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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Sport:80 has delayed its flotation because it has been tidying up its shareholder register. Fintech company Engage Technology is also seeking to float later in 2019 following new product launches. Engage raised £2.6m at £22 a share at the end of 2018, whereas the average buying price by Primorus was £20.03 a share. Investee company, AIM-quoted Greatland Gold (GGP) has published results from the second drilling campaign at Havieron in Western Australia. Every drill hole intersected mineralisation and they extend the overall mineralisation. Drilling will recommence in March. Primorus has raised cash by selling most of the stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) and Primorus was debt free at the end of 2018.

NEX has decided not to suspend trading in the shares of VI Mining (VIM) even though its corporate adviser Daniel Stewart is no longer a member of NEX. VI Mining had little or no notice of its adviser’s withdrawal. A new corporate adviser is being sought.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired apprenticeship training provider Astara Training for £16,666 in shares at 9p each. Milamber lost £179,000 in the third quarter and there was £30,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.

Panther Metals (PALM) has announced the initial results of exploration activity at the Bear Lake project in Ontario. There was gold in soil anomalies at four of the five areas tested. Four areas have quartz vein sample assays above 5g/t gold. Two samples had large grade samples. The next phase of exploration is being planned and could start in the second quarter of 2019.

Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has signed a deal that could enable it to earn a 70% interest in a joint venture that owns the Palha tantalum property in northern Brazil.

AIM  (February 2019 AIM Journal available here)

DP Poland (DPP) is running short of cash and is more than doubling its share capital through a heavily discounted placing raising £5.3m at 6p a share, with the possibility of an additional £500,000. The Domino’s Pizza franchisee for Poland has found competition is getting tougher and growth has slowed. The cash is required to cover losses and open more outlets. Peter Shaw is stepping down as chief executive at the end of June, nearly a decade after founding the business.

Ticketing and queueing technology provider Accesso Technology (ACSO) is reviewing its investment priorities although it says that 2018 figures should be broadly in line with expectations. These will be published on 27 March. A deal fell through and this cost $1.7m. Tom Burnet is moving from executive chairman to a non-exec role. The share price is less than one-third of last year’s high. BlackRock has cut its stake below 5%.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has launched a placing and 0.318-for-one open offer to raise up to £4.75m at 3.85p a share on top of the £8m subscription by former AIM company China Medical System Holdings, which will licence products for the Chinese market. The clinical trial for cancer treatment MTD201 will cost up to £7m.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) is acquiring its UK rival Capital Step and this will double the size of the portfolio to eleven investments and diversify it in terms of sectors. There is an initial £10m cash payment and the assumption of debt of £11.65m. There is performance related consideration of up to £1.5m. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.

Visa has increased its bid for Earthport (EPO) from 30p a share to 37p a share, which beats the Mastercard offer of 33p a share. The latest bid values Earthport at £247m.

Taptica (TAP) has launched a recommended bid for RhythmOne (RTHM) and this will create one of the largest video advertising companies in the US. The offer is 28 Taptica shares for every 33 RhythmOne shares. Taptica shareholders will own 50.1% of the enlarged group. A $15m share buyback programme is planned after the merger. Ofer Druker will become chief executive.

Polemos (PLMO) has finalised the details of its reverse takeover of Digitalbox Publishing for £10m in shares and it is also acquiring the owner of the Daily Mash satirical news website for up to £1.2m in cash and shares. The model for the Entertainment Daily website will be used to improve the performance of the Daily Mash. A placing will raise £1.02m at 14p a share. The company will change its name to Digitalbox.

Hardide (HDD) is raising £3.6m at 1.5p a share so that it can move to new premises in the UK and invest in additional equipment. The surface coatings company is experiencing increasing demand from the oil and gas sector and there is potential for orders from aerospace companies. It will take two years to fully equip and move into the new facility. Hardide also intends to consolidate 40 shares into one new share.

finnCap has raised its forecasts for Tracsis (TRCS) following recent acquisitions. There is a 3% increase in earnings per share for this year and an 11% rise to 30.5p next year.

