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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 March 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Gin and spirits supplier British Honey Company (BHC) is using spare capacity in its distillery to produce # alcohol sanitisers. There is a shortage of sanitisers due to the coronavirus and HMRC has given permission for British Honey to produce denatured alcohol. The sanitisers are made with 70% alcohol and extracts of honey and green tea. Longer-term, the strategy is to buy other spirits brands to use spare capacity. British Honey started off as a honey producer and moved into craft spirits infused with honey in 2017. It has a computer-controlled, 1,000-litre capacity still and bottling facility with a capacity of 1.5 million bottles a year. Ingredients can be tracked. There has been £4m invested in this infrastructure. The existing products use a small proportion of this capacity. The company also produces spirits on behalf of third parties. Discussions have begun with some potential acquisitions. British Honey joined Aquis Stock Exchange at the beginning of the week and raised £4.25m (£3.88m after expenses) at 110p a share. Advanced assurance of eligibility for the Enterprise Investment Scheme has been obtained. The initial market capitalisation was £10m. Cairn is corporate adviser and Stanford Capital Partners is broker.

Sativa (SATI) is launching a cannabigerol (CBG) and alcohol-based hand sanitiser. CBG is thought to be effective as an antibacterial product and could combat superbugs.

Energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) reported better than expected 2019 pre-tax profit. Underlying pre-tax profit still dipped from £2.3m to £2.1m due to lower gross margins. Profit is expected to bounce back to £3.1m in 2020. Both business and domestic customers were higher last year. The total dividend has been increased from 3.5p a share to 3.7p a share. Net debt was £39.2m at the end of 2019.

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has decided not to pay the interim dividend of 6p a share announced the week before. The sharp downturn in trading and subsequent closure of pubs due to COVID-19 means that Shepherd Neame is also cutting capital investment and the board is taking a one-fifth cut in pay. Rent receipts from tenants were suspended from 16 March.

KR1 (KR1) has generated $168,000 from selling ATOM, taking the total raised from disposals to $290,000. It still holds nearly 17,000 ATOM.

Sheltered housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has outperformed its benchmark for a third year in a row. The MSCI UK Residential index increased by 4.4% in 2019, while Walls portfolio increased by 23%.

BWA Group (BWAP) says that its subsidiary has been awarded an exploration licence for an area known as Dehane in central Cameroon. The focus is rutile sands and other minerals. The permit is for three years and the financial commitment in year one is £275,000, followed by £207,000 in each of the next two years. Tri Castle Investments is subscribing £100,000 at 0.5p a share.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £389,000 at 20p a share for working capital. VI Mining (VIM) raised £56,000 via a placing at 15p a share that was curtailed because of COVID-19. Further cash will be raised in the future.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has secured a $200,000 facility from Augustin Corp, which is owned by a trust related to Eastinco executive chairman Charles Bray. The annual interest rate is 6 percentage points above commercial lending rates and the facility lasts for up to 18 months.

SAPO (SAPO) is holding a general meeting on 14 April to gain shareholder approval for increasing the share capital. Executive chairman Dr Keith Harris has been issued 20 million shares at 1p a share. The consideration will be paid by the end of 2024.

Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) believes that once normality is resumed it can accelerate its resort development and deliver phase one on time.

Dozens Savings (DS07) says that 795 investors have subscribed for company bonds.

Trading in Dana International (DANA) shares remains suspended. The property investor is still trying to gain full information about share transfers.

Christian Taylor-Wilkinson has become interim chief executive of Altona Energy (ANR) following the resignation of executive chairman Qinfu Zhang.

AIM

Sales of COVID-19 tests by Novacyt (NCYT) continue to accelerate. It has received orders worth more than £8.7m in a six-week period. Manufacturing capacity is being increased.

Synairgen (SNG) is about to start a phase II trial for SNG001 for the treatment of an initial 100 patients with mild-moderate COVID-19. Initial results should be available by the summer. SNG001 is inhaled interferon beta, which has shown benefits in the treatment of SARS. The existing COPD phase II trial has been paused, but initial results suggest that there is clinical benefit.

Best of the Best (BOTB) would have been in trouble a decade ago when it generated its competition entries from airports and other areas of high footfall. Having gone online, the competitions organiser has continued to prosper. Additional marketing investment has helped the 2019-20 performance to be above expectations. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2020 has been raised from £2.6m to £3m.

