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LAW2457-Law of Investment and Financial Market

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Alpha Heath Capital Pty Ltd (Alpha) is a private investment company with $30 million under management from sophisticated investors. The company holds an Australian Financial Services License. The company specialises in acquiring equity positions in other healthcare technology companies both in Australia and overseas. The company takes an active role in the companies that it invests in. To date, the company has been a success, steadily growing its investment pool over time and delivering above-market returns to its shareholders

Management 

The senior management of Alpha consists of: 

1.Carol is the Managing Director of the company. She holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Prosthetics and Orthotics) and a Graduate Diploma of Business Administration (Leadership). Before founding Alpha business, Carol started her career as an Orthotist/Prosthetist and was later a partner of a leading healthcare consultancy business. Her role is focused on the overall strategy and leadership of the company. A lot her time is focused on business development to bring in more investors into the company. Carol maintains tight control of the company with 51% of Alpha’s total shareholding. 

2.Joe is the Chief Investment Officer. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Finance) a Masters of Finance and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Corporate Investors. His role is to keep a close watch on the company’s investments, overseeing the company’s research function, and executing Carol’s vision for new acquisitions. Joe currently holds 3.45% of Alpha’s total shareholding – receiving bonus shares each financial year as part of his remuneration package.

3.Dillon is the Chief Medical Technology Officer. Dillion had a distinguished career as an Orthopedic Surgeon. She completed a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery before completing her medical internship at the Price of Wales Hospital and later became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. She remains a consultant surgeon and is employed at Alpha part-time. Her role at Alpha is to review the technical specifications of new innovative products in the health sector. She is well connected amongst the medical industry and provides insight to the company to stay ahead of the curve. 

Shareholding

Aside from Carol and Joe’s equity, the remainder of issued shares in the company are currently held by 45 separate individual investors – with no single investor holding over 10% equity. 

Insurance

The company holds Directors’ & Officers’ Liability Insurance in the amount of $10 million covering each “senior officer” within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). 

Client Instructions

A number of issues are brought to our attention: 

In July 2019, Dillion received information about a new company “D-Cubed Ltd” – an Australian company with its registered office located in Sydney. Dillion read an article in a scientific journal last year about 3D printing silicone heart valves for surgeries. The article noted that unlike existing products, 3D printed valves are custom fit to patients, are longer lasting, do not require immunosuppression drugs, and potentially less expensive. It sounded like a great idea and Dillion’s industry research established that D-Cubed Ltd were looking to manufacture 3D printing silicone machines for Australian hospitals. 

Carol and Dillon met with the company’s executives later that month and were provided with a prospectus which included the following statement: 

“Funds raised will be principally utilised to purchase land and buildings in Tullamarine, Victoria, and capital equipment required to manufacture 3D printing machines.” 

In August 2019, Alpha acquired 500,000 ordinary shares D-Cubed Ltd at $1 per share. No other investors made investments in D-Cubed Ltd

In February 2020, it is now revealed that D-Cubed Ltd used funds to purchase land in Altona not Tullamarine. Further this land was for the company’s head office and could not accommodate an industrial factory required to manufacture the 3D printing machines. Leaked documents dated April 2019 reveal that D-Cubed had always planned to engage a third party contractor overseas to manufacture the machines and have them shipped to Australia. Carol has personally complained to senior management and they threatened to cancel Alpha’s shares. 

In August 2020, Carol has offers from an additional 10 individual sophisticated investors to invest at least $300,000 in Alpha in exchange for ordinary shares. Joe tells Carol that he does not think Alpha is able to issue shares to all 10 prospective investors and recommends listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. 

In September 2020, Alpha received notice that a company that they are invested in – Wearable Diagnostics Pty Ltd – is insolvent and the directors have put the company into voluntary administration. Alpha purchased $2 million worth of shares in the company in 2018. Carol and Dillon still believe in its fundamental business proposition and think that the problem is with incompetent management and operating inefficiencies. Joe proposes that it might be possible for Alpha to save or otherwise take over the Wearable Diagnostics’ business. 

1. In relation to D-Cubed Ltd – 

a. Were D-Cubed Ltd required to provide Alpha with disclosure under Chapter 6 D of the Corporations Act? 

b. In any case, did D-Cubed Ltd breach any disclosure obligations under Chapter 6D of the Corporations Act? 

c. What legal remedies could Alpha take as a member of a company if there was a proposed resolution at the Annual General Meeting of D-Cubed Ltd that sought to cancel Alpha’s shares? 

2. In relation to Alpha Health Capital Pty Ltd 

a. Can Alpha issue shares to further 10 investors? 

b. What are the costs and benefits of Alpha converting from its current legal structure to either (i) an unlisted public company; or (ii) a listed public company. Comment on any other requirements and the procedure to implement a change in company type. 

c. What is the process of voluntary administration and what input will Alpha have in the decision making process about the future of Wearable Diagnostics Pty Ltd?

d. What are the consequences to Alpha if Wearable Diagnostics Pty Ltd is put into liquidation due to insolvency? What are some options that Alpha could propose to the administrator of Wearable Diagnostics Pty Ltd to keep the company’s business operating?

LAW2457-Law of Investment and Financial Market

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