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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 14 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore: Quoted Micro 29 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE

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.

AIM

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.

MAIN MARKET

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.

 

 

Quoted Micro 23 October 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has improved its net asset value by 4.4% to 94p a share in the six months to September 2017. Interim figures should be published within a fortnight.

African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has decided not to acquire investment company Onshore Energy Ltd and concentrate on its fertiliser business instead. Progress has been delayed but fertiliser trading has started in Zambia and a 21% stake was acquired in Advanced Agricultural Holdings, which is focused on South Africa. There were no revenues in the year to June 2017, although there was trading income of $9,000, and the loss was $2.27m. There was £11,000 in the bank at the end of June 2017. African Agronomix is earning a stake in the company’s potash interests. Trading will recommence in the shares on 23 October.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has €7m of debt, in the form of a mortgage, from UniCredit Bulbank. This will be used to complete the planned acquisition of the office building in Sofia. The loan lasts for three years from completion of the documentation.

Via Developments (VIA1) has completed the purchase of the development site in Latimer Road, Luton.

AIM

Belvoir Lettings (BLV) has approached The Property Franchising Group (TPFG) about a merger between the letting agents but the reaction has been negative. Belvoir believes that the market is consolidating and it makes sense for two of the major players to come together. The indicative offer is 0.715 of a Belvoir share and 52.2p a share in cash for each TPFG, although the amount of cash could be varied. This values each TPFG share at 130.5p.

eServGlobal Ltd (ESG) is raising £24m at 9p a share with existing retail investors given the chance to clawback £3.4m of the shares. Cash is required to be injected into the HomeSend joint venture so that the 35% stake can be maintained. There will also be costs to rationalising the core business in order to help move it into profit.

Overseas growth dominated the Tristel (TSTL) where full year revenues were one-fifth higher, or 7% excluding the acquisition of the Australian distributor. Tristel has already warned that regulatory approval has been delayed in the US but it can still continue to grow its infection control sales. Animal health and contamination control revenues fell but margins improved. House broker finnCap forecasts an improvement in profit from £4m to £4.4m this year.

Secure payments and contact centre technology provider Eckoh (ECK) continues to add contracts in the US while UK revenues are steady. Seven US contracts worth $5.1m have been won. Eckoh has moved into a net cash position of £1.7m. Interim figures will be reported on 22 November.

Telecoms software supplier Artilium (ARTA) has formed an alliance with NYSE-listed Pareteum Corporation, which involves the sharing of distribution, products and technology. The focus will be Latin America and Asia. A share exchange will mean that Pareteum will own 8.8% of Artilium, which will own 19.9% of Pareteum. Artilium is opening a new office in Germany.

Cloud-based communications software provider Cloudcall Group (CALL) is raising £5.7m at 143.5p a share and the cash will help to finance further growth. Cloudcall wants to take advantage of its partnerships with Microsoft Dynamics and Bullhorn and attract new partners.

Proteome Sciences (PRM) says that its deal pipeline is improving but the adoption of its proteomic services has been slower than hoped. This year the loss will be reduced but it will be higher than previously expected. Proteome has gained Good Clinical Laboratory Practice accreditation which will enable it to take on larger clinical projects.

Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) is evaluating the best way to develop the Ferensola gold asset as well as seeking to bring other assets into the group. There could be a joint venture or farm out at Ferensola and Sula intends to solicit interests from potential partners.

Hornby (HRN) is ending the discounting of its stock but it will still hit the figures for this financial year. New chief executive Lyndon Davies continues to review the business strategy and more will be revealed with the interim figures. The interim chairman is leaving the board.

BP Marsh (BPM) has increased its NAV from 273p a share to 304p a share in the six months to July 2017. Disposals brought in significant amounts of cash and this is being reinvested. One of the main focuses of the investment is the North American market.

Infinity Energy S.A. (INFT) is in talks to acquire Transgas Ltd from its own chief executive and its family. Transgas owns petroleum exploration licences in south west England. Infinity will issue shares for the purchase if it is agreed and it intends to change domicile from Luxembourg to Guernsey.

Molecular diagnostics firm Genedrive (GDR) has signed a distribution agreement with Sysmex Europe for the supply of the Genedrive hepatitis C (HCV) ID kit, which is designed to be used in a decentralised environment and produce results within 90 minutes. This is the first commercial partner and Sysmex will be responsible for marketing and distribution in the EMEA region. The initial focus will be African companies.

RNA therapeutics technology developer Silence Therapeutics (SLN) is claiming money in the High Court for income it believes it is owed on products sold by Alnylam. The High Court has to determine whether Silence is entitled to supplementary protection certificates, which can give up to five years of exclusivity after a patent expires

Seeing Machines (SEE) believes that it could treble its revenues this year to between A$38m to $A43m and revenues could double again next year. However, cash is in short supply so investment has been curtailed. New investment is being sought. Interest is building in the automotive sector for the FOVIO driver monitoring technology.

