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Cannabis products-focused company Sativa (SATI) has received a bid approach from StillCana Inc, which has built two high volume CBD extraction facilities in Europe. StillCana is Europe’s largest producer of CBD distillate and isolate. StillCana plans to offer 0.33651 of one share for each Sativa share. Sativa shareholders would own 65% of the enlarged business. If StillCana does not go through with the bid it may be required to pay Sativa £1m as a break fee. Trading in Sativa shares has been suspended. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.
In the six months to December 2019, there was a £224,000 cash outflow at Imperial X (IMPP) as it assessed the way forward. The new investing strategy is focused on acquiring royalties in the oil and gas sector. There was £179,000 in the bank at the end of 2019. Imperial X has subsequently raised £27,700 at 2.5p a share.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) had net assets of £4.76m at the end of 2019. One of the successes has been the investment in Greatland Gold (GGP) and TruSpine Technologies is moving towards a flotation.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) owns 16% of AIM-quoted European Metal Holdings (EMH) whose shareholders have approved the £25.8m investment for a 51% stake in the holder of the Cinovec licences in the Czech Republic.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that the resource at the Barnes Hill nickel project to 25Mt at 0.6% nickel and 0.05% cobalt on a 0.25% nickel cut-off grade.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) n on-executive director Nigel Boardman has acquired an initial 5,020 shares in two amounts (1,500 shares at 960p each and 3,520 shares at 1010p each).
Altona Energy (ANR) has extended the closing date of its open offer until 12 May and it may consider a further extension if the market uncertainty continues.
Cyber security services provider Shearwater (SWG) has raised £3.75m at 240p a share. Directors David Williams and Phil Higgins are each investing £125,000. A new £4m, 3-year bank facility has been negotiated. In the year to March 2020, Shearwater generated revenues of £33m and underlying EBITDA was £3.2m. There has been a move towards higher margin business. Management believes that COVID-19 will provide opportunities to expand the business. There are acquisition opportunities with revenues of between £2m and £20m.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) has confirmed that profit for 2019-20 was better than expected and gross margins improved from 22.8% to 25.9%.
Last year was tough for transport and logistics firm Xpediator (XPD) and this year won’t be easy, but it has a good base and the new Southampton warehouse will come on stream early in 2021. In 2019, revenues grew but lower freight forwarding margins and higher overheads hit pre-tax profit and it fell to £5.2m. Xpediator should still be profitable in 2020 and the second quarter tends to be a weaker period. A scrip dividend of 1.05p a share has been declared.
Health monitoring equipment supplier LiDCO (LID) had a strong start to its new financial year thanks to strong demand from the NHS. Since January 195 monitors have been sold, which is nearly as many as last year. The pre-tax loss is expected to continue to reduce and LiDCO has started to generate cash from operations.
Foreign exchange provider Equals (EQLS) increased first quarter revenues by one-third to £8.3m. The majority of this was business to business revenues. There was a sharp decline in travel money business in March.
Dragon Capital Group is offering a purchase facility to minority shareholders in Dragon-Ukrainian Properties and Development (DUPD) as part of the plan to cancel the AIM quotation. The purchase price is 10p a share. Shareholder approval for the departure from AIM will be sought at the general meeting in Kiev on 6 May.
DBAY Advisers is building up a stake in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and it has reach ed 6.47%. It is taking advantage of the decline in the share price, although it has rebounded strongly in the past few weeks. Investec has sold most of its stake. Trading has been subdued in the current financial year.
Dawn Ward and Tracy Lewis have resigned from the board of Staffline (STAF) and the company is seeking replacements. Henry Spain Investment Services has increased its stake in Staffline to 13.6%.
Mark Greenwood has taken his stake in Richland Resources (RLD) to 29.1%.
