Stock Update
Corporate Actions

Event Trade: Onemarket (OMN:ASX)

3 Dec 2019
The OMN Event trade was first recommended as a buy on 16 September 2019. Below are each of the updates related to this trade in chronological order.

Current advice: Hold

Update – 03 December 2019, 01:32pm

OMN held its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) and the wind-up proposal was overwhelmingly supported. The stock has now ceased trading and we can expect an interim distribution of somewhere between 88-94c to be paid out within the next three to four months. The remainder of the company’s assets will be liquidated over time but if the initial distribution is at the top end of the guidance range then we will be sitting at break even or at a small profit before the process even begins which would be a great outcome.

The stock has now ceased trading and we will provide further updates as they come.

Update – 12 November 2019, 11:30am

OMN last week sent out its ‘Notice of General Meeting’ which includes details of the proposed wind-up as well as an opportunity for shareholders to vote on the move. Given the broad shareholder pressure as well as director support, the wind-up will definitely be voted for and the only variable is what the ultimate proceeds will be.

OMN released a breakdown of its estimated liabilities on wind-up which includes an ‘estimated liability reserve’ of between US$5m-$10m that looks to simply be kept in the kitty in case of unknown future liabilities. It’s not surprising the board wants to ensure any future potential liabilities don’t become a headache, so this ‘estimated liability reserve’ could amount to nothing which would enhance the returns. Some of the other costs are a little higher than we anticipated but not enough to deter us from investing.

Assuming that the ‘estimated liability reserve’ amounts to nothing, the total proceeds should amount to a little over $1.00 – this could swing with the currency however – although the final payment after liquidation could take as long as two years. That isn’t a huge concern as over 90% of our investment will be distributed within three to four months.

We had hoped to be able to trade this after the initial distribution was made and thought there could be an arbitrage at that time, but the stock is going to cease trading on 2 December so any profit will be seen through cash payments rather than on-market manoeuvring.

While not essential, we recommend members get in their proxy forms supporting the proposed wind-up.

Original Recommendation – 16 September 2019, 10:26am

OMN is the old Westfield Labs business that was spun out of Westfield when it was bought by Unibail-Rodamco last year. At the time, the Westfield board felt there was enough excitement in some of Westfield Labs’ investments that keeping it separate to the property deal made sense. Since it has traded outside of the Westfield family and as its own listed entity, the reality is that it is a company that has failed in its aims and has been a constant source of ire to its shareholders. Since starting its life around $1.50 in June last year, the company has continually bled cash at an alarming rate to the point that the stock started to trade at levels of less than half the net tangible asset backing (NTA) – a reasonable development given the view that OMN would eventually burn through all of its cash.

These situations often attract shareholder activists however and it appears that the right level of shareholder revolt as well as board realism has seen the company announce that it will wind up operations. It will entertain takeover bids during this period, but with the majority of its assets in the form of cash or cash receivables a wind-up is probably going to be the likely outcome.

There will be an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held in late November/early December, and once voted for (a foregone conclusion given the support to the proposal) there will be an initial payout of at least $0.85 and then the rest will be determined after disposing of remaining assets and paying out creditors. Given the slowing cash burn rate and the cash balance of $1.60 (before liabilities) at the end of June, the final NTA is estimated to be somewhere between $1.00 and $1.10 based on the view of several analysts covering the stock.

At the current level of $0.93, we would be looking at getting the majority of our investment back in a short period of time. And assuming a current discount to NTA-on-disposal of between 7% and 15.5%, once the $0.85 is returned and the same discount is maintained we should see the price settle around $0.14 and $0.21. This may not be perfect as the time for wind-up is an unknown, but the discount shouldn’t vary wildly and we may be looking at a solid profit after the $0.85 return is made and could decide to exit at that time depending on the risk/reward.

Liquidity is the biggest issue however but 1.5 million shares have traded today so there is a good chance we could get set. As the final NTA is an unknown we will consider OMN high-risk, but we think the risk/reward of the investment is attractive and we are happy for members to buy the stock at up to $0.935 for a short-term, medium to high risk investment.

View Comments


Ralph Hamilton

@Steve A. I have a similar problem. I have anly an academic interest in various strategies. But I do find them instructive. However, if I am looking for events – takeovers, buybacks, mergers etc, I don’t want to have to wade through all the rest of the stuff. Maybe it is just me, because the old site has been there soooo long. I won’t judge too quickly, but give it a few weeks yet. It may become better with use. As they say. Carpe cereviscia……Ralph.

William O'Loughlin

Hi Ralph,
There are two things that may help you if you don’t know about them already. The ASX Event Strategy page (accessible by clicking the ‘Strategies’ filter) contains a list of all currently open event trades and also contains a link to the page for each specific event. Also, on the main Resources page, you can try using the ‘Corporate Actions’ filter which will show you only updates related to corporate actions including the event trades. Please let us know if this doesn’t solve your problem.

Steve Aldred

Why when I look at either of today’s updates does the related links section not show the other most recent update but older ones? I’m finding generally navigation in the new site more tedious and time consuming than in the old one. I always want the latest information most easily accessible not some read it once Top Pick, nor a description of the strategy when I’m trying to see a strategy update.

William O'Loughlin

Hi Steve,
The related articles section doesn’t specifically show the most recent articles but I think there may be another solution to your problem. On the main Resources page, if you click on the ‘list view’ (grey button at top right hand side of article list) it will show all articles in a two column list view and they will be ordered by date. This should make the recent update more easily accessible. Regarding the strategy pages, we will reshuffle the content on these pages so that the latest update is at the top of the page followed by the table.

Steve Aldred

Thanks Will. That works kind of. The first article list is a column from a couple of weeks ago though.

More importantly that’s still more awkward than clicking through from email once and seeing all the updates it mentions in one easily accessible list/page.

The new site seems to be more form over function to me. Some of the new layouts are certainly useful e. g. all past advice relating to a trade.

For updates I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting them accessible as simply as possible.

William O'Loughlin

Hi Steve,
Just letting you know that following our discussion we have come up with some ideas to deal with your suggestions. I’ll give you more information about what we’re planning once we’re a bit further along in the process of implementing it.

We are glad you liked it

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