Jim Meredith has become executive chairman of Augean (AUG), following the resignation of Stewart Davies as chief executive, and Christopher Mills and Roger McDowell, who stepped down in June 2015, have joined the board as non-executives. Augean continues to have problems with the HMRC regarding its landfill tax assessment and profit will be lower this year and in 2018. A further £1.7m is being cut from annual overheads.

Futura Medical (FUM) has received positive market research from fellow AIM company Cello (CLL) for its MED2002 gel for erectile dysfunction. More than three-fifths of physicians canvassed in the US thought that MED2002 was better than existing treatments. The equivalent figures in Germany and France were 60% and 54% respectively.

Concepta (CPT) has signed up two distributors in China for its MyLotus fertility product. This takes the number of distributors to three and more will be signed up in the coming months. The product is being evaluated for use after a woman has got pregnant.

Sunrise Resources (SRES) has discovered a new deposit at the CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada. There have also been positive drilling results in the existing deposit areas.

Omega Diagnostics Group (ODX) has signed a three year agreement to supply food intolerance product FoodPrint to a US laboratory testing services provider.

Thor Mining (THR) is moving to a phase of progressing the commercialisation of its exploration interests. There has been a resource upgraded at Pilot Mountain and there will soon be a resource estimate at Kapunda. The options for progressing with the development of the Pilot Mountain and Molyhil projects are being considered. A placing will raise £565,000 at 0.8p a share. There is a warrant with each share which enables the holder to subscribe for a new share at 1.2p.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has entered into a binding term sheet to acquire the owner of the Leigh Creek copper mine project, which is the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. It will cost A$1.8m to restart production at the mine. Strategic has to inject A$1m into the holding company, pay A$250,000 in cash and A$750,000 in shares to the current owner and agree a royalty agreement with them which will be capped at A$3.65m. The Cobre magnetite ore operation in New Mexico had a record quarter to September 2017. Revenues were $2.04m, which was more than the first six months of 2017 and for 2016 as a whole. Annual sales should exceed $5m and this provides cash flow for other projects. Strategic had $1.63m in the bank at the end of September 2017. Shareholders have agreed to a new option programme for management.

MAIN MARKET

Sportech (SPO) has put itself up for sale, although the strategic review continues. There have already been four preliminary proposals but no detailed discussions have commenced.

InnovaDerma (IDP) has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for some of its online advertising for Skinny Tan. Trading is in line with expectations.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 10 April 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Social impact investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has taken a stake in Uganda-based Four-One Financial Services Ltd, which manages the Mazima Voluntary Individual Retirement Benefits Scheme. The pension scheme is aimed a low income earners and Four-One provides marketing and administration services.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has been regularly raising funds in the past few weeks. The latest placing raised nearly £126,000 at 7.3p a share. So far this year, NQ has raised nearly £900,000.

Malcolm Burne has increased his stake in Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) by 500,000 shares, taking his shareholding to 6.19%.

Kryptonite 1 (KR1) consolidated every 19 shares into one new share on 4 April.

AIM

StatPro (SOG) is acquiring UBS Delta, which provides risk and performance analysis services, for €13m (£11.1m) over three years. UBS Delta has 115 clients with 100 of these being new to StatPro. This provides a ready made customer base for the StatPro Revolution product. UBS Delta has annualised recurring revenues of £14.5m and the combined group will have £53m. This is a highly earnings enhancing deal. A full contribution in 2018 leads to an improvement in forecast earnings per share from 4.5p to 7.4p. Net debt will double to £20.2m by the end of 2017 and then start to come down through cash generated from operations.

Bushveld Minerals Ltd (BMN) has completed the purchase of a 78.8% stake in Strategic Minerals Corporation, which owns 75% of the company that owns Vametco Alloys in South Africa. Bushveld says that the $16.5m it has paid is less than the cost of setting up a greenfield mining operation. The deal is part of the strategy to develop a vertically integrated vanadium operation. Bushveld is acquiring a low cost, open pit mine and plant with an existing customer base. There are enough ore reserves to last for 24 years at current production levels, plus scope to increase these reserves. Vametco is also near to Bushveld’s Brits vanadium project. Bushveld has also agreed to work with Sinohydro Corporation on developing a 60MW coal powered plant and related transmission infrastructure in southern Madagascar. Sinohydro will pay for the bankable feasibility study and project implementation proposal in the next 12 months. Bushveld is also moving ahead with the acquisition of an interest in the Uis tin project in Namibia.

AdEPT Telecom (ADT) says that its figures for the year to March 2017 will be ahead of expectations. Revenues are expected to be 16% higher and EBITDA 26% ahead. Net debt of £15.8m is £1.3m lower than forecast. The total dividend will be increased by 19% to 7.75p a share.

