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Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 10 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has asked Woodford Investment Management to subscribe for £25m worth of shares at 176p a share. This is part of an agreement with Woodford that was outlined in the prospectus and it comes at a time when the fund manager is coming under pressure for poor performance and it has closed redemptions from one of its funds. The cash will pay off a loan and provide working capital.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) is making a £155,000 investment in Tasmania Energy Metals and the two companies will evaluate whether they should develop an integrated facility for the treatment of metal concentrate. NQ also has an exclusivity period until the end of July during which to decide whether to acquire Tasmania’s assets.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an offtake agreement with a Swiss supplier of cannabis oil. This will be used to manufacture cannabidiol products.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has invested £300,000 in Apollon Formularies for a 0.71% stake. Apollon plans to open a licenced retail medicinal cannabis dispensary and processing facility in Jamaica by the end of the month.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it is unlikely to return to paying dividends or return capital to shareholders before 2022 at the earliest. There is uncertainty about future revenue streams from fixed-odds betting terminals and how this could impact UK betting. It could reduce prize money levels. The onsite hotel has increased revenues by 15% so far this year.

Trading in shares of Equatorial Mining (EM.P) has been suspended ahead of publishing accounts. They should be published at the time of the general meeting to gain approval of the acquisition of Rwanda-based miner and explorer Eastinco. A £1.2m fundraising is also planned.

Altona Energy (ANR) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shaanxi Qianyan Vanadium and Magnesium Mining, which owns a vanadium mine in China. The plan is to forma joint venture where Altona will be the controlling shareholder. Due diligence will take up to six months and there will be a JORC-compliant mineral resource classification report. The estimated reserve is 190,000 tonnes of vanadium.

Formation Group (FRM) has secured a £10m subscription at 7.71p a share through the acquisition of Zandra Holdings, whose asset is £10m in cash. This takes the Kennedy Private Trust stake in Formation to 89.99%. A £10m loan facility ahs also been secured.

The Little Bear mine area has been transferred to Panther Metals (PALM) and the Little Bear vein is a high priority drill target in order to see if the bonanza grade gold mineralisation still exists at depth. Panther has also applied for a licence over the Annaburroo gold project in Northern Territory, Australia.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has secured a £600,000 secured revolving credit facility and spent £465,000 on a bungalow in Didcot to be redeveloped into a home providing specialist support for four adults.

Valiant Investments (VALP) is raising £263,000 at 1.5p a share and it is changing its name to Eurocann International as an indication of the change in strategy to investment in the medicinal cannabis sector. Jeremy Rose will become chief executive and he has a number of directorships including of Speakeasy Cannabis.  Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi will become a non-executive.

EcoVista (EVTP) had £419,000 in cash at the end of February 2019 and it is seeking further investment. The interim loss declined from £238,000 to £202,000. Net assets were £1.19m at the end of February 2019.

Share trading in Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has been suspended because it has not published its 2018 accounts.

AIM  

The smart machines division of Vianet (VNET) is going to be the source of profit growth for the coming years. Profit can be improved by converting the vending machines that came with the Vendman acquisition to Vianet’s contactless technology, as well as winning new business. The smart zones pub dispensing technology division should be able to maintain its contribution with lower UK profit due to pub closures being offset by an improved performance in the US. Pre-tax profit is expected to improve from £2.7m to £2.9m, although earnings per share will be hit by a higher tax charge.

Interim revenues at smart home devices supplier LightwaveRF (LWRF) increased 120% to £2.5m, although there was still a pre-tax loss of £1.35m.  New distribution channels are helping to accelerate growth in revenues. The company could move into profit next year

Bad weather in the US has hampered the progress of Somero Enterprises (SOM) and led to forecast downgrades. Demand for concrete levelling equipment is normally stronger in the spring. This year’s earnings have been cut by 12% and next year by 11%. This will also reduce the potential dividend. The forecast 2019 normal dividend plus payout of surplus cash has been cut from 27.8 cents a share to 19.8 cents a share.

Waste-to-energy technology developer EQTEC (EQT) is acquiring a 19.99% stake in North Fork Community Power, a biomass gasification power project in California. EQTEC will supply $2.5m worth of equipment from its Newry site in return for the stake. It also expects to generate €2.2m from selling additional equipment.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed a distribution agreement for the Microsaic 4500 MID MS detector with CM Corporation for the South Korean market.

