BIOM, CWTR, SEED, MDTV, CABN, CTDT
Our Stocks to Watch today include Biomimix Inc. (OTC: BIOM), Coldwater Creek Inc. (Nasdaq: CWTR), Origin Agritech Ltd. (Nasdaq: SEED), MDU Communications International Inc. (MDTV), Carbon Sciences Inc. (OTCBB: CABN) and Sweetwater Resources Inc. (OTCBB: CTDT).
BIOMIMIX INCORPORATED (OTC: BIOM)
"Up 1,900.00% on Tuesday"
Detailed Quote: www.otcpicks.com/quotes/BIOM.php
Biomimix, Inc. operates in the life science tools and services market covering genomics, proteomics, cell biology, analytical chemistry, bioprocess development, and bioinformatics in the United States. It develops and commercializes products based on processes and systems found in nature, known as biomimicry. The company’s product portfolio includes Bonegrafix products, which are bioactive substances to produce graft attributes for bone replacement and filling defects or holes in bone, or stabilizing bone during the healing process; and ocean water based skin care products to supplement skin health. It also engages in the research and development of Medusa technology, an electro-chemical process that focuses on ballast water treatment, remote potable water treatment, and hydrogen production for use with portable renewable energy platforms. The company was formerly known as C’watre International, Inc. and changed its name to Biomimix, Inc. in April 2009. Biomimix, Inc. was founded in 1986 and is based in Ashburn, Virginia.
No recent news for Biomimix, Inc. (OTC: BIOM).
COLDWATER CREEK INCORPORATED (NASDAQ: CWTR)
"Up 53.65% on Tuesday"
Detailed Quote: http://www.otcpicks.com/quotes/CWTR.php
Coldwater Creek is a leading specialty retailer of women's apparel, gifts, jewelry, and accessories that was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Sandpoint, Idaho. The Company sells its merchandise through premium retail stores across the country, online at www.coldwatercreek.com and through its catalogs.
July 9 - Coldwater Creek Announces New $65 Million Financing with Golden Gate Capital and Reiterates Second Quarter Financial Guidance
Coldwater Creek Inc. (Nasdaq: CWTR) announced the closing of a five-year, $65 million senior secured term loan provided by Golden Gate Capital, a leading private equity firm with extensive experience in the retail sector. The Company also announced the completion of an amendment to its $70 million revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, part of Wells Fargo & Company (WFC), which matures on May 16, 2016.
"We are pleased to announce this strategic investment and partnership with Golden Gate Capital, which is a strong endorsement of our brand and turnaround strategy, and provides us with further financial flexibility to complete our near term business objectives and accelerate our growth plans," said Dennis Pence, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coldwater Creek. "Golden Gate Capital brings a highly flexible investment approach and extensive retail expertise, which will be beneficial in the continued revitalization and long-term growth of Coldwater Creek."
Golden Gate is one of the most active private equity investors in the retail and restaurants sector. Some of the firm's retail portfolio companies include Eddie Bauer, J.Jill, Zales and Express. Over the last 12 months, Golden Gate has also announced investments in California Pizza Kitchen, Pacific Sunwear, and Payless ShoeSource (pending).
"Coldwater Creek is a strong brand that has undergone significant changes over the past year to reposition its core offering and now, with a solid foundation in place, is realizing the benefits of these changes," said Josh Olshansky, Managing Director of Golden Gate Capital.
Neale Attenborough, Golden Gate's retail group Operating Partner who will join Coldwater Creek's Board of Directors, added, "We look forward to working closely with Coldwater Creek's talented management team as they return the Company to profitable long-term growth. We believe that the initiatives currently underway, supported by our investment, give the Company's management team the necessary time and added resources to successfully execute on its plan."
Golden Gate's senior secured term loan is collateralized by a second lien on the Company's inventory and receivables, and a first lien on the Company's remaining assets. In addition to interest and fees payable on the loan, the Company issued convertible preferred stock to an affiliate of Golden Gate, which gives it the right to purchase up to 19.9% of the Company's common stock (16.7% on a fully-diluted basis) at an exercise price of $0.85. Golden Gate also received the right to appoint two members to Coldwater Creek's Board of Directors. The second Golden Gate Board member to be appointed will be announced at a later date.
In conjunction with the closing of the Golden Gate term loan, the Company has completed an amendment to its $70 million revolving credit facility with Wells Fargo Capital Finance as well as the retirement of a separate $15 million term loan previously provided by Wells Fargo.
