Essilor to buy Vancouver’s Coastal Contacts for $435 million

Congrats are in order to supporters of Vancouver, Canada-based online optical pioneer Coastal Contacts, which announced a friendly sale to France’s Essilor International Thursday for $435 million or $12.45 per share.

See: Globe and Mail, Bloomberg and Vancouver Sun coverage.

Roger, Hardy, Coastal, Contacts

Roger Hardy, Coastal’s chairman, chief executive officer and founder, owns 10.7% of the company’s shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Photo: Postmedia News

Essilor gains five million customers and a system for providing eye ware consumers with custom glasses and contact lenses at prices of up to 75% off traditional optical retailers.

We toured Coastal’s Vancouver headquarters in July 2013 when the stock was trading at $5 and were impressed with the efficiency and scale of the operation, but didn’t buy any shares unfortunately.

My site visit was at the urging of Vancouver stock promoter Gianni Kovacevic, who has been an investor in the company since 2007, and helped founder, Chairman and CEO Roger Hardy (pictured) tell the story at investment conferences in Europe and through Kovacevic’s MEDAP newsletter ($249/year).

Kovacevic speculates a better offer may still come forward for Coastal, possibly from industry juggernaut Luxxotica.

Kovacevic says he will re-invest a portion of his proceeds in Vancouver-technology incubator LX-Ventures, which one of our writers criticized on Wednesday.

We will publish an interview with LX-Ventures CEO Mike Edwards in the next couple of days.

Haywood adds prominent banking, research and sales personnel to its oil and gas group

VANCOUVER, Aug. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Rob Blanchard, President of Haywood Securities Inc., one of Canada’s leading independent investment dealers, is pleased to announce that Haywood has taken a critical first step in its plans to significantly enhance the Firm’s position in the energy sector.

“We have attracted a hand-picked team of accomplished energy capital markets specialists who will provide our Firm with the strength, experience and depth to elevate our capabilities in this dynamic sector,” stated Blanchard.

This high-profile group includes:

  • Dan Tsubouchi, Head of Investment Banking
    Dan is a 20-year oil and gas veteran who most recently served as Vice Chairman and Co-Head of Investment Banking at GMP Securities, where he was responsible for leading its energy team. His considerable experience as an oil and gas research analyst has earned him high-ranking on a regular basis in buy-side client surveys, and he was consistently recognized as one of the sector’s leading investment bankers, both for his acumen in corporate finance and M&A.

“Dan’s considerable depth of knowledge, his senior management experience and excellent reputation, were the strengths that we were looking for in a Head of Investment Banking,” stated Blanchard. “We are very confident that Dan is the right person to lead our Investment Banking department and take our energy platform to the next level.”

“Haywood is uniquely poised to become a major participant in the energy sector” stated Dan Tsubouchi. “I have previously worked with many of Haywood’s sales & trading team. I was attracted by their commitment to build and support a top-tier energy platform in a period of changing capital markets for the sector. Haywood has a proven track record of delivering for its clients and I am excited about our ability to attract high-quality team members who are also committed to our vision.”

Other senior hires include:

  • Jeff Reymer, Managing Director, Investment Banking, Global Energy
    Jeff is a 15-year investment banking veteran and is highly experienced in the oil and gas sector.   Haywood plans to have its energy focus on both domestic energy companies and Canadian based international oil and gas companies. As Managing Director, Jeff will play a key leadership role in Haywood’s energy platform especially with his proven track record in advising Canadian based international oil and gas companies.  He has served in a number of very senior positions, most recently as Managing Director, Investment Banking, Global Energy for National Bank Financial.
  • Darrell Bishop, Energy Research Analyst
    Darrell is a Professional Engineer and brings significant oil and gas industry experience to his work as a research analyst.  Prior to joining the investment business, Darrell gained 10 years oil and gas technical experience working with CorrOcean Aberdeen, Petro-Canada East Coast and Devon Canada, that included oil and gas technical work in a range of international basins.  He most recently served as Research Analyst, International Oil and Gas E&P, for National Bank Financial.  He also holds a MBA from the University of Calgary.
  • Michael Dilay, Institutional Sales & Trading
    Michael has been working as a trader in the energy sector since 2000, most recently as Head of Sales & Trading at Casimir Capital in Toronto. Michael, a CFA, brings key experience and success with buy-side clients in the US and UK, in addition to his key relationships with Canadian clients.