A shareholder owning a 17.2% stake in Rurelec (RUR) intends to propose an AGM resolution for the appointment of Gordon Fisher as a director. He is a former boss of a freight forwarding and customs brokerage. The electricity generator reduced its pre-tax loss from £5.8m to £600,000 in 2018, mainly due to lower overheads, exchange gains and a disposal gain. NAV is 4.4p a share, which is more than four times the share price.

Driver (DRV) had already said that its interims would be disappointing and pre-tax profit slumped from £2.11m to £762,000. The Middle East and Asia Pacific were tough markets with lower contributions. The expert witness operations made a reduced contribution. A 0.5p a share interim dividend was announced, and the ex-dividend date is 19 September. The company is also buying back shares in order to put a floor under the share price.

Chemicals-focused shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is in exclusive discussions with Arclin Inc for a potential acquisition. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Acquisitions consultancy K3 Capital (K3C) has confirmed that trading is in line with previous guidance and EBITDA is at the upper end of the range of £4.5m to £5m. An 80% payout would mean a reduction in dividend from 11.2p a share to 7.2p a share.

Osirium Technologies (OSI) has won a contract with a European telecoms services provider. The three year contract covers cyber security software and services.

MAIN MARKET 

A strong first half has continued into the second half trading for automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) and pre-tax profit for the year to May 2019 is expected to exceed expectations by 10%. This suggests pre-tax profit of around £2m. The results will be announced on 12 September.

Caffyns (CFYN) reported a small improvement in underlying pre-tax profit to £1.45m in the year to March 2019. New car sales were 10% lower, which is more than three times the market decline. However, there was growth in used car sales and aftersales revenues.

Positive news from Argo Blockchain (ARB) where results for May were well ahead of the company’s budgets. New cryptomining hardware has started contributing faster than expected and rising cryptocurrency prices have improved mining yields. A further £2.85m is being invested in equipment. There was £685,000 generated in May, based on a bitcoin price of $8,575, while cash operating costs were £280,000. Second quarter figures will be better than expected. If the bitcoin price is maintained, then there will be £2.85m of crypto assets at the end of the second quarter.

BigDish (DISH) has raised £2.1m at 7.2p a share and this should be enough cash for the restaurant platform until 2021. The UK rollout will be accelerated.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is acquiring the Minto mine from Capstone Mining. Pembridge will pay up to $20m out of future cash flows. Commercial production could recommence before the end of the year. A $10m loan has been secured.

Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) has made an investment in Soothe Healthcare, which manufactures feminine hygiene products under the Paree and Pariz brands.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 25 March 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Good Energy (GOOD) increased full year revenues from continuing operations from £104.5m to £116.9m, helped by last winter’s cold weather and a price increase, and pre-tax profit recovered from £700,000 to £1.7m. The renewable electricity supplier and generator has increased its dividend from 3.3p a share to 3.5p a share. Net debt was £40.1m at the end of 2018. Energy supply volumes increased by 3%, but domestic volumes were 1.2% lower in an increasingly competitive market. The growth came in the business side, which increased volumes by 23%. Good Energy generates energy from six solar sites and two wind farms. The company expects to continue to grow business volumes and invest in digital technology. Non-executive director Nemone Wynn-Evans has bought 9,500 shares at 105p each.

Trading in PCG Entertainment (PCGE) shares has been suspended because it is in talks to acquire VOX Markets and Align Research.

Karoo Energy (KEP) has been told by its potential nominated adviser does not believe its is suitable for an AIM quotation. This also means that the planned fundraising cannot go ahead. A refinancing is required. There are trade creditors of around £300,000. Trading in the shares has been suspended.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has maintained its 3.4% stake in Fresho by participating in its latest fundraising, which was at a 76% premium to the price paid for the initial investment. The investment is worth A$673,000.

Dana Group International Investments Ltd (DANA) reported swing from loss of $129,000 to a profit of $95,000 in the six months to December 2018, due to other income of $276,000.

Tectonic Gold (TAU) says that roc chip samples from the Clermont project in Queensland show up to 8.01g/t gold, 140g/t silver and 6.32% copper.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed the acquisition of Parthian Resources and its former shareholders own 16.1% of Panther.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) has raised a further £225,000 at 90p a share.