LED light fittings and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) reported 2019 figures in line with expectations. Revenues were %5 ahead at £172.1m and improved margins meant that pre-tax profit jumped from £6.3m to £15.8m. Revenues and profit are expected to fall back this year due to COVID-19 with the major hit coming in the second quarter after modest supply issues in the first quarter. Cash outflow should be limited to £500,000 a month while lockdowns are in force in Europe. There are bank facilities available to the group. Looking further ahead, Luceco is involved in a growth market and there should be acquisition opportunities.
J Smart Contractors (SMJ) reported a decline in interim pre-tax profit from £1.12m to £265,000. Net cash was £13.7m at the end of January 2020. An unchanged interim dividend of 0.95p a share has been announced.
Cathay International Holdings (CTI) has launched a 16.7456-for-one open offer at 1.5p each, plus a subscription to at the same share price. This could raise up to £105m. This will reduce borrowings and provide cash to put into investee companies.
BATM (BVC) has received a $31m order for 1,000 critical care ventilators. One-quarter of the cash has been paid upfront and the rest will be paid when the ventilators are delivered later this year.
A trading statement by fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) sparked a 6% 2019-20 profit downgrade to £17.2m by finnCap.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) says that sales and margins have fallen so far this year. Operating costs have been reduced. Sales of former sites are helping to reduce net debt, which is £65m. The fraud investigation has led to a £4m non-cash charge and there could be further write-downs.
AQSE and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £4.4m to £5.8m in 2019, while the second interim dividend is 5% higher at 21p a share. This does not have to be agreed at an AGM. NAV rose from 1283p a share to 1364p a share. The total capital ratio has edged up from 17.2% to 17.3%.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that its insurers stipulated that COVID-19 was excluded from the insurance for the abandonment of race meetings. There will be a significant loss of revenues even if horse racing remains suspended until the end of April. Events, the hotel and the nursery will also be hit. There are bank facilities that should be enough to cover needs for the foreseeable future and the company is talking with its lenders. Management still expects David Wilson Homes to make a further payment of £10.9m for the development sites it has acquired.
Employee-owned businesses investor Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) believes that the value of its investments has declined by up to 15% since the end of February. NAV will have fallen from 50.17p a share to a range of 42.6p a share to 45.1p a share. That offsets the increase in the previous six months.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) is cancelling its interim dividend of 14p a share. The hotel has been temporarily closed.
KR1 (KR1) has invested $65,000 in the Acala Network project and will receive 866,666.67 tokens at 7.5 cents each. Acala will offer a stablecoin that can be transferred across different blockchains and collateralised with digital assets.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that its 4.1%-owned investee company Macarthur Minerals is seeking a partner for its Lake Giles iron ore project in Western Australia. Another investee company, 16.7%-owned AIM-quoted European Metals Holdings (EMH), has secured a strategic investment by CEZ in the Cinovec project. CEZ will subscribe for a 51% stake in the company that owns the project, subject to EMH shareholder approval. The price payable has been reduced from €34.1m to €29.1m.
AFH Financial (AFHP) non-executive director has invested nearly £25,000 in the IFA at 198p a share.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that subsidiary Coal Agglomeration South Africa has stopped activities until 16 April, which is in line with the government lockdown.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) has cash of £26.4m and it could defer the July repayment of £2m of its £3.9m convertible loans, so it is in a strong position to cope with the effects of COVID-19.
Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has suspended mining in Rwanda because of COVID-19. This will be for an initial two weeks. Planning for continues exploration will continue.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has employed consultants to prepare a mine reopening due diligence study on the Beaconsfield gold mine.
TechFinancials (TECH) is exercising its option to acquire shares in Cedex Holdings and the resulting stake will be 97.3% or 90.8% fully diluted. The company will consider disposing of the stake.
World High Life (LIFE) is holding a general meeting on 14 April in order to gain shareholder approval for each existing share to be sub-divided into ten new shares.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has issued a further £245,000 of bonds. This takes the total value of bonds in issue to £1.23m. Trading in First Sentinel 7% bonds, February 2023, First Sentinel preference shares and EPE Special Opportunities 7.5% unsecured loan stock, 2022 has started again after the market maker resumed activities.