Belvoir Lettings (BLV) grew its 2016 revenues by 43% to £9.94m, while pre-tax profit improved from £2.2m to £2.5m. Contributions from acquired letting networks helped the growth. Demand remains strong for rented property. The estate agency business continues to grow from a low base and there are plans to increase revenues from other services. The final dividend is unchanged at 3.4p a share.

Gatemore Capital Management has withdrawn its requisition for a general meeting to change the board at DX (Group) (DX.) following the announcement of the discussions for the merger with Menzies Distribution.

Staunton failed to secure 50% acceptances for its 300p a share bid for FIH Group (FIH). The level of acceptances was 34.74% but nearly two-thirds of those were related parties to Staunton, which itself already owned 2.34%.  The bid has lapsed. Dolphin Fund Ltd is still waiting in the wings but has not made a firm offer.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) returned to profit in 2016 but there remains uncertainty due to the loss of the company’s major customer. There are plans to widen the range of products offered in order to offset the loss and the impact of regulatory changes. There was $7.7m in the bank at the end of 2016 and since then a $3m dividend has been received from the DragonFinancials joint venture.

Gresham House Strategic (GHS) has revealed plans to pay a maiden dividend. The 15p a share final dividend will be combined with a share buy back programme. At the end of March 2017, there were £1.7m of realised gains and 50% of that is available for dividends and buy backs. The company has already bought 500 shares at 831p each.

BP Marsh (BPM) is selling its 29.9% stake in Trireme for £2.96m, compared with a book value of £2.53m. Trireme will also repay a loan of £2.16m.

Revenue recognition changes mean that Styles & Wood (STY) will report lower revenues for 2016 but pre-tax profit will be in line with expectations.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has discovered two kimberlite blows at the Frischgewaagt project in South Africa. This could mean that the kimberlite dyke system could widen, thereby providing higher volumes of kimberlite.

Tracsis (TRCS) is investing up to £1.3m in Vivacity Labs Ltd, which has developed machine learning software to help solve traffic and transport problems. Tracsis could use the technology to reduce the costs of processing video for its traffic and data services division. Tracsis will invest £1m to take a 23.3% stake and it has an option to acquire a further 4.8% for £300,000.

MAIN MARKET

IT firm Triad Group (TRD) says that its full year pre-tax profit will increase from £863,000 to around £1.5m. The majority of that improvement came in the first half but there was also profit growth in the second half.

World Trade Systems (WTS) says that its health foods subsidiary is planning to enter cooperation agreements with two companies that will help it to diversify its product range and extend its market in China. CHelac and WTS plan to collaborate on R&D to develop cosmetic products using the former’s collagen stimulating technology. Fine Japan is linking up with WTS as a way of increasing its business in China. WTS is heading towards the first decade of the suspension of trading in its shares.

SMALLCAP AWARDS 2017 NOMINATIONS

IPO of the Year

Accrol Holdings; Blue Prism Group; Franchise Brands; InnovaDerma

Company of the Year

DP Poland; Fulcrum Utility Services; Gear4Music; Harvest Minerals

Nex Exchange Company of the Year

Adnams plc; Capital for Colleagues plc; Chapeldown; Crossword Cybersecurity plc; Sandal plc

Social Stock Exchange Impact Company of the Year

Capital for Colleagues; Caretech; Impax Asset Management; Obtala

Executive Director of the Year

Stephen Moon, CEO, Science in Sports; Andrew Jacobs, CEO, Lok’nStore; Nick Jarmany, CEO, Quixant; Tim Mitchell, CEO, Sareum

Transaction of the Year

Amino Technologies; Keyword Studios (Synthesis Group); Marlowe ; SCISYS (Annova)

Analyst of the Year

Mike Allen – Zeus; Andrew Blain – Cenkos Securities; Eric Burns – WH Ireland; Simon Strong – Cenkos Securities

Journalist of the Year

Paul Scott – Stockopedia; Jamie Nimmo – Evening Standard; Simon Thompson – Investors Chronicle

Advisor of the Year

Cenkos Securities; FinnCap; Panmure Gordon; Shore Capital; Stockdale Securities; Zeus Capital

Fund Manager of the Year

Paul Jourdan – Amati Global; Simon Knott – MI Discretionary Trust; Paul Mumford – Cavendish; Giles Hargreave and Guy Feld – Marlborough Fund

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 28 November 2016

ISDX

Property investment company Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) says that one of its shareholders, Daniel Waylett, agreed to acquire a subsidiary that owns Colebrook Court in 2016. There was no specific date given, although the property was bought for £1.5m in shares during April. The payment for the disposal was £1.553m. Ace has drawn down a secured loan of £13.75m from Lloyds Bank and this has been used to purchase the property acquired last month in Hanley, as well as other existing property investments.

