Foxtrot Oscar, Prima

Ok – where is ASIC? I mean, seriously, WHERE IS ASIC?

Firstly we have a blatant abuse of ASX listing rules, and then – in the same day – after a meteoric price rise on the back of a meaningless and manipulative announcement, Prima Biomed (ASX : PRR) offers a share purchase plan? After-market, 18:47.

I have always tried to keep this site reasonably PG and I know that bad language isn’t classy, but are you f—–g serious?

Prima, do you understand what you have done? You’ve just pushed the market to a 8.5c price point and now you are coming in with a financing offer at 5c a share? I don’t even know how to describe that. It’s not a pump and dump, or a dump and pump … it’s certainly not a pump and hump (at least not in a nice way), so what is it? I don’t even have the linguistics for this situation.

Yesterday, if you were a shareholder and you had been made that offer when the stock price was trading a smidgin’ under 6c and basically offering in at 5.5c, you probably would have thought it passable as a financing premium. Today, it’s sort of like wandering down to visit your local dealer and finding out when you get home that you’ve been given a baggie of oregano (I am speaking strictly hypothetically here, I promise).

By the way, for all you shareholders out there who ridiculed me for my last post (as usual, the emails and comments streamed in thick and fast, because I was obviously “missing out on all the fun”), take careful heed of where you ended up today. “Your” company just made a compromising statement to the market in order to fluff the stock price, so that it can sell “your” company to others at 41% below the market price.

So “Foxtrot Oscar” to you too…


Photo cred : Telephone operators, 1952 (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license).

6 thoughts on “Foxtrot Oscar, Prima

  1. Hi Chris,

    Just as aside. It is interesting to note that there is currently a class action lawsuit being brought against QRXpharma and its former CEO John Holaday for pretty much the same transgression that PRR committed today. That is, misleading investors about its discussions with the regulator.

    If investors don’t call them on this bullshit, lawyers will eventually call on the board and senior management.



    • I actually don’t want lawyers on the scene, I want ASIC to start doing its job and for management to start behaving like they are running a public company and not some kind of goddamn free-for-all.

      Hope I didn’t go to far…


  2. A copy of the QRX class action complaint can be found here.

    I was an investor in QRX when the Adcom meeting rejected the application. Very painful. I also posted on HC prior to the rejection that I had sensed that something had gone awry with the trial development process.

    Several holders accused me of being a disgruntled ex-employee of the company (I’m not). After the failure several posters reported that they had sold because of my posts and thanked me.

    The class action alleges that investors were misled because QRX failed to inform investors that the FDA disagreed with the companies study design and that it had appealed the FDA first rejections twice and lost.

    If I had known those two things I never would have invested. So I certainly feel deceived.

    But these announcements from PRR are nothing like this situation imo. Unless you are thinking that really the EMA have advised on a study design that PRR have rejected. And they have made it all up.

    What they have done though is spin it. To make it all sound much better than it is. But did anyone buy PRR because of this. No. Traders saw share price movement and jumped on board for a ride. I doubt many even read the announcement. Risk takers will hold overnight and hope the Nasdaq follows through.

    This “crime” is much less serious than the spinning of Cvac imo. KPMG have valued Cvac at zero. Zip. The company has held out the carrot that a “deal” may emerge. It won’t and they know it.

    In some ways though I think not all the blame lies with PRR. Its only news because the sp jumped. But I suspect it wouldn’t matter they wrote in their announcements. The share price is being manipulated by the professionals – large institutional investors. To skim money off retail punters. Immutep321 might as well be upside down jag123 for all they care.

    Its not pretty agreed – and it just got uglier with the capital raising at 5c. If ever there was to be a demonstration of quite where the retail investor sits in the food chain this was it. Hedge fund buys shares at 2c. You pay 5c if your lucky. And idiot retail speculators pay 8c.

    Taking a step back. Oncology trial success rates are low. When conducted by microcaps they are even lower. There has never been a successful P3 oncology trial by a company under $300m market cap (according to F-R rule).

    So Cvac never should have been allowed to suck $100m+ out of retail investors over a decade when you look at how flimsy the early studies were. It was spun – Rogers – and yes Roberts in the early days.

    History repeats I suppose.

    Ps …. good stylistic edits!


    • Thanks. I broke my own rules of civility, I was so mad.

      The AGM is going to be very interesting given this SPP proposal although I don’t understand why shareholders are not more pissed off. Ridgeback is (notionally) in at 2.5c (avg), and let’s not ignore warrants. SPP at 5c and stock at 8c and trending.

      Honestly? I think shareholders should just say no to Ridgeback, they’ve screwed around enough with the company’s share price. Say no and force the management to make a proposal to shareholders that is commensurate with the market. Especially if friggin’ EMA “endorsed” them and SR is already getting congratulatory telephone calls for being the next Juno.


  3. Southoz…..I always find your occasional analysis on HC very helpful. Thanks for posting the F-R rule which I hadn’t seen before.

    Chris…you are developing this blog into a very illuminating and educational commentary on the biotech space in Aus. I think you have a very good chance of making a real difference. But, how do you have the time and energy? And I hope you have access to good legal advice, I haven’t noticed anything obviously inaccurate or defamatory yet, but clearly companies are watching!


    • Hi Peter,

      Thanks for your comments. To be honest I struggle to find the time. And yes, I am fortunate to be in the personal position where I have plenty of legal resources.

      Actually, although I occasionally overstep socially sophisticated language barriers, I actually don’t have the objective of “abuse”. All companies I have ever commented on have the potential to simply do better. Prima is a case in point. It has some real opportunities and the potential to be a jewel in the ASX but instead it chases “moments of greatness” with moments of such stupendous idiocy that it almost hurts to watch.

      To be clear:

      – I have no vendetta and when a company I have criticised does something well, I will unreservedly acknowledge it.

      – if my comments are proven wrong by material evidence, I will correct it publicly, with apology if necessary.

      – I very seldom pick on individual people, because public companies are seldomly about individuals. Except Martin Rogers, but even then I will be the first to admit that I begrudgingly admire him and I have never actually been unkind.

      – I only write in the public interest when I believe that a company is not acting in the best interest of shareholders, patients or the international reputation of Australian life-sciences.

      – I don’t trade, directly or indirectly, in my commentary.


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