independent financial adviser. Each Placee should not consider any information in this Announcement to be legal, tax or business advice. Each Placee should consult its own lawyer, tax advisor and business advisor for legal, tax and business advice regarding an investment in the Placing Shares.

The rights and remedies of the Joint Bookrunners and the Company under these Terms and Conditions are in addition to any rights and remedies which would otherwise be available to each of them and the exercise or partial exercise of one will not prevent the exercise of others.

If a Placee is a discretionary fund manager, he may be asked to disclose, in writing or orally to the Joint Bookrunners the jurisdiction in which the funds are managed or owned.

All times and dates in this Announcement may be subject to amendment. The Joint Bookrunners shall notify the Placees and any person acting on behalf of the Placees of any changes.