Payment systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) has won a contract for its Agent Assist product with a UK government organisation. The annual contract value is £565,500.

Manx Financial (MFX) is buying back the 12.94% shareholding owned by Aaron Banks. Manx intends to pay £1.61m for the shares and then cancel them. This cash will become a loan to Manx and an existing £483,500 convertible will be added to the sum. Banks has requisitioned a general meeting at iodine manufacturer Iofina (IOF) in order to remove Lance Baller from the board and become a director himself. Banks does not intend to make a bid for the company.

Mobile payment services provider Bango (BGO) is still set to move into profit in 2020. End user spend doubled last year.

Indigovision (IND) is recommending a 405p a share cash bid from Motorola Solutions. This values the video security technology company at £30.4m. In 2019, pre-tax profit was $1.3m.

MJ Hudson (MJH) grew organic revenues by 12.5% in the first half. The asset management services provider has net cash of £20.1m following last year’s flotation. The acquisition of Meyler will expand the range of services provided in the US. The customer base is predominantly long-term and closed ended funds. A full year pre-tax profit of £1.1m is forecast.

Big Sofa Technologies (BST) has put itself up for sale and trading in the shares is suspended. The video and data analytics technology developer needs additional cash and it is difficult to raise funds in the market when there is so much uncertainty. The company expects proposals by the end of April.

The Wressle oil field development in north Lincolnshire is set to commence production in the second half of 2020 and Egdon Resources (EDG) has a 30% stake and is operator. Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) and Union Jack Oil (UJO) also have interests. The breakeven oil is estimated at $18/barrel. Production could start at 500 barrels a day. An application has been allowed against North Lincolnshire council for costs relating to delays in gaining a permit.

Diagnostic and precision testing services provider Diaceutics (DXRX) boosted revenues by 30% last year following its flotation. Although gross margins improved, a significant increase in headcount meant that pre-tax profit dipped to £500,000. The initial benefits of the investment in the business are showing through growth in Asia and other regions.

Regional property investor Real Estate investors (REI) increased its dividend by 7% to 3.8p a share. Like-for-like rental income was slightly lower at £16.9m and the weak retail property market led to a 3% reduction in EPRA NAV to 67.4p a share. Loan to value is 46.7%. The Midlands property market is strengthening ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. An improvement in NAV to near-69p a share is forecast for 2020.

Xeros (XSG) has signed a joint development agreement with a global commercial laundry business. XFiltra micro-particle filtration technology will be included in the partner’s commercial washing machines. The EU plans to have micro-particle filtration in use by 2026. Xeros is likely to need to raise more cash next year.

Oncimmune (ONC) says NICE has completed a positive review of EarlyCDT Lung and believes that it can help in the early diagnosis of lung cancer.

MAIN MARKET

Trading in the shares of Boston International Holdings (BIH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd, which is based in the South East. Alexanders Discount accounts for the year to November 2019 are for a dormant company and the assets were worth £4. The standard list shell floated in October 2016.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) says that the integration of DMSL is ahead of plan and it has won two new contracts.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) is partnering with Novamed for an at-home COVID-19 diagnostic kit. The kit should be completed within four months.

AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has signed a conditional share purchase agreement for Alchemist Codes, a Malaysian IT services developer. AIQ is paying £2.3m in shares.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 9 September 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

BWA Group (BWAP) is acquiring Kings of the North Corp, which owns five groups of exploration licences in Canada. BWA will pay £4.66m for the business, which is owned by a Canadian Stock Exchange listed company. Management believes that there is significant upside in the licences. Nearly $C1m needs to be spent for the licences to be renewed.

World High Life plans to join NEX on 12 September. This is an investment company that intends to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis. The company (www.worldhighlife.uk) has already raised £2.4m from subscribers and no additional cash will be raised on flotation.

Adnams (ADB) director Guy Heald has purchased 3,000 B shares at £95.21 each. That takes his shareholding to 15.1%. The shares were sold by Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, whose interest has been reduced to 6.32%.