Imperial X (IMPP) has changed its focus to medicinal cannabis. There was a small cash outflow in the six months to the end of December 2018. There was nearly £70,000 in the bank with net cash of £19,000. There are net liabilities and more cash will be required later this year.

Steve Howson is stepping down as chief executive of SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) and he will become a non-executive director. Majority shareholder David Sumner will be interim chief executive.

AIM  

Footasylum (FOOT) has recommended a 82.5p a share bid from JD Sports Fashion (SPD) which values the footwear retailer at £90.1m. JD Sports was buying shares between 50p and 75p and built up a 18.7% stake. The bidder promises to maintain the separate commercial identity. Footasylum floated in November 2017 at 164p a share.

Diaceutics (DXRX) ended the week at 97.5p, having floated at 72p. The company provides data analysis and advisory services to pharma companies seeking to develop and commercialise diagnostic tests. There were £15.2m of placing proceeds net of expenses and £5.5m will be spent on the acquisition of data, while the rest will be used to pay off debt and develop AI analysis technology. There is limited liquidity in the shares because they are tightly held.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) warns that trading in the second quarter is weak because of the warmer winter weather. There has also been a weakening in farmgate prices. Interim figures will be well below the first half of last year and the full year will be below forecast. Peel Hunt argues that it has already factored these elements into its forecast for rival feed supplier NWF (NWF) and it is not changing its forecasts.

Pelatro (PTRO) has launched a data monetisation platform with a revenue share contract with an existing client, which is worth $500,000 in the first year. This is a product that can be sold to other customers.

Financial trading platform Aquis Exchange (AQX) reported 2018 revenues ahead of expectations and it doubled its market share during the year. The subscription-based model means that higher trading levels by a trader lead to subscription income levels going up. Aquis will continue to be loss-making this year, but the relatively fixed cost base means that once this is covered the profit should grow significantly as revenues grow.

Scientific instruments supplier Judges Scientific (JDG) increased is cash generation from operations from £10.9m to £15.7m in 2018. There was 5.5% organic growth in revenues and underlying operating profit rose by just over one-third to £14.7m. The cash balance has increased to £15.7m, which provides firepower for acquisitions. Shore Capital has edged up its earnings per share forecast from 188.8p to 190p.

Volvere (VLE) says full year revenues from continuing operations will rise from £16.2m to £18.6m. There was a £23.1m gain on the sale of Impetus Automotive. There was an underlying loss on continuing activities, but the frozen pie maker Shire Foods improved its profit contribution. There is £34.1m of cash in the Volvere balance sheet.

Frontier IP (FIPP) says that the outcome for the year to June 2019 is likely to be ahead of management expectations. A deal by investee company Exscientia, which is involved in AI-based drug discovery, with Celgene Corporation should result in a substantial uplift in its valuation.

Science in Sport (SIS) had a 25-day contribution from the profitable PhD Nutrition business in 2018. The group’s underlying loss increased last year, but PhD will help to reduce the loss and the cash outflow from operations, which was £6.42m last year. There is £8m in the bank and even with capital investment requirements that should be enough to cover requirements this year.

Ceramic products supplier Portmeirion Group (PMP) increased its 2018 pre-tax profit by 10% to £9.7m and a further rise to £10.3m is forecast for this year. Online sales are growing rapidly from a relatively low base. The home fragrance business is doing well, and capacity is being added. The total dividend is 8% higher at 35.7p a share.

Share (SHRE) improved its significantly improved its profitability in the second half of 2018, although trading levels weakened towards the end of the year. That weakness has continued into the early months of this year. Evan so, Cenkos forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £700,000 to £1.3m, upgraded from £1.1m, in 2019.

Clear Leisure (CLP) has placed its 50%-owned data mining operation in Serbia on a care and maintenance basis. This is due to the fall in the price of cryptocurrency. Legal actions and negotiations continue concerning a number of past investments. Clear has paid £76,000 for a 10% stake in PBV, which provides data services for the Italian legal sector. At the end of 2018, there were €2.1m of bonds converted into shares.

Andrew Perloff has increased his stake in 600 Group (SIXH) from 6.19% to 8.85%.

Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has changed the ratio of its ADRs from two shares for each ADR to 20 shares for each ADR. This is a way of getting the trading price of the ADRs on NASDAQ back above $1.

EQTEC (EQT) could be a beneficiary of the deal done by its largest shareholder EBIOSS with Urbaser for the collection, treatment and possible conversion of waste to energy. Urbaser is conducting due diligence on EQTEC’s gasification technology and this could be used for any waste to energy plant if all three parties come to an agreement on a specific opportunity. Projects could be in Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia and Romania.

A local authority report has placed a five year reserve status on the Plymouth Airport site where Sutton Harbour (SUH) has a 135 year lease. The local authorities are keen that the site should be used for general aviation, but a viable business plan needs to be put together. Sutton Harbour would like to develop the site.

Tau Capital (TAU) has sent a circular to shareholders concerning a capital return of $1.19m or 2.42 cents a share, raise $150,000 via a placing at 0.1 cents a share and change its name to UK Onshore. Reverse takeover candidates are being assessed. Gerwyn Williams and Nigel Burton will join the board.

Synectics (SNX) has won a £1m order from the oil and gas sector. This is the largest order for its surveillance systems from this sector for a number of years. Synectics reported a rise in full year revenues from £70.1m to £71.2m and pre-tax profit slipped from £3.02m to £2.86m. The full year dividend is increased from 4p a share to 4.7p a share.

MAIN MARKET 

Athelney Trust (ATY) has responded to the letter from former director Dr Pohl, who wants to regain his place on the board along with Simon Moore and remove David Lawman. Dr Pohl has acquired more than 100,000 shares in the past month, and this means that five shareholders own more than 50% of the investment company putting its investment trust status at risk. As long as there is more than 35% of the company held by the public this is not a problem, but it would be if Dr Pohl joined the board. There have been £90,000 of extra costs because of disputes between the two major shareholders. The plan remains to bring Gresham House on board as fund manager

WideCells Group (WDC) is changing its name to Iconic Labs and moving into digital marketing and technology. The management of this business previously built up social publisher Unilad. In the first 12 months, an agency consulting division will be launched to assists clients to develop brands. There are plans to build up a distribution and publishing division through acquisitions and launch content licensing and e-commerce divisions. There is little indication of what will happen to the stem cell operations, although management appears to believe that the insurance business could be worth pursuing. Historic liabilities are being resolved. The convertible loan note holder continues to convert a proportion of the loan note that is below 30% and then sell the shares. There are 785.6 million shares in issue with more to come.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £436,500 at 2.25p a share. The cash will be used for the pre-construction phase of the South Korean gold projects. An agreement has been made with a local landowner for the use of land outside the main entrance of the Kochang mine.

Highlands Natural Resources (HNR) has raised £1.56m at 8.5p a share via an offer through PrimaryBid.com. This cash will fund a move by the natural resources company into the organic cannabidiol market. It has established Zoetic Organics in the US and it believes that hydrogen produced by Highland in Kansas can be used as a fertiliser with potential to increase the size of the plant. First revenues could be achieved in the summer.

Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) claims that Alchemy Utilities Ltd has sabotaged the proposed reverse takeover by refusing to provide audited accounts. Stranger is trying to get back the £300,000 it lent to Alchemy as well as its reverse takeover costs of £450,000. Stranger believes that the Alchemy management team may have misrepresented its financial status. An alternative acquisition is being lined up, but Stranger had negative net assets at the end of September 2018 and there are additional costs since then.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) still had £2.88m in cash at the end of 2018.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) is growing its gross profit but EBITDA is similar to the same period last year, which was around £650,000.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has ended its wafer production activities in Germany and it intends to apply its wire sawing expertise to cutting non-silicon materials. There are plans to return £38.5m to shareholders, which is equivalent to 24p a share and that is not far short of the current market price. That could still leave more than €10m of cash. Management is considering whether to maintain a listing.

Sure Ventures (SURE) says 23%-owned Suir Valley Ventures has maintained its 10% stake in WarDucks, which is developing an AR game, by participating in a €3.3m fundraising.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 August 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has signed a memorandum of understanding with IP Group, covering the commercialising of cybersecurity intellectual property from universities.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says that investee company iCAN Israel-Cannabis Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding with Yom Chai. The deal involves the development and validation of a cannabis-based treatment for Crohn’s Disease, Autism and other neurological and gastrointestinal diseases. The agreement will generate revenues for iCAN, as well as obtaining a stake and potential future royalties.

Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) ended March 2018 with a NAV of 92p a share. Full year revenues were 127% higher at £103,000 and the company moved into profit. The first supported housing property was completed during the period. The board wants shareholders to approve a new management incentive plan at the company’s AGM.

There was a £88,000 cash outflow for Lombard Capital (LCAP) in the year to March 2018, but the investment company has moved from net assets to net liabilities. There is £2,154 in the bank plus £112,500 in investments. Since the year end, £320,000 has been raised from subscriptions for 7.5% 2020 unsecured loan notes.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) and Gunsynd (GUN) are selling their direct interests in the Horse Hill prospect to UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) for cash and shares.  Primorus will receive £375,000 in cash and £1m in UK Oil and Gas shares at 1.75p each for its 5% stake in Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL), while Gunsynd will receive £50,000 in cash and £500,000 in shares for its 2% stake.

AIM     

Tracsis (TRCS) says that full year revenues were ahead of expectations at around £40m and profit will be better than expected. There was £22m in the bank at the end of July 2018. The margins of the traffic and data division are improving.

Audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) is acquiring Nuremberg-based Bauer und Trummer, which has annual revenues of €21m.

A potential partner has ended its interest in the Bahamas-based oil and gas prospects of Bahamas Petroleum (BPC) and that knocked two-thirds off the share price. BPC received $1m in exclusivity payments from the international oil and company and it has started talks with other third parties.

KEFI Minerals (KEFI) has signed heads of agreement with Ethiopian investors which are setting up a vehicle to make a $35m investment to finance the Tulu Kapi gold project. The first investment of $9m should be made in the current quarter.

Caledonia Mining Corp (CMCL) has agreed to acquire a further 15% of the Blanket gold mine in return for the cancellation of a $11.5m loan and 730,000 shares. That takes the Caledonia stake in Blanket to 64%. The dividend will be kept at 27.5 cents/share.

Waste gasification to energy technology provider EQTEC (EQT) has finished a strategic review following the appointment of a new chief executive. The focus will change to the delivery of customer requirements. Additional technological expertise will come from an alliance with CT3 Ingenieria.

AdEPT Telecom (ADT) is a paying an initial £5m for Shift F7 and this should be earnings enhancing. The two companies have worked together for more than a decade. AdEPT chief executive Ian Fishwick has bought 10,196 shares at 373p each.

Thor Mining (THR) has completed the definitive feasibility study for the Molyhil open pit tungsten project. The post-tax NPV is A$101 and project payback would be less than 18 months. Molyhil has opex costs of tungsten of $90/mtu, compared to an average of $157/mtu for other tungsten projects.

Data and analytics services provider D4T4 (D4T4) says that it has received the £19.5m of trade debtors in the balance sheet at the end of March 2018.

Restaurants operator Fulham Shore (FUL) says revenues generated by The Real Greek and Franco Manca have increased. New openings will be financed out of cash flow. Chief executive Nabil Mankarious has acquired 127,000 shares at 12p each, taking his stake to 19.9%.

Versarien (VRS) has signed two collaborations. A deal with AXIA Materials will lead to the development of graphene enhanced composite materials and smart graphene devices. The first two projects will be for smart buildings and electric vehicles. An agreement with AECOM will be focused on developing large-scale polymer structures for civil engineering infrastructure projects.

Broadcast software provider Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) has moved back into profit at the adjusted level in the first half of 2018, but that is after adjusting for £400,000 of amortisation of capitalised development costs. If that amortisation charge is not excluded the company would have been around breakeven. Net cash generated from operating activities was £126,000, but there is an outflow of £254,000 after capitalised investment. Most importantly, net debt is £10.5m. Debt repayments have started with £850,000 due to be repaid in the second half.

Facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) reported a 29% decline in pre-tax profit to $3.9m. Net debt was $18.4m at the end of March 2018. The minority interest in Singapore-based Frontline Security has been acquired for $3.5m.

