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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.
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 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
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.
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.
National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its interim revenues from £10.5m to £11.7m, although some of this was due to seasonal factors and one-off testing business. Pre-tax profit improved from £0.96m to £1.13m. Net debt was £2.06m at the end of December 2018. Every part of the business grew its revenues. Milk volumes are set to be strong in the second half, although milk margins are been squeezed by a decline in the milk price and higher feed costs.
Barkby (BARK) has completed the acquisition of Centurian Automotive for an initial payment of £201,000 in shares at 4.775p each, with up to £251,000 more based on performance over three years. Operating profit in each of the years is required to be at least £200,000 in order to achieve the full payment. The consideration represents a discount to net assets and will be equivalent to up to 20% of Barkby. In the year to March 2018, the automotive dealer made a pre-tax profit of £123,000 on revenues of £5.6m.
Sandal (SAND) says there was a significant increase in Energie MiHome sales in December, particularly later in the month, but trading is still below expectations because of a lack of cash to spend on marketing. The stock overhang has been unwound. A Wi-Fi adapter plug has been added to the range, which is being rolled out in Denman’s Electrical Wholesale branches.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) owned Palermo Football Club for less than one month before selling it back to the previous management team. It was bought for a nominal sum and is being sold for a nominal value, following further due diligence. The company’s representatives joined the board in December and resigned last week. Debt will be settled at the same time. Sports Capital had been trying to raise up to £20m over the next few months.
Trading has recommenced in the shares of EcoVista (EVTP) after it published its results for the year to August 2018. There was a £142,000 property revaluation gain and net assets were £1.39m. There are plans to launch a €10m Eurobond issue to fund further property site acquisitions in London, Hertfordshire and Essex.
Gold explorer Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has completed stage one drilling on the Specimen Hill project in Queensland and each hole drilled intersected gold. Geological modelling results will be available in March. A further 7,500 metres of drilling is being planned.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has raised $400,000 at 20 cents a unit (one share and one-half warrant). The expenses of the placing were $28,000. The cash will be used for assessing coltan opportunities in Colombia and Brazil. NQ Mining (NQMI) has raised £54,000 at 11p a share.
Panoply Holdings (TPX) has made its third acquisition since floating in December. UK-based GreenShoot Labs provides digital services using artificial intelligence technology. There is no initial consideration and any payment will depend on performance.
Marketing and media services provider Ebiquity (EBQ) traded in line with expectations last year. The disposal of the advertising intelligence was completed on 2 January. This cut net debt to around £8m. The continuing business is expected to continue to grow at 8% a year.
Online merchandising software and services provider ATTRAQT Group (ATQT) increased its 2018 revenues by 26% to £17.1m and the loss declined from £4.1m to £2.7m. The largest customer has renewed for two years. Annual recurring revenues are £16m.
GRC International (GRC) has acquired data consulting business DQM Group for an initial £5.9m with up to £5m in deferred consideration, although it is not expected to be more than £3.5m. This is a significantly earnings enhancing deal.
Cabot Energy (CAB) is consolidating 100 shares into one new share and raising up to £2.85m at 10p per consolidated share. The cash will pay off trade creditors. The main focus is Canada but Cabot believes its Italian oil and gas exploration assets could still be valuable even though the Italian government has suspended exploration work and is reviewing the situation.
The administrator has sold most of the businesses of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) but there will be no money for shareholders. Dublin-based Causeway Capital has acquired Patisserie Valerie and AF Blakemore acquired Philpotts for a total of £13m, of which £3m is deferred. Baker and Spice was sold to the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs for £2.5m. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 25 February. Paul Mumford of Cavendish Asset Management believes that the company’s banks should have supported a rescue and been more attentive to what was happening at the company. He thinks that shareholders should seek compensation from the banks.
Malvern International (MLVN) has confirmed that it moved into profit in 2018. The education business has doubled its London-based revenues and this made up for difficult trading in Malaysia.
Realm Therapeutics (RLM) is selling is hypochlorous acid assets for $10m and intends to leave AIM. Realm already had $18.8m in the bank at the end of 2018. The plan is to use the cash to complete a strategic transaction in the life sciences sector. The ADSs will continue to be listed on Nasdaq.
Stride Gaming (STR) has started a strategic review. The choices are acquisitive or organic expansion or the sale of the online gaming company.
Renalytix AI (RENX) has secured a joint venture with laboratory and clinical trials operator AKESOgen and this will enable Renalytix AI to provide additional services in the US. The artificial intelligence-based kidney diagnostics already has a presence in New York and the new joint venture is based in Georgia.
Administrators have been appointed to Utilitywise (UTW) but none of the subsidiaries is in administration. Shareholders are not likely to get anything from the administration process. Unitlitywise was unable to raise the cash it required to keep going and meet liabilities.