Better news from Ashley House (LSE: ASH) because a scheme in Romsey has reached financial close. There are still two other delayed schemes that have not completed. Funding sources are being explored.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) is selling its 2.5% royalty interest in the Graphmada graphite mine in Madagascar for up to A$550,000 in cash and convertible notes in royalty business SilverStream.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) reported a decline in net assets from £5.16m to £4.74m in the six months to June 2019. Management believes there are plenty of opportunities in the pre-IPO market.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has agreed the terms for a realisation of its investment in Cotswold Valves, because it no longer wants to focus on employee ownership. The equity interest is being sold for its £220,000 cost and loans totalling £450,000 have been rescheduled. The cash will be received over a three year period.

KR1 (KR1) has made investments in the Nym Protocol project, Alice Si, a blockchain-based social funding platform developer, and Nexus Mutual, which is a follow-on investment.

Resources-focused investment company Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) increased its cash position from £17,000 to £47,000 in the year to March 2019, but net assets fell from £722,000 to £687,000.

AIM  

Good news from car dealers Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) and Vertu Motors (VTU). Cambria says that trading in the eleven months to July 2019 has been well ahead of the same period last year and the full year profit will be higher than market estimates. New car sales are lower but Cambria is making more profit on each sale because of the mix of franchises and greater exposure to the luxury end of the market. More profit was made on each used car sold as well. Vertu says that its trading is in line with expectations, helped by price stability in the used vehicle market since July.

Mirada (MIRA) has won a new contract for the deployment of its Iris multiscreen digital TV product with a new Spanish interactive TV services provider Plataforma Multimedia de Operadores. Mirada’s technology will be used to deliver content to Android set-top boxes, smartphones, laptops and other devices. The commercial launch will be early next year and the plan is to build up a subscriber base of 600,000.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) says that its consolidated NAV increased by 3.5% to $96.3m (£78.4m) in the six months to June 2019. That includes cash of $5.4m. There was interest income of $677,000 in the period. Production at Future Metal Holdings’ dolomite magnesium limestone mine in China should restart before the end of the year.

A secured creditor has appointed voluntary administrators to five subsidiaries of Management Resource Solutions (MRS) but the businesses continue to trade. A creditors meeting is set for 16 September. The businesses will need to be recapitalised.

Filtronic (FTC) has decided to sell its antenna division.

Colin Harrington has switched from executive chairman to chief executive of Rose Petroleum (ROSE) following the departure of its previous chief executive Matthew Idiens. Rick Grant will become chairman. Gordon Stein is a new independent non-executive.

MAIN MARKET 

Avation (AVAP) reported full year results that were ahead of expectations. The commercial aircraft leasing company’s pre-tax profit was 15% ahead of forecasts and there was also a tax credit which further boosted earnings per share. The dividend was raised by 45% to 10.5 cents a share.

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane (MACF) has acquired the Leyland Packaging Company for up to £3.25m, with up to £1m in the form of an earn-out based on performance of the distributor in the year to August 2020, in cash and shares. In 2018, Leyland made a pre-tax profit of £550,000 on revenues of £4.06m.

Fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC) has published its accounts for the year to February 2019. They showed net liabilities rising to £781,000. There was cash of £245,000 in the balance sheet following the repayment of loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended for three years.

Standard list shell Boston International Holdings (BIH) is considering potential acquisitions outside of the foreign exchange sector.       

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has ended discussions about a partnership with Hive Blockchain Technologies. Argo believes that its investment in additional crypto mining capacity has provided it with the scale it needs.

Sure Ventures (SURE) is investing a further €2.5m in Sure Valley Ventures Fund.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

AIM-quoted Aquis Exchange (AQX) is acquiring NEX Exchange from CME Group Inc, which bought it as part of its £3.9bn takeover of NEX Group. Aquis will pay £1, plus £2.7m for working capital requirements. The deal requires FCA approval so it is unlikely to complete before the autumn.

Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) is purchasing a residential mortgage portfolio for £258m. The loan portfolio has £266m outstanding and the yield is 3.6%.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) is raising £1.3m via a share issue at 0.1p a share and loan notes worth £904,000, which are convertible at the same share price. The cash will be used to acquire Rwanda-based Eastinco.

MESH Holdings (MESH) has reached an early agreement to exercise the option to acquire Sentiance. MESH will issue 4,000 shares for each Sentiance share. Sentiance will have €19m in cash when the deal completes. More than 404 million MESH shares will be issued, which is nearly two-thirds of the enlarged share capital. Trading in the shares is suspended until a circular is published in order to gain shareholder approval.