"We believe that Golden Gate Capital's extensive retail investment experience, combined with our long-time banking relationship with the Retail Finance team at Wells Fargo Capital Finance, strengthens our financial position and provides the capital foundation to achieve our long-term goals," said Jim Bell, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer.
RBC Capital Markets, LLC acted as financial advisor and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and Hogan Lovells US LLP served as counsel for Coldwater Creek in this transaction.
Reiterates Second Quarter Fiscal 2012 Guidance
Coldwater Creek reiterated its second quarter fiscal 2012 guidance of a loss per share of $0.15 to $0.20. This is based on 121.8 million weighted average shares outstanding, and compares with a net loss of $0.30 per diluted share on 92.6 million weighted average shares outstanding for the fiscal 2011 second quarter due to the public offering of 28.9 million shares of its common stock on October 24, 2011.
ABOUT GOLDEN GATE CAPITAL
Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm with over $12 billion of capital under management. The principals of Golden Gate have a long and successful history of investing across a wide range of industries and transaction types, including going-privates, corporate divestitures, and recapitalizations, as well as debt and public equity investments. Golden Gate is one of the most active investors in leading brands in the retail and restaurant sectors. Representative investments include Payless ShoeSource, Eddie Bauer, J.Jill, Express, Zales, Pacific Sunwear, California Pizza Kitchen, Romano's Macaroni Grill, and On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina.
ABOUT WELLS FARGO CAPITAL FINANCE
Wells Fargo Capital Finance is the trade name for certain asset-based lending, accounts receivable and purchase order finance services of Wells Fargo & Company and its subsidiaries, and provides traditional asset-based lending, specialized senior secured financing, accounts receivable financing, purchase order financing and channel finance to companies across the United States and internationally. Dedicated teams within Wells Fargo Capital Finance provide financing solutions for companies in specific industries such as retail, software publishing and high-technology, commercial finance, staffing, government contracting and others.
ORIGIN AGRITECH LIMITED (NASDAQ: SEED)
"Up 17.04% on Tuesday"
Detailed Quote: http://www.otcpicks.com/quotes/SEED.php
Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Beijing, Origin Agritech Limited is China’s leading, vertically-integrated agricultural biotechnology company specializing in research, development and production to supply the growing populations of China. Origin develops, grows, processes, and markets high quality, hybrid crop seeds to farmers throughout China and parts of Southeast Asia via a network of approximately 3,800 first-level distributors and 65,000 second-level distributors and retailers, and possesses a pipeline of genetically modified seed products including glyphosate resistant corn and Bt Corn. The first genetically modified corn seed product for China, Phytase corn, was approved in November 2009 of which Origin possesses exclusive rights.
July 10 - Origin Agritech Provides Update on Corn Seed R&D Programs
Origin Agritech Limited (Nasdaq: SEED) (“Origin” or the “Company”), a technology-focused supplier of hybrid and genetically modified crop seeds in China, today provided update on its Genetically Modified (“GM”) corn seed pipeline and hybrid corn seed development program.
GM Corn Seed Pipeline
Genetically modified seed products in China must initially undergo a five-stage approval process consisting of Phase 1 - Laboratory Research, Phase 2 - Intermediate Test, Phase 3 - Environment Release Test, Phase 4 - Production Test, leading to the receipt of the Bio-Safety Certificate from Ministry of Agriculture (“MOA”) in Phase 5. Currently, only domestic seed producers such as Origin Agritech are allowed to proceed through all five phases, while international companies are restricted to Phase 1 only and forbidden to proceed to Phases 2 through Phase 5.
Origin’s genetically modified phytase corn was the first GM corn seed which passed all five phases of the GM approval process and received notification of Bio-Safety Certificate. Origin has further incorporated phytase traits into two of its best-selling commercial corn hybrids. Commercialization of these two corn hybrids is pending approval from the Chinese government. Two additional corn hybrids with GM phytase traits are undergoing variety production test.
Phytase is an essential element for the growth and development of all animals by increasing phosphorous absorption. Phytase transgenic corn inputs the phytase trait directly into corn, thus reducing costs for animal feed producers by eliminating the need to mix phytase and corn ingredients together. Origin’s GM phytase-producing corn is expected to reduce the need for inorganic phosphate supplements as animals will directly absorb more phosphate from their feed, reducing animal feed’s high cost.
In addition to GM phytase corn, the Company has been conducting research on other GM traits including herbicide tolerance, insect resistance, nitrogen efficiency, and drought stress tolerance traits in crop seeds.
