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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 12 August 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Imperial X (IMPP) non-executive director Melissa Sturgess has sold 4.615 million shares at 2p each and she retains an equal number of shares. The total stake was acquired at 1p a share, so she has effectively made her money back. Imperial X is moving into the cannabis sector. Charles Morgan, a relation of Melissa Sturgess, converted £46,150 of loan notes into 4.615 million shares.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has invested a further £150,000 Tasmania Energy Metals through a convertible loan, taking the total investment to £450,000. The exclusivity period relating to the acquisition of an option over the company’s assets has been extended to the end of October 2019. NQ would have nine months to exercise the option in return for shares worth £5.5m. The latest investment will be used to develop a facility that would produce nickel and cobalt salts for electric vehicle batteries.

Founder Stephen Minion has resigned from the board of Ashley House (ASH) so that there are no conflicts of interest between his role as a director and his other interests. He is chairman and major shareholder of Invescare, which has provided a loan to Ashley House.

iGaming software developer Ganapati (GANP) says that its Malta-based subsidiary has signed a resale agreement with BetConstruct, which will provide the company’s slot games to its integrated operators via its platform. Another deal is with PG Entertainment and this will make Ganapati’s games available in Latin America via a smartphone platform.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) improved pre-tax profit from $150,000 to $268,000 in the year to February 2019, partly due to a reduction in impairment losses. The company is looking at fintech acquisitions.

The conversion of loan notes in Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has led to the issue of just over nine billion shares. There are 24.2bn shares in issue.

Valiant Investments has changed its name to Eurocann International (BUD).

AIM  

Oil and gas company Amerisur Resources (AMER) has effectively put itself up for sale and multiple companies are interested in bidding. They are being provided confidential information. The formal sale process continues.

Execution only broker Share (SHRE) made a first half profit even though stockmarket trading conditions and volumes have been poor and the dividend from Euroclear was moved to the second half. Revenues increased 9% to £11.1m as interest income grew. Account fees have been increased. Share is benefiting from its digital investment. The 20,000 accounts being taken on from JP Morgan will contribute from September. A full year profit of £400,000 is forecast.

Credit hire and legal services provider Anexo (ANX) is trading more strongly than expected, even after previous upgrades. Management has managed to reduce insurance costs. The full year pre-tax profit forecast has been increased by 15% to £23m and next years by 14% to £25m.

Artificial intelligence-based physician platform DocDoc, where Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) is an investor, has raised $13m. Adamas led the convertible loan note financing for the Singapore-based company. DocDoc operates in eight countries. Hong Kong-based CASIL Clearing has reduced its stake in Adamas from 6.9% to 2.9%. Pello Capital has been appointed joint broker.

Presidential Energy (PPC) is not making the progress it hoped to, but profit is improving. The share price of the Argentina-focused oil and gas company has been declining. finnCap describes its estimates for average production and EBITDA as “challenging” due to delays and disruptions. It has been forecasting EBITDA of $27.9m due to an oil price estimate that is above current levels, whereas the company believes it could be around $20m. There are no plans to change the forecast until the interims are released in September.

StatPro (SOG) increased organic annualised recurring revenues by 3.2% to £56.5m in the first half. The asset management performance software provider increased interim revenues £27.2m to £28.3m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.37m to £2.66m due to flat operating costs. Net debt is £24.2m.

Richard Bernstein has increased his stake in Ultimate Sports Group (USG) from 27% to 29.8%. Bernstein has an agreement with Ultimate where he would receive 1% of the value of the first acquisition he introduces to the company as long as it is completed by 30 September. Matthew Farnum-Schneider has been appointed chief executive of Ultimate. He has been granted a range of options. Some are exercisable at 20p a share, which is just below the current share price, some at 40p a share and others at 60p a share. Geoffrey Simmonds has left the board.

Urban Exposure (UEX) is not going ahead with a proposed issue of 6.5% secure sterling bonds 2026 because of market conditions.  

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) says demand for motor finance has been strong in the first half, even though the quality of business has been increased. The Aspen property bridging finance business has net receivables of £24m and is growing gradually in a weak housing market. Borrowings are just over £125m and there are additional facilities of £35m. The interims will be published on 24 September.

Construction company nmcn (NMCN) increased interim revenues from £161.2m to £184m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.5m to £3.5m. The former North Midland Construction had net cash of £15.6m at the end of June 2019. The order book is worth £456m with the main increase coming from the built environment division, which accounts for one-fourth of the order value. A full year profit of £7.4m is forecast.

