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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Investment company S-Ventures is set to join the market on 16 September. The strategy is to make investments in consumer health and organic food businesses in the UK and Europe. The S-Ventures management will use their expertise to help smaller brands grow faster and achieve greater scale. Up to three acquisitions are planned each year and they are likely to have values of between £150,000 and £2m.

Evrima (EVA) has secured an option to acquire a 17.2% stake in Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration (KKME), which would increase its investment in the Botswana-focused nickel, copper and platinum explorer to 19.6%. The former Sport Capital Group has 60 days to acquire the stake for $183,000 in the form of 2.3 million shares at 6p each. The same number of warrants will be issued, and they are exercisable at 12p each. AIM-quoted Power Metals has a

Block Commodities (BLCC) has been fined £7,000 by the Aquis Stock Exchange. Block failed to make sure that it provided accurate and fully up to date information to investors about fundraisings. It also failed to consult with its corporate adviser. Trading in the shares remains suspended.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is assessing potential gemstones opportunities in Africa.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has sold a 29.5% stake in LCP Financial for £275,000 in order to provide funds to develop the waste and recycling operations.

Early Equity (EEQP) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser and trading has recommenced in the shares.

Gold explorer Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has raised £403,000 at 0.275p a share. Each new share has a warrant attached that is exercisable at 0.7p each after the results of the exploration drilling are released. The cash will finance drilling.

AIM

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) has restarted production following lockdown despatches have recovered more quickly than the sector. Interim revenues fell by 17% and underlying pre-tax profit was halved, but full year expectations have been upgraded. The bricks manufacturer is operating at normal levels and June 2020 revenues were better than those in June 2019. Canaccord Genuity has upgraded its full year profit forecast from £5.3m to £6.5m, down from £9.7m in 2019. Limited UK brick production capacity means that Michelmersh is in a strong position and it has demonstrated its resilience this year. 

Internet domain name registry and services provider CentralNic (CNIC) is paying $36m for the Codewise businesses, which provide monetisation services and online marketing tools. This fits with Team Internet and will be significantly earnings enhancing from day one. A placing raised £30m at 75p a share.

Synairgen (SNG) has published interim data for its SNG001 treatment that suggests that it could be effective for COVID-19 patients, particularly those suffering with more severe symptoms.

Belvoir Group (BLV) weathered the COVID-19 lockdown well. Financial services increased their contribution in the first half and lettings income held up. Underlying pre-tax profit improved by 7% to £3.16m, helped by the Lovelle acquisition. Earnings per share were 16% higher at 7.3p. The interim dividend is 3.4p and a further 2p is payable in lieu of the final dividend that was not paid. The former boss sold shares at 150p each.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) reported an unchanged interim pre-tax profit of £2m and an interim dividend of 2.1p a share is being paid. Cash has risen to £6.1m. Lettings income held up and trading was strong in June. The core business and online operation EweMove both performed strongly in July.

Arden has initiated research on Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) and it believes that the palm oil and cashew nut processer is worth 7.6p a share. The broker believes that Dekel could make an operating profit next year. Profit should build up over the next few years as cashew nuts processing activities grow.

Concrete levelling equipment supplier Somero Enterprises (SOM) is resuming dividends and paying a deferred final dividend of 20.7 cents a share as well as an interim of 4 cents a share. That will cost $14m. North American interim sales held up best with European sales falling by one-quarter. Pre-tax profit is still expected to fall from $28m to $17.6m, but net cash should be $20m at the end of 2020.

Digital invoicing services provider Tungsten Corporation (TUNG) is on course to move into profit in the current financial year. The loss per share was reduced from 3.5p to 1.4p in the year to April 2020 and there was cash generated from operations.

Irrigation products supplier Amiad Water Systems (AFS) reported a decline in revenues but profit increased as margins improved. Amiad was already reducing its cost base when COVID-19 started to hamper the business. This led Stifel to increase its full year pre-tax profit forecast to $4.5m. Further growth could come from new products and potential acquisitions.

Building and construction products supplier Alumasc (ALU) has realigned its cost base but pre-tax profit was still one-third down at £3.7m as full year revenues declined by 16% to £76m. A 2p a share dividend was declared. Trading has been recovering since the June year end. Further cost saving benefits will help profit to recover this year. finnCap forecasts £6.4m pre-tax profit for 2020-21.

New SIPP business has been slow for STM (STM) but the recurring revenue base means that interim revenues were maintained at £11.8m. Additional personnel costs reduced pre-tax profit by nearly one-third to £1.1m. There is £17.6m in the bank and that enables STM to pay an interim dividend of 0.55p a share, which should be one-third of the total for the year. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.5m is forecast, with a rebound to £4.5m in 2021.

Recruitment firm Hydrogen (HYDG) plans to cancel the AIM quotation. A tender offer of 40p a share provides investors with a way to sell their shares prior to the cancelation.

MAIN MARKET

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has realigned costs so that they are more in line with revenues. In the first half of 2020, revenues fell by 13% to £71.6m, but operating profit was one-quarter higher at £9m. Gross margins continue to increase, and overheads have been kept down. Operating profit margin of 12.3% was higher than ever before.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 24 August 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Medical device developer TruSpine Technologies (TSP) ended the week at 34.5p (32p/37p). TruSpine has raised £1.4m at 36p a share with a commitment for a further £250,000. This should provide enough cash until Cervi-Lok, which is one of the three spinal stabilisation devices being developed, starts to generate sales.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its joint venture with IOV Labs has signed a deal with RedFOX Labs to build fast scaling internet business on the RSK blockchain. Coinsilium has also secured an adviser role to Indorse for a forthcoming initiative to revive the token economics of its IND token through a decentralised finance model. The value of Coinsilium’s cryptocurrency holdings is $575,000, with further tokens worth $105,000 set to vest over the next 12 months.  

KR1 (KR1) has started to generate revenues from staking activities on the Polkadot network, which is KR1’s largest investment. So far, 530.67 DOT have been generated and this has raised $194,802.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.25m at 12p a share. This will provide working capital and help to pay back loan notes, which are currently valued at £1.7m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) is raising £400,000 at 2p a share. Gold exploration is commencing at the Wishbone II project in Queensland. Exploration will also restart at the White Mountains project.

Gunsynd (GUN) owns 4.97 million shares in nickel project developer Sunshine Minerals, which is being acquired by Malachite Resources. Gunsynd will receive 1.26 million shares in Malachite with further deferred consideration of 1.64 million shares.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has released positive news from surface stockpiles at the Beaconsfield gold mine. The average grade is 3.2g/tonne in 80,000 tonnes of surveyed stockpiles.

World High Life (LIFE) is increasing production capacity by 400%. The new Love Hemp facility will produce 43,000 units of CBD oils, capsules and cosmetics each day. July sales were 57% higher than in June with much higher online sales.

Belvedere Leisure (BELV) has agreed a new strategy with Landal GreenParks UK, which involves delivering lodges for domestic tourism and staycations. The company is in negotiations to acquire the Barncrosh site in Scotland and the company is seeking other sites. Belvedere Leisure Park has been placed in administration and will no longer guarantee the company bonds.

Ian Harebottle and Richard Lloyd have been appointed as directors of All Star Minerals (ASMO).

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) chief executive Alistair Currie bought 86,419 shares at 25p each and 13,581 at 29.5p each. He has a 3.28% stake.

AIM

Online fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) doubled its revenues last year. In the year to March 2020, revenues jumped from £4.44m to £9.03m, while the loss more than doubled from £3.55m to £7.81m. First quarter revenues were 54% higher and the lower marketing costs helped to reduce operating costs by 71%. July revenues were 57% higher than the same time last year. Gross margins have improved. There was still £4.4m in cash at the end of June 2020.

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) lost £8.9m in the first half of 2020. That is not surprising given that the car showrooms were shut for ten weeks. A small loss is expected for the full year, although this will depend on September demand. Vertu Motors (VTU) says that it lost £5.2m in the March to June period, but made a pre-tax profit of £7.4m in July. Used vehicle sales made a record gross profit last month with volume growth of 13.7%.

