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In reply to: Cruising on Thursday 11/12/08 11:30pm




I think they may have left their run a bit late. I suspect these are the same lot of SH who implored the board to remove the CEO earlier this year.


Interesting, the board squash them before the AGM and in AGM with their proposal. My gut reckons the board had succumbed sometime ago and have been only going thru the motions, albeit.


.... would be a bit of push and shove But I suppose any port in a storm will do now.


SH need a white knight.


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QUOTE (boo @ Friday 12/12/08 03:02pm)



This is not the same person. I am aware of the incident you are refering to and they are not related at all.


The question here is this, what are the other options available to the SH?? Perhapse this is a better option than accepting the hand that is dealt to them.


IMO, SHs owe it to themselves to be familiar with what is being proposed here.

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In reply to: Cruising on Friday 12/12/08 11:40pm

ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦accepting the hand that is dealt to them.



SH made this choice when they rejected the SPP. They played the board, which can always be removed whenever, and lost sight of the future wealth.


Yes, the current status quo not looking good knowing there has been past failures.


Alternative ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¦ going to be a push and shove thatÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s all.


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Heart-pump maker seeking life support

Ari Sharp
December 12, 2008

LESS than a year after its chief executive was given a $265,000 bonus, heart-pump maker Ventracor is on life support after a last-ditch capital-raising attempt failed to raise enough cash to take the company through to the middle of next year.

The collapse of the company, once considered a star among medical products developers, is a sign of the times given the difficulty smaller companies are having accessing cash, but also follows a period of rewards to senior staff and directors that raised eyebrows among industry watchers.

Shares plunged nearly 50 per cent yesterday as the group abandoned the raising and said it hoped to find another company keen to buy it out or take a strategic stake. The company's key product is its left-ventricular assist device, a blood pump implanted into patients with heart problems.

While sales revenue from the LVAD has been trickling in, hitting $17.8 million last year, up from $1.1 million two years earlier, the company is still some distance off breaking even, and has come close to exhausting its cash supply.

During the year to the end of June, the company recorded a loss of $24.9 million, down from $36.5 million a year earlier. At the end of September, its cash balance was down to $11.8 million.

Chairman John Ward emphasised that the company ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ or at least its main product ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ was salvageable. "There are now almost 400 people who have been implanted with the VentrAssist (LVAD), and results to date have been promising," he said. The company was "well positioned to benefit from adoption of LVADs as a long-term solution to heart failure".

Since the start of the year, the share price has fallen from 60.5ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ to yesterday's closing price of 3.8ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢, down 3.5ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ for the day. The share price peaked at $3.075 in August 2003.

David Blake, editor of industry newsletter Bioshares, said Ventracor's downfall showed the dangers of a company relying on cash flow from a new product to fund its operations.

"It was a high-risk strategy ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ the CEO bet the firm and he lost," he said.

Despite the company's heavy losses and dwindling cash supply, the company still offered its five non-executive directors access to a pool of $650,000 in fees. But that money was dwarfed by the $1.42 million in cash and shares ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ including a $265,000 cash bonus ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã‚¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ given to chief executive Peter Crosby last financial year.

A director since 2001, Mr Ward took the chairmanship in April following the retirement of John Massey. The board also includes Babcock & Brown chairwoman Elizabeth Nosworthy.

Last month, the company launched a share-purchase plan at a 40 per cent discount to the price for the previous month in an effort to raise cash from shareholders, but all cash will be returned to investors because the company failed to reach its target.

In its letter to shareholders pleading for help with the equity raising, Mr Ward said the board was "very disappointed that the company's operational progress has not been reflected in its share price".

At the time, Mr Ward announced that the company was slashing its costs in order to stay afloat, postponing research and capital equipment purchases.

Representatives of Ventracor did not respond to requests for comment.


...looking like a day traders delight.


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VCR ***ventracor another big corporate failure


incredible run down on the shares...

big sellers were detected early 2007. and since the trend has been down with constant pressure..

which did insinute insiders getting out???

now look at the directors salaries... enormous...??

look at the chair man salary .. almost 1 million,


look at some cross examinations of directors.. failures??

it is a sad story,, which i believe will dispappear of the board...

i feel sorry for the true supporters..

unfortunatelly i bought at 3.6.. and i realize was a big mistake/


i did a google of Crosby..

dual citizen with permanent address in france//

it explain the set up very well

here is the link of his property



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In reply to: wolverine on Sunday 14/12/08 01:49pm


Have always welcomed and taken AvengerÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s balanced approach on board ... style just upset some.


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Biotech Ventracor is on life support

December 15, 2008

Article from: The Australian


VENTRACOR'S chairman John Ward blamed the collapse of Lehman Brothers for scuttling a much-needed financing deal.


Under fire over the company's tenuous financial position at the company's annual meeting last month, he he went into great detail about a planned share placement and convertible note issue that fell apart when one of the cornerstone investors withdrew, citing exposure to the failed US investment bank.


Mr Ward, a former head of Qantas, also pointed to a later fundraising proposal that was proceeding well until the market hit new lows in November.