Stride Gaming (STR) has traded in line with previously downgraded expectations. Cost cutting continues to cover higher regulatory and tax costs. The online gaming operator will report a lower profit in 2018 and it is set to fall again in 2019. Net cash was £22.1m at the end of 2018.

Bowmark Capital has offered 110p a share for Tax Systems (TAX) and discussions continue. Tax Systems reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.

Victoria (VCP) has sold surplus land in Kidderminster for £2m. The land was in the books for £100,000 but it has obtained planning consent for housing.

Starcom (STAR) has renegotiated its agreement with Xplosive in South Africa, having originally announced it in October 2017. Xplosive has signed a 36-month agreement to pay a monthly fee for each of the Kylos units supplied for the monitoring of cattle. The fees are higher in the first six months and then reduce. The agreement should be worth $500,000.

Strix Group (KETL) has offered to acquire most of the assets of HaloSource (HAL) for $1.3m. Strix has provided working capital of $100,000. Due diligence is being carried out on the water filtration technology and if the deal goes through the cash will pay creditors, but there will be nothing for shareholders.

Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has announced that the Selva gas field in northern Italy has net 2P reserves of 13.3bcf and there are 2.26bcf attributable to Prospex, which has a 17% stake. Selva could start production in 2020 at a rate of up to 150,000 cubic metres/day.

Tau Capital (TAU) plans to raise cash via a placing through Peterhouse and then a capital distribution will be made to all shareholders. This will enable Tau to seek an acquisition. It has until 18 April to secure a deal or trading in the shares will be suspended. Armstrong Investments has increased its stake from 11.7% to 15.7%.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the SFX-01 clinical trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage is on course having completed recruitment and the primary endpoints should be available in the second quarter. Partners Investment Company has acquired at 3.15% stake.

Sports Direct International (SPD) made a £15m offer to buy Patisserie Valerie from the administrator, but this was not deemed enough. Even a higher selling price won’t provide anything for Patisserie Holdings shareholders.

MAIN MARKET  

Solicitor DWF plans to raise £75m via a March flotation an some of the cash will repay members’ capital contributions as well as invest in the business. Existing shareholders will also sell shares and partners’ remaining stakes will be locked up until April 2024.

Two former AIM-quoted companies are coming together to join the standard list. Daniel Stewart Securities, which is closing its broking business, is making an offer for Atlantic Carbon, which was previously known as Atlantic Coal, where Adam Wilson, who has had connections with Daniel Stewart, is executive chairman. Singapore-based backer Epsilon Investments refused to put more money into the broker and that is why it is closing. Epsilon holds a majority stake in Hyde Park Holdings, which owns broker Novum Securities. Last October, SeeThruEquity research suggested that Atlantic had an equity value of $86.8m and $68m of debt. In 2017, Atlantic was the largest producer of anthracite in the US with a market share of one-third based on 1.18 million tonnes produced. Atlantic is expected to have moved into profit in 2018, although it did generate cash from operations in 2017. The owners of more than 50% of Atlantic shares have agreed to accept the bid of 1.5587 shares for each Atlantic share.

Thalassa Holdings (THAL) is offering 14.64p a share in cash and 0.26 of a share for each share in The Local Shopping REIT. Thalassa already owns 25.5% of the bid target, which is valued at 32.8p a share. The bid is an alternative to the winding up of The Local Shopping REIT.

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is no longer acquiring blockchain technology developer Chorum Group because of political uncertainty affecting the UK equity markets. Former Avanti Communications boss David Williams is the director of Chorum. Blockchain Worldwide has more than £1m in the bank and is also looking at other technology sectors for acquisitions.

