From Sigma to Synlait Milk: Five stocks that made a splash on ASX today

Highlights

  • CIMIC Group shares gained nearly 2% as its subsidiary UGL bagged a contract extension.
  • API shares jumped 6% on receiving a takeover offer from Sigma.
  • Shares of Synlait Milk jumped 6% on the appointment of a new CEO.
  • Ampol shares climbed on getting a two-week extension to buy out Z Energy.
  • REX shares gained despite suspension of its domestic operations until October.

 Australian shares witnessed a bullish trade on Monday, with the benchmark ASX 200 index rising over 1%. The market rally was driven by blue-chip energy and material stocks as investors cheered a rebound in commodity prices. Aussie retail travel outlet Flight Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) and online business Redbubble (ASX: RBL) topped the gainers’ list, while tech firm NEXTDC (ASX:NXT) and agro business GrainCorp (ASX: GNC) declined the most.

Individual stocks that grabbed investors’ attention include CIMIC Group, Sigma Healthcare, Australian Pharmaceutical Industries, Synlait Milk, Ampol, Z Energy and REX. Here’s why these stocks were in news today:

CIMIC’s UGL secures contract extension worth AU$150M

Shares of CIMIC Group (ASX:CIM) rose 1.9% to hit an intraday high of AU$20.18 after one of the engineering conglomerate’s subsidiary firm bagged a contract extension.

CIMIC Group’s UGL has bagged a contract extension worth AU$150 million from Australian Terminal Operations Management (ATOM), a joint venture between UGL and BP. The contract extension will be effective from September 2021.

As per the contract, UGL will provide asset management and project-related services at BP fuel terminals across Australia.

Commenting on the development, CIMIC Group Executive Chairman and CEO Juan Santamaria said, “UGL and CIMIC have a longstanding relationship with BP, and we’re pleased to continue that with the delivery of safe, reliable and effective terminal operations, maintenance and engineering services.”

Sigma Healthcare lobs a bid to acquire API

Shares of Sigma Healthcare (ASX:SIG) surged as much as 5% to AU$0.625 after the health care firm offered a takeover bid to acquire Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (ASX:API). Cheered by the news, API shares rose 6.1% to touch an intraday high of AU$1.55.

API, the country’s leading wholesale distributor of pharmaceutical, has received a proposal from Sigma, valuing the company at AU$773.5 million. Under the cash-and-stock deal, API shareholders will get 35 cents in cash and 2.05 Sigma shares for each API share, which implies a value of AU$1.57 per API share. API shareholders will own a ~48.8% stake in the combined entity.

Last week, API received a takeover bid from retail conglomerate Wesfarmers (ASX: WES), which was AU$1.55 a share, slightly lower than Sigma’s offer.

Synlait Milk appoints Grant Watson as CEO 

Shares of Synlait Milk (ASX:SM1) climbed 5.9% to AU$3.41 after the milk powder maker appointed a new CEO and announced reshuffle in its board.

Synlait has appointed the current CEO of dairy company, Miraka, and former Fonterra executive Grant Watson as the company’s next CEO. Watson will join the office in January 2022.

Watson will be joined by Robert Stowell who has been appointed CFO, having been in the role for the last five months.

Meanwhile, the group chairman Graeme Milne will step down from his current role at the Annual General Meeting in December. Milne has been appointed as a Board Advisor for one year.

Ampol gets a two-week due diligence extension for Z Energy buyout

Shares of Australian petroleum company Ampol (ASX:ALD) gained as much as 2.5% to AU$28.35 after the company received a two-week extension to firm up its takeover bid for Kiwi group Z Energy (ASX:ZEL). Meanwhile, the Z Energy share price dropped 1.5% in intraday trade.

Ampol was originally given four week’s time to complete due diligence for its proposed AU$3.78 per share offer to acquire Z Energy.

The exclusivity period has been extended to address outstanding matters and to determine the key transaction terms that can be agreed by both companies.

REX extends suspension of operations until October

Shares of Regional Express Holdings (ASX:REX) soared 5.7% to hit an intraday high of AU$1.48 after the carrier extended the suspension of its domestic operations and some regional services to the end of October.

The decision has been taken in the wake of the current rate of infection as well as the announced intentions of the various state governments concerning lockdowns and border closures.

The ASX-listed carrier flies to around 60 regional and rural destinations, including the profitable Sydney-Melbourne route.

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