FT8 (GFT) is acquiring 49% of Australian fintech company Billyst Holdings. FT8 is issuing 142.4 million shares at 1p each to Billyst for the 49% stake. This will give Billyst, which is developing debt collection systems, 16.2% of FT8. So far, Billyst, which has not been around long enough to produce figures, has invested £267,000 in its technology. Billyst has agreed to loan FT8 A$500,000 (£297,000), interest free, for 18 months, but it will need to raise more cash to do this. FT8 had less than £3,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016 so it needs more cash.

Wine maker Chapel Down (CDGP) says that it has had its highest quality harvest ever, although yields were slightly lower than expected. The 2016 harvest was the third largest in the company’s history. A good summer made up for some of the shortfall earlier in the year.

Energy efficiency and electronics products supplier Sandal (SAND) says that trading is in line with forecast. Sainsbury’s will be selling MiHome products in 100 stores prior to Christmas, while Argos will be including them in its catalogue from February. House broker Daniel Stewart expects Sandal to move into profit this year.

Imperial Minerals (IMPP) had £96,000 of cash and financial assets – including a stake in AIM-quoted North River Resources (NRR) – at the end of June 2016, following a £53,000 cash outflow in the previous year. Imperial tried to acquire a Welsh hydro-electric project but there was a problem with the complex ownership of the project. However, management believes that recovering commodity prices could provide potential resources investment opportunities.

South Africa-based social impact investor Inqo Investments (INQO) has been improving room rates and occupancy at the South Africa-based leisure resort Kuzuko Lodge and the second half should be much stronger as tourists benefit from the weak Rand. In the six months to August 2016, group revenues grew from R3.23m to R5.32m, which made an increased loss before an increase in other income from R2.06m to R14m is taken into account. The other income in the recent period was due to the negotiation of loan settlements leading to interest write-backs. Kuzuko Lodge made a reduced loss, while the first revenues from the Bee Sweet Honey investment will not show through until 2017-18.

AIM

The closure of GB Energy Supply could provide opportunities for AIM-quoted energy suppliers Flow (FLOW) and Good Energy (GOOD), which is also quoted on ISDX. GB Energy had revenues of £22.2m in 2015 and it is estimated to have around 160,000 customers. Regulator OFGEM is overseeing a transfer of customers to new suppliers but customers could then choose to change from the suppliers they have been allocated. In 2015, Good had energy supply revenues of £56.6m, while Flow’s were £40.1m.

Belvoir Lettings (BLV) says it is difficult to predict what impact the announcement that letting agents in England will not be allowed to charge fees to tenants. There will be consultation before this change is brought in. Belvoir says that less than 10% of the income of its franchisees is from fees paid by tenants but in terms of Belvoir it is less than 8%. There may be more pressure on smaller, independent letting agents and this may provide acquisition opportunities for franchisees or a chance to grow organically in their existing markets if independents leave the market.

Cough treatments developer Verona Pharma (VRP) plans to gain a US listing in the first half of 2017. The flotation is subject to regulatory approval and market conditions.

Music hardware and software developer Focusrite (TUNE) beat expectations in the year to August 2016. Revenues improved from £48m to £54.3m thanks to a strong fourth quarter with growth being enhanced by the launch of the second generation Scarlett product range (focused on the sub-$500 market). Underlying pre-tax profit rose from £7.2m to £7.7m. The US remains a major market but the company had to improve credit terms to its distributor which hampered cash generation. Even so, there was still £5.6m in the bank. Focusrite wants to grow in Asia where its market share lags the levels in North America and Europe. There are potential acquisitions that Focusrite is keeping its eye on but there is no certainty that there will be any deals in the short-term. A new chief executive has been identified but his appointment is still being finalised. A full year profit of £8m is forecast.

Alternative Networks (AN.) is recommending a bid from former AIM company and rival telecoms and managed services provider Daisy, which is a consolidator in the sector. The bid of 335p a share values Alternative Networks at £165.3m. The company’s directors mention the uncertainty in the telecoms market as part of their reason for recommending the bid.

BP Marsh (BPM) has invested £75,000 in The Fiducia MGA Company, in the form of a 25% stake in the company’s cumulative preferred ordinary shares. On top of this, BP Marsh is lending up to £1.725m to the UK marine cargo underwriting agency. An initial £350,000 will be drawn down and further draw downs are dependent on Fiducia meeting conditions outlined in an agreed business plan. Fiducia founder Gerry Sheehy has more than three decades of experience in the insurance industry. BP Marsh is also keen to expand in the managing general agency business in North America

Jonas Computing (UK) has decided not to make an offer for ServicePower Technologies (SVR) but Diversis Capital may be willing to offer 6p a share.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list cash shell Senterra Energy (SEN) is no longer acquiring sim-card technology business Oasis Smart Sim PTE. The deal was first announced six months ago. The seller has withdrawn from negotiations. The Singapore-based company had 2015 revenues of $13m. Senterra was going to provide a £500,000 loan to the acquisition target but it never lent any money. Senterra continues to seek a technology acquisition rather than the oil and gas acquisition it originally focused on. The share price slumped to 2.5p when it returned from suspension. The flotation price was 5p. There was £1m in the bank at the end of June 2016 – equivalent to 3.7p a share – but that is likely to be lower now.