Iconic Labs (ICON) is making its first acquisition since transforming itself from stem cell services provider WideCells into a social media marketing business. Iconic has agreed to acquire social media agency Social Alchemist. Iconic Labs is still in a poor financial state. There are £600,000 of legacy debts that have to be paid, plus £400,000 that is disputed. The European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund will provide up to £1.375m in six tranches in return for loan notes. This is dependent on a prospectus being issued within six months. This prospectus will enable warrants to be attached to the loan notes. There are also more shares to be issued under the previous financing agreement.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated 163 bitcoins in July and these are valued at £1.36m. They were mined at a margin of 80%. More mining machines have been ordered and will be up and running by the fourth quarter. This investment will quadruple capacity. Argo could be highly profitable in the second half with a full year pre-tax profit of £6m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore: Quoted Micro 15 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Smart home products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported a decline in overall revenues from £3.75m to £3.62m for the year to May 2018, but this masks the 71% growth of the Energenie MiHome revenues to £1.01m. Sandal reduced its operating loss and there was nearly £51,000 in the bank, although net debt was £1.09m.. A small profit is forecast for 2018-19 with a small increase in net debt expected. Sandal may need additional cash to increase the marketing for the Energenie MiHome brand.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £500,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 77% premium to the market price. Malcolm Burne and Professor Michael Cain have left the board and been replaced by Jens Zimmerman, who becomes non-executive chairman. The investment strategy will be widened from medicinal cannabis, because of a lack of opportunities, to technology. The company intends to acquire a 9.8% stake in Belgium-based artificial intelligence software developer Sentiance. The software enables companies to understand user behaviour. The data comes from smart devices. The technology is used in areas, such as insurance, health and car driving.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) improved its interim revenues from $1.15m to $1.24m. The pre-tax profit fell from $162,000 to $66,000. There was $1.4m in the bank at the end of August 2018.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has published its 2017 figures and interims to June 2018. The full year loss was £294,000 and the interim loss increased from £117,000 to £162,000. There was £53,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The company is beginning to ship coal from its mine in Nigeria.

Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed KSA Group Ltd to liquidate the company.

Shen Chaohuli has sold his 18.3% stake in TechFinancials Inc (TECH) to Ou Qiao.

AIM  

Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) has received a cash injection to keep it going, after unknown overdraft facilities were discovered. The cash balance in the recent accounts does not appear to exist. A placing has raised £15.7m at 50p a share. Chairman Luke Johnson is also providing loan facilities of up to £20m.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has revealed details of the spinning off of Renalytix AI on AIM. Renalytix AI is raising cash at 121p a share as part of the flotation, which should happen on 31 October. EKF will distribute its near-21 million shares in the company to its own shareholders, although it will subscribe for new shares. EKF shareholders will also get the chance to invest up to £3.5m in new shares.

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) is making another major acquisition. The oil and gas producer is paying $183m for Core Appalachia, which is funded by cash and shares issued at 115p each. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.

Vertu Motors (VTU) has been hit by a lack of cars due to the newly installed testing procedures but it still has a strong balance sheet and it will make a significant full year profit. September registrations were the worst since 2011 and Vertu was not immune. That will hit the second half. There was an improved performance in the used car market to help offset the weaker new car sales in the first half. Pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £28.6m to £22.1m in the year to February 2019.

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) has reaffirmed that it is on course to make a full year pre-tax profit of £24.2m, down from £29.1m in 2017.

OnTheMarket (OTMP) has increased its spending on marketing and IT since floating on AIM and this has pushed it into loss. A full year loss of £14.7m is expected and there is not likely to be much of a reduction the following year. The online property platform has succeeded in doubling the estate agency offices using the service to more than 11,000 many of the additional offices are in a trial period and not paying to put their properties on the platform. The investment being made will only be justified if these offices start to pay fees. The IT investment will enable the company to offer more products and services and increase revenues that way as well.

Access Intelligence (ACC) is acquiring ResponseSource, which provides SaaS-based services to the PR and media sectors, for £5.5m. This company fits well with the group’s existing business. A ten-for-one share consolidation is planned.

Health monitoring equipment developer LiDCO Group (LID) is still going through the transition from a sales model to one based on regular income from hospitals. Interim recurring revenues increased by 11% but total revenues were 8% lower at £3.6m. Importantly, there should be enough cash in the bank to move the business towards profitability. That could happen in 2019-2020 but is more likely to be the following year.

Melissa Blau is stepping down as chief executive of Veltyco (VLTY) fewer than seven months after she was appointed. The shares price has fallen by three-fifths in the subsequent period.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) has raised £3m at 32p a share, which is more than double the flotation price of 15.1p a share. First half revenues were £1.84m.

MAIN MARKET   

Titon (TON) has firmed up its plan to move to AIM. The window components manufacturer expects to join AIM on 10 December.

Toople (TOOP) says trading in the first week of its new financial year is ahead of expectations. The statement remains, as ever, light on proper financials and indications of losses. Toople raised £2.2m at 0.3p a share, so it has enough cash for the time being.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Veni Vidi Vici Ltd (VVV) joined NEX on 2 August. The minerals investment company has net cash of £513,000, following a £490,000 subscription at 50p a share. The focus will be precious metals and base metals opportunities in Australia, Western Europe and North America. Management will concentrate on capital appreciation.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) is changing its domicile from the Isle of Man to Bermuda. The private equity investment company will have to be readmitted to NEX and AIM. EPE has invested £2m in Main Market-listed LED lighting company Luceco at 39.74p a share. That takes EPE’s stake in Luceco to 27.4%. Poor trading has meant that the Luceco share price has slumped to well below its 2016 flotation level. EPE has redeemed 50% of its unsecured loan notes.