Ceramic products manufacturer Churchill China (CHH) managed to make a small profit before exceptional items. Revenues slumped from £31.9m to £18.9m with a strong start to the year offset by COVID-19 in the second quarter. The majority of sales were of hospitality products. Cash improved to £16.3m thanks to the fact that there was no final dividend last year. A potential interim dividend will be reviewed in December when the fourth quarter trading is clearer.

Elypsis Solutions has sold a 3.4% stake in Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) to Heirloom Investment Management, leaving it with 53.6%. The Adamas share buyback programme is still active. NAV was 75p a share at the end of June 2020, compared to a share price of 26.5p.

Oil and gas producer Hurricane Energy (HUR) admits that it is likely to materially downgrade the resource estimate for the Lancaster early production system and the West of Shetland portfolio of assets. Production is expected to decline from the current 17,000 barrels of oil per day.

Synthetic heavy fuel developer Quadrise Fuels International (QFI) will receive $150,000 for equipment and support supplied to Greenfield Energy for a commercial trial, which will be completed by the end of the year.

Renalytix AI (RENX) has announced a collaboration with AstraZeneca for the use of the KidneyIntelX technology in other chronic diseases.  

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has made a $5m investment in Trellus Health in return for a 31% stake. Trellus has licenced a platform for the management of inflammatory bowel disease.

Cyber security services provider Shearwater Group (SWG) says positive momentum is continuing. An underlying EBITDA is being made due to higher margin products and efficiencies. There is £4.1m in the bank.

MAIN MARKET

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) still has not published its 2019 accounts. Further work is required on the corporate leasing division and vehicle financing arrangements. Net debt was £13.5m at the end of June 2020, helped by delayed government payments. There was a significant first half loss in 2020.

OKYO Pharma (OKYO) is seeking a Nasdaq listing. It has raised £1.44m through additional convertible loan notes to finance clinical development.

BATM (BVC) is on course to increase full year underlying pre-tax profit from $5.2m to $8.8m on a revenues one-third higher. There was cash of $44.3m at the end of June 2020. A resumption of dividend payments is promised at the end of the year. The bio-medical division increased interim revenues by two-thirds to $50m and improved its gross margin. Demand for COVID-19 diagnostic kits remains strong. The networking division improved interim revenues by 3% to $27.4m.

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) has upgraded its 2020 underlying operating profit guidance from £18m to at least £23m, helped by improved gross margins. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be at least 11p a share. The interims will be published on 8 September.

Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Cindrigo and Cindrigo Energy, which are involved in waste-to-energy and biomass energy projects.

Metal Tiger (MTR) wants to obtain an Australian Stock Exchange listing before the end of the year.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 29 June 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down Group (CDGP) increased sales last year, but the loss was also higher. Sales of wine and beer grew and revenues from continuing activities improved from £12.86m to £14.8m, while the loss more than doubled from £850,000 to £2.09m. the Chapel Down Gin Works in Kings Cross has been closed. There was still £2.47m in the bank at the end of 2019, even after the loss and £12m of investment in fixed assets and land. There are 428 acres of planted vineyard. Wine stocks have also increased following a good harvest. The Ashford brewery has been completed and full brewing capacity will be available before the end of the year. Martin Glenn is succeeding John Dunsmore as chairman.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has entered into a £55m development framework agreement with Equitix, an investor in infrastructure assets. This will finance up to five diagnostic facilities in the UK. Each will be owned by a special purpose vehicle funded by Equitix and operated by Rutherford. An initial agreement has been made with a NHS Trust. Rutherford also announced a collaboration with Panthera Biopartners, which will be able to use Rutherford’s clinics for trials of potential cancer treatments.

Racing recommenced at Newbury Racecourse (NYR) on 11 June. Three race meetings have been held and five more are planned by the end of August. No public are being admitted. Revenues are coming from media rights. The Rocking Horse nursery reopened earlier this month.

Good Energy (GOOD) is increasing its investment in Next Green Car, which owns Zap-Map, to 50.1% through the exercise of a convertible loan.

BWA (BWAP) has spent £120,000 of the initial commitment of £250,000 for two rutile licence areas in Cameroon. Drilling programmes are being designed. COVID-19 has hampered progress with the company’s Canadian interests.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that investee company Factom Inc has filed for Cahpter 11 bankruptcy protection because of its failure to raise more cash. It could exit Chapter 11 protection within three months if things go to plan.The investment was valued at £237,000.

IamFire (FIRE) is reviewing strategies having raised £500,000 at 2.5p a share.  Each share comes with two warrants with an exercise price of 10p a share. The investment focus is natural resources, mining and disruptive technology.

SAPO (SAPO) is still seeking a broadband investment and net assets were £1.1m at the end of 2019. At 3.2p a share, SAPO is valued at £6m.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £137,750 in Rincon Resources, which gives it a stake of 28.4%. Rincon has the rights to three prospective gold and base metals projects in Western Australia. Gunsynd has sold its stake in United Oil and Gas (UOG).

All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised a further £200,000 at 0.02p a share, taking the total raised in share issues to £280,000. Convertible loan notes worth £55,000 have been converted into 275 million shares with 34 million shares at 0.01p each to pay liabilities. This means that more than 1.3 billion shares have been issued, which has nearly doubled the shares in issue.

AIM

Recent trading at floorcoverings supplier Victoria (VCP) has exceeded expectations. Manufacturing has restarted in all the company’s plants. All the main countries are doing relatively well considering the disruption due to COVID-19 and in the most recent three weeks revenues were 85% of pre-COVID-19 budget. The UK carpets business is only just getting going again. Net debt is £370m, which is predominantly bonds that last until July 2024. Cash generation can reduce debt, although management is likely to look for potential acquisitions.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) reported a decline in interim revenues but that was due to lower commodity prices. The interim dividend has been maintained at 4.6p a share. The agriculture division maintained its operating profit, but there was an improved profit from the merchanting division. Pre-tax profit edged up from £4.3m to £4.5m. Shore Capital has reinstated forecasts. It expects a pre-tax profit of £6.7m, down from £7.9m. This id a deliberately cautious figure.

MSQ Partners has launched a 0.5p a share bid for Be Heard Group (HRD) and that values the digital media company at £6.2m. The acquirer was the subject of a buyout last year. The combined business will have the backing of Lloyds Development Capital and the greater scale will help to win larger clients.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) says that average production from the Abu Sennan concession in the first two weeks of June was 13,900 boepd, of which its working interest is 3,060 boepd. That is 69% higher than the average daily figure in April. The 2P reserves at Abu Sennan have been increased by 12.55 to 13.5MMboe

Transense Technologies (TRT) has transferred its iTrack tyre monitoring business to a Bridgestone subsidiary for $1m and it will receive quarterly royalty revenues for the next ten years. That royalty would be £150,000/ quarter currently, but growth should be faster under Bridgestone. Two Transense directors are moving with iTrack. This leaves Transense with its SAWsense (wireless tyre sensor technology) and Translogik (tyre test equipment) businesses. Transense could move into profit in 2021-22.

A positive trading statement from allergy vaccines developer Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) led finnCap to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast even though revenue growth is slower than expected. A 2019-20 profit of £2.9m is expected, partly due to the timing of research spending. Allergy is expected to move back into loss in 2020-21.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) increased its revenues and pre-tax profit in the nine months to March 2020, with particularly strong growth in the third quarter. There is some disruption to international distribution and supply and full year revenue growth will be lower than originally expected.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) reported flat full year revenues of €20.9m for 2019. The loss was barely changed at €3.29m. There has been a decline in the palm oil price in recent months, which will hamper performance this year. The cashew project is making good progress.

MAIN MARKET

Strong first half trading at BATM Advanced Communication (BVC) has led to broker upgrades for 2020. The biomedical division has done particularly well, but the networks and cyber division has also done better than expected.  Stifel is raising its revenues forecast from $138m to $155m, while the EBITDA estimate has been increased by one-third to $13m. Shore Capital expects to increase forecast revenues by 17% to around $154m with a significant improvement in EBITDA expected.

Construction services provider nmcn (NMCN) made a positive start in the first quarter of this year. Revenues were 4% ahead at £97.9m and pre-tax profit 6% higher at £1.8m. This period was hardly affected by the lockdown. Since the end of March, work has been at three-quarters of normal levels. There was £11.8m in cash at the end of March 2020. The interims will be reported on 6 August and there should be guidance for the full year outcome.