Heavitree Brewery (HVT) improved full year revenues from £7.3m to £7.61m and pre-tax profit grew from £1.55m to £2.25m, although that included profit on the sale of pubs and other property of £824,000, up from £6,000. The previous year had benefited from the write-back of a bad debt provision. The final dividend is being increased from 4p a share to 4.25p a share. Heavitree no longer has to cover a pension scheme deficit because three people transferred out of the scheme.
Bowmark Capital has launched a 110p a share recommended cash bid for Tax Systems (TAX) and MXC Capital Ltd (MXC) has accepted with its 25.6% stake. The bid values the tax software provider at £100.6m.
Kodal Minerals (KOD) has published the results of the drilling programme at the Bougouni lithium project. These will be used to update the JORC resource, which should happen by the end of February. Kodal has met with the Mali authorities to update them.
Insignals Neurotech is the third Portuguese spin out for Frontier IP (FIPP) and it will hold a 33% stake. Insignals is developing technology for brain stimulation surgery.
Scientific Digital Imaging (SDI) has made another scientific instruments acquisition and it has raised £2.5m at 34p a share to help finance it. A further £100,000 was raised via PrimaryBid. Graticules manufactures reticules and graticules and fits with the digital imaging division. It cost £3.4m and has added 6% to next year’s earnings per share.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has announced a trebled resource at Redmoor, in which it has a 50% stake. There is an inferred tin equivalent contained metal of 137,000 tonnes.
James Latham (LTHM) has acquired the timber merchant that has the rights to sell Accoya wood in Ireland. Abbey Woods will cost an initial €1.825m with a further €300,000-€400,000 depending on completion accounts. Further deferred consideration of up to €400,000 depending on performance over two years. Last year, Abbey Woods generated EBITDA of €379,000 on revenues of €7.5m and it has operations in Dublin and Cork.
Vast Resources (VAST) says that the tranche B offtake finance from Mercuria Energy Trading did not happen. This means that the planned December and January repayments of the loan from Sub Sahara Goldia Investments have not been made Talks continue with potential finance providers to replace the cash to invest in 80%-owned copper, silver, gold, zinc, lead, tungsten, molybdenum Baita Plai project. Bergen Global Opportunities Fund is pausing the second tranche of the $3m bridge facility because the share price has been below 0.2p for two days. A placing has raised £896,000 at 0.135p a share and this will repay the £525,000 owed to Bergen. There are discussions with a potential cornerstone investor for a diamond project in Zimbabwe.
RiverFort Global Opportunities (RGO) has subscribed for shares in Pires Investments (PIRI), that will give it a 24.3% stake. RiverFort is taking nearly 50% of the shares issued in a placing that raised £782,000 at 2.4p a share for Pires. The cash will be used for new investments.
Trading in the shares of African Battery Materials (ABM) will resume on Monday 18 February following the issue of 200 million shares at 0.5p each. The cash will be used to pay creditors and leave enough to finance the business for 12 months. Andrew Bell has been appointed executive chairman and Paul Johnson as executive director.
Windar Photonics (WPHO) will undershoot the 2018 forecast, but there should be higher orders from Vestas and another manufacturer next year. Even so, 2019 forecasts are likely to be reduced. Total 2018 revenues were 59% ahead at €3.5m and higher gross margins meant that the loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell from €1.22m to €360,000. The end of year order book was worth €1m.
Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has more than trebled its proved and probable reserves to 2.43 million barrels of oil. Net proved reserves are 764,030 barrels of oil.
President Energy (PPC) has updated the reserves position. The Argentina and Louisiana reserves are valued at almost $300m, which is equivalent to 21p a share. That is more than twice the market capitalisation. Production is predominantly oil but gas production will increase this year.
Harwood Wealth Management (HW.) has acquired IFA Castleton Financial Planning for up to £1.6m.
Trading in the shares of Urals Energy (UEN) has been suspended following the resignation of Allenby as nominated adviser. A general meeting, which will be held on 22 February, has been called by Adler Impex SA in order to remove three directors and appoint four other directors. Oil production was 1,690 barrels/day in January. Loans made without board approval have meant that the company is short of cash.
Waste-to-energy technology developer PowerHouse Energy (PHE) is confident that it could sign up a customer in the next quarter. There is increasing interest and six potential sites are being assessed. Potential engineering, procurement and construction contractors have approached PowerHouse. Development partner Waste2Tricity is in negotiations with Toyota Tsusho, which would be a way of entering the Japanese market.
Braveheart Investment Group (BRH) has reduced its stake in Remote Monitored Systems (RMS) from 5.9% to 1.32%. Stephen Jones increased his stake from below 3% to 14.5% in just over one month.