Etaireia (ETIP) has appointed Dennis Rogers as chief executive. He has more than three decades of experience in property development.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has issued 2.685 billion shares, around one-quarter of the enlarged share capital, to wipe out the convertible loan note debt and other creditors. Twenty three year old Devon Marais, who works with ARQ Minerals, which is helping Equatorial to extract coal from the St Leonard’s mine in Nigeria, has been appointed as a non-executive director of Equatorial.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a profit last year. In the year to February 2018, revenues increased from $1.52m to $2.16m, while a pre-tax loss of $110,000 was turned into a pre-tax profit of $150,000. That figure was helped by a $114,000 currency gain, compared with a $19,000 loss. There was still a small net loss from operations before other income.

AIM   

Petrol stations operator Applegreen (APGN) intends to take a majority stake in UK Motorway services operator Welcome Break. The purchase of a 55% stake for €361.8m would be a reverse takeover. The deal would make Applegreen market leader in the UK as well as Ireland.

A subsidiary of Stride Gaming (STR) has been issued a notice by the Gambling Commission, which intends to levy a significant financial penalty because of the manner in which it carried on its trading. This is not final and there might be room to appeal but it has hit the share price of the online bingo operator.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) increased interim revenues by 11% to £5.3m. Most of the growth came from management service fees from the property lettings franchisees. The EweMove estate agency business was profitable.

Goldplat (GDP) says that gold production fell by 17% to 35,400 ounces, which is lower than anticipated, but pre-tax profit will be in line with expectations because of a higher margin per ounce. There was 39,400 ounces of gold sold during the year.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) has received abbreviated new drug application approval from the FDA to sell Nadolol tablets, which are a generic form of Corgard and used for managing high blood pressure. This is the fifth approval in the US. A pre-tax profit of £33.3m is forecast for the year to June 2018.

Tough UK trading and higher costs held back the results of security and facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) in the year to March 2018. Revenues were 21% higher at $219m, but underlying pre-tax profit was down by 16% to $3.9m. Net debt was $18.4m.

Precision marketing software supplier Pelatro (PTRO) is acquiring assets from the Danateq Group for an initial $7m. The deal will take the group into central Europe and adds to the recurring revenues base. A placing has raised £6m at 73p a share.

GetBusy (GETB) grew its interim revenues from £4.5m to £5.2m, with £4.5m of that figure recurring revenues. Annualised recurring revenues are running at £9.4m. Profit generated from document management software sales is being ploughed back into developing the existing product and the new GetBusy software. There is £2.37m in the back.

Starcom (STAR) says that interim revenues have improved from $1.92m to $3m and the loss will be lower. Most of the revenue increase came from two large clients. Growth is starting to come from higher margin security products. The 2018 loss is expected to be much lower than last year’s.

Kosovo-based quarry operator Fox Marble Holdings (FOX) increased interim sales from €329,000 to €614,000 and the second half has started strongly. The benefits of investment in capital equipment are beginning to show through.

MAIN MARKET    

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has joined the standard list after raising £25m at 16p a share, which values the company at £47m. However, the share price fell to 12.5p by the end of the first day of trading on 3 August. Argo is developing a global datacentre management business facilitating cryptocurrency Mining-as-a-Service. It currently covers four cryptocurrencies. AIM-quoted Vela Technologies (VELA) owns 2.5 million shares, which were acquired for 8p a share.

Motor finance provider S&U (SUS) achieved record first half profit as the second hand car market continues to grow. Quality standards have been tightened with 25% of applications accepted, but net receivables have reached £263m. The property bridging loan book has risen from £11m to £16m over six months. The interims will be announced on 25 September.

BigDish (DISH) was originally going to reverse into AIM shell Nyota Minerals Ltd but instead it has joined the standard list. The company operates an online and mobile restaurant reservation platform, which is in operation in the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The purchase of Pouncer, takes the company into the UK. Revenues come from booking fees per diner. BigDish raised £2.22m at 4.5p a share.

Path Investments (PATH) is raising £10m to complete the farm-in agreement with 5P Energy for the proposed acquisition of a 50% participating interest in the Alfeld-Elze II licence and gas field. This will make Path cash generative. The new shares will be eligible for EIS and VCT relief because Path is moving to AIM.

Dave Brieth has sold his stake in telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP).

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) reported a sharp increase in full year revenues from £1.04m to £1.6m in the year to March 2018. The loss fell from £962,000 to £582,000. This includes investment in developing new diesel engines. The NAV is £976,000, as the loss was partly offset by a £600,000 property revaluation gain. The oil and gas-related operations are still depressed.

Mila Resources (MILA) plans to acquire Capital Metals, which owns 100% of a high-grade mineral sands project in southern Asia. The reverse takeover will be subject to due diligence and shareholder approval.

Fandango Holdings (FHP) has ended bid discussions with Corporate Commercial Collections and Vatbridge following initial due diligence.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 7 August 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised a further £52,500 at 0.1p a share and its 84.7%-owned subsidiary Flamethrower has acquired FootballTipsFC.com for £40,000. Subscriptions generate £50,000 a year in revenues for the website which provides football betting tips.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a lower loss in the year to February 2017. Revenues improved from $1.2m to $1.53m, while the loss reduced from $150,000 to $110,000. The main business, Meyer Asset Management, made an improved contribution. The auditor has highlighted that no impairment assessment has been made on the investment in Ray Alliance. There is still $869,000 in the bank, following the acquisition of an investment property for $388,000. Management is assessing acquisitions in the fintech sector.

