It has been a few lean years at Alchemia (ASX: ACL). In October 2014 the Phase III trial of an anti-cancer drug failed and its shares plummeted.

As often happens with failed biotechs, the next several months (and years) were spent looking for new opportunities. For some months there were rumours that it would be in the blockchain sector but these rumours had come to nothing.

But on Friday evening Alchemia announced it is getting into hemp with a reverse takeover of Australia’s largest hemp producer, Australian Primary Hemp (APH).

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APH has procured over 500 tonnes of hemp grain since the inception of its growers’ network. It does not produce seed itself, it only sources the seeds and on-sells them.

However APH’s network includes some of the world’s most prominent plant breeders and uses their knowledge to produce high yields. APH have sold hemp since November 2017, after relevant restrictions in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code were lifted.

Alchemia will raise $6 million in capital to complete the deal, purchase new equipment and build up its inventory.

As part of the deal the board will be overhauled. Only Cameron Petricevic will survive and APH’s founder will be CEO of the new entity. Other senior staff at APH will stay on.

The stock has been suspended since late March although its recommencement will happen in coming months. The company released an indicative timetable, nominating Wednesday September 18 as the date shares will recommence trading.

In other ASX corporate news today

OpenDNA (ASX: OPN) has announced a deal to be the exclusive distributor of Petrus Pharmaceutical’s products in China. The company told shareholders the first shipments will occur next quarter and its technology would complement the deal, in understanding consumer behaviour and delivering a personalised shopping experience. “The China market presents a huge opportunity for Petrus Pharmaceuticals and we are delighted to be their partner to market,” said OpenDNA boss Bryan Carr.
Plenty of retailers are struggling, but not City Chic Collective (ASX: CCX). The company expects its full year EBITDA to be between $24 and $25 million. It also announced last year’s divestment of Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers was finalised. Having engaged independent experts in February to make working capital adjustments, it has been completed in City Chic’s favour.
Among the notable substantial shareholder movements was Regal Funds Management increasing its stake in Stanmore Coal (ASX: SMR) to nearly 11 per cent. Also, Noble Resources spent $9 million in fulfilling a shortfall in TerraCom’s (ASX: TER) capital raise, spending $9 million and taking its stake to nearly 15 per cent.
Dacian Gold (ASX: DCN) revealed that director Barry Patterson bought $979,615 in Dacian shares. The purchase occurred nearly three weeks ago on June 6 at approximately 49 cents a share. Because Dacian’s share price is now at 62.5 cents, that is now worth $1.25 million. Anticipating an ASX query, the company acknowledged it was late, blaming “an inadvertent administrative oversight”.