Dewscope Ltd, where Mark Horrocks is a director, has cut its stake in Sabien Technology (SNT) from 12.7% to less than 3%. Chris Akers has also reduced his stake from 16.9% to less than 3% and Brendan Adams has cut his shareholding from 4.2% to under 3%. These stakes were acquired on 14 December, when the mid-price was 0.11p. On 11 February, when the shares were sold, the share price increased from 0.145p to 0.175p. Sabien reported a decline in interim revenues from £462,000 to £342,000, but the loss was reduced from £233,000 to £207,000 due to cost reductions.
TV programme producer DCD Media (DCD) expects to report revenues of £7.3m and a small EBITDA in 2018. Trading has started well in 2019 helped by business that was delayed from last year.
HaloSource (HAL) is seeking shareholder approval for the disposal of assets to Strix (KETL) for $1.3m. The cash will pay creditors and fund the winding down of the business. The AIM quotation will be cancelled on 12 March.
WANdisco (WAND) has raised $17.5m at 546p a share to provide cash to support relationships with partners. WANdisco has become an advanced technology partner with Amazon Web Services.
Adamas Finance Asia Ltd (ADAM) is issuing 6.1 million shares to China Aerospace for a 6.8% stake in Hong Kong Mining Holdings, where Adamas already has a 84.8% stake. This is a complicated deal, but Adamas can tell China Aerospace where to transfer these shares. It means that Adamas will not necessarily increase its shareholding in the mining company. Sorting out what was effectively a stock overhang should make it easier to do a deal that will unlock cash for Adamas.
NetScientific (NSCI) has concluded its strategic review and it has decided to cancel its AIM quotation. The remaining cash will be spent on the investee companies with the best prospects of providing a return before the company runs out of money.
Angus Energy (ANGS) is repaying the £1.5m initial advance from YA II and RiverFort Global Opportunities. Angus has raised £2.2m at 4p a share.
The University of British Columbia has ordered a polariser system from Polarean Imaging (POLX).
Begbies Traynor (BEG) has made the earnings enhancing acquisition of profitable Newcastle insolvency practice KRE. The initial payment is £450,000 with up to £150,000 more based on revenue targets over 12 months.
Full year figures will be lower than expected at IFA Tavistock Investments (TAVI) but a maiden dividend is still on the cards.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) will report a 45% increase in 2018 revenues, with most of the growth coming from software.
Cryptocurrency mining services provider Argo Blockchain (ARB) is refocusing its business. All existing contracts will be terminated by the beginning of April. The focus will be Argo’s own currency mining. Ongoing costs will be cut by one-third. Net cash is £15m and that is much more than the market capitalisation of Argo. The cash outflow should be stemmed in the second half of 2019. Hadron Capital recently increased its stake to 7.6%.
Trading is in line at fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) even though the UK automotive market is weak. More than two-thirds of sales are overseas. Additional UK stocks for Brexit are worth around £2m.
Commercial aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) expects to report a doubled interim profit on revenues that have risen from $52.4m to $58m.
Outdoor digital media company Grand Vision Media Holdings (GVMH) has signed a partnership agreement with Rakuten Bank in Japan to add to the one it signed with CY Group in South Korea. GVMH’s marketing services will help its partners promote themselves to Chinese tourists. GVMH has glasses-free 3D technology.
Helen Sachdev has been appointed as a non-executive director of Athelney Trust (ATY) and Frank Ashton has taken on the role of executive chairman. Discussions continue with Gresham House Asset Management about taking over the management of the company’s investments.
Future (FUTR) has secured a new £90m revolving credit facility and it is acquiring CyclingNews.com and Procycling Magazine, which generate annual revenues of £2m. This deal widens the sports publishing activities.
REA Holdings (RE.) significantly increased palm oil production in 2018, even though extraction rates were lower than expected. The Kota Bangun coal concession is heading towards reopening the mine, although there are local disputes.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Sport:80 has delayed its flotation because it has been tidying up its shareholder register. Fintech company Engage Technology is also seeking to float later in 2019 following new product launches. Engage raised £2.6m at £22 a share at the end of 2018, whereas the average buying price by Primorus was £20.03 a share. Investee company, AIM-quoted Greatland Gold (GGP) has published results from the second drilling campaign at Havieron in Western Australia. Every drill hole intersected mineralisation and they extend the overall mineralisation. Drilling will recommence in March. Primorus has raised cash by selling most of the stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) and Primorus was debt free at the end of 2018.
NEX has decided not to suspend trading in the shares of VI Mining (VIM) even though its corporate adviser Daniel Stewart is no longer a member of NEX. VI Mining had little or no notice of its adviser’s withdrawal. A new corporate adviser is being sought.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired apprenticeship training provider Astara Training for £16,666 in shares at 9p each. Milamber lost £179,000 in the third quarter and there was £30,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.