Drilling of the Colter appraisal well in Dorset has commenced and United Oil and Gas (UOG) has a 10% interest. The drilling should take three weeks. The Selva gas field in Italy has net 2P reserves of 2.7bcf attributable to United, which has a 20% stake. Selva could start production in 2020. United intends to move to AIM.

Oil and gas producer Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £607,000 in Canada and the UK at C$0.05 a share and 3p a share respectively.

Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) has confirmed that its figures for the year to January 2019 will be in line with expectations. The Aspen property bridging loan business had a loan book of £18m at the end of January 2019. Cautious lending criteria means that new business has slowed in recent months and this has led to a 5% 2019-20 earnings downgrade to 230.1p a share.

BATM (BVC) has won a $3.2m cyber security contract and this takes contracted revenues from this government customer to more than $10m. The latest contract will be delivered this year.

Chesterfield Resources (CHF) is expanding its exploration programme in Cyprus. Initial drilling in an area near historic mining has shown gold, copper and zinc mineralisation. Chesterfield is also applying for licences to extend its licence area.

Dev Clever (DEV) has launched pay per play multi-player, virtual reality game Vanguard: Fight for Rudiarius in Harlow shopping centre. The game will be rolled out to other UK sites.

Bluebird Merchant (BMV) has applied for a grant to help finance drilling at the Kochang project in South Korea and there should be news by the end of the month. There has also been a permit application to develop Kochang.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore -Quoted Micro 2 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Medicinal cannabis business investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has raised £500,000 from Miton Investment Management at 4p a share. Demand for the shares remains strong. Executive director Mark Blower has sold one million shares at 4p a share, having exercised options for the same number at 0.5p each, and Non-executive Noel Lyons has sold 500,000 at 4.25p each, having exercised 500,000 options at 0.5p each. Sativa joined NEX on 29 March after raising £1.1m at 1p a share. The share price had already reached 3.125p by the end of the first week. Sativa has founded the Sativa Foundation to fund academic research into medicinal cannabis.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) intends to change its investing policy so that it includes medicinal cannabis opportunities. A medical advisory board will be appointed and they will carry out due diligence on the opportunities. AfriAg (Pty) Ltd previously had the right to take a 60% stake in House of Hemp but this deal was terminated when the South African government delayed setting up the legal framework for medicinal cannabis.

High Growth Capital (HASH) joined NEX on 25 June and it plans to become a UK, Canada and Australia-focused medicinal cannabis products index tracker and investor. This will be achieved by giving direct exposure to medicinal cannabis-related companies. The strategy is to acquire up to 10% of an individual company or £150,000 in value, depending on which is the lower amount.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU), which was quoted on AIM as Stratmin until August 2017, also joined NEX on 25 June. Tectonic has gold exploration interests in Queensland, Australia. Tectonic raised £530,000 at 2p a share and then issued another 30.8 million shares to the one of the shareholders in the exploration assets that have been acquired and to advisers.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had a NAV of 41.73p a share at the end of May 2018. There are 18 investments in unquoted employee-owned businesses valued at £5.82m. The most recent was a £600,000 loan to Poole-based aerospace components manufacturer TG Engineering.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) still had £501,000 in cash at the end of March 2018, following its maiden £372,000 investment in CoalTech, which is involved in cleaning up the waste from coal mining. The technology that has been developed enables coal fines that have little or no worth to be converted into pellets, using a binding technique, to make them a commercial product.

There was a £93,000 cash outflow from the operating activities of investment company Startup Giants (SUG) in the year to January 2018. There was £686,000 in cash and £40,000 worth of investments on the balance sheet. There are plans to add up to 25 more investments.

VI Mining (VIM) says that the seller of the Ximenita de Casma project has cancelled the option over the three mining concessions and it has also exercised its charge over the company that owns the processing plant. VI Mining had held back payment of consideration because of claims for breach of warranty. Legal proceedings will be initiated.