Block Energy (BLOK) has acquired a producing oil field in Georgia. The 90% working interest in the Satskhenisi production sharing agreement will be acquired for 70 million shares (14.35% of Block), which will be owned by Iksander . The field is near the Norio field where Block already has an interest. The permit runs until 2025 with a potential five year extension. Operating costs are up to $25/barrel and the current production from three wells is 10 barrels a day. The sale price is Brent minus $9/barrel. Block will retain 75% of revenues until more than $10m of capital costs are recovered. The purchase includes $500,000 worth of equipment, which can be used in other fields where Block has an interest.

Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £100,000 from a placing of 7% debenture stock 2020. Via has completed the Canal Street development in Manchester and the realised gross development value is £2.28m.

Hellenic Capital (HECP) has acquired an office premises in Leeds for £200,000. This was after the latest interims to June 2017. This is part of the new investing strategy. Net assets fell from £81,000 to £59,000 at the end of June 2017, including cash of £28,000.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested an additional £150,000 in portfolio company Computer Application Services. Capital for Colleagues initially invested £150,000 in the Edinburgh-based software company at the beginning of 2016 and the latest investment will double the number of A shares it owns to 300,000.

Ecovista (EVTP) has raised £350,000 at 0.035p a share. This takes the stake owned by Hubwise to 12.45% and Elite CAM Balanced Discretionary Fund to 9.34%

AIM

Asset management performance software provider StatPro (SOG) reported a 23% rise in interim revenues to £21.6m, while underlying earnings per share improved from 1.1p to 1.8p. The interim dividend is unchanged at 0.85p a share. There was an initial two month contribution from the UBS Delta business and the annualised recurring revenues are running at £53.2m, which is before the latest three year contract in Australia. The acquired technology will be integrated with StatPro Revolution.

Telecoms infrastructure equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) reported a jump in full year revenues from £13.6m to £35.4m thanks to a large order for antennas. There was a swing from a £7m loss to a £2.2m profit. The balance sheet is strong with net cash of £2.6m. Future investment in 5G telecoms infrastructure augurs well for Filtronic. Hargreave Hale has increased its stake from £6.16% to 11.3%.

Real Good Food (RGD) says that its forecast for the year to March 2017 was wrong because two anticipated claims have not materialised and it had incorrectly capitalised certain costs. This will knock £2m off expected profit. This revelation comes a few weeks after Downing invested £2.75m at 35p a share and the share price has subsequently slumped to 20.75p. Payments to Pieter Totte and Peter Salter over a three year period were not separately disclosed. Salter has left the Real Good Food board but Totte continues to survive as executive chairman.

Fairpoint Group (FRP) says it intends to appoint an administrator because of the cost of the lease on its head office costing £1m a year for four years. The IVA and related businesses are still being sold.

AdEPT Telecom (ADT) has acquired IT services provider Atomwide, which provides services to schools and local authorities, for an initial £12m. This adds 4% to this year’s earnings and 9% to next year’s. It was partly funded by £7.3m convertible loan from Business Growth Fund, which is convertible at 393p a share.

GetBusy (GETB) joined AIM last week and the share price rose to 34.5p. Cloud-based document management software provider GetBusy was spun out of ASX-listed software company Reckon and raised £3m from a rights issue. The two existing software products, SmartVault and Virtual Cabinet, generated revenues of £8m in 2016 – 82% of which is recurring – up from £6.8m the previous year. Accounting firms generate the majority of revenues and GetBusy is trying to expand in other sectors. Next generation software SCIM is being developed in order to make it easier for businesses to interact with customers and become more organised and productive.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has raised £543,000 at 1.25p a share and warrants have been exercised at 0.85p a share raising a further £265,000. The cash will finance exploration in Botswana and to assess an inferred resource for Frischgewaagt.

Ascent Resources (AST) has installed the infrastructure at the Petisovci project in Slovenia to enable the gas to be exported.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that 51%-owned DragonFinancials is paying a dividend of $2m and TechFinancials will receive £1.02m. The payment date is 20 August.

Kestrel Partners has slashed its stake in home improvement products supplier entu (UK) (ENTU) from 21.1% to 7.33%. This investment appears a rare mistake for Kestrel which has a good record of building up stakes in technology businesses. Kestrel was still building up its entu stake in the first quarter of this year. The entu share price is around its all-time low so Kestrel will have made a significant loss on this investment. Meanwhile, entu is trying to secure a refinancing but this is likely to mean that the existing shareholders will be left with little in terms of value. The group continues to lose money.

Thor Mining (THR) is acquiring an interest in Kapunda copper deposit in South Australia. Thor is investing up to A$1.8m in convertible loan notes in a company earning a 75% stake in Kapunda. The initial investment is A$200,000. Conversion of the loan notes could give Thor up to 60% of this company. Due diligence on the US lithium assets has gone well and additional mineralisation has been identified. Director Paul Johnson acquired 500,000 Thor shares at 085p each.