Panther Metals (PALM) has announced the initial results of exploration activity at the Bear Lake project in Ontario. There was gold in soil anomalies at four of the five areas tested. Four areas have quartz vein sample assays above 5g/t gold. Two samples had large grade samples. The next phase of exploration is being planned and could start in the second quarter of 2019.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has signed a deal that could enable it to earn a 70% interest in a joint venture that owns the Palha tantalum property in northern Brazil.
AIM (February 2019 AIM Journal available here)
DP Poland (DPP) is running short of cash and is more than doubling its share capital through a heavily discounted placing raising £5.3m at 6p a share, with the possibility of an additional £500,000. The Domino’s Pizza franchisee for Poland has found competition is getting tougher and growth has slowed. The cash is required to cover losses and open more outlets. Peter Shaw is stepping down as chief executive at the end of June, nearly a decade after founding the business.
Ticketing and queueing technology provider Accesso Technology (ACSO) is reviewing its investment priorities although it says that 2018 figures should be broadly in line with expectations. These will be published on 27 March. A deal fell through and this cost $1.7m. Tom Burnet is moving from executive chairman to a non-exec role. The share price is less than one-third of last year’s high. BlackRock has cut its stake below 5%.
Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has launched a placing and 0.318-for-one open offer to raise up to £4.75m at 3.85p a share on top of the £8m subscription by former AIM company China Medical System Holdings, which will licence products for the Chinese market. The clinical trial for cancer treatment MTD201 will cost up to £7m.
Duke Royalty (DUKE) is acquiring its UK rival Capital Step and this will double the size of the portfolio to eleven investments and diversify it in terms of sectors. There is an initial £10m cash payment and the assumption of debt of £11.65m. There is performance related consideration of up to £1.5m. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.
Visa has increased its bid for Earthport (EPO) from 30p a share to 37p a share, which beats the Mastercard offer of 33p a share. The latest bid values Earthport at £247m.
Taptica (TAP) has launched a recommended bid for RhythmOne (RTHM) and this will create one of the largest video advertising companies in the US. The offer is 28 Taptica shares for every 33 RhythmOne shares. Taptica shareholders will own 50.1% of the enlarged group. A $15m share buyback programme is planned after the merger. Ofer Druker will become chief executive.
Polemos (PLMO) has finalised the details of its reverse takeover of Digitalbox Publishing for £10m in shares and it is also acquiring the owner of the Daily Mash satirical news website for up to £1.2m in cash and shares. The model for the Entertainment Daily website will be used to improve the performance of the Daily Mash. A placing will raise £1.02m at 14p a share. The company will change its name to Digitalbox.
Hardide (HDD) is raising £3.6m at 1.5p a share so that it can move to new premises in the UK and invest in additional equipment. The surface coatings company is experiencing increasing demand from the oil and gas sector and there is potential for orders from aerospace companies. It will take two years to fully equip and move into the new facility. Hardide also intends to consolidate 40 shares into one new share.
finnCap has raised its forecasts for Tracsis (TRCS) following recent acquisitions. There is a 3% increase in earnings per share for this year and an 11% rise to 30.5p next year.
Stride Gaming (STR) has traded in line with previously downgraded expectations. Cost cutting continues to cover higher regulatory and tax costs. The online gaming operator will report a lower profit in 2018 and it is set to fall again in 2019. Net cash was £22.1m at the end of 2018.
Bowmark Capital has offered 110p a share for Tax Systems (TAX) and discussions continue. Tax Systems reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.
Victoria (VCP) has sold surplus land in Kidderminster for £2m. The land was in the books for £100,000 but it has obtained planning consent for housing.
Starcom (STAR) has renegotiated its agreement with Xplosive in South Africa, having originally announced it in October 2017. Xplosive has signed a 36-month agreement to pay a monthly fee for each of the Kylos units supplied for the monitoring of cattle. The fees are higher in the first six months and then reduce. The agreement should be worth $500,000.
Strix Group (KETL) has offered to acquire most of the assets of HaloSource (HAL) for $1.3m. Strix has provided working capital of $100,000. Due diligence is being carried out on the water filtration technology and if the deal goes through the cash will pay creditors, but there will be nothing for shareholders.
Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has announced that the Selva gas field in northern Italy has net 2P reserves of 13.3bcf and there are 2.26bcf attributable to Prospex, which has a 17% stake. Selva could start production in 2020 at a rate of up to 150,000 cubic metres/day.
Tau Capital (TAU) plans to raise cash via a placing through Peterhouse and then a capital distribution will be made to all shareholders. This will enable Tau to seek an acquisition. It has until 18 April to secure a deal or trading in the shares will be suspended. Armstrong Investments has increased its stake from 11.7% to 15.7%.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the SFX-01 clinical trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage is on course having completed recruitment and the primary endpoints should be available in the second quarter. Partners Investment Company has acquired at 3.15% stake.