About Haywood Securities

Founded in 1981, Haywood Securities is a private, 100-percent employee owned investment dealer with more than 275 employees and Canadian offices in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. The Firm is a participating organization of the Toronto Stock Exchange, The TSX Venture Exchange, the Bourse de Montreal, the Canadian National Stock Exchange and a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. In addition, Haywood (USA) Securities Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Haywood Securities Inc., is a broker-dealer registered to transact securities business in the United States with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and is a member of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Similarly, Haywood Securities (UK) Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary with offices in London, U.K. and registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to service institutional customers in the U.K. More information about Haywoodcan be found at www.haywood.com.

For further information:
Rob Blanchard
1 (604) 697-7195

Capstone Acquires Option on Greenfield Property in Prolific Chilean Copper Belt

Capstone Mining (CS:TSX) announced today that it would acquire the right to earn up to 70% of the Project Providencia from Sociedad Quimica y Mineral de Chila S.A. (SQM).  The property is somewhat strategic in that it sits approximately halfway between Capstone’s Santo Domingo Project and Anglo American’s Mantos Blancos copper mine.

Project Providencia located 50km East of Taltal

Project Providencia located 50km East of Taltal

SQM is a domestic producer of specialty fertilizers and other chemicals and as a result, the project has had no modern exploration work for hard rock metal deposits.  Capstone will narrow the original 350,000 hectares down to 50,000 hectares by performing airborne geophysics.  The exploration efforts will be led by the highly successful team that discovered the Santo Domingo iron oxide-copper-gold deposit (IOCG).  Capstone believes this property could host a large IOCG, copper porphyry or Mantos Blancos type deposit.  Capstone paid $1 million on signing and can earn up to 70% in the project by making exploration expenditures over the next 7.5 years, but should Capstone not like what they see, they can withdraw from the agreement at any time.

News Release here: Capstone Acquires Option on 350,000 Hectares of Exploration Land in Chile

The Wek is at it Again

The all-star tech incubator, Difference Capital (see Tommy’s article), announced the closing of a $45-million financing which brings the total funds raised in the previous two financings to $101-million and a total of $185-million since May 2012.  You don’t see many junior miners able to raise that kind of money, especially in this market.  So, what’s the catch?  Two words, The Wek.

Michael Wekerle - former head of trading at GMP and co-founder of Difference Capital

Michael Wekerle – former head of trading at GMP and co-founder of Difference Capital

Toronto ‘Just a Deadzone’ for Investment Bankers

Bloomberg reports on the current mining market meltdown’s devastating impact on Canada’s investment community.

Mark Morabito, chairman of Alderon Iron Ore Corp. (ADV), was quoted. “I’m now dealing with the top guys, the global heads of mining, because the guys in between are all gone… Toronto is just a dead zone.”

Read: Toronto Bankers Feel Pain From Mining Slowdown: Corporate Canada

Mr. Morabito has Twitter:

Andrew Pollard of the Mining Recruitment Group was also interviewed.

Pain related: Brazil’s Batista loses billionaire status

46% of Precious Metals Development Stocks in BC Fail Visual Capitalist’s Tickerscores Test

bc-dev-tinyVisual Capitalist’s Tickerscores, which allows investors to compare precious metals stocks head-to-head, gave 46% of BC Gold & Silver Miners in the development stage a failing grade.

Tickerscores uses 20+ variables and rates companies based on financials, management, valuation, recent performance, and project potential.

The following infographic displays the highlights for 28 BC development companies. To see the previous recap released two weeks ago on 53 BC exploration companies, click here

Continue reading

BCSC Moves To Ban Unlicensed “Finders”

New regulation complicates Canadian companies’ ability to raise capital at home and abroad.

Source: British Columbia Securities Commission.  See also: BCSC to End Finder’s Fees for Capital Raising Except by Registered Dealer (Clark Wilson).

BCN 2013/01 Notice and Request for Comment – Proposed Revocation of BC Instrument 32-513 Registration Exemption for Trades in Connection with Certain Prospectus-Exempt Distributions and BC Instrument 32-517 Exemption from Dealer Registration Requirement for Trades in Securities of Mortgage Investment Entities [BCN]

Published January 3, 2012
View PDF of BCN 2013/01   PDF

Continue reading