A disposal deal for the interiors division of Stanley Gibbons (SGI) has fallen through because the buyer could not come up with the money. There is a termination fee payable and Stanley Gibbons believes that there are other buyers.

MayAir Group (MAYA) has won a $13.6m order to supply filtration and clean room equipment to a Chinese LCD panel manufacturer and most of the revenue will be recognised in 2017.

Empyrean Energy (EME) has raised £1m at 8.5p a share. Drilling has commenced on the Dempsey 1-15 onshore well in California.

Billington Holdings (BILN) says that its structural steel business has won two contracts worth £14m. One is for a London university and the other is for a distribution warehouse in south west England and some of the work will carry over into 2018.

MAIN MARKET

Diesel engines and parts supplier Associated British Engineering (ABSE) reported a higher loss in 2016-17 and there was also a sharp drop in NAV. The weak oil and gas market continues to hold back the group and revenues fell from £1.77m to £1.04m. The loss increased from £621,000 to £962,000, after a large increase in pension costs. The total cash outflow was just over £1mm similar to the previous year. Cash and financial assets total £968,000. There is a 2.3% stake in AIM-quoted SalvaRx. The initial stake was taken when the company was 3legs Resources. The NAV fell from 73p a share to 50p a share. This is despite a decrease in the pension deficit from £1.93m to £1.38m. There are £3.1m of trading losses and £8.5m of capital losses available but there is no deferred tax asset in the balance sheet.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 12 June 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer and pubs operator Daniel Thwaites (THW) says that net debt has increased from £34.1m to £47.6m at the end of March 2017 because of investment in the brewery and pubs plus acquisitions. The benefits of this investment is starting to show through. Full year revenues from continuing operations were slightly lower at £84.4m, while operating profit improved from £11.5m to £12.1m. The total dividend is unchanged at 4.46p a share.

Churchill Mining (GHL) has switched from AIM to NEX although trading in the shares remains suspended. Churchill’s main focus is the international arbitration claim against the Indonesian government.

Good Energy (GOOD) received applications for more than £10m of the corporate bonds on offer. The energy supplier has closed the online offer but postal applications close on 12 June – assuming the maximum application level of £20m has not been reached before this.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has invested £56,000 in Singapore-based Indorse Pte Ltd, which is developing Indorse, a blockchain-powered professional social network. Coinsilium will also receive a number of Indorse digital tokens in the next few months.

China CDM Exchange Centre Ltd (CCEP) reported a decline in full year revenues from £1m to £898,000. Pre-tax profit fell by two-thirds to just over £2,000. There is £2.3m in the bank and the NAV was £52.1m at the end of 2016. The company is investing in blockchain technology as part of its growth strategy.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) says that the 45,000 shares it owns in Ray Alliance Financial Advisers have been transferred to the other two Ray Alliance shareholders without any authorisation. Asia Wealth paid $318,000 for the shares back in 2012. Asia Wealth has demanded that the shares are transferred back.

Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised £45,000 at 0.1p a share. The cash will provide working capital and provide the ability to invest more in apps business Flamethrower.

AIM

DX Group (DX.) has renegotiated the terms of the merger with Menzies Distribution which involves the payment of £40m in cash and shares equivalent to 65% of the enlarged share capital – this includes a 5% stake that will be held by the John Menzies pension fund. DX will still have to take on 17% of the pension fund. Cost savings of £10m a year are expected and a dividend is promised. Rebel shareholder Gatemore is backing the revised transaction. Things are still not running smoothly, though. The City of London police is investigating an allegation concerning DX.

MP Evans (MPE) harvested 180,000 tonnes of oil palm fruit bunches in the first five months of 2017, which is one-quarter higher than in the same period of 2016. This is due to a mixture of improving weather conditions and maturing plants. In the same period, palm oil production increased from 37,900 tonnes to 60.100 tonnes. The average selling price has increased by $51/tonne to $606/tonne, while palm kernel prices moved from $414/tonne to $503/tonne. There could be some downward pressure on prices in the second half.

Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) has announced a special dividend of 13.3 cents a share on top of the normal dividend. This will cost $7.5m and leave the construction equipment company with much more than $10m in the bank even before allowing for cash generated so far this year. Shareholders on the register on 28 July will receive the dividend. Trading in Europe has been strong and the only disappointment has been North America where business has been delayed.

Best of the Best (BOTB) is also paying a special dividend out of its cash pile. Full year revenues grew 7% to £10.8m, while pre-tax profit improved from £1.1m to £1.5m. A normal dividend of 1.4p a share will be paid plus an additional 6.5p a share as a special dividend. There are also plans for the competitions organiser to increase marketing spending.

Waste to energy systems developer PowerHouse Energy Group (PHE) has secured a collaboration agreement with a UK partner that will provide two tranches of funding for the demonstration unit and five systems. The total funding will be up to £500,000.

DP Poland (DPP) has raised £5.25m at 43p a share. The cash will help finance 15 new Domino Pizza stores in Poland this year and finance loans for sub-franchise store openings in 2019.