Wey Education (WEY) says it is planning for significant growth next year, having exceeded market expectations of revenues of £4.1m in the year to August 2018. The first sales from the Chinese joint venture should be in September. A general meeting is being held to enable the issue of more shares and to create distributable reserves to allow a dividend to be paid.

Tekmar Group (TGP) intends to acquire Subsea Innovations for up to £4m. Subsea is focused on the oil and gas sector and it is involved in back deck equipment and subsea pipeline repair clamps. The deal includes £3m of fixed assets.

Veltyco (VLTY) has trade receivables of €8.9m, higher than in July, with €5.4m owed by Celestial, €1.5m of which relates to 2017. The current cash balance is €1.3m. Veltyco will launch its own regulated online trading brand. Betsson Services has renewed its contract until May 2021.

MAIN MARKET    

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its interim pre-tax profit by 39% to £3.53m. The growth in profit came from the distribution division on the back of higher sales to internet retailers. Net debt was £11.1m at the end of June 2018. The interim dividend is increased by 8% to 0.65p a share.

London and Associated Properties (LAS) is broadening its investment remit to areas other than retail property. Diluted NAV was 54.5p a share at the end of June 2018.

Bisichi Mining (BISI) increased its pre-tax profit from £243,000 to £3.97m on the back of strong demand for coal.

Standard list shell daVictus (DVT) still has £431,000 in the bank. The board continues to look at food and beverage businesses.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 July 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Ananda Developments (ANA) joined NEX on 4 July having raised £930,000 at 0.45p a share. Ananda is the latest medicinal cannabis-focused investment vehicle. The pre-money valuation was £500,000 There are already potential investments being assessed and management has built up relationships with businesses in Israel and Canada. A reverse takeover valued at up to £10m appears most likely.

Medicinal cannabis business investor Sativa Investments (SATI) has acquired PhytoVista Laboratories from a company owned by Sativa boss Geremy Thomas. Sativa is paying £235,000 in cash and £200,000 in shares at 4p a share. PhytoVista operates a laboratory that tests cannabis oils and hemp products. Because of the demand for the shares, the shareholders originally subject to the orderly market arrangements will be allowed to trade in the shares with the consent of Peterhouse.

KR1 (KR1) has made four more investments. The company invested £593,000 in Dfinity network tokens. Dfinity is developing a supercomputer to host the next generation of software and it is expected to offer unlimited capacity. A further £100,000 has been invested in the Flying Carpet Project, which is involved with a communication protocol for devices, such as drones and automated cars. The number of tokens that the cash will represent has not been decided. A 1.25% stake has been acquired in Connext Inc, which is developing a payment hub, for $50,000 and the same amount of money has acquired a 10% stake in Blocksmith. There is a 12-month option to acquire a further 5% of blockchain system development agency Blocksmith for $100,000

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has increased its dividend by 25% to 1.25p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 12 July. This will cost £500,000. Property acquisitions have been completed in Oldham and Wigan. The total cost is £6.4m and the rental income is just over £597,000.

Monreal (MORE) has left AIM and joined NEX. Monreal has net cash of £730,000 and the plan is to invest in private technology, media and telecoms businesses.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has received a refund of €289,000 (£256,000) from the French tax authorities. This relates to the 2009 tax year and Tectonic hopes to get a €416,000 (£368,500) refund for the 2010 tax year.  VSA Capital has been appointed as financial adviser and joint broker.

Ganapati (GANP) is launching blockchain-enabled casino games and plans to issue a utility token, which will be called G eight C, through an initial coin offer. Pre-sales of the tokens should start in the fourth quarter of 2018.

EcoVista (EVTP) has raised £300,000 at 0.035p a share.

There have been previously unreported trades by a broker in Karoo Energy (KEP), All Star Minerals (ASMO), Valiant Investments (VALP) and Clean Invest Africa (CIA).

AIM     

Film and video localisation services provider Zoo Digital (ZOO) continues to gain momentum. Content owners can sell programmes in additional territories because using Zoo’s services means that it is economic when it was not in the past. That means that the addressable market is even bigger because it includes back catalogue that would not have been localised previously. In the year to March 2018, revenues rose from $16.5m to $26.8m and Zoo moved into profit. That pre-tax profit is expected to more than treble to $1.8m this year.

eve Sleep (EVE) is growing but not at the rate that was hoped for and the