Novacyt (NCYT) has signed a contract manufacturing deal with Yourgene Health (YGEN) for its COVID-19 test. The initial plan is for Yourgene to manufacture critical components. A global distribution agreement for the COVID-19 test has been secured with Bruker-Hain Diagnostics for use on its instruments. The Philippines has approved the test for commercial use.
Graphene materials supplier Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) has successfully reduced its cost base and it had £4.3m in the bank at the end of January 2020. This should last until the second half of 2021. Revenues remain small but a number of coatings products using the company’s graphene have been launched in the past year. There is a pipeline of additional products.
Cyber security services provider ECSC (ECSC) is still losing money, but it is generating cash. In 2019, ECSC revenues grew by 10% to £5.91m. Managed services revenues increased by 48% to £2.61m. Managed services has additional capacity and as more work is won margins could continue to improve. Consulting revenues dipped slightly to £2.9m, although they did grow in the second half. The other revenues come from third party products and other services.
Secure payments systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) is raising £5m at 30p a share. The cash will finance sales and marketing in North America and further product development. There will also be additional flexibility for any medium-term effects of COVID-19.
Georgia-focused oil and gas company Block Energy (BLOE) is acquiring two blocks adjacent to its own from Schlumberger. They include Block XIB, which is Georgia’s most productive block, although the peak production was in the 1980s. This will boost Block’s production by 245 barrels of oil per day. There is also another exploration block and a central production facility being acquired. There are 14 years remaining on the permits for the two blocks. Block is paying for the assets with 120 million options exercisable at nil cost. They are deemed to have a value of 5 cents each. The options can be exercised between 12 and 24 months from completion.
Replacement windows and doors supplier Safestyle UK (SFE) has temporarily ceased installations. Safestyle believes with cost reductions and government assistance it will be able to cope with the closure of activities until after the end of June.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) is still paying its 9.4p a share final dividend. Trading in the four months to February 2020 was subdued but in line with expectations. The company’s agricultural stores have been allowed to stay open. There may be some additional costs relating to COVID-19.
Geospatial software provider IQGeo (IQG) has secured an expansion to its contract with Tokyo Electric Power Company, which is worth £1.8m over three years.
Trident Resources (TRR) is becoming a mining royalty company and moving to AIM. The first acquisition is a 1.5% free on board revenue royalty over part of the Koolyanobbing iron ore operation in Western Australia for a staged cash consideration of A$7m. There are plans to increase production from an annualised rate of 11Mtpa to 15Mtpa by the end of 2020. The initial payment is A$4m and the other A$3m is payable one year after completion. The most recent quarterly royalty was A$731,000. Further royalty interests are set to be acquired. A fundraising is planned and the company will change its name to Trident Royalties.
Dev Clever (DEV) says that COVID-19 restrictions have increased demand for its SaaS-based career guidance platforms. The US launch was in April.
Nanoco (NANO) says Merck has issued three-month notice of termination of its cadmium-free quantum dots licence agreement so that the licence can be renegotiated. The existing licence had minimum annual royalties. Merck continues to buy materials.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) says that an investor commitment to provide £1.4m for the company when it acquires Kanabo Research has been terminated. This arrangement was made in July 2019 and the acquisition of the medicinal cannabis company has still not been completed.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) is amending the terms of the purchase of 80% of the Anglo American Oil and Gas (AAOG) subsidiary that owns 56% stake in the Tilapia oilfield in the Republic of Congo. The purchase price has been reduced by one-fifth to £800,000 and it will be paid in ten monthly instalments. Zenith will no longer issue any shares and it will not be providing a £250,000 secured loan facility.
Books publisher Quarto (QRT) says revenues fell from $149.3m to $135.8m in 2019 but it did return to profit. Banking facilities have been extended to July 2021.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) says the Wavertree project is at the final fit out stage, but work has been suspended due to COVID-19. There are 16 apartments and offices on the site in north west England.