Trading in Savannah Petroleum (SAVP) shares has been suspended following an exclusive agreement to buy the oil and gas assets of a west Africa-focused company. The structure of the transaction has been agreed in outline and it will involve debt, shares and cash. Due diligence has been going on since January. The shares will remain suspended until a document is published for the reverse takeover.

Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) says that the general meeting requisition at US-focused oil and gas company Magnolia Petroleum (MAGP) is by former chief executive and founder Steven Snead using the shares that Nostra Terra has agreed to purchase. The proposals include the removal of chief executive Rita Whittington and the appointment the Magnolia board of Ewen Ainsworth, chairman of Nostra Terra, and Donald Phillips.

Vianet Group (VNET) has restructured its business into two divisions: smart zones and smart machines. Smart zones is based on the fluid measurement and telemetry business with pubs. The US business is moving towards breakeven. The smart machines division is focused on vending machines and there is a significant addressable market. There was a dip in underlying pre-tax profit form £2.8m to £2.6m last year, with a small improvement forecast for this year. The dividend is set to continue to be unchanged at 5.7p a share.

LiDCO (LID) has received 510k clearance from the FDA for the LiDCO Unity version 2. This will enable LiDCO to offer a high usage programme for a fixed annual licence fee. The head of US operations is already in place and ready to push ahead with the strategy. LiDCO is expected to move into profit in the year to January 2019.

Shareholders are trying to requisition a general meeting at Irish gold explorer Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR) in order to remove six directors. Seamus FitzPatrick, James Jones, Dr Sorca Conroy, Louis Maguire, Michael Power and David Wathen are the directors that the requistioners wants removed and replace them with Patrick O’Sullivan, Paul Johnson and Gervaise Heddle. The three directors not affected by the requisition are Professor Richard Conroy, Maureen Jones and Professor Garth Earls.

Disruptive Capital has made a bid approach to Stanley Gibbons (SGI).

MAIN MARKET

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) raised £1.41m, before expenses of £150,000, and five million shares were issued to directors’ in lieu of a portion of the fees that they are owned. The subscription and offer are still open. On the day of the announcement, the share price fell 1.13p to 2.13p. There was a cash outflow of £552,000 in the six months to March 2017.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has discovered several unrecorded veins at Gasagwe, which suggests that there is plenty of upside in the mineralisation resources at the Gakara rare earth project in Burundi. Mine construction is on course to deliver rare earth concentrate before the end of 2017.

WideCells Group (WDC) says that it is authorised to sell its CellPlan financial product that helps people to afford stem cells treatment. There are plans to start selling CellPlan to Biovault stem cell storage customers.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that its 50.56%-owned subsidiary Lansen Pharmaceutical plans to pay a special dividend.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 24 October 2016

ISDX

House broker Daniel Stewart expects energy efficiency and home automation products supplier Sandal (SAND) to move into profit this year. In the year to May 2016, Sandal made a loss of £268,000 on revenues of £3.3m and this year the profit is forecast to be £105,000. The Energenie energy efficiency and home control products are expected to nearly double their sales to £1.4m this year and then double them again next year. The revenues of connectors business PowerConnections are expected to be flat.

Rail safety products developer Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) plans to raise £106,000 at 1p a share and chief executive Gerhard Dodl says he will acquire some of the shares. The cash will be used for working capital.

Mechan Controls (MECP) says that it is still investigating the possible disposal of some of its business and it has received further approaches from potential buyers, including approaches from management teams of some of the subsidiaries. The offers do not appear to be high enough to provide the exit price wanted by the Mechan board. Mechan has gained shareholder approval to buy back up to 10% of its share capital.

Wealth management adviser Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) is talking to a number of potential acquisitions. In the six months to August 2016, revenues improved from $578,000 to $601,000 and the loss was halved to $11,000, helped by lower expenses. There was a $91,000 cash inflow in the six month period. There is nearly $1.4m in the bank.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO/EO.P) will be left with a 24.3% stake in LED lighting products and wiring accessories supplier Luceco following its flotation on the Main Market. EPE sold shares worth £38m and had £10m of loans repaid. The cash will be The share price has risen from 130p to 148p. The stake is valued at £57.8m and this is still more than two-fifths of EPE‘s gross asset value.

AIM

Vislink (VLK) is selling its original core business to a former AIM-quoted company with an even worse track record. Vislink hopes to complete the $16m sale of the loss-making broadcast and surveillance hardware business to xG Technology Inc by the end of the year. It appears that xG Technology will have to raise cash in order to fund the acquisition. xG Technology left AIM at the end of 2013 after seven years on the junior market when it failed to build up significant revenues from the technology it had developed. The buyer has recently bought another business, which is much smaller than the Vislink business but the acquisition will undoubtedly form the core of the enlarged business. The Vislink hardware business was in the books at £22.7m, before central net liabilities, at the end of June 2016 – nearly £30m lower than six months before thanks to losses and write-downs. That is still well below the stated disposal price. Vislink had net assets of £22.9m at the end of June 2016. Executive chairman John Hawkins was appointed to the board on 1 April 2011 and net assets were £47m at the end of June 2011. There have been further share issues since then. If the disposal does go ahead then Vislink will be left with its profitable broadcast software business and have minimal debt.