A winding up order has been issued against Worthington (WRN) following the Pension Protection Fund’s (PPF) rejection of a proposed company voluntary arrangement (CVA). Worthington is seeking a Judicial Review of the PPF decision.

Upland Resources Ltd (UPL) is buying a 10% stake in UK onshore licences, in which the Wressle field is sited, from AIM-quoted Europa Oil & Gas (EOG) for £1.6m in cash and shares plus a further £250,000 in contingent consideration based on the level of production from the Wressle field. Initial commercial oil flows of 500 barrels a day are expected from the North Lincolnshire field early next year. Europa retains a 20% stake. A £2.2m placing at 1.3p a share by Upland will finance the cash consideration and fund some exploration spending. When Upland joined the standard list one year ago it raised £1.3m at 1p a share. There was just over £1m in the balance sheet at the end of June 2016.

 

 

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 12 September 2016

ISDX

Mechan Controls (MECP) reported a rise in pre-tax profit from £180,000 to £271,000 on flat revenues of £1.9m in the six months to June 2016. There was £1.08m in the bank. Mechan has declared an interim dividend of 1.1725pa share and the ex-dividend date is 15 September. Trading conditions are better than one year ago and the improvement in the first half is expected to continue in the second half.

 

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested £50,000 in return for A shares in IT services provider 2C Services. The A shares have preferential rights to capital in the event of certain exits. Capital for Colleagues has also subscribed for ordinary shares equivalent to 20% of the share capital in return for a nominal sum. The existing investment in The Homebuilding Centre has been converted from £250,000 in loan notes into 250,000 A shares, while further loans of £97,000 have been combined into a three year loan.

 

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has linked up with AIM-quoted Iomart to work on a machine learning-based way of stopping Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.  The hosting and managed services business wants to offer the service to its clients so it could be lucrative for Crossword.

 

Oil and gas explorer Doriemus (DOR), which is also quoted on AIM, has launched a three-for-15 open offer at 0.035p a share to raise up to £865,000. The open offer price is at a 22% discount to the previous closing mid price. The open offer closes on 18 October. The cash will pay for cost overruns of the Brockham drilling and testing programme – Doriemus has a 10% interest – and for further funding of other interests. The directors will be taking up their entitlement.

 

ISDX is hosting an event called Cyber Security Risks: Threats to Publicly-Traded Companies and the Capital Markets on 21 September. The networking and panel session will be led by a team of experts and cover the current cyber security landscape and how public companies can prepare themselves for potential cyber attacks. The event starts at 8.30am and will be held at 2 Broadgate in London.

 

AIM

SQS Software Quality Systems AG (SQS) is reaping the benefits of its strategy to increase higher margin managed services business. In the six months to June 2016, revenues were 11% higher at €166.6m but underlying pre-tax profit was one-third higher at €11.9m. Net debt was €32.9m, following the acquisition of the remaining 25% of the company’s Indian business, but the second half is always highly cash generative. New sectors are starting to increase their use of software testing services, particularly in the digital area, including mobile payments and smart grids businesses. The US is becoming an increasingly important market and it is expected to overtake Germany as the biggest market.

 

Belvoir Lettings (BLV) reported a three-fifths increase in revenues to £4.3m in the first half of 2016 tanks to contributions from acquisitions made in the past year. The Northwood acquisition was made at the end of the period so it will not make a significant contribution until the second half. Like-for-like revenues were 10% higher. Pre-tax profit was 69% higher at £1.3m. The unchanged interim dividend of 3.4p a share is nearly covered by underlying earnings per share.

 

Motif Bio (MTFB) says that patient enrolment for the phase III clinical trial for the use of antibiotic iclaprim for acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections is ahead of schedule. This means that data should be available in the second quarter of 2017. The results of the second iclaprim trial should be available in the second half of 2017. The convertible promissory notes held by Amphion Innovations have been renegotiated. Instead of converting the accrued interest of $441,000 on the $3.55m of loan notes (maturing at the end of 2016) into shares at 24.47 cents a share, Motif will issue 409,000 shares and pay cash of $314,000. Amphion will also provide $15,500 a month of corporate services if Motif floats on Nasdaq.

 

Sutton Harbour (SUH) says that it expects the government report on the viability of the reopening of the Plymouth City Airport site to be published in the next few months. This will be followed by an independent government inspector making a decision on whether “safeguarding of the former airport site from redevelopment is sound planning policy following the Examination in Public, currently timetabled for March 2017“. The company’s strategic review is continuing.