Along with this press release, a supplementary slide showing Origin’s GM corn seed pipeline has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”).
The following is a summary of key developments for Origin’s GM corn seeds since 2011:
* Phytase: Two commercial hybrids with phytase traits have completed the variety production test and are pending the variety approval from the Chinese government. Two additional hybrid varieties with phytase traits are currently under variety production test;
* Glyphosate Tolerance: One GM glyphosate tolerance event (the unique DNA recombination event that took place in one plant cell) passed Phase 3 - Environment Release Test in 2011 and has received MOA’s approval to begin Phase 4 - Production Test. Two more glyphosate tolerance events are being submitted for Phase 3 - Environment Release Test. In addition, more than one thousand events are undergoing Phase 1 - Laboratory Research;
* Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt): Two insect tolerant events are going through Phase 2 - Intermediate Test. Over two hundred events are undergoing Phase 1 - Laboratory Research;
* Glyphosate + Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt): As a result of recent successes in Phase 1 - Laboratory Research, six events of the Company’s glyphosate and insect tolerant traits have advanced into Phase 2 - Intermediate Test. More than 4,500 events of the stacked traits (inserting more than one gene in a seed via biotechnology) are being screened in Phase 1 - Laboratory Research.
Hybrid Corn Seed Development Program
In addition to GM crop seeds, Origin has a large R&D program developing conventional hybrid crop seeds. In China, new hybrid seed variety needs to go through an official approval process prior to sales. This approval process typically involves three to four years of registration trials and normally proceeds according to the following sequential steps:
Pre-Registration --> Registration Trial 1 --> Registration Trial 2 --> Field Demo --> Approval
Each step leading up to Approval takes approximately one year unless it needs to be repeated. In some localities Registration Trial 2 and Field Demo are treated as one and the same step.
Along with this press release, a supplementary slide showing Origin’s progress in hybrid corn registration trials and approval from 2009 to 2012 has been filed with the SEC.
In 2012, a total of 64 hybrids were under various stages of registration process: among the 64 hybrids, 33 are at Pre-Registration stage; 18 at Registration Trial 1 stage; 5 at Registration Trial 2 stage; 5 at Field Demo stage; and 3 at Registration Trial 2 + Field Demo stage. As the result of multi-year trials, 3 corn hybrids have been approved in 2012.
Dr. Gengchen Han, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Origin Agritech, commented, “During recent years, we have established a leading plant genetic technology platform resulting in one of China’s largest portfolios in GM corn seeds. We are well positioned to capitalize on the advent of genetically modified seed opportunities in China. In addition to our proven GM technology and robust pipeline, our solid operational foundation with wide-reaching sales and technical support, growing in-house germplasm library, and advanced processing and production would help us compete effectively in the market. Our goal is to continue utilizing modern biotechnology to create high-quality GM and hybrid seed products and provide result-oriented solutions to farmers.”
MDU COMMUNICATIONS INTERNATIONAL INC. (OTCBB: MDTV)
"Up 72.47% on Tuesday"
Detailed Quote: www.otcpicks.com/quotes/MDTV.php
MDU Communications International, Inc. (MDTV) is a leading provider of premium communication/information services, including digital satellite television and high-speed (broadband) Internet services, exclusively to the United States multi-dwelling unit (MDU) marketplace - estimated to include 26 million residences. Through its wholly owned subsidiary, MDU Communications (USA) Inc., MDU Communications delivers DIRECTV® digital satellite television services and high-speed (broadband) Internet systems and is committed to delivering the next generation of interactive communication services to MDU residents.
July 10 - Multiband Corporation and MDU Communications International, Inc. Announce Definitive Merger Agreement
Multiband Corporation (NASDAQ: MBND) ("Multiband"), a leading Home Service Provider ("HSP") for DIRECTV® and the nation's largest DIRECTV Master System Operator ("MSO") for Multiple Dwelling Units ("MDU"), and MDU Communications International, Inc. (OTCBB: MDTV) ("MDU Communications"), a leading provider, and largest exclusive/bulk provider, of DIRECTV digital satellite television programming, broadband and other communication services to the MDU market announced today the signing of a definitive agreement pursuant to which MDU Communications will merge into Multiband and will be combined with Multiband's MDU business segment. MDU Communications currently owns, operates and services over 75,000 subscribers in 790 MDU properties encompassing 170,000 residences. The transaction will add both scale and leverage to Multiband's existing MDU business segment, which includes approximately 116,000 owned and managed subscribers, and an additional 81,000 subscribers supported by its support center.