Sports Direct International (SPD) made a £15m offer to buy Patisserie Valerie from the administrator, but this was not deemed enough. Even a higher selling price won’t provide anything for Patisserie Holdings shareholders.
Solicitor DWF plans to raise £75m via a March flotation an some of the cash will repay members’ capital contributions as well as invest in the business. Existing shareholders will also sell shares and partners’ remaining stakes will be locked up until April 2024.
Two former AIM-quoted companies are coming together to join the standard list. Daniel Stewart Securities, which is closing its broking business, is making an offer for Atlantic Carbon, which was previously known as Atlantic Coal, where Adam Wilson, who has had connections with Daniel Stewart, is executive chairman. Singapore-based backer Epsilon Investments refused to put more money into the broker and that is why it is closing. Epsilon holds a majority stake in Hyde Park Holdings, which owns broker Novum Securities. Last October, SeeThruEquity research suggested that Atlantic had an equity value of $86.8m and $68m of debt. In 2017, Atlantic was the largest producer of anthracite in the US with a market share of one-third based on 1.18 million tonnes produced. Atlantic is expected to have moved into profit in 2018, although it did generate cash from operations in 2017. The owners of more than 50% of Atlantic shares have agreed to accept the bid of 1.5587 shares for each Atlantic share.
Thalassa Holdings (THAL) is offering 14.64p a share in cash and 0.26 of a share for each share in The Local Shopping REIT. Thalassa already owns 25.5% of the bid target, which is valued at 32.8p a share. The bid is an alternative to the winding up of The Local Shopping REIT.
Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is no longer acquiring blockchain technology developer Chorum Group because of political uncertainty affecting the UK equity markets. Former Avanti Communications boss David Williams is the director of Chorum. Blockchain Worldwide has more than £1m in the bank and is also looking at other technology sectors for acquisitions.
Drilling of the Colter appraisal well in Dorset has commenced and United Oil and Gas (UOG) has a 10% interest. The drilling should take three weeks. The Selva gas field in Italy has net 2P reserves of 2.7bcf attributable to United, which has a 20% stake. Selva could start production in 2020. United intends to move to AIM.
Oil and gas producer Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £607,000 in Canada and the UK at C$0.05 a share and 3p a share respectively.
Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) has confirmed that its figures for the year to January 2019 will be in line with expectations. The Aspen property bridging loan business had a loan book of £18m at the end of January 2019. Cautious lending criteria means that new business has slowed in recent months and this has led to a 5% 2019-20 earnings downgrade to 230.1p a share.
BATM (BVC) has won a $3.2m cyber security contract and this takes contracted revenues from this government customer to more than $10m. The latest contract will be delivered this year.
Chesterfield Resources (CHF) is expanding its exploration programme in Cyprus. Initial drilling in an area near historic mining has shown gold, copper and zinc mineralisation. Chesterfield is also applying for licences to extend its licence area.
Dev Clever (DEV) has launched pay per play multi-player, virtual reality game Vanguard: Fight for Rudiarius in Harlow shopping centre. The game will be rolled out to other UK sites.
Bluebird Merchant (BMV) has applied for a grant to help finance drilling at the Kochang project in South Korea and there should be news by the end of the month. There has also been a permit application to develop Kochang.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) plans to raise up to £2.25m prior to a move to AIM at the end of this year. The cash will be invested in sales and marketing, product development and working capital.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Stream TV Networks has secured a deal with Beijing Optical and Electrical, which will use Stream’s 3D display technology in large flat TV and monitor screens. Primorus has invested £1.4m in Engage Technology, which has 75 corporate clients for its construction software and a further 17 that are contracted but not yet live. Revenues are growing more slowly than hoped. Engage is talking with partners and potential corporate investors.
Angelfish Investments (ANGP) is increasing its shareholding in YBOO from 20% to 35% for an investment of £400,000. A working capital loan of up to £1.5m with an annual interest charge of 10%.
Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) reported an increase in interim revenues from R7.65m to R8.37m and the loss declined from R4.52m and R4.12m. At the end of August 2018, net cash was around R11.5m. The South Africa-based social impact investor generated the majority of its revenues from Kuzuko Lodge with a contribution from Bee Sweet Honey.
KR1 (KR1) says that its investee company Volt Ltd has raised $2m. KR1 has converted loan notes and has a 7.94% in institutional digital asset custodian Volt valued at $1.4m. The initial investment of £200,000 acquired a 5% stake in September 2017.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has completed the acquisition of the Gold Ridge project in Arizona from Winston Gold for £530,000. The final payment is funded by shares at 1.75p each. The project area includes three former producing mines. There is potential for the discovery of further gold mineralisation.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has raised $315,000 at 20 cents a share. This cash will fund geological work and the evaluation of opportunities in Colombia.
Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) is changing its name to SG Recruitment Ltd.
