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7 big ASX news stories you missed in April

As we enter a brand new month (can you believe it’s already May?!), it’s a timely opportunity to reflect on the month just gone and what’s changed on the ASX share market.

Here’s a round-up of seven big news stories for ASX investors in April.

Latitude finally goes public

Its initial public offering (IPO) had been on-and-off-again since 2019 but shares in Latitude Financial Services (ASX: LFS) finally hit the ASX boards in April, lifting nearly 4% on debut.

The digital payments, instalments and lending platform currently commands a market capitalisation of around $2.5 billion.

For more reading, check out these articles:

Westpac flags write-down

Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) made headlines in April, flagging a $282 million write-down in its first-half HY21 results due to provision on customer refunds, capitalised software, a loss on the sale of Westpac Pacific and the break up with IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX: IFL).

The costs of these items amount to $588 million, but they will be partially offset by a net gain on the revaluation of Westpac’s investment in Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) of $288 million (which went public on the Nasdaq in April) and a gain on the sale of its shares in Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) for $18 million.

ANZ pre-warns profit hit

Similarly, fellow big four bank Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) also pre-warned investors of an impending $817 million hit to cash profit.

This is due to losses in a number of subsidiaries, the devaluation of its ANZ share trading platform and more customer remediation charges.

AMP spin-off

AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) finally found a way forward for its Private Markets business, deciding to separately list it on the ASX and move on from negotiations with Ares Capital.

The embattled company said the demerger would create two more focused businesses, better equipped to pursue and allocate capital to distinct growth opportunities, and realise efficiencies.

The core AMP business will be a retail-focused, wealth management, investment and banking group; while the Private Markets business will be a global private markets investment manager specialising in the asset classes of infrastructure equity, infrastructure debt and real estate.

Galaxy and Orocobre set to merge

Lithium miners Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) and Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) are planning a big merger, agreeing to a $4 billion ‘merger of equals’ to create a strong business in the global lithium sector.

To learn more, check out this article from Rask Media’s Jaz Harrison: Galaxy and Orocobre are planning a big lithium merger.

Cleanaway deal scrapped

After months of speculation and negotiations, Cleanaway Waste Management Ltd’s (ASX: CWY) proposed acquisition of Suez’s Australian business was put to bed.

In early April, Cleanway revealed it had entered into an agreement with Suez to acquire its recycling and recovery business in Australia for $2.52 billion.

However, later in the month, Suez agreed to be acquired by French giant Veolia, ending Cleanaway’s ill-fated attempt to acquire the Australian operations.

Cleanaway did, however, manage to negotiate the purchase of two NSW landfills and five transfer stations that fill a number of gaps in its collection activities.

Bingo agrees to takeover

Cleanaway competitor Bingo Industries Ltd (ASX: BIN) also made headlines in April, entering into a sale deed with Macquarie Group Ltd’s (ASX: MQG) Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Asset (MIRA) division.

Bingo shareholders will have the option to receive either $3.45 cash per Bingo share, or a mix of cash and unlisted shares as an alternative.

The offer price represents a 33% premium to the one-month average price of Bingo shares, with the Bingo board unanimously recommending shareholders vote in favour of the deal.

Movers and shakers

Other companies that also made headlines during the month include Redbubble Ltd (ASX: RBL), which fell more than 20% in response to its third-quarter update.

On the flip side, Megaport Ltd (ASX: MP1) posted a 29.6% gain in April on the back of strong Q3 results.

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Disclosure: At the time of publishing, Cathryn owns shares in Redbubble.
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