The frank report aimed to assure nervous investors that the company had been doing its utmost to raise money.


But what he did not reveal was that even before Lehman filed for bankruptcy, Ventracor had rejected multi-million-dollar financing offers because it believed its share price at the time did not reflect the company's true value.


"They continually refused cash when it was offered because they believed the share price was too cheap," an insider familiar with the deals said.


Now the company, whose product has helped hundreds of people suffering from heart failure, is on life support itself.



With just three months until the money runs out, Ventracor's high-profile board, which counts trouble-plagued Babcock & Brown and Commander Communications chairman Elizabeth Nosworthy as a director, has put itself up for sale.


Investors are rightly wondering what went wrong.


"They made the mistake of thinking that their baby was beautiful and couldn't understand why the rest of the world didn't agree," one observer said.


At its much-hyped peak, Ventracor was billed as the next Cochlear or ResMed of Australia's medical-device industry: a local company with a life-preserving device that was kicking goals internationally.


Its implantable heart pump, VentrAssist, won awards for innovation and attracted millions of dollars in government grants, and with the support of ABN AMRO Morgans, the company was able to raise more than $200 million to fund clinical trials of the device, which was well on its way to receiving marketing approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.


At their highest, Ventracor shares traded at more than $3. But like most life-sciences companies, Ventracor had yet to make a profit. When the auditor signed off on the accounts mid-year, it warned that the company would need to raise $18 to $22 million to survive another year.


It is understood that about a year ago a syndicate of investment funds offered Ventracor a cash injection of up to $70 million, enough to fund all the remaining trials needed to get VentrAssist on the market.


It was potentially the last capital raising Ventracor would need to do.


According to an industry source, the syndicate was willing to buy in at a price of 60c a share, but the offer was rejected because Ventracor's managing director Peter Crosby felt the price, which was at a discount to shares at the time, undervalued the company.


But instead of the share price recovering, it continued to fall. With cash fast disappearing, the company tried another fundraising earlier this year.


This time, investors were offering to take part in a substantial equity and debt raising pitched about 40c a share, but negotiations fell over on the issue of price.


With US advisers Cowen Group, Ventracor went in search of a better deal, but as global equity markets crashed, it became increasingly desperate and by mid-year plans were under way to raise $9 million by issuing controversial exploding convertible notes.


The deal would have required Ventracor to achieve certain milestones -- if it didn't, it could lose the entire company to the new investors.


That, too, failed to get off the ground.


By the time Ventracor decided to tap existing investors to take part in a Share Purchase Plan (SPP), its share price had dipped below 10c, a 90 per cent fall in 12 months.


Last week's news that the SPP had failed to reach its $10 million target sent shares crashing to just 3.3c.


Industry analyst David Blake, who is also the publisher of Bioshares, says Ventracor serves as an example to more than 100 companies in Australia's life-science sector.


He said the company failed to recognise the changes in the market quickly enough.


Incidently, rival heart pump maker Heartware, whose product lags at least two years behind Ventracor's, raised more than $30 million in May.


Mr Blake said he was concerned that Ventracor, which has a cash burn of more than $45 million a year, had not considered cutting staff.


With more than 100 employees, Ventracor spent $20 million on wages last year, including Mr Crosby's $1.4 million salary.


Some critics believe Ventracor's demise can be tracked back to the departure of a previous chief executive Michael Spooner in late 2003.


Under his guidance, the company's market capitalisation grew from $15 million to almost $440 million.


They point also to the company's subsequent decision to build its own manufacturing plant, rather than pursue the cheaper outsourcing option.


Some claim Ventracor's one-product strategy was never going to endure after the biotechnology boom of earlier this decade petered out.


Mr Spooner, now a non-executive director at Mesoblast and Peplin, lamented the company's predicament.


"Here was a great opportunity in terms of the technology and the science and a genuine product that was cutting-edge. Is it salvageable? I don't know."


He is no longer a shareholder, having sold out shortly after his departure.


In contrast, former chairman John Massey opted to hang on to his shares after his resignation in April. Although saddened by what has transpired, he defended the board's actions.


"If you look at the chairman's speech at the AGM, it's not like they weren't trying to raise money," he said.


"These are incredibly tough times for companies like Ventracor."


Mr Crosby, who is overseas trying to find a buyer or a strategic investor, did not return telephone calls.


Mr Ward also declined to comment, claiming he had said everything he needed to say at the AGM and in last week's announcement to the securities exchange.


Ventracor might not be his problem for much longer, because a group led by investor Vijay Kakani is attempting to rally support to seize control of the company.


Mr Kakani is pushing for a meeting. He proposes that the current directors be removed and that executive bonuses approved in 2006 be scrapped.


He said the company could be transformed into a profitable venture within nine months under the right management.


Mr Blake believes Ventracor could struggle to find a buyer willing to take on the ongoing obligation of maintaining the 400 patients who have been implanted with the company's product. "If they get $US10 million, that would be a good outcome," he said. "One could argue that they could get zero."





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