Gresham House (GHE) is acquiring investment manager Livingbridge for an initial £30m. Up to £10m more could be payable depending on performance. This deal will help to widen the customer base and provide product development opportunities. The combined group will have assets under management of more than £2bn. A placing raised £11.7m at 448p a share. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing even before cost savings. Gresham House Energy Storage Fund has raised £100m and will invest £57.2m in a portfolio of energy storage assets in development.
Castleton Technology (CTP) increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £12.9m and there was a 5% improvement in earnings per share. finnCap forecasts an improvement in full year earnings per share from 5.2p to 5.9p. The provider of software and managed services plans to pay a maiden dividend for this financial year.
Transportation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has reported figures in line with recently upgraded forecasts. In the year to July 2018, revenues improved from £34.5m to £39.8m, mainly organic growth, while pre-tax profit rose from £7.6m to £8.5m, helped by a one-fifth increase in software sales. There is £22m in the bank to finance further acquisitions.
AdEPT Technology (ADT) has acquired unified communication services provider ETS Communications for £2.5m less net debt at the end of October 2018. This deal will be immediately earnings enhancing. Thebank facility has been increased to £35m in order to fund further acquisitions.
International benefits insurance provider GBGI Ltd (GBGI) is recommending a $1.515 a share cash offer from Elm Bidco. This values GBGI at $131.8m (£101.6m). There has been modest growth in earnings per share since GBGI floated at 150p a share in February 2018. Adividend of 1.4 cents a share was paid in June.
Myanmar-focused social media platform operator MySQUAR Ltd (MYSQ) is investigating into the use of proceeds of two recent fundraisings. Approximately £900,000 was paid out of company funds to former directors and third parties. Staff are being made redundant and additional cash is required. Trading in the shares is suspended. The nominated adviser SP Angel and joint broker Daniel Stewart have resigned. Piers Pottinger has stepped down as a director.
Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has reassured investors about trading and the share price has started to recover. Victoria is not issuing a bond to refinance its debt because the potential pricing was unfavourable. Invesco has increased its stake to 22.1% and The Spruce House Partnership has built up a 13.6% stake.
Estate agency Purplebricks (PURP) has grown interim revenues in the UK by one-fifth. Trading in Australia is tough, and it is still early days in the US. Net cash was more than £100m at the end of October 2018.
First Derivatives (FDP) increased its underlying interim pre-tax profit by 15% to £10.6m. The interim dividend was 10% higher at 7.7p a share. The software and consultancy company with the fastest growth coming from licences for Kx software.
URA Holdings (URA) has gained EIS approval for the funding for its proposed reverse takeover of personalised digital entertainment content provider Entertainment AI. Complexities of the deal have been solved and documentation is progressing. URA has until 20 December to complete a reverse takeover.
Interim revenues and pre-tax profit at Best of the Best (BOTB) will be better than expected and this has led to a full year pre-tax profit upgrade from £1.4m to £1.6m, which is the same as the year before. The online competitions operator will be hit by the increase in remote gaming duty from 15% to 21% from October 2019. This will mean that 2019-20 forecasts will have to be reassessed.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) says that its phase III non-inferiority clinical trial of its Xenon polariser is up and running. Enrolment should be completed in the second quarter of 2019. A new order has been received to upgrade the polariser at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.
Remote tracking technology developer Starcom (STAR) has signed a deal with a distributor in North Africa covering Helios Advanced and BIO CAN fuel sensors. This year’s group revenues are expected to improve from $5.4m to $5.9m. Starcom has raised £400,000 at 2p a share.
Broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) has won two new contracts that will underpin forecasts for 2018 and 2019. The two orders have a total value of £2m.
Zoo Digital (ZOO) reported interims in line with expectations. Revenues were 17% ahead at $14.9m and the main growth has come from dubbing services. The loss was slightly higher at $159,000. A major subtitling customer will increase its demand in the second half. The full year, underlying pre-tax profit is forecast to improve from $500,000 to $1.8m.
Recruitment company Kellan Group (KLN) plans to cancel its AIM quotation and the general meeting vote already has backing from the owners of 70% of the shares. The shares are tightly held and liquidity is limited.
Fastjet (FJET) says that it can continue operating in November, but it will require more cash.
Crawshaw (CRAW) has called in administrators to itself and four subsidiaries. Thirty five stores have closed and 19 are still trading. Administrators have also been appointed to Flowgroup (FLOW) because it could not find a suitable acquisition.
Path Investments (PATH) says it is not proceeding with the farm-in for the Alfeld-Elze II licence having failed to raise the cash it required and reach agreement on the transaction structure. The deal would have led to a move to AIM. Trading in the shares remains suspended.
Beauty and personal care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) expects interim revenues to be similar to last year, while full year revenues are expected to increase from £10.7m to £14.4m. finnCap forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.7m.