 

Minoan (MIN) is one of the first companies to admit that the vote to leave the EU has hit its business. Along with the political problems in Turkey, the EU vote has knocked £100,000 a month from gross profit. Management does believe that this could be a temporary phenomenon. The latest court action over Minoan’s proposed Greek development is due to happen on 16 September. The judges will determine the arguments against the development after the hearing.

 

MedaPhor (MED) says that the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology has given notice that it will terminate its ultrasound skills training contract because of ongoing litigation over some of MedaPhor’s patents. If the litigation is sorted out then the relationship can be resurrected.

 

Fishing Republic (FISH) has acquired the Fantackletastic store in Lincolnshire for £150,000 in cash. The 4,000 square feet store is the group’s first in the east Midlands and takes the number of stores owned to 11. In the year to March 2016, the store made an operating profit of £40,000 on revenues of £425,000.

 

Starcom (STAR) has launched the new version of its Watchlock product but this was too late to benefit the first half figures. Interim revenues slipped from £2.64m to £2.51m, while cost savings meant that the loss was reduced. Starcom has recruited an installation and services company for its Tetis cargo security product.

 

IPPlus (IPP) is selling its original contact centre business for £6.7m in order to concentrate on its secure payments business. The company’s name will change to PCI-PAL. The sale and leaseback of a property will raise a further £800,000 leaving net cash of £4.8m. A £1m special dividend will be proposed.

 

MAIN MARKET

New standard-listed shell Vale International Group Ltd (VIG) commenced trading on 5 September. The strategy is to acquire a financial services-focused technology business in Europe or Asia. A placing raised £550,000 at 3.5p a share and the shares have traded at 5p (4.5p/5.5p).

 

Standard-listed Anglo African Agricultural (AAAP) is raising £475,000 at 0.67p a share in order to pay creditors and finance the growth of food manufacturer Dynamic Intertrade. Cape Town-based Dynamic supplies herbs, spices and seasonings to food manufacturers and the cash will be used to build stock levels and increase production. David Lenigas has been appointed as non-executive chairman and he has subscribed for 22.39 million shares giving him a 12.4% stake. No bids were made during the recent offer period and the strategic review has come to an end.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 25 July 2016

ISDX

Guild Acquisitions (GAQO) is raising £100,000 at 0.03p a share in order to finance a technology-based investment strategy. The money was not received for a previous £40,000 placing. The focus is likely to be on blockchain-related investments and the new board believes that there will be plenty of opportunities. George Mcdonaugh, Jeremy Woodgate and Rupert Williams are joining the board, while Charles Goodfellow is leaving and enabling Peterhouse to become corporate adviser. Mcdonaugh has experience in the technology sector and will be an executive director. He bought 20 million shares in the placing. Williams and Woodgate,who acquired 10 million shares in the placing, are also directors of broker Smaller Company Capital Ltd (www.ec-capital.co.uk) and used to run another broker, Ocean Equities.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) is raising $650,000 (£482,000) from a convertible bond issued to Murray Investment Fund Company. The maturity date is 19 January 2018 and there is no interest charge in the first 12 months, followed by an annualised interest rate of 6%. The conversion price will be four-fifths of the share price at which MiLOC or a new holding company floats on the standard list. There is a 3% redemption premium if the loan is not converted into shares.

Food and logistics supplier AfriAg (AFRI) plans to change its name to AfriAg Global in order to reflect a more international focus. Nearly 1.5 million kg of perishable goods was air freighted globally in the first half of 2016., a 60% increase on the first half of 2015.

AIM

Lettings firm Belvoir Lettings (BLV) says that four of its existing franchisees have acquired businesses that will add £850,000 a year to network revenues and this should lead to additional annual management services fees for Belvoir of £102,000. Belvoir has provided funding of £353,000 to help finance the acquisitions and this will add £32,000 to interest income. The deals include the acquisition of a business in Bournemouth which formed the basis of a new franchise. These purchases follow the acquisition of Northwood, the largest remaining independent lettings franchise, as part of the company’s multi-brand strategy. Belvoir is paying up to £22m for Northwood, which has 86 franchised outlets, taking the group total to more than 300 outlets and 54,000 managed properties. Northwood is different from the other group franchises because it offers a guaranteed rent scheme for landlords.

Safestay (SSTY) says that the strong trading performance of its Elephant & Castle hostel has led to an increase in its valuation from £12.2m to £16m.

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) has increased its customer meter points by more than one-third in the first half of 2016 and brand awareness is at new highs. The figure is dominated by FiT customers where growth is likely to slow. Customer meter points were 36% higher at 239,750, with the fastest growth coming in gas where customers were 54% higher. A 5MW solar farm in Dorset increased generating capacity to 52MW with 5MW due to be added in the second half. A new billing system should be installed by the end of this year. A generating site sale will add at least £430,000 to first half profit. The interims will be published on 13 September.

