“We see this as temporary. What we don’t know is how long this will go for, but I do believe that this will pass and hospitals will re-open in a more normal way of working.. and what we do know is the incidence of hearing loss won’t change and the proportion of the global population with hearing loss is increasing.”
Cochlear’s shares recommenced trading on the ASX on Thursday morning, having been placed in a trading halt on Wednesday until the completion of the placement, and in opening trade were down 1.4 per cent to $165.60.
On top of the institutional placements, Cochlear is also raising up to $50 million from retail investors, who can apply for up to $30,000 each in new shares, priced at the lesser of the placement price or a 2 per cent discount to Cochlear’s five day volume-weighted-average-price.
The key driver for the equity capital raise was for Cochlear to maintain its conservative gearing, while also maintaining its existing 4000-plus person strong workforce and its planned capital expenditure and research and development investments.
“We want to make sure we’re there to help people with hearing loss at this time and very importantly to make sure we continue to support the more than half a million people around the world that has one of our products throughout their lifetime,” Mr Howitt said.
“That support comes from our employees and our employee knowledge and experience, so we want to retain that. Our R&D is a core part of providing better hearing and solutions to our customers and a core part of our competitive advantage and that’s why we want to be able to continue to invest.”
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