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, which has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, holders of MDU Communications common stock will receive a currently calculated 0.759 shares of Multiband common stock for each share of MDU Communications common stock in a tax-free exchange. Multiband will issue 4.3 million shares of its common stock for all issued and outstanding shares of MDU Communications common stock. Based upon a price of $3.00 per share of Multiband common stock, the transaction, including the assumption by Multiband of MDU Communications' outstanding credit facility of $29.7 million, is valued at approximately $42.6 million. The definitive agreement provides for adjustment of the number of Multiband shares if the trading price of Multiband common stock is greater or less than 20% (based on the $3.00) at the time of the merger closing date. In the alternative, Multiband has the option to pay an equivalent $12.9 million in cash for the issued and outstanding shares of MDU Communications common stock. The definitive agreement also provides for contingent consideration to MDU Communications stockholders of record if MDU Communications enters into a definitive agreement with a third party prior to the merger closing date, or within three months after, for the sale of a certain number of subscribers, which would reduce the balance outstanding under their credit facility.
MDU Communications will effectively continue to operate as a subsidiary of Multiband, with the combined business of MDU Communications and Multiband's MDU segment generating approximately $55 million annual pro-forma revenue with pro-forma EBITDA of approximately $8 million post integration, inclusive of direct savings of $4 million per year in redundancy reduction by combining the entities. Additionally, the companies expect reductions in direct costs and the creation of additional incremental recurring revenue streams as the business units are fully combined and transitioned. Multiband, as a whole, operates with 3,700 employees in 33 states with 33 field offices and MDU Communications operates with 102 employees in 17 states with 6 regional offices.
In consideration of the merger, Multiband's management and Board of Directors utilized the following key valuation metrics detailed below in determining the merger price:
* Multiband currently estimates its subscriber acquisition costs at approximately $750 per customer through internal build-out of MDU properties. This would equate to a total cost of over $56 million, excluding interest, to add a similar number of subscribers as that acquired through this acquisition, a process that would take two to three years to complete, with no guarantees that 75,000 subscribers would be attained.
* Approximately 70% of the 75,000 MDU Communications' subscribers are signed to long term exclusive or bulk contracts with many of the nation's leading property ownership and management companies.
* Incremental financial benefits can be realized through the introduction of Multiband's wireless broadband platform to the 75,000 MDU Communications' subscribers (or the 170,000 wired residences in 790 properties), which would add to future revenue and EBITDA.
* Commercial customers of MDU Communications (office buildings, stadiums and arenas) can be layered on to the Multiband internal commercial platform to increase scale.
James L. Mandel, Chief Executive Officer of Multiband, commented, "Multiband is well positioned to support growth initiatives in the MDU market because we are currently the largest nationwide MDU Master System Operator and have invested significant time, effort and capital into developing our MDU infrastructure, which includes integrated billing software and a world class customer support center. The merger with MDU Communications is a strategic opportunity that will be meaningfully and immediately accretive to our business. MDU Communications has been a recognized and respected provider in the MDU market for over 12 years with a large base of business and capable management. The combined subscriber base will not only add scale to our support services, but will be an important growth center to achieve a higher penetration of multiple revenue streams, namely our push to deliver broadband and digital voice. The merger transaction will position Multiband as the dominate MDU market leader."
Sheldon Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of MDU Communications, stated, "We are pleased to become a part of the Multiband organization and believe that the combination created by our two companies will enable us to better serve our current customers and attract new customers in our markets. Multiband's reputation, financial strength and operating capabilities will enhance our ability to launch new broadband services and meet the expanding needs of our customers. Our stockholders will be receiving shares of a strong, successful company with great potential for diversified growth."
The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2012 and is subject to the finalization of a valuation report on MDU Communications, approval by lenders to both companies, and a vote of the stockholders of MDU Communications, as well as certain other customary closing conditions.
CARBON SCIENCES INCORPORATED (OTCBB: CABN)
"Up 44.19% on Tuesday"
Detailed Quote: www.otcpicks.com/quotes/CABN.php
Innovating at the forefront of chemical engineering, Carbon Sciences is developing a breakthrough technology to make cleaner and greener transportation fuels and other valuable products from natural gas. Our highly scalable, clean-tech process will enable the world to reduce its dependence on petroleum by transforming abundant and affordable natural gas into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, and other products, such as hydrogen, methanol, pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides and plastics. The key to this process is a breakthrough catalyst that can reduce the cost of reforming natural gas into synthesis gas (syngas), the most costly step in making products from natural gas.