The forecast 2018-19 loss for health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) has been increased from £1m to £1.6m following clarity about what deals were signed prior to the year end. A return to profit is expected this year.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has announced a third interim dividend of 0.84p a share. The ex-dividend date is 11 July.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has extended its A$4m loan facility to 5 September. The two month extension cost A$160,000.

Gunsynd (GUN) has invested a further $130,000 in Oyster Oil and Gas, taking its stake to 30%.

Trading in Ganapati (GANP) shares has been suspended because accounts for the year to January 2019 have not been published.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has appointed Cairn as its corporate adviser.

AIM

Science Group (SAG) has launched a 35p a share cash bid for Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) and that is higher than the indicative offer of 30p a share. Frontier advises that shareholders take no action and says that it has received approaches from other parties and there are discussions with one of them about the structure and pricing of any deal.

Independent directors of FFI Holdings (FFI) are recommending a bid of 25p a share, which values the film completion insurance provider at £39.5m. The mandatory offer comes two years after FFI floated at 150p a share.

IMImobile (IMO) continues to grow strongly in the Americas and Europe with 42% growth in revenues last year. The cloud and mobile services provider increased total revenues by 28% to £142.7m, with organic growth of 14% on a constant currency basis. Net debt was £7.5m at the end of March 2019 and cash generation is strong. Thee was £14.6m generated from operating activities last year.

Plastic components and packaging producer Synnovia (SYN) has refinanced its debt. The maximum amount available is £25.3m. The maturity has been extended from June 2021 to June 2023. The full year results will be published on 9 July.

Bango (BGO) has partnered with appScatter (APPS) in order to help the latter’s app development clients to grow in-app revenues.

Gfinity (GFIN) has generated better than expected revenues in the year to June 2019. The esports company expects to breakeven by 2021.

Mirriad Advertising (MIRI) is raising £14.18m via a placing at 15p a share, while an open offer could raise up to £3.94m. Revenues remain modest and the cash is required to cover continuing losses. Cash consumption is running at £1m a month and 2019 revenues of £1.1m are anticipated.

Churchill China (CHH) has generated higher than expected revenues in the hospitality sector, particularly in Europe. Full year trading will be ahead of expectations. The interims will be announced on 29 August.

Mirada (MIRA) is raising £2.1m from the sale of its Mirada Connect car park payment services business to part of VW. The business generated revenues of £633,000 and pre-tax profit of £122,000 in the year to March 2019. This will enable Mirada to concentrate on its digital TV business, where annual revenues are approaching $12m. Mirada had net debt of $4.9m at the end of March.

LightwaveRF (LWRF) has signed an agreement with Google to jointly market Lightwave compatible smart speakers that provide voice-controlled lighting.

Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) has secured its first OEM agreement for its AI-based imaging software and the share price nearly doubled on the back of the deal. The technology will be integrated into ultrasound systems. Initial royalties are expected in 2021.

Cellcast (CLTV) plans to sell its operating subsidiary to its management team, but it is unlikely to generate a good price because of its poor performance. The company will become a shell. Fraser Cropper of e-cigarette company Totally Wicked has taken a 3.7% stake.

MAIN MARKET

InnovaDerma (IDP) has reassured investors that it is on course to more than double pre-tax profit to £1.5m in the year to June 2019. The pharma and beauty products supplier had £1.7m in the bank at the end of June 2019, which is better than expected. It is still down from £1.9m one year earlier.

Associated British Engineering (ASBE) has appointed FRP Advisory to find a buyer for loss-making British Polar Engines Ltd. There is a deficit of £1.35m on the pension scheme.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has announced further outperformance by its crypto mining activities as the bitcoin price continues to recover. The company had £3.07m of crypto assets in the balance sheet at the end of June 2019, which is more than £200,000 more than expected. Additional equipment is being acquired.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is raising £4.3m at 3p a share. The money will finance production growth at the Gakara rare earth project. There should be some cash left to pay for additional drilling.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has revised its 2018 accounts. The original version did not reflect two transactions with director James Longley.

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) has paid an initial dividend of 5.68p a share with a further dividend double that level (depending on exchange rates) due to be paid after the interim figures are published.

Boston International Holdings (BIH) has returned from suspension following the termination of the reverse takeover of Cornhill FX, which was first announced in August 2017. Boston could not raise the cash required. Management is assessing future strategy. The costs of the proposed transaction mean that cash is below £150,000, which is less than 50% of share capital.  

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 28 August 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

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