Consumer goods supplier UP Global Sourcing (UPGS) reported revenues for the year to July 2018 fell by one-fifth to £87.6m and underlying pre-tax profit decreased from £10.7m to £5.6m. The main decline was due to discount retailers seeking tougher terms and delayed sales to a European retailer. Online sales increased and this helped to maintain margins. Brands include Salter kitchenware and Constellation luggage. The Kleeneze brand is being relaunched. Non-executive chairman Jim McCarthy has acquired 135,000 shares at 39.3p each. Equity Development forecasts a rise in earnings per share from 5.4p to 5.6p, while dividend per share should rise from 2.7p to 2.8p.
Trading in Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) shares has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of Chorum Group.
Shareholders have agreed to Titon Holdings (TON) moving to AIM on 10 December.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has added a NEX quotation to its year-old Canadian Stock Exchange listing. Auxico has mineral properties in Colombia and Mexico. There is already a UK investor base.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) had a bumper 2018 harvest that was 125% ahead of the previous best, thanks to the hot summer. Some vineyards produced their first crops.
Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) is paying this year’s dividend in three instalments: October, April and July. The first interim will be 0.83p a share and the ex-dividend date is 25 October. The sale of Hume House in Leeds has been completed for £3.9m, compared to a cost of £1.67m in March 2014. A 37-storey building will be constructed on the site.
Eight Capital Partners (MORE) is investing £250,000 in AIM-quoted Imaginatik (IMTK) with £160,000 subscription for shares at 1.1p a share for a 29.7% stake, and £90,000 in convertible loan notes with an annual interest rate of 7.5%. Eight Capital is issuing up to £2.5m of convertible bonds at 95% of their nominal value. The annual coupon is 5%. One warrant will be granted for every two shares issued.
Trading in the shares of Etaireia Investments (ETIP) has been suspended ahead of a potential acquisition of property assets from the Oyston family.
Gunsynd (GUN) will get a 4% stake in Human Brands when, or if, it floats on the standard list. Previously it would have been a 1% stake. Gunsynd has £289,000 invested in drinks distributor Human Brands loan notes.
Founder Sebastian Snow has resigned as creative director of pubs and inns operator Barkby Group (BARK) and Lana Snow has also left the group. Occupancy rates were good in September and there is significant demand for the Christmas period.
Ganapati (GANP) reported a reduction in interim loss from £4.54m to £3.56m, although total income was flat at £2.19m. There was cash in the bank of £2m at the end of July 2018. This could be added to by an initial coin offering by Malta-based blockchain subsidiary GanaEightCoin Ltd next spring.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £81,250 at 15p a share to provide further working capital.
The chairman and chief executive of DXS International (DXSP) have both bought shares in the healthcare technology company. Bob Sutcliffe bought 100,000 shares at 8.515p each, while David Immelman bought 20,538 shares at 8.66p each, which takes the chief executive’s stake to 10.3%.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an option on a 298,806 square foot glasshouse for growing medicinal cannabis. Mark Blower is becoming a non-executive director.
Melissa Sturgess has acquired 590,000 shares in Ananda Developments (ANA) at 0.4496p each. The executive director of the cannabis-focused investment company owns 47.8 million shares. Ananda joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. The share price ended the first day at 0.975p and it has more than halved since then.
Chris Marsh has resigned as finance director of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) having been suspended on 9 October. Previously undisclosed LTIP share awards have been revealed.
GB Group (GBG) has acquired Australia-based ID verification services provider Vix Verify Global for £21m. This has led to a 2.7% upgrade in the 2019-20 forecast earnings per share. Third quarter trading of the existing business was in line with expectations with organic growth in revenues of 11%.
Avingtrans (AVG) is acquiring Texas-based Tecmag Inc for $243,000. Tecmag manufactures instrumentation for magnetic resonance imaging and nuclear magnetic resonance systems. This fits well with Avingtrans’ magnets business in the sector.
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) has shocked investors with accounting changes relating to accrued income and increases in impairment charges for trade debtors. This will slash £10m for this year’s profit turning it into a loss. There is £11.5m in the bank at the end of September 2018.
1Spatial (SPA) reduced its loss n the first half and is on course to cut its full year loss from £1.5m to £1m. The geospatial data services provider should move into profit next year.
HaloSource Corporation (HALO) says it has sufficient working capital until the end of the year, but up to $5m is required to add a further 12 months. The company expects to generate revenues of $2m-$2.5m in 2018 and the target is to treble that figure in 2019, which would reduce the loss.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) says the record date for the distribution of shares in Renalytix AI is 23 October and the shares will start trading on 2 November.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) expects 2017-18 profit to be in line with expectations and order books are strong. Infrastructure services provider Tamdown’s revenues will be slightly lower due to planning delays with the growth coming from utility connections business TriConnex. Net cash is £20m.