July 10 - Carbon Sciences Announces Solution for Users of ExxonMobil Gasoline Process
The Company's Clean CO2-Based Technology Could Produce Syngas From Natural Gas to Feed Operations Using ExxonMobil's Proprietary Methanol to Gasoline Process
Carbon Sciences Inc. (OTCBB: CABN), the developer of a breakthrough technology to make transportation fuels and other valuable products from natural gas, today announced that the company's clean CO2-based technology could produce synthesis gas (syngas) from natural gas to feed operations using ExxonMobil's proprietary methanol to gasoline process. Syngas is an industry standard feedstock used to make transportation fuels and other valuable products usually derived from petroleum.
ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly traded integrated petroleum and natural gas company, has developed a proprietary methanol-to-gasoline (MTG) process that converts natural gas to high quality clean gasoline when coupled with syngas and methanol synthesis technologies. MTG gasoline is fully compatible with conventional refinery gasoline and can be either blended with conventional refinery gasoline or sold separately with minimal further processing.
"The commercial viability of our breakthrough becomes apparent as more forward thinking companies adopt natural gas technologies to make transportation fuels," commented Byron Elton, the company's CEO. "Our CO2-based natural gas technology could be a very good frontend solution for users of ExxonMobil's methanol-to-gasoline process. The fuel produced by the ExxonMobil MTG process is the same gasoline being used today and the most important and valuable transportation fuel in the U.S. Other approaches to transforming natural gas into transportation fuels require a refinery step."
Sundrop Fuels, a startup venture backed by Chesapeake Energy Corp. and two venture-capital firms, Oak Investment Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, recently announced plans to use the ExxonMobil MTG process to make gasoline from methanol. Sundrop intends to rely on forest waste as a feedstock to produce the syngas required for the first step.
"While we applaud all efforts to address our energy security challenges, we have to think big. We use approximately 140 billion gallons of gasoline in this country every year," continued Elton. "Unfortunately, the supply of forest waste is very limited and won't have a significant impact in meeting our transportation fuel needs. A better option is transforming our abundant supply of natural gas into liquid fuels that we can use in our existing transportation infrastructure. Natural gas is cheap, clean and domestic. By using captured CO2 or low value, high CO2 content natural gas in our proprietary CO2-based process, Carbon Sciences can produce a very green syngas for use in the production of liquid fuels."
The other commercially demonstrated route for transforming natural gas into transportation fuels is the widely known Fischer-Tropsch process (FT), discovered in the 1920's. Royal Dutch Shell, SASOL and other large energy companies have commercially used FT in several different forms to produce fuels from natural gas. Carbon Sciences' CO2-based technology is also the advantaged route to make the syngas needed for FT operations.
SWEETWATER RESOURCES INCORPORATED (OTCBB: CTDT)
"Up 47.50% on Tuesday"
Detailed Quote: http://www.otcpicks.com/quotes/CTDT.php
Sweetwater has acquired 100% of Centaurus Diamond Technologies Inc. Centaurus has been established to fully commercialize its proprietary, cost-efficient and high-volume diamond production method to provide industrial quality diamonds. The Company's patented technology enables the production of "cultured" diamonds that are chemically, atomically, and structurally identical to natural diamonds. The gemological Institute of America has tested the Company's "cultured" diamonds and has confirmed they are diamonds according to their testing protocols.
July 9 - Sweetwater Resources Announces Name and Symbol Change
Sweetwater Resources Inc. (OTCBB: CTDT) (the "Company" or "Sweetwater") has changed its name to "Centaurus Diamond Technologies Inc." (or "Centaurus") and will now trade under the new symbol "CTDT."
Sweetwater Resources Inc. has been granted permission to change its name to Centaurus Diamond Technologies Inc. to better reflect the nature of its core business. As a result of the name change the company has changed its symbol from SWTR to CTDT on the OTC BB and OTC QB markets. The company remains focused upon the perfection of its process for the manufacture of cultured, industrial diamonds.
Mr. Alvin Snaper, President of Centaurus Diamond Technologies Inc. stated: "We are very pleased that FINRA has granted our name and symbol change to more accurately reflect the true nature of our business which is to manufacture diamonds that are chemically, atomically and structurally identical to a diamond created by nature."