Radiation detection and x-ray technology developer Kromek (KMK) has an impressive order book having taken in $30m of orders in the year to April 2016. These orders are for more than one year but it covers most of the expected 2016-17 revenues of £8.9m. Kromek is expected to continue to lose money for the next two years but the loss will decline. Met cash was £3.86m at the end of April 2016 and this cash is expected to last for at least two years.

Interactive TV content technology developer Mirada (MIRA) is set to have a much improved performance in the year to March 2017. Mirada lost £829,000 in 2015-16 but management expects the company to start generating cash later in the current financial year. The integration of Mirada’s technology for the Televisa cable networks in Latin America means that revenues will be generated every time that a viewer signs up to the service. Mirada continues to invest in R&D. House broker Allenby believes Mirada could make a profit of £1m in 2017-18.

Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) says that its full year figures will be better than expected and this has led finnCap to upgrade its 2016 earnings forecast by 7.5%, which leaves the shares trading on a single figure prospective multiple.

IS Solutions has changed its name to D4T4 Solutions (D4T4). This reflects the company’s focus on data and data analysis. In the year to March 2016, revenues of £18.6m were boosted by licence sales and projects. There was net cash of £3.4m at the end of March 2016 and the dividend was increased from 0.56p a share to 2p a share. This year, pre-tax profit is expected to rise from £3.5m to £4m, although some of the earnings growth will be held back by a higher tax charge.

Judges Capital (JDG) has warned that its 2016 figures will be lower than expected. The scientific instruments manufacturer had already warned at its AGM that the year had started sluggishly. Order intake was 3.4% lower in the first half of 2016 and the order book is shorter. Orders have started to pick up and the foreign exchange moves could be beneficial for Judges. House broker Shore has cut its 2016 earnings forecast from 122.3p a share to 100p a share. The business is highly cash generative and the dividend is still expected to grow by 10% to 27.5p a share.

MAIN MARKET

DRS Data & Research Services (DRS) says that it has received a bid approach from AQA Education, an independent education charity. The offer is likely to be in cash. DRS provides data capture technology and services for elections and education. DRS, which has been listed for more than two decades, had been considering a switch to AIM following a requisitioned resolution from founder Malcolm Brighton.

Natural flavourings supplier Treatt (TET) says that the disputed earn-out for the acquisition of Earthoil has been set at £971,000. That is less than was asked for but Treatt is still disappointed. This leaves an addition £414,000 to be paid by Treatt. There are outstanding claims totalling £694,000 where judgement is expected next year.

ANDREW HORE

Quoted Micro 23 November 2015

ISDX

Blockchain technology investor Coinsilium (COIN) has raised £1.15m of the £1.5m it is seeking via crowdfunding site Seedrs.com. Coinsilium has also raised additional cash via a placing ahead of a potential flotation on ISDX. There are still 39 days to go for the crowdfunding. Coinsilium already has a portfolio of eleven investments. Blockchain technology groups digital transactions into blocks that can be accessed easily and provides a permanent record of transfers of assets. This means that transactions can be verified and reconciled without the need for a centralised third party.

Property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has completed the sale of the remaining units of Telephone House in Sheffield. The property is owned by a 38%-owned associate but it was consolidated in the Ace figures. The latest disposal proceeds were £4m taking the amount raised from the site to £8.1m. Ace will receive £2.2m, which includes a profit of £456,000.  This can be reinvested in other properties. The strategy is to acquire properties with short-term tenancies with government or other blue chip tenants. These are properties that can be converted into residential or student accommodation, or other new uses. Once planning is approved then Ace will probably sell them on to developers, although it could choose to develop some sites itself. Dr Abdel-Karim El-Rousstom has bought 2 million shares and Hikmat El-Rousstom 2.91 million shares at 2.75p each. That raised £135,000 for Ace and takes their stakes to 18.7% and 2% respectively.

Online secondary school operator and consultancy Wey Education (WEYP) wants to raise £1.75m as part of a move to AIM on 7 December.  The cash will be used to grow the business. At 4.5p (4p/5p) a share, Wey is currently valued at £2m.

GP software provider DXS International (DXSP) says that its revenues have increased by 42% in the five months to September 2015. Annualised revenues are £3.2m. The interims will be published in the middle of December. At 13p (12.5p/13.5p) a share, DXS is valued at £4.3m.

Green Chemicals (GNCP), which is developing cleaner and safer consumer and cleaning products, has decided to withdraw from the ISDX Growth market. The share price slumped from 22.5p to 4.5p on the news. There was one trade during the week at 2p a share. The board is asking shareholders to vote for the withdrawal in order to save £35,000 a year and in the hope that an investor in unquoted companies can be attracted. News will be published on the website (www.greenchemicalsplc.com) and broker Keith Bayley Rogers will provide a matched bargains service for the shares. Earlier this month, IP Group provided a loan facility of up to £1.5m to Green Chemicals. This can be converted into shares. IP Group along with two other associates has a total interest of 29.5%.

Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) has raised a further £1m (£990,000 after expenses) through the issue of 8.5% unsecured bonds 2020. This means that there will be £3.2m of unsecured bonds in issue. There should be more than £3m in total to invest in developing the company’s oil and gas assets in Ohio and West Virginia.

AIM

Structural steels supplier Billington Holdings (BILN) is adding additional capacity through the £4.85m acquisition of property and assets five miles away from the company’s Barnsley facility, which is operating at record levels. The purchase will be funded by a £2.5m mortgage and from the company’s cash pile. Capacity will be increased over a two year period as the acquired facilities are adapted to optimise production. The site has long-term tenants which generate annual rents of £400,000. Assuming the deal goes through it should add £200,000 to profit in 2016 before the benefits of the additional capacity show through.

Inland Homes (INL) has sold a major part of the former RAF Stanbridge site to Catalyst Housing Association for £14m. Inland has retained a 0.5 acre retail site pre-let to a major food retailer and another small parcel of land. The disposal will help to underpin the 2015-16 profit expectations of £16m. Inland has invested £1m in a 25% stake in housebuilder Troy Homes. Inland will also be providing a further £2m to Troy in loan notes. Troy is run by former Banner Homes boss Richard Werth. Inland has also secured a £20m revolving credit facility with Barclays, which matures in October 2019. There is scope for a further £10m to be added to the facility.

Property lettings and sales business franchisor Belvoir Lettings (BLV) says that its franchisees have made acquisitions in Southampton and Brighton, which will add network revenues of £250,000. This means that they should add £30,000 to Belvoir’s franchise revenues, plus additional interest income of £10,000 a year from the loans. Belvoir has loaned £118,500 to help finance these acquisitions. In Southampton, lettings and estate agency Langford Charles has been bought, while in Brighton a property portfolio was acquired.

Fifty Four Four Ltd, which is owned by YCO director Charles Birkett, has increased its stake in former AIM company YCO to 71% following its 1p a share bid, which valued the superyacht services provider at £485,000. Fifty Four Four already owned 50.4% prior to the bid but it does not have a high enough stake to compulsorily purchase the rest of the shares. YCO was trading at 7.25p a share prior to the announcement of its intention to leave AIM in May 2012 – it left in July 2012 and re-registered as a private company in 2014. Net cash was £2.46m at the end of 2011 following the disposal of a fuel business.

MAIN MARKET

Specialist Fund Market-listed Marwyn Value Investors Ltd (MVI) has raised £50m at 220p a share with the founders Mark Watts and James Corsellis investing an additional £2m in total. The cash raised will go into the Master Fund, whose portfolio includes BCA Marketplace, Zegona Communications, Gloo Networks and Le Chameau Holdings SAS. There will be a special dividend of 2p a share paid in January and from then on the dividend will be quarterly. Last year’s dividend was 8.255p a share and this will be the minimum total payment in 2016 – not including the January dividend. The disposal of the Entertainment One stake will provide cash to distribute to shareholders. There could also be special dividends following any disposals from the portfolio. In October, Marwyn paid 24.6p a share to investors. Marwyn is trading at a 16% discount to estimated NAV of 256.3p a share.

Dr Qu Li has been appointed as a non-executive director of cash shell Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) and she will be seeking an acquisition in the area of logistics and/or technology. LCP Consulting (http://www.lcpconsulting.com/) has been taken on to identify an acquisition. LCP has been researching city logistics, including the use of electric vehicles in order to improve air quality. Annual costs are around £70,000 and there was £247,000 in the bank at the end of October.  Since then, a further £100,000 has been raised via the issue of convertible loan notes, taking the total issued to £369,800. The new loan notes are convertible at 1.5p a share.

Aminex (AEX) has signed a disposal and farm out agreement for its Tanzania oil and gas assets with AIM-quoted Bowleven. The deal will raise cash of $8.5m and Aminex will receive $5m of shares in Bowleven, which it will have to retain for at least nine months. Bowleven is buying a 25% stake in the Kiliwani North development licence and earning a 50% gross interest in the Ruvuma PSA. Aminex will have a net carry of $10m on Ruvuma activity. Aminex is also entitled to a bonus of $500,000 in cash when drilling is completed on the Ntorya-2 well and $4m in cash or shares when Ruvuma has been in production for at least 30 days. Current partner Solo Oil is entitled to 25% of the net carry and 25% of the bonus for Ruvuma. Aminex will be able to reduce its debt but it remains as operator of the assets with 30.575% in Kilwani North – Solo can purchase a further 6.5% stake from Aminex – and 37.5% of Ruvuma. The deal has to be approved by Aminex shareholders and by Solo.

ANDREW HORE

Latest edition of AIM Journal available here.

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