RA International (RAI) has won a $9.1m contract with URS Group Inc. This is a new client. The contract covers construction services for an asphalt runway in Somalia and lasts for 11 months.
Data analysis software and services provider D4T4 Solutions (D4T4) trebled its interim revenues to £14m, although the comparatives were weak. Net cash is £12.2m.
Gfinity (GFIN) is raising £6m at 8p a share and this cash will further develop the esports activities and the UK Elite series. The 2017-18 revenues were 82% ahead at £4.3m and losses continue.
Angling Direct (ANG) is taking advantage of its strong position in the fishing tackle retail market by raising £20m at 92.5p a share, which compares to the July 2017 flotation price of 64p a share. The cash will finance the opening of 20 stores and the launch of European websites. This accelerated investment means that Angling Direct will fall into loss this year.
Velocity Composites (VEL) has managed to trade in line with downgraded forecasts for the year to October 2018. Revenues will be slightly above £24m and there is net cash of £3.6m. The company is seeking a new chief executive and the former incumbent has left the board.
The cancellation of a contract and the failure to gain backing for an acquisition have hampered the progress of Image Scan Holdings (IGE) in the year to September 2018. Revenues fell from £5m to £3.5m, although the gross margin improved from 39% to 48%. Pre-exceptional profit will slump from £480,000 to £45,000. That was before the £245,000 cost of the failed acquisition. There was £780,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. Sarah Atwell-King has been appointed finance director.
VR Education (VRE) has been hit by the delayed launch of its Titanic VR product on PlayStation. This should still happen this year, but 2018 revenues will be well below expectations. The timing of the launch will determine the outcome for the year. The ENGAGE platform will be launched before the end of the year as anticipated. Non-executive director Mike Boyce is helping out with sales.
SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) increased its research and development spending from £157,000 to £416,000 in the year to June 2018. The cosmetic application has started a human study and data should be available between November and April 2019. A clinical trial for an eczema treatment could start before the end of 2019. There was £3.2m in cash at the end of June 2018.
Rare books trader Scholium (SCHO) says it will move into loss in the first half, but it expects to make a higher full year profit than the £38,000 reported last year. Start-up Mayfair Philatelics is losing money but three auctions are taking place in the second half.
AfriTin Mining Ltd (ATM) is making progress towards production at its Uis tin project in Namibia. The first phase plant being constructed will be able to process 500,000 tonnes of pegmatite in order to produce 720 tonnes of tin concentrate a year. AfriTin has the cash required to reach production.
A strong performance from manned guarding meant that Croma Security Solutions (CSSG) increased its full year revenues by 59% to £35.1m and pre-tax profit was 400% higher at £2m. There were some one-off boosts during the year. Net cash was £2.1m. The dividend has been increased from 0.5p a share to 1.6p a share.
Property investment adviser First Property Group (FPO) has reduced its stake in Fprop Opportunities to 44.3% so it will no longer be consolidated in the group’s results. The plan is to lower the stake to below 30%. Fund management will be a greater contributor to profit.
More cash is required at meat and delicatessen products retailer Crawshaw (CRAW) for restructuring purposes and it also still needs a new nominated adviser.
Kemin Resources (KEM) will leave AIM on 29 October because it has not been able to find a replacement for Strand Hanson as nominated adviser. JP Jenkins Ltd will provide a trading facility.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) has signed up Belvoir Lettings (BLV) to its online platform. All Belvoir’s sales and lettings properties will be on the platform.
StatPro Group (SOG) says annualised recurring income has increased by 3% to £54.8m.
Communisis (CMS) is recommending a 71p a share cash offer by consumer communications services provider OSG, which values the target at £153.8m. The combined business would be able to develop internationally because of OSG’s global strength.
WideCells Group (WDC) has signed a partnership deal with stem cell extraction and storage company Smart Cells. The deal is with the healthcare insurance subsidiary CellPlan, whose insurance plans will be offered to Smart Cells’ 60,000 clients.
Hemogenyx Pharma (HEMO) has signed a second agreement with US biopharma company Orgenesis Inc. The deal involves the development and commercialisation of the company’s Human Postnatal Hemogenic Endothelial Cell (Hu-PHEC) technology, which could develop cancer-free, patient-matched blood stem cells after transplantation into a patient. Like the previous agreement, Orgenesis will provide a convertible loan of $1m and this can be converted into shares in the Hemogenyx subsidiary that owns the technology. Orgenesis will pay a 12% royalty on net revenues generated by the technology.
North Midland Construction (NMD) says that full year revenues will be better than anticipated at between £340m and £345m, with net margins between 1.7% to 1.8%. The order book for delivery in 2019 is £222m. A new single identity for the group will be launched in November. HR director Karen Morris has bought 8,172 shares at 550p each.