AIM    

Legal firms consolidator Gordon Dadds (GOR) grew revenues by one-quarter to £31.2m last year even though there were minimal contributions from some of the legal firms it acquired. Pre-tax profit was 23% higher at £2.96m. This is a highly cash generative business. The dividend of 4p a share reflects that the company was not quoted for a full 12 months.

IMImobile (IMO) continues to grow organically as well as by acquisition. Full year revenues were 46% higher at £111.4m and that includes organic growth of 7%. Pre-tax profit improved from £9m to £10.1m. The communications connections technology provider has 85% recurring revenues. The main markets are growing well but progress was held back in South Africa by the political situation and since this has been sorted out that market has returned to growth.

Following a cautious AGM statement by Dillistone (DSG), WH Ireland has trimmed its forecasts and that means that the recruitment software provider is expected to breakeven this year, while the 2019 pre-tax profit has been cut from £540,000 to £200,000. Software revenues have been hit by the loss of a major client and the GatedTalent product is taking longer to build up revenues.

SaaS-based app distribution platform developer appScatter (APPS) has revised the terms for its acquisition of Priori Data. The company is still paying £13.5m in cash and shares for data analysis business but more will be funded by shares. This means that only £1.6m has to be raised in a placing at 70p a share.

Transport group Eddie Stobart (ESL) is acquiring The Pallet Network Group for £52.8m, which will be partly financed by a £30m placing at 140p a share. The network comprises 106 regional transport companies and three central hubs.

Action Hotels (AHCG) has agreed a possible cash offer of 24p a share from its major shareholder. Due diligence is being undertaken.  After the company was floated by Sanlam Securities at 64p a share in December 2013, there have been four changes of nominated adviser and broker.

EQTEC (EQT) is on course to raise £2m in cash to pay off the unpopular financing package it previously secured. That deal has hit the share price but EQTEC is making progress with potential projects for its gasification technology. At least one project should reach the construction stage before the end of year to June 2019. That could either be a project in the UK or a 12MWe power plant in Vietnam, which could utilise equipment that was going to be used on the project in Newry, which is no longer going ahead. This will mean that milestone payments will be received throughout the construction.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) has sold its infectious diseases assets to Novacyt (NCYT) although it is retaining the Visitect CD4 test. The disposal will raise up to £2.175m and these assets generated a profit before overheads of £300,000 in the past financial year. The book value was £600,000. Omega will provide manufacturing and storage services for 12 months. The cash will be invested in the Visitect CD4 test, Allersys and realising the value of the food intolerance business.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a 37% reduction in revenues in 2017 to $13.4m with software licensing revenues more than halving. Overheads were reduced but pre-tax profit still slumped from $4.05m to $116,000, although that was partly due to a $1.5m asset impairment charge. There was $3.5m in the bank.

Windar Photonics (WPHO) has signed a global distribution agreement with Vestas Wind Systems, which will sell the two beam light detection and ranging LiDAR system as a retro-fit product. The deal could provide access to around 14% of global installed capacity. This should help Windar to move into profit this year and make a significant profit in 2019.

CEPS (CEPS) has raised £1.33m at 35p a share and this will finance the repayment of a £1m loan plus interest. Sunline Direct Mail, which is 80%-owned, has been placed in administration and CEPS is unlikely to receive anything. Group trading is also slightly below expectations.

MAIN MARKET    

Standard list shell Chesterfield Resources (CHF) has agreed to acquire Cyprus-registered HKP Exploration Ltd, which has seven prospecting permits covering three project areas on the island. The focus is copper and gold. At least £1.1m will be spent on exploration and drilling. A placing and subscription at 7.5p a share will raise £2m and each share comes with a warrant exercisable at 15p each. HKP is being acquired for 6.67 million shares at the same price. The original placing price last August was 5p a share.

Highland Natural Resources (HNR) has applied to acquire leases over 46,000 acres in Arizona, which management believes could produce commercial volumes of carbon dioxide.

Andrew Hore

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