Tex Holdings (TXH) expects to make further cost savings and consolidate more of its activities. The plastics division is operating at 70% of expected levels, while the engineering division has suffered delays but not lost business.

Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) had £302,000 in cash at the end of 2019. It is still assessing the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has raised £1.25m at 3p a share. The cash will accelerate trial mining at the Gakara rare earth project in Burundi.

The 2019 figures of Ross Group (RGP) include pharmaceutical grade Chitin producer Archipelago Aquaculture Group (AAG) for the first time. There were restructuring and impairment costs relating to the acquisition. Pilot production is being implemented and there are joint venture discussions with the company that has developed the Ionic Liquid extraction process licenced by AAG. There was a £3.6m loss in 2019.

SMALL CAP AWARDS 2020

Company of the year: Volex

Technology company of the year: Avacta

Impact company of the year: ITM Power

IPO of the year: Diaceutics

Transaction of the year: Kape acquisition of Private Internet Access

Executive director of the year: David Cicurel (Judges Scientific)

Innovative financing of the year: Yu Group

Journalist of the year: Joanne Hart (Mail on Sunday)

Analyst of the year: Lorne Daniel (finnCap)

VCT manager of the year: Amati

UK smaller companies fund manager of the year: JPM UK Smaller Companies

Lifetime achievement award: Giles Hargreave

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 May 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Daniel Thwaites (THW) closed its pubs and hotels on 20 May and it will not pay a final dividend for 2019-20. Net debt was £65.4m at the end of March 2020 and there are £16.6m of spare bank facilities. Trading had been strong, and the predominance of freehold properties means that rent payments is not as big a concern as it is for some pub operators.

Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) had a NAV of 127p a share at the end of 2019. The share price is 87.5p. There is cash of £4.8m and the company intends to pay off its bond, which has a 6% coupon. In 2019, pre-tax profit dipped from £117,000 to £114,000.

KR1 (KR1) has raised $353,000 from the sale of RPL tokens, relating to the Rocket Pool, which is developing a proof-of-stake infrastructure service using Ethereum 2.0. The tokens were acquired for $0.21 each and sold at $1.67 each. The majority of the RPL tokens acquired are still held by KR1 even though there was a buyer for all of them. The takeover of digital asset custodian Volt Ltd has generated a further $244,000.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has signed a framework agreement that will enable it to provide cancer treatment services to NHS trusts. The deal lasts an initial period of two years.

Altona Energy (ANR) has cancelled its open offer because the minimum amount was not raised. Instead, management is in discussions with three companies that could reverse into Altona. Cash will be required to cover the costs of a reverse takeover.

Trading has resumed in Lombard Capital (LCAP) shares. Lombard’s waste and recycling subsidiary is acquiring land in Preston for £1.08m. Lombard needs to issue more bonds in order to fully fund the purchase. Existing bond holders are swapping £507,000 worth into shares at 25p each and £320,000 has been raised from the exercise of warrants at 10p each. The current share price is 27.5p and it is more than five times the level it was two months ago. The site was previously used for recycling and Lombard will reapply for an environmental licence. It will be used for a waste to energy project and a plastic recovering plant.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has been appointed as adviser to Kesholabs, a Kenya-based blockchain technology developer. Kesholabs is developing three applications that could be launched within 12 months.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that CASA is set to resume limited operations after the lockdown in South Africa. CASA will produce test work and production of anthracite samples.

Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary DJT plants has met with the MHRA to discuss its plans to grow strains of cannabis. This is part of the licence application to grow medicinal cannabis. There will be further consultation with the UK authorities.

World High Life (LIFE) says that subsidiary Love Hemp has increased capacity for its LH Botanicals business.

IWEP is swapping part of its loan to Eight Capital Partners (ECP) into a 29.8% stake at 0.025p a share. Shares have also been issued to creditors to satisfy money owed.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £270,000 in Stabiltech Biopharma as part of a £6m fundraising. The corporate finance subsidiary is advising the investee company on further fundraisings. The vaccine developer is developing a potential vaccine for COVID-19. Clinical trials should start in June.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) is still seeking property investments. There is £514,000 in the bank and net assets of £470,000.

All Star Minerals (ASMO0 has raised £80,000 at 0.02p a share and a further £170,000 is being sought. Ian Harebottle and Richard Lloyd, who both have mining experience, are joining the board.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £189,500 in placings at 7p a share and 7.5p a share. NQ has raised £340,000 in the past fortnight.

Shareholders have passed the resolution to consolidate 100 existing Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) shares into one new share.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Peterhouse as joint broker.

Engineering businesses consolidator Vulcan Industries is seeking admittance to the Aquis Stock Exchange. The focus is profitable metal fabrication and precision engineering businesses. First Sentinel is corporate adviser. The expected admission date is 1 June.

AIM

Renalytix AI (RENX) plans to gain a Nasdaq listing. The renal diagnostics company has not decided how much money it wants to raise. Renalytix AI has launched a joint venture to develop and produce COVID-19 antibody test kits.

STM (STM) subsidiary Carey has won a court case brought by a client. Adams v Carey related to a non-advisory SIPP taken out by Adams and an investment that he asked to be put in the SIPP. The investment performed poorly, and Adams claimed for loss of value. This case has been going on for more than two years.

Employee background checks provider ClearStar (CLSU) has launched a COVID-19 testing service that will help employers with back to work planning. That could attract additional clients for ClearStar’s services.

Imaging services provider IXICO (IXI) increased interim revenues from £3.43m to £4.56m and that helped to more than double profit from £215,000 to £475,000. There was cash of £6.66m at the end of March 2020. The order book is strong. It was £15.3m at the end of the interim period and more has been added since then. Data analysis from existing trials is continuing during the lockdown.

Tiziana Life Science (TILS) intends to demerge its genomics-based personalised medicine businesses into a separate quoted vehicle. This will enable the business to raise cash to develop the StemPrintER technology for the prediction of disease recurrence in breast cancer patients.

Tissue products developer Tissue Regenix (TRX) raised £14.6m at a share price of 0.25p. This was much-needed cash because existing funds were about to run out.

A share placing by Open Orphan (ORPH) at 11p a share raised £12m after expenses. This will help to finance services for COVID-19 vaccines and tests, as well as more laboratory facilities.

Digital TV technology provider Mirada (MIRA) has extended the term for its revolving credit facility by 12 months to the end of November 2021. Earlier this month, Mirada launched a lower cost version of its technology. Iris in Swift Mode is a pre-packaged platform.

Eddie Stobart Logistics (ESL) has acquired the Eddie Stobart brand from Stobart Group (STOB), which will have to change its name, for £10m. An annual fee of £3m was payable for the brand. This will be saved from now on. There have been some reductions in activity due to COVID-19, but grocery and e-commerce demand remain strong.

Cash shell Summerway Capital (SWC) has £5.55m in the bank as it continues to seek an acquisition.

MAIN MARKET

Contango Holdings (CGO) has published a prospectus relating to the acquisition of the Lubu coal project. The potential deal was announced more than one year ago. A £1.4m placing at 5p a share in January will finance costs and initial investment in the Lubu project. Readmission is expected on 18 June.

The Takeover Panel Executive has denied Moss Bros (MOSB) bidder Brigadier’s attempt to lapse its offer. Brigadier has asked for the ruling to be reviewed.

Pure Gold Mining Inc (PUR) has secured a $15m investment at $1.52 a share. This will be invested in the Red Lake Mine.

Loans to Shefa Gems (SEFA) totalling £1.25m have been converted at a premium to the market price. The shares issued account for 14.5% of the enlarged share capital.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 1 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

NEX Exchange company of the year

National Milk Records (NMRP)  

Dairy and livestock services provider National Milk Records has been on NEX for more than a decade. The share price has increased by more than 500% over the past decade. In the latest quarter to March 2019, revenues improved from £5.32m to £5.56m, even though the number of cows on the database had declined from 743,054 to 713,379 over a 12-month period which hit milk recording revenues. Income from specialist testing has increased. Overall, growth was not as strong as in the first six months, which benefitted from one-off income. An oversupply of milk in recent weeks has hit the milk price and this has held back spending by farmers.

