Shares in one of the titans of Australian print, Ovato, was put into a trading halt on Friday after its shares shot up from the 0.09 cent mark to an intra-day high of 3.2 cents with a significant spike in the volume of shares traded also recorded.
The activity prompted the Australian Securities Exchange to contact Ovato (ASX: OVT) to seek an explanation as to what may have led to this rise while placing the shares in a trading halt for a few hours on Friday.
Ovato’s company secretary Alistair Clarkson responded to the request promptly indicating the company had no knowledge about what might have driven the surge.
“There is no other explanation that OVT may have for the recent trading in its securities,” Clarkson wrote to the ASX.
“OVT confirms that it is complying with the Listing Rules and, in particular, Listing Rule 3.1.”
Ovato’s shares eventually closed on Friday at 0.02 cents each and were still at this point on Monday at the time of writing.
Australian Securities Exchange data notes the number of shares traded at the end of last week rose significantly with 3,906,086 shares traded on Thursday increasing to to 10,187,249 on Friday.
Ovato’s shares were at about 0.061 cents a share on February 26, just prior to the COVID-19 shutdowns, and this price, like many others on the market, has dramatically decreased in recent weeks.
The company which specialises in the printing, data analysis and distribution of heatset catalogues, newspapers and other marketing materials has struggled with a reduction in volumes with the situation only exacerbated by the current pandemic.
Ovato currently prints all titles for the German-owned Bauer magazine group which has recently shed 70 staff as the coronavirus pummels advertising revenue. Bauer Media has also now finalised the $40m acquisition of Pacific Magazines, which are currently printed by Ovato’s rival, IVE Group Ltd, from Australia’s Seven West Media (ASX: SWM).
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