Lok’nStore (LOK) has grown its underlying NAV by 28% to 386p a share thanks to the continued investment in the portfolio of self storage sites and strong trading. This year the valuer was changed to Jones Lang LaSalle. Supply is limited compared with the demand for self storage. Occupancy rates increased by 2% last year and prices also increased. There are plans for a further four sites – two managed stores and two owned in Gillingham and Wellingborough – over the next year or so, at a cost of £10m, while the recently opened Chichester, Bristol and Southampton sites are still building up their occupancy. There was also a much better contribution from document storage after a few years of flat performances.

Trading continues to improve at security and facilities management services provider Mortice (MORT). Interim revenues are expected to be 57% ahead at around $80m through a combination of acquisitive and organic growth. The fastest growth has been in facilities management where revenues have more than doubled thanks to the UK business with more to come due to recent contract wins. The Indian operations also continue to grow. This means that Mortice is on course to grow full year revenues from $133.5m to $170m, which should enable pre-tax profit to rise from $2.4m to $4.2m.

Core infection control products have grown fast enough to more than offset a continued decline in older product sales by Tristel (TSTL). In the year to June 2016, revenues grew 12% to £17.1m. Overseas revenues grew by more than one-fifth and they account for nearly two-fifths of group revenues. North America remains a major potential market and the first FDA approvals for products should be next year. There will be additional regulatory costs this year. House broker finnCap forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £3.3m to £3.6m.

BP Marsh & Partners (BPM) increased its NAV from 243p a share to 253p a share in the six months to July 2016. There is £7.9m of cash available for new investments after taking account of commitments to existing investee companies. The investment company has plenty of opportunities in the insurance broking and related markets but it is very careful when making a new investment.

Gold producer Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) has reduced its cash operating costs to $693/ounce in the three months to August 2016, which is well below expectations and the figure of $954/ounce in the corresponding period in the previous financial year. This cost reduction was helped by the mining of higher grades and costs will rise in the second quarter. The price received for gold sold was also higher but year-on-year production fell from 12,471 ounces to 9,950 ounces so revenues fell from $14.5m to $12.7m. Even so, Orosur moved from a loss to a profit of $2.76m and there was a $4.8m cash inflow from operations. Net cash was $4.7m at the end of August 2016. Orosur expects to produce between 35,000 and 40,000 ounces of gold and cash operating costs are expected to be between $800/ounce and $900/ounce. Orosur is capitalised at less than £19m.

Kyrgyz Republic-focused Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (CGH) has rejected a bid approach, which was at a 30% premium to the then market price. That suggests a bid of 11p a share or more. The bankable feasibility study for the Tulkubash heap leach project.

Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has received government approval to drill the Boleslaw-1 well in the Kolo licence area in Poland and this should happen before the end of the year. The final application for the drilling permit has to be submitted. Well pad construction should begin early in November. The intial target has been identified as having potential for near-term production. Prospex owns 49% of the company that owns the Kolo licence.

Premier African Minerals (PREM) has bought a 4.5% stake in Casa Mining, which in turn owns 71.25% of the Misisi gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For $250,000. This was funded by a £300,000 placing at 0.32p a share. Premier could add a further 30% stake. Premier also owns 2% of Circum Minerals, which expects to be awarded a mining licence for its Danakil potash project in Ethiopia by the end of this year. Morgan Stanley is assessing ways of moving the project forward, including a strategic partner or flotation.

More good news for Thor Mining (THOR) about the Molyhil project. The assay results have confirmed elevated levels of tungsten. More drilling is planned on the three targets that have been identified.

Starcom (STAR) has raised £300,000 for working capital after a $100,000 loan facility failed to be secured. The share placing was at 2.5p a share. The previous placing in March raised £450,000 at 1.5p a share. The cash is needed because some payments will not be received until early next year. There was recently a judgement against a subsidiary and two of the Starcom directors in the ongoing litigation brought by Top-Alpha Capital, although Starcom believes this could be overturned by a higher court. Starcom should at least meet the expectation of improved revenues in 2016.

Investment company Mercom Capital (MCC) is pending £600,000 on a 16% stake in Mexican fintech company Mobile Wireless and Satellite SAPI (MOWISAT). The strategy is to offer lending, payments and e-commerce services to unbanked people as a mobile virtual network operator. There are 109 million mobile users in Mexico and the vast majority are on prepay packages. Meanwhile, Mercom’s 10.2% shareholder Calvet International plans to requisition a general meeting at Mercom to propose board changes and a change in strategy.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Mila Resources (MILA) is seeking to acquire an interest in a resources project, most likely in emerging markets. The ideal target would involve a project that is already well down the line and would benefit from a cash injection to move it towards production. Mila has around £1m in the bank after the costs of the flotation. The share price has risen from 5p to 8.25p in the fortnight since it floated.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 1 August 2016

ISDX

Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) made a further loss in the year to February 2016, although subsidiary Meyer Asset Management did make a profit – albeit slightly lower than previously. Revenues fell from $1.73m to $1.2m, while the loss increased from $79,000 to $150,000. Directors fees increased from $209,000 to $216,000. Asia Wealth is still seeking further acquisitions. There was $1.28m in cash at the end of February 2016.

South Africa-based Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) fell into loss in the year to February 2016 following a number of one-off costs. The social impact company has renegotiated loans and that will save R30m of interest charges. The DBSA loan was settled after the period end and this will improve the financial position of the business.

Ganapati (GANP), the developer of apps for social media and games, is still hoping that its application to the UK Gambling Commission will be successful but there are still issues being discussed. In the year to January 2016, revenues increased from £216,000 to £2.3m but intangible write-offs totalling £4.56m meant that there was a reported loss of £7.47m. There was £1.28m in the bank.

Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) has taken the amount of 8.5% unsecured bonds 2020 in issue to £9.93m following the issue of an additional £460,000 of bonds.

Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has raised a further £150,000 from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025. This takes the bonds in issue to £1.665m.

AIM

Satellite Solutions Worldwide (SAT) has made two more acquisitions that will be earnings enhancing this year. This more than doubles the customer base to more than 75,000. The satellite broadband services consolidator is paying £11.7m for Breiband and SkyMesh and it has raised £12.1m at 6p a share. Breiband offers broadband services in Norway so it fits in with the company’s strategy of consolidating the European market but SkyMesh is based in Australia so it is outside of the core strategy. The deals also move the group into the top five global satellite broadband suppliers. At the beginning of July, Satellite Solutions acquired UK-based Avonline for £10m and secured £12m of funding from the Business Growth Fund.

Bricks manufacturer Michelmersh Brick (MBH) reported flat revenues of £15.3m in the first half of 2016. Pre-tax profit edged up from £2.5m to £2.6m, while strong cash generation in the past 12 months has helped Michelmersh move into a net cash position. A kiln replacement project will be completed in the second half. First half brick sales dipped from 35.7 million to 35.1 million. Michelmersh has forward orders for 47 million bricks.

Learning management systems provider NetDimensions (NETD) says that interim revenues are lower than expected because of delays to customer roll outs. These delays could continue so the full year revenues forecast have been cut by $1.2m to $27m but, thanks to lower than anticipated costs, NetDimensions could break even this year.

Mineral sands miner Sierra Rutile (SRX) has received a bid of 36p a share in cash from Iluka Resources Ltd.

Information management software and services provider IDOX (IDOX) is acquiring Open Objects Software for up to £5.2m in cash and shares. Open Objects provides digital services to social and health care and it has a similar public sector customer base to IDOX. In the year to March 2016, the acquisition made an operating profit of £630,000 on revenues of £2.9m.

Publishing software and services provider Ingenta (ING) is acquiring advertising software company 5 fifteen Ltd for up to £990,000. This will widen the portfolio of products that Ingenta can offer and also broadens the customer base to newspaper and magazine publishers. The business loses money but costs can be reduced and sales can be made in new geographies. A subscription is raising £780,000 at 130p a share.

Mariana Resources (MARL) says that the mineral resource for its HotMaden project has been increased by 31% to 4 million ounces of gold at a gold equivalent grade of 10.2g/t. Northland has nearly doubled its target price from 54p a share to 104p a share.

MAIN MARKET

Stem cell services WideCells Group (WDC) has raised £2m at 11p a share in its flotation on the standard list. The share price ended the week at 12p. The cash will be used to build an integrated stem cell services company but it is still early days. WideCells is launching the CellPlan healthcare insurance product, which will help people gain access to stem cell treatments.

Macfarlane Group (MACF) is acquiring Nelsons for Cartons and Packaging for up to £6.75m in cash and shares. There will be two deferred payments depending on the performance of the packaging distribution business in the next two years. Leicester-based Nelsons will widen Macfarlane’s range of shelf ready packaging and there is little customer overlap. In the year to December 2015, Nelsons made an operating profit of £800,000 on revenues of £7.9m. The acquisition should be earnings enhancing in the first full year of ownership. A placing at 58p a share has raised £5.8m and this will fund the initial cash payment of £4.25m. Macfarlane says that its packaging distribution operations are growing but sales of the manufacturing division are 3% lower so far this financial year. Interim figures will be published on 25 August.

Healthcare properties investor MedicX Fund (MXF) has contracted to acquire a new medical centre in Rialto, Dublin. The total cost will be €8.6m  and it will he let to the  health authority on a 25 year lease with five-yearly rent reviews, plus separate leases for a pharmacy and other medical services providers. This part of a strategy to invest more in the Republic of Ireland. The annualised rent roll for the company’s portfolio is £37.1m.

Standard list shell Falcon Acquisitions (FAL) has agreed terms for the acquisition of Orbital Multi Media Holdings Corporation, which operates in the over the top (OTT) broadcast services market. There are still a number of conditions that have to be met for the deal to go ahead. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) has announced a strategic review which could lead to the sale of the business or the securing of a partner for the business. The chairman argues that the existing business is not large enough to justify a quotation and it has been difficult to secure additional acquisitions.

ANDREW HORE

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