The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) rose 0.4% today to 7,303 points.
Here are some of the highlights from the ASX:
Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW)
The Woolworths share price rose more than 0.5% today after it was approved for its acquisition.
Woolworths acknowledged the decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it will not oppose its strategic investment in PFD Food Services, which is described as one of Australia’s leading food service suppliers.
The ASX 200 share can now acquire a 65% equity interest in PFD Food Services, with completion expected by the end of June.
Brad Banducci, CEO of Woolworths, said:
We’re pleased to have approval to invest alongside the Smith family in PFD Food Services. They are a great Australian success story and a well respected business with both suppliers and customers in the food service industry.
This investment is a logical adjacency for Woolworths Group and further supports the evolution of the group into a food and everyday needs ecosystem.
PFD will continue to operate independently under CEO Kerry Smith. A separate board and governance structure will now be implemented.
Austal Limited (ASX: ASB)
This morning the shipbuilding company advised that civil penalty proceedings have been commenced by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) against the business and its former CEO Mr David Singleton.
The proceedings allege that Austal was aware as early as 4 June 2016 of the need to make a material write back of work in progress attributable to the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program.
Austal disclosed that ASIC is seeking civil declarations that Austal contravened its continuous obligations as well as the relevant misleading and deceptive conduct provisions of the law.
The proceedings against the former CEO allege he was involved in the company’s contravention of its continuous disclosure obligations and failed to discharge his duty to exercise due care and diligence in relation to matters concerning the disclosure of the earnings write back.
Austal said it will consider the documentation provided by ASIC before deciding its next steps. The Austal share price fell over 2% in response.
Boral Limited (ASX: BLD)
Boral released its target statement in response to the off-market takeover offer made by Seven Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SVW) of $6.50 per share.
The Boral independent board committee appointed Grant Samuel & Associates Pty Limited as the independent expert to give an independent opinion about whether the offer was fair and reasonable for Boral shareholders not associated with Seven.
That independent expert concluded that the offer was neither fair nor reasonable for the ASX 200 share and is below the independent expert’s estimated fair market value of $8.25 to $9.13 per share. The independent board committee unanimously recommended that shareholders reject the offer.
Kathryn Fagg, the Chair of Boral, said:
The Boral independent board committee has carefully considered the SGH offer to assess whether it is in the best interests of Boral shareholders and believes that the SGH offer materially undervalues your Boral shares.
Ms Fagg went on to say that the board believes that any proposal to acquire control of Boral should be at a fair value.