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Wealth management group AFH Financial Group (AFHP) is raising up to £20m via a convertible unsecured loan stock issue. The conversion price is 420p a share, up from 360p before the issue was announced, and the interest rate is 4%. This cash will fund further acquisitions. There are five that are already in due diligence.

Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) is not likely to achieve financial close on three projects, so it will lose money in the 14 months to June 2019. The second half will be profitable. The company should return to profit in 2019-20.

Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased the valuation of its portfolio by 22% to £86.9m at the end of April 2019. Annualised rental income is £6.5m.

Investment company Angelfish Investments (ANGP) had cash of £1.48m, but debt was £3.35m and net liabilities of £543,000 at the end of 2018. This means that the preference dividend cannot be paid because there are no distributable reserves. The decline into net liabilities was mainly due to a £942,000 write-down on loans made to OME. Pre-revenue investments are included at cost.

PCG Entertainment (PCGE) has appointed First Sentinel as its corporate adviser. PCG has not replaced its nominated adviser so it will lose its AIM quotation. Acquisition talks continue.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested £75,000 in fintech company Capable Finance in return for a 50.01% stake and a £25,000 loan with an annual coupon of 15%. First Sentinel directors have participated in a £110,000 placing and they own most of the rest of the shares. First Sentinel has gained a Euronext Dublin listing for its 7.5% bonds, May 2024. Some of this cash will be invested in the activities of Capable Finance.

Shareholders in Valiant Investments have approved the change of name to Eurocann International (BUD) and the focus on medicinal cannabis. It has disposed of its investment in Flamethrower one of its own directors and raised £263,000 at 1.5p a share. Valiant had £1,289 in the bank at the end of 2018. There is still a £200,000 convertible investment in All Star Minerals (ASMO). The company has a stake in North Bud Farms Inc, which has a cannabis production facility in Quebec.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has raised £250,000 at 0.1p a share. This ash will contribute to the £700,000 investment in Apollon Formularies. Executive chairman David Lenigas has bought 17 million shares at 0.11941p each.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has formalised the joint venture with Anglia Salads and JE Piccaver to create DJT Group. Ananda and Anglia which each own 50% of DJT, which will apply for a licence to cultivate and supply cannabis. Ananda had £141,000 in the bank at the end of January 2019.

Sativa Investments (SATI) subsidiary PhytoVista Laboratories has completed an independent blind test consumer cannabidiol products for The Centre for Medicinal Cannabis. Many proved to have too low or too high a content of relevant ingredients.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has terminated its heads of terms with Mkango Resources relating to earning up to 75% of the Thumbani licence because it could not come up with the finance required.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) increased its revenues from $8.2m to $10.9m, although the loss doubled to $1.89m. That is mainly down to a $797,000 loss on an equity sharing agreement. The cash outflow from operations fell from $904,000 to $813,000.

Via Developments (VIA1) reported an increase in interim loss from £10,000 to £259,000, because of higher finance costs.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is raising £1.6m at 0.11p a share and this will fund the investment in the Amapa iron ore project.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) is leaving NEX on 26 July. The minerals explorer has been on NEX for less than nine months. It does not believe it is large enough to benefit from a quotation on NEX as well as the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Small Cap Awards 2019 winners

Company of the year

Beeks Financial Cloud (BKS)

Beeks Financial Cloud provides cloud-based connectivity and infrastructure services provider for automated trading of financial assets. It also provides cyber security services to prevent distributed denial of service attacks. Beeks was formed in 2010 and has consistently grown its revenues. Beeks joined AIM in November 2017 and in May it acquired the trading assets of US-based Commercial Network Services and this adds 1,000 customers. Progressive Research forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £1.2m to £1.4m in the year to June 2019.

IPO of the year

Cake Box Holdings (CBOX)

Egg-free cakes supplier Cake Box won this award the day before its first anniversary on AIM. Cake Box raised £16.5m at 108p a share and at one point the share price was nearly double this level. There is still a premium of more than 60% to the flotation price. In the year to March 2019, revenues increased from £12.8m to £16.9m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.3m to £4m. Two new distribution centre sites have been acquired. There is scope to more than double the business, which currently has 113 stores.

Impact company of the year

Kromek (KMK)

Kromek has developed a range of radiation detection and imaging products based on cadmium zinc telluride (CZT) technology. The company focuses on three sectors – medical imaging, nuclear detection and security. Kromek has been winning multi-million pound international contracts and it has a strong balance sheet following a recent fundraising. Revenues increased by 23% to £14.5m in the year to April 2019. Kromek is losing money, but it is on course to reach breakeven in a couple of years. The orders that are already won underpin the revenue forecasts for the coming years.

Executive director of the year

Mike Creedon, chief executive of Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI)

Mike Creedon has been on the SDI board since 2010, having previously been a finance director of two former AIM companies, Ideal Shopping Direct and Ninth Floor. SDI is an acquisitive digital imaging and sensor control technology company. The acquisition record is good. A trading update has led to a small pre-tax profit upgrade to £2.9m. The 2019-20 pre-tax profit is maintained at £4.1m.

Analyst of the year

George O’Connor, Stifel Nicolaus

Journalist of the year

Simon Thompson, Investors Chronicle

Fund manager of the year

Marlborough Nano Cap Growth

Lifetime achievement

Andrew Buchanan

=====

AIM 

Zoo Digital (ZOO) slipped back into loss in the year to March 2019, but it should return to profit this year. Demand for film and TV localisation services continues to grow but momentum has not been as expected.

Wynnstay (WYN) had already warned about tough second quarter trading, but underlying pre-tax profit held up reasonably well, falling 15% to £4.3m, even though revenues were 19% higher at £218.5m. The increase in revenues was mainly down to commodity inflation. The warmer winter weather hit demand for animal feed, although fertiliser demand has been strong. The agricultural merchanting depots acquired in the past year are moving towards profit. There has been some rationalisation of the depot network. The interim dividend has been raised 4% to 4.6p a share.

China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) has applied for a listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and it will ask shareholders for permission to cancel the AIM quotation, subject to a successful Hong Kong listing.

Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has increased its assets under influence to £5.3bn, helped by recent acquisitions. There is a strong pipeline of additional acquisitions. Interim pre-tax profit improved from £930,000 to £1.63m.

MAIN MARKET 

BATM (BVC) is raising $18m, 20% more than initially sought, at 42.5p a share. Most of the cash is earmarked for the cyber and networking activities. The rest will go towards medical activities. The cash will help in securing partnerships with larger technology companies.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has varied and extended its contract with Canadian data centre provider GPU.one. This will provide access to 14MW of power at lower prices. This increases capacity by 47%, utilising the equipment that has already been ordered, and cuts power cost by 39%. The deal starts on 25 June and lasts three years. Argo can give four months’ notice. A previous deposit of £1.44m has been turned into an investment in GPU.one.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says the engineering operations have started the year slowly, but trading should return to previous levels. The plastics division is trading in line with expectations and there is investment in new machinery. The shares remain suspended.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Ltd (COPL) has joined the standard list. The oil and gas company is focused on Nigeria and sub-Saharan African.

Avocet Mining (AVM) is holding a general meeting on 18 July to gain shareholder approval for a voluntary liquidation. Avocet has sold its interest in the Tri-K gold project in Guinea for $21m. This leaves a small residual cash sum. There is unlikely to be anything substantial left to distribute to shareholders.

Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) shareholders have approved the switch from a premium listing to a standard listing. It is also cancelling its Dublin listing. It may have been difficult to get the full benefits of the lighter regulation of a standard listing if the company were still listed in Dublin.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Ananda Developments (ANA) joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. Ananda is the latest medicinal cannabis-focused investment vehicle. The pre-money valuation was £500,000 There are already potential investments being assessed and management has built up relationships with businesses in Israel and Canada. A reverse takeover valued at up to £10m appears most likely.

Medicinal cannabis business investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has acquired PhytoVista Laboratories from a company owned by Sativa boss Geremy Thomas. Sativa is paying £235,000 in cash and £200,000 in shares at 4p a share. PhytoVista operates a laboratory that tests cannabis oils and hemp products. Because of the demand for the shares, the shareholders originally subject to the orderly market arrangements will be allowed to trade in the shares with the consent of Peterhouse.

KR1 (KR1) has made four more investments. The company invested £593,000 in Dfinity network tokens. Dfinity is developing a supercomputer to host the next generation of software and it is expected to offer unlimited capacity. A further £100,000 has been invested in the Flying Carpet Project, which is involved with a communication protocol for devices, such as drones and automated cars. The number of tokens that the cash will represent has not been decided. A 1.25% stake has been acquired in Connext Inc, which is developing a payment hub, for $50,000 and the same amount of money has acquired a 10% stake in Blocksmith. There is a 12-month option to acquire a further 5% of blockchain system development agency Blocksmith for $100,000

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased its dividend by 25% to 1.25p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 12 July. This will cost £500,000. Property acquisitions have been completed in Oldham and Wigan. The total cost is £6.4m and the rental income is just over £597,000.

Monreal (MORE) has left AIM and joined NEX. Monreal has net cash of £730,000 and the plan is to invest in private technology, media and telecoms businesses.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received a refund of €289,000 (£256,000) from the French tax authorities. This relates to the 2009 tax year and Tectonic hopes to get a €416,000 (£368,500) refund for the 2010 tax year.  VSA Capital has been appointed as financial adviser and joint broker.

Ganapati (GANP) is launching blockchain-enabled casino games and plans to issue a utility token, which will be called G eight C, through an initial coin offer. Pre-sales of the tokens should start in the fourth quarter of 2018.

EcoVista (EVTP) has raised £300,000 at 0.035p a share.

There have been previously unreported trades by a broker in Karoo Energy (KEP), All Star Minerals (ASMO), Valiant Investments (VALP) and Clean Invest Africa (CIA).

AIM     

Film and video localisation services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) continues to gain momentum. Content owners can sell programmes in additional territories because using Zoo’s services means that it is economic when it was not in the past. That means that the addressable market is even bigger because it includes back catalogue that would not have been localised previously. In the year to March 2018, revenues rose from $16.5m to $26.8m and Zoo moved into profit. That pre-tax profit is expected to more than treble to $1.8m this year.

eve Sleep (EVE) is growing but not at the rate that was hoped for and the chief executive and founder has stepped down. That was inevitable considering the ridiculously high valuation put on the company when it floated and how it has not justified that level of optimism. The mattress supplier grew sales by 61% in the first half when the market had expected more than doubled sales. A new distribution agreement with beds retailer Dreams should help supplement growth in the second half. Even so, eve Sleep is not expected to make a profit until 2020.

Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has received a bid approach from Huadong Medicine and discussions are at an early stage. Both companies supply aesthetic products. Sinclair says first half revenues outside of the US grew by 18% and overall sales improved from £20.1m to £21.3m. US sales fell from £2.5m to £800,000 following the split from the company’s former partner. The direct sales operation in the US is beginning to generate revenues. Net debt was £14.8m at the end of June 2018.

Integumen (SKIN) is not proceeding with the reverse takeover of biomaterials company Cellulac but it hopes to acquire a minority stake. The 2017 accounts have still not been published.

Digital imaging technology developer Kromek (KMK) increased its revenues by nearly one-third to £11.8m in the year to March 2018 and the loss was down from £3.79m to £2.34m. There is £7.7m in the bank and that should be enough to enable Kromek to reach a cash generative situation. The medical business is growing particularly well, while nuclear detection has good prospects for medium-term growth.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) reported first half revenues grew by nearly 10% and flat profit. Insurance business is declining because of competitive pricing so all the growth is coming from overseas fleet business. Full year earnings per share are likely to be flat. The forecast dividend of 13.5p a share would not be covered by earnings of 12.8p a share.

Defence equipment and services supplier Cohort (CHRT) managed to improve its pre-tax profit from £14.5m to £15.5m even though the defence market was tough. Management believes that the order book has fallen due to delays to projects. The dividend was raised from 7.1p a share to 8.2p a share.

Technology business investor Mercia Technologies (MERC) reported flat NAV of 40.7p a share but it has a number of investments that could mature over the next couple of years and their valuations could be upgraded. Mercia nearly covered its expenses with its revenues. There is still £52.9m of cash that can be invested.

Waste to energy plants developer Powerhouse Energy (PHE) has raised £694,000 at 0.5p a share. Powerhouse had £750,000 in the bank at the end of 2017 but there are still significant cash outflows.

Direct carrier billing company Boku Inc (BOKU) appears on course to make a £2.7m pre-tax profit this year. Boku processed $1.5bn worth of transactions in the first half and revenues should be nearly $17m. There was $30m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Churchill China (CHH) says that first half trading is stronger than expected on the back of growing sales in Europe. The interims will be published on 30 August.

EQTEC (EQT) has secured $3.2m (£2.4m) in new loan facilities from Cuart Investments Fund and associates. This will be drawn down in two instalments. Origen Capital put together the lenders and it is subscribing £1.15m at 0.6p a share. Existing lenders have agreed to capitalise £693,000 of interest. This means that the previous loan facility has ended.

MAIN MARKET    

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has made a high grade spinel discovery. The northern Israel-focused gemstone explorer has found nine different gemstone minerals.

Software company Gresham Technologies (GHT) is paying up to €8.5m for B2 Group, which will add €1.4m in revenues and should be earnings enhancing in its first full financial year. The customer base includes banks, insurers and asset managers. Gresham expects its own first half revenues to be 5% lower due to a weak performance in Australia. Net cash was £6.8m at the end of June 2018.

Electronic Data Processing (EDP) has recommended a bid from a company owned by Kerridge Commercial Systems. The cash offer is 91p a share and values the enterprise resource planning software provider at £11.9m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 December 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

First Sentinel (FSEN) has bought a 80% stake in Perennial Enterprises in Australia in an all share deal. Perennial is a profitable debtor finance business and it is purchasing A$5m of invoices each month. Shane Perry of Perennial will join the First Sentinel board.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has sold its investment in Gold Mines of Wales to Alba Mineral Resources (ALBA) in return for 83.3 million shares in Alba (3.6% of the company). That was worth £317,000 at an Alba share price of 0.38p.

NHS-focused software systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) has been hit by budget cuts but management is hopeful that NHS restructuring will have a positive effect. A tender has been won for a pilot of a new product range. The NHS will launch the GPSOC3 tendering in 2018 and this could provide opportunities for DXS.

Block Energy (BLOK) has delayed its move to AIM until mid-January. It was originally expected to make the move on 7 December.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) had net assets of £1.88m at the end of September 2017. Since then, two buildings in Peterlee have been acquired and more acquisitions are promised in the near future.

Early Equity (EEQP) impaired two investments in the year to August 2017. The full year loss was £139,000. Further cash has been raised since the year end.

Commercial property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the purchase of the New Majestic Bingo Hall, Middlesbrough for £4.15m and it generates rent of £313,000 a year.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) has raised £30,000 at 0.075p a share.

AIM

Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) is acquiring a controlling interest in a cobalt licence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for $100,000. This is near to existing cobalt and copper mines. A holding company will be 70% owned by Sula and 30% owned by the vendor. A placing is raising £1.75m at 0.05p a share. This will provide cash for the exploration of the new licence and finance the development of the assets in Sierra Leone. Sula will assess other opportunities in the DRC. The Riverfort facility will be terminated and shares bought back from D-Beta. The company is changing its name to African Battery Materials.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has raised the cash to finance the completion of the phase II studies for SFX-01, which uses its synthetic sulforaphane called Sulforadex. There is a phase II trial assessing the treatment of metastatic breast cancer and there should be an interim reading in the first half of 2018 and it will report fully before the end of the year. There is also a phase II trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage stroke, which should also report by the end of 2018. Evgen has raised £2.3m at 12p a share. Hardman says that cash burn is £300,000 a month.

Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) has reset its flotation date to 19 December and it is raising £25.4m, before costs of £1.2m, at 62p a share. Numis is nominated adviser and broker, while Baden Hill is joint bookrunner. Mirriad, which has developed technology to enable product placement in existing TV and film content, will be valued at £63.2m. Management is raising £800,000 from the sale of existing shares. IP Group is a major shareholder and is investing a further £3.7m, leaving it with a 27.2% stake. Amati VCT, Amati VCT 2, Edge Performance VCT and Oxford Technology 4 VCT, which acquired its shareholding around a decade ago, also have stakes, although it does not appear that the VCTs will generate much of an increase in the value of their holdings at the placing price.

Brighton Pier Group (PIER) has agreed to buy mini golf site operator Paradise Island Adventure Golf for an initial £10.5m. The business made an EBITDA of £1.21m on revenues of £3.49m in the most recent financial year. Six sites are being operated with two to be added. This is less seasonal than Brighton Pier. A placing raised £3m at 95p a share, with executive chairman Luke Johnson investing £850,000.

Delays with a project at Hinckley C hampered last year’s figures from Redhall (RHL) but the underlying business has been put on a much firmer footing. The order book is higher and so are the gross margins on the work.

Collagen Solutions (COS) has been hit by a delayed order from a major tissue customer which is launching a new product incorporating the tissue. This will hamper full year revenues. Interim revenues were flat at £1.86m and the full year revenues are expected to still rise from £3.95m to £4.31m but this is around £800,000 lower than previous forecasts. There should still be £6m in the bank at the end of March 2018. The long-term prospects for the ChondroMimetic cartilage repair product are positive.

Vianet Group (VNET) is switching its revenue model for its smart machines division to focus increasingly on regular recurring revenues from contactless payment technology sales. This held back interim revenues. Since the end of the first half, Vianet has completed the acquisition of Vendman and this should make a small profit contribution in the second half. Full year group revenues are expected to rise from £14.3m to £15.4m, while pre-tax profit should move from £2.5m to £2.8m. Vianet is changing its sector to telecommunication equipment.

Accounting software supplier FreeAgent Holdings (FREE) grew its interim revenues by 28% to £4.6m without any significant contribution from its partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland. Growth was slowed by regulation changes relating to public sector contractors. The policy of moving towards digital tax returns will provide a future boost to demand for the company’s software from small businesses. House broker N+1 Singer has trimmed its forecast revenues for the next two years and does not expect FreeAgent to make a full year pre-tax profit over that time scale.

Sovereign Mines of Africa (SMA) ran into regulatory and tax issues relating to its proposed reverse takeover of an Indian eyewear manufacturer. Trading in the shares was suspended on 21 July so it has until 27 January to find a potential acquisition.

Pennant International (PEN) is partnering with Capewell Aerial Systems, a producer of military and law enforcement equipment. The two companies will develop opportunities and an initial product is already under development. The news that BAE is selling Typhoon aircraft to Qatar is also good for Pennant.

Wind measurement technology developer Windar Photonics (WPHO) has received an order for 300 WindEYE LiDAR systems from a Chinese distributor. There will be 50 delivered this year and the rest in the first half of 2018.

Software supplier Pelatro plans to join AIM on 19 December. The mViva software is developed in India and used for marketing by telecommunications companies.

Video games developer Sumo Group plans to float by the end of December. Video games industry veteran Ian Livingstone is a non-executive director.

MAIN MARKET

Hemogenyx Pharmaceuticals (HEMO) has made good progress since it reversed into a standard list shell. Hemogenyx continues to work with contract research organisation LakePharma Inc, whose holding company invested £350,000 in Hemogenyx, to develop its therapies for bone marrow or blood stem cell transplants. This collaboration should help to progress the CDX technology towards clinical studies in 16 months time and preparatory work has started on a submission to the US FDA. The company has recently announced a collaboration with Oxford University that could generate work that will significantly improve the efficiency and safety of bone marrow transplants. A reliable supply of human tissue has been secured from a US research university.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has shipped the first load of rare earth mineral concentrate and it is currently on the road Mombasa. Production has commenced on time and within budget. Gasagwe is the only producing rare earths mine in Africa. Arden believes that Rainbow could make a profit of $3.4m in the year to June 2018, rising to $4.2m in 2018-19.

Deloitte has been appointed as administrator to Torotrak (TRK) because of a shortage of cash. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 28 August 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) and Ecotricity have come to an agreement that means the latter has withdrawn its requisition of a general meeting. No details were released about the reasons behind the withdrawal.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is in talks to sell part of its 16.1% stake in AIM-quoted Bacanora Minerals (BCN) to a strategic investor group. Bacanora’s main interest is in the Sonora lithium project in Mexico.

Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has formed a Gibraltar-based subsidiary called Terrastream Ltd, which plans to develop blockchain platform for a token-based alternative funding system. Gibraltar is expected to be the first jurisdiction to develop a regulatory framework for distributed ledger technology and the blockchain. A token sale will help to finance the development work. The initial focus is likely to be the resources sector.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has added additional ground to its licence in Australia. The new area will be called Palomino North.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) has extended the terms of the convertible loan note issued to Valiant Investments have been extended so it matures in May 2018. The annual interest charge is 20% and the conversion price is 0.1p a share. The maturity dates of other loan notes totalling £110,000 have been extended to January 2018. The interest rate and conversion price are the same. Shares have been issued to satisfy past liabilities on these loan notes.

AIM

Warehouse REIT has issued the AIM prospectus for its placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer to raise up to £150m. An existing portfolio of warehouse assets will be acquired for £108.9m, based on a 7% net initial yield, and there are other potential assets being assessed. A dividend of 5.5p a share is being targeted for the year to March 2019.

Utilitywise (UTW) has confirmed that trading last year was in line with expectations so pre-tax profit is likely to decline from £8.2m to £4.7m.

Palace Capital (PCA) has sold a Bristol property for £2.25m, which is its net asset value, following the loss of one of its tenants, Blafour Beatty. The property was acquired as part of a portfolio from Quintain in 2013.

Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) is acquiring Applied Thermal Control, a manufacturer of chillers, coolers and heat exchangers, for up to £1.2m.

Management Resource Solutions (MRS) says that its chief executive Joe Clayton has left the company. He was appointed chief executive at the end of 2016. In the year to June 2017, MRS generated revenues of A$52.2m and the loss for the year will be higher than expected. Exceptional costs will also be higher than thought initially. MRS had cash of A$2m.

Gatemore Capital has increased its stake in DX (DX.) from 21.3% to 23.8% following the resumption of trading in the shares.

Redx Pharma (REDX) will be paying unsecured creditors in full. The process has begun but it will take some time. This brings the reintroduction of trading in the shares nearer.

Home improvements products provider entu (UK) (ENTU) is appointing an administrator because it has not agreed a refinancing with a potential financial backer. The trading businesses will be sold. Trading in the shares was suspended on 24 August. entu raised £32.8m when it joined AIM in October 2014.

Kin Group (KIN) has been unable to secure the funding it requires and an administrator has been appointed to the main subsidiary. Kin Group will not get anything from a sale of the subsidiary and it will become a shell. There will still be a requirement for a fundraising for the shell to be viable.

365 Agile (365) has left AIM because it has been unable to secure a reverse takeover. Potential acquisitions are still being assessed.

Mercantile Ports and Logistics Ltd (MPL) has signed up the first customer for its Mumbai port facility. This should generate £4.7m for each one million tonnes handled, with the payment raised by 7% a year. Two million tonnes of cargo have been contracted for the first year, with a guaranteed minimum of 750,000 tonnes, and the figure will rise for each of the next two years reaching three million tonnes in the third year, with a minimum of two million tonnes. Operations should commence in December. The share price rose by two-thirds to 8.13p.

Sula Iron & Gold (SULA) has raised £900,000 at 0.146p a share but £500,000 of this figure will be part of an equity sharing agreement. Sula is gambling that it will receive £500,000 or more as part of the equity sharing agreement and this will paid on a monthly basis until September 2018. The benchmark price is 0.161p a share so each month the share price has to be at least that level for Sula to at least receive that amount owed. The board members have agreed to halve their salaries.

Verditek (VDTK) has secured a deal that will mean that 51%-owned Greenflex Energy will provide its solar technology to power digital advertising boards in bus shelters in Italy. This is a trial contract won via competitive tender and starting with one bus shelter and then rolling out to a further 20. The customer is Media One, which operates more than 5,000 digital advertising boards.

Finsbury Food (FIF) is closing the loss-making pastry products maker Grain D’Or,which has failed to improve despite cost controls. Grain D’Or was acquired as part of the £56m Fletchers acquisition in 2014 and last year generated revenues of £28.5m.

Church & Dwight has terminated its CSD500 condom licensing deal with Futura Medical (FUM) after just over four years. The licence covered North America and part of Europe. The rights will be returned to Futura by November. New partners will be sought.

Green & Smart Holdings (GSH) says that biogas project development is on track and the company could pay a maiden dividend for the 2017-18 financial year.

Investment in the business has held back first half progress at packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN) and underlying pre-tax profit fell from £580,000 to £364,000. It was also difficult to pass on plastic resin cost increases. Full year profit is forecast to fall from £2.2m to £1.2m.

Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) has retired its $3m prepayment facility, which was used to buy part of its 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation, with Wogen Resources. Vametco Alloys has increased its facility from $6m to $11m. Vametco’s Nitrovan vanadium will be marketed by Wogen around the world outside of Japan and Taiwan.

Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) is acquire drain services provider Grease Management for up to £1.11m. Annual revenues are £1.28m and three-quarters are recurring. Post-acquisition cost savings of around £100,000 could nearly double the profit contribution.

Cancer drug developer Sareum (SAR) says that its full year profit will be better than expected. The cash pile will also be higher than forecast.

Sphere Medical Holdings (SPHR) is ditching its AIM quotation as part of a funding deal with Woodford Investment Management and the Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund, which will invest £5m in convertible preferred shares. Other investors will invest up to £3m. The convertibles will be issued at 2.82p each and can be swapped for one ordinary share. Sphere will be re-registered as a private limited company, which makes it possible for Woodford to invest more.

MAIN MARKET

Nanoco Group (NANO) is attracting interest in its cadmium-free quantum dots following the EU’s plans to ban cadmium in displays from October 2019. However, revenues are slower in coming through than hoped.

Photovoltaic silicon wafers supplier PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) still had net cash of €27.9m at the end of June 2017. Running down inventories has offset the loss of €5.4m. A decision should be made by the arbitration tribunal concerning a customer that did not purchase the wafers it was contracted to buy by the end of September.

Packaging company Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its revenues from £81.5m to £89.8m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £2m to £2.54m with the improvement coming from the distribution business. Net debt was £14.6m at the end of June 2017, while the pension fund deficit was cut from £14.5m to £13.4m. The interim dividend was increased from 0.55p a share to 0.6p a share.

Following the ending of bid talks for Quarto (QRT), Liontrust has cut its stake from 12.65% to 7.54%. Cavendish Asset Management has taken its stake to 5.18%, while two directors have also made small purchases.

Shares in standard list hostels operator Myanmar Strategic (SHWE) started trading on 22 August. The placing price was $10 and the shares are trading at $9.5m – a bid/offer price of $7/$12.

Standard list shell Boston International (BIH) is in talks to acquire Cornhill FX Holdings. This is part of the strategy to acquire operations in the foreign exchange sector. Legal and financial due diligence is being undertaken. Cornhill Capital is Boston’s broker.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 5 June 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

National Milk Records (NMRP) is raising £7.33m at 65p a share in order to help finance the withdrawal from the Milk Pension Fund. Like Genus, National Milk Records was part of the Milk Marketing Board and that is why it has part responsibility for the Milk Pension Fund. There will be a one-off contribution of £10.1m to the fund and £4.68m will be paid in cash and shares to Genus. National Milk Records is also selling its loss-making generic products reseller Inimex to Genus for a nominal amount and entering a collaboration agreement with the animal genetics company. There would be a requirement to finance the fund up until 2076 if the deal does not go ahead. A New Zealand-based farmer cooperative and Singapore-based fund manager Working Capital Management are among the investors subscribing for the shares.

Contemporary art collector and workspace provider V22 (V22O) moved into profit in 2016. The £1m profit was helped by a £225,000 gain on the sale of half of the option to acquire part of the freehold of its Peckham building and a £225,000 notional gain on the remaining option. There was also other operating income of £621,000. Stripping these items out, there would have been a slightly higher loss. Revenues grew from £822,000 to £1.24m. There was £64,000 in the bank at the end of 2016. NAV, including a valuation of the art portfolio, is 7.31p a share. Demand for studio space is strong at a time when it is become less affordable. This puts V22 in a strong position. V22 has agreed a ten year lease on premises in Shoreditch and is the preferred bidder for a 125 year lease on The Priory in Orpington.

Blockchain-focused investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has raised £250,000 at 2.2p a share to finance further investments. In 2016, Coinsilium increased revenues from £12,000 to £209,000. There was a total loss of £738,000, including a £317,000 loss on disposals and investment impairments of £160,000 – admittedly down from £1.31m the previous year. The NAV was £1.43m at the end of 2016.

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) is also seeking blockchain investments. This includes subscribing for shares in Satoshipay. It has also invested in five initial token offerings and three of them are already being traded and have performed well.

London Nusantara Plantations (PALM) is selling its stake in Next Oasis for £124,000. This was in the 2016 balance sheet at a valuation of £112,000 and the proceeds will boost the 2016 cash pile from £83,000. London Nusantara has been quoted for three years and it is still seeking to acquire plantation assets and it has widened its geographic search to Indonesia, as well as considering the palm oil mill sector and generating income from oil palm waste.

Early Equity (EEQP) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysian multi-level marketing business Early Infinity, which has a distribution agreement with healthcare products supplier Yicom, where Early Equity owns 32.1%. The plan is for Early Equity to buy up to 30% of Early Infinity. Trading in Early Equity shares has been suspended.

Ganapati (GANP) has obtained a class 4 gaming licence in Malta and this should widen the potential market for its games. A tech office has been set up in Romania.

Halal services provider DagangHalal (DGHL) has raised £3.1m at 26.5p a share and this will leave managing director Francis Chong with a 29.9% stake. Revenues fell last year and there were significant asset write downs.

Middle East-focused investment company Indigo Holdings (INGO) had £906,000 in the bank at the end of 2016 and it raised £818,000 in February. Around £650,000 of that cash has been invested in three companies.

Restructuring and slow LED product sales meant that Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) reported a slump in revenues from RMB652,000 to RMB28,000, while the loss was RMB6.94m. There is RMB2.08m of cash in the bank but there is more than that figure in shareholder loans because of the significant cash outflow during the year.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) increased its revenues from HK$8.31m to HK$10.9m in 2016 and the loss fell from HK$17.1m to HK$11.5m. The company’s clinics and traditional Chinese medicines generate the revenues and the TCM PLUS skincare products are expected to make a substantial contribution in the future. Last year, there was a large one-off cost relating to TCM PLUS. A hair care range is planned.

Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) intends to apply for a small scale mining lease for a coal mining prospect in Nigeria. Equatorial lost £1.55m in 2016 but £1.24m of this was a non-cash share-based payment charge. The cash outflow from operations was £383,000. Brett Clark has stepped down from the board following the failure to secure the acquisition of a Mexican gold project.

Healthcare staff provider Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) reported a £3.1m loss on revenues of £2,000 for 2016 but the business should generate more significant revenues this year. Steve Howson has become chief executive, while the former incumbent David Sumner became non-executive co-chairman. Two groups of overseas recruits have started work in the UK.

Ecovista (EVTP) has raised £470,000 via an issue of convertible loan notes. The conversion price is 0.05p a share. Any loan notes not converted will be repayable on 30 May 2018. Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has raised £64,500 from a placing at 75p a share with most of the shares bought by Bijan Daneshmand, thereby taking his stake to 5.16%.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) lost £2.39m in 2016 but this was before the acquisition of the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania. The main asset of All Star Minerals (ASMO) is its stake in NQ Minerals. This stake was valued at £414,000 at the end of 2016. The 2016 loss was £187,000, including a £28,000 write down in the NQ Minerals stake.

AIM

Touchstone Innovations (IVO), the former Imperial Innovations, has rejected the bid from rival University-focused technology businesses developer IP Group. The initial approach was made in April and some major shareholders were keen to pursue the merger. The main problems concerned valuation and corporate governance.

It does not appear that Tanfield Group (TAN) is going to be able to sell its 49% stake in access platforms manufacturer Snorkel in the near future because it continues to lose money. The value of the stake in the books is £36.3m – equivalent to 23.2p a share. This value can be achieved if Snorkel makes an annualised trailing EBITDA of $25m in any 12 month period up until September 2018. However, Snorkel is losing money and after September 2018 there is no fixed amount that Tanfield would receive if it sold its stake. Jon Pither has stepped down from the Tanfield board.

Acoustic insulation manufacturer Autins Group (AUTG) has appointed Michael Jennings as chief executive. He has been interim chief executive since February. Interim figures will be published on 13 June.

Draganfly Investments (DRG) has appointed mining engineer Luke Bryan as executive chairman. Edward Bayman will step down as chairman but continue on the board.

Hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) is planning to buy three hostels from Equity Point. The hostels are in Barcelona, Prague and Lisbon and they generate revenues of €1.6m. Safestay is loaning €3.6m to Equity Point and the plan is to swap the hostels for this debt.

Stanley Gibbons Ltd (SGI) has sold its 25% stake in Masterpiece London for £1.4m. The stake was valued in the books at £6,000. This is part of the strategy to focus on stamps and coins.

A general meeting has been requisitioned at Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) in order to make changes to the board. At the end of May, Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) acquired a 10.9% stake in Magnolia from former chief executive Steven Snead but the requisitioner has not been named.

Adams (ADA) has launched an underwritten one-for-one open offer to raise £1.03m at 2.5p a share. The investment focus is the technology and life sciences sectors. Richard Griffiths, who owns 29.9% of Adams, is underwriting the open offer. The announcement says that Adams has four AIM-quoted investments but only one of the companies mentioned, Oxford Pharmascience, is on AIM the others are fully listed.

TLA Worldwide (TLA), which published a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016, thinks that it will be able to report its 2016 figures on 30 June. It will need to do this or trading in the shares will be suspended. TLA has warned that it will have to write-off some of the money owed to it.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) plans to move from AIM to the more lightly regulated standard listing. This will enable it to be more flexible in what it invests in and the level of stakes that it acquires. The main hurdle for a standard listing is getting the prospectus approved by the UKLA. Once that is done companies do not have the level of regulation they would if they were on AIM.

MAIN MARKET

Second half trading has been strong for car manuals publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS). Pre-tax profit is expected to be two-fifths higher than last year. Haynes has benefited from lowering its costs and positive exchange rate movements. The new Haynes OnDemand video service will be launched this year but there will be a write down of the costs of the previous platform in the 2016-17 figures. The full year figures will be published on 13 September.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is trying to raise up to £2m because it is running short of cash. Members of the PrimaryBid crowdfunding platform have been offered the chance to subscribe for shares at 2p each. A minimum of £1m needs to be raised. Even if the maximum is raised then the cash is unlikely to last long unless the cash outflow is stemmed in the near future.

Acorn Growth has changed its name to Vordere (VOR). This follows the proposed acquisition of German properties, which will be paid for by a share issue at 17p each. The shell company was originally known as Acorn Minerals when it joined the standard list at a placing price of 20p a share in October 2012.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 11 July

ISDX
Positive Healthcare (DOC) has made its initial acquisitions since floating its 7% secured bonds on the ISDX Growth Market. Positive bought 75%  of each of two healthcare recruitment businesses, Capital Care and Fine Locums, for a total of £1.57m.  Positive Healthcare chairman Gary Ashworth has loaned the company £570,000 to help fund the acquisitions. The two companies made total profits of  £360,000 on revenues of £6.19m in the past financial year.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) is broadening its investing policy to include financial services, engineering, construction, renewable energy and technology, as well as natural resources. At the end of 2015, All Star’s main asset was a stake of 5.52 million shares in NQ Minerals (NQMI) valued at £704,000. All Star’s NAV was £385,000 at the end of 2015,compared with net liabilities of £199,000 at the end of 2014. All Star has extended the maturity date of its various convertible loan notes  into 2017. All these convertibles have an interest charge of 20% a year and the conversion price is 0.14p a share.  Additional shares have been issued at the conversion price o cover the recent interest payments for these convertibles.

Diversified Oil & Gas (DOIL) has completed the acquisition of 2,400 oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania from Seneca Resources and further acquisitions are likely in the rest of this year. This means that Diversified has more than 7,500 oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. They produce 23,000 mcf of gas and more than 500 barrels of oil each day. Diversified has raised a further £16,200, which takes the number of bonds in issue to 9.47 million.

TSX Venture Exchange-quoted Knowlton Capital’s shareholders have voted in favour of the reverse takeover of Leni Gas Cuba (CUBA). The British Virgin Islands High Court still has to approve the deal. The combined business will be called LGC Capital Ltd. (QBA) and its investments include a 15.8% stake in MEO Australia Ltd. Oil and gas explorer MEO has an interest in the onshore Block 9 production sharing contract in north Cuba and the first of three identified oil plays has an estimated prospective recoverable resource of 395 million barrels of light oil.
AIM
The Inland Homes (INL) share price has been hit by the leave vote in the EU referendum because of concerns about property prices. This appears overdone because management says that fundamentals are still strong. Inland has announced the purchase of the former Tesco head office in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. Inland is buying the 13 acres with a 50/50 joint venture partner. Inland will inject £5m into the joint venture.

LXB Retail Properties (LXB) has decided not to sell the properties it had previously announced would provide a £4m gain on book value. It did not appear that the negotiations could be concluded satisfactorily.  Shareholders voted in February to sell off properties and return cash to shareholders. The post-Brexit vote has hit the commercial property market so it may be more difficult to realise the valuations that management had hoped they could achieve.

Specialist services provider Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) is acquiring UK Dry Risers and UK Dry Risers Maintenance, which install and maintain dry and wet riser systems, for a maximum of £5.1m. The total initial payment is £3m. The two businesses made a pre-tax profit of £1.1m last year.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) says that its European like-for-like sales increased by 191% in the week after the EU referendum compared with a 120% increase in the week starting 13 June. Exchange rates have become more favourable and management has responded by adjusting Its prices to make them more attractive.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has started the financial year strongly and the new joint ventures are helping the B2C business perform much better this year. There was $3.9m in the bank at the end of June and this should increase to $4.5m by the end of the year. House broker Northland expects revenues to hit $20m this year and it is expected to move back into profit ($800,000). The dividend is likely to be reinstated.

Newmark Security (NWT) has warned that this year’s profit will be lower than for 2015-16 because trading conditions have become more difficult. The full 2015-16 figures will be published in August. New sales offices for the access control division are yet to generate meaningful revenues. Revenues for the workforce management software have been delayed. The asset protection business will have to replace revenues from the Post Office contract, which will not generate as much this year.

Arria NLG (NLG) is moving ahead with plans to float on the New Zealand, where the primary listing will be, and Australian Stock Exchanges and as part of this move the natural language generation company will switch from AIM to the standard list in London, where depositary interests will be traded. Cash will be raised as part of the flotations on the additional markets. Existing shareholders will receive one new Arria NLG Group share for each existing share and one warrant, with an exercise price of approximately 53p a share, for every ten existing shares.

Maxit Capital is subscribing / or procuring subscribers for $20m worth of shares in SolGold (SOLG), which will equate to up to 19.99% of the miner. The issue price has yet to be decided but SolGold says that it expects the price to be at a premium to the market price, which at the time was just over 3p – although it has risen to 4.28p. The subscription is expected to close in early October after due diligence and approvals are received.  Maxit will also receive a success fee of 6% of the funds raised plus warrant equivalent to 6% of the shares placed – 50% exercisable at 14p a share and 50% at 28p a share. The cash will be invested in the Cascabel copper gold project in Ecuador.
MAIN MARKET
Tanzania-focused oil and gas explorer Aminex (AEX) is raising up to £19.5m at 1.3p a share – £16.9m from a placing and the rest via a one-for-ten open offer. Zubair Corporation will subscribe £12.8m in this fundraising. The cash will enable Aminex to finance further development of its oil and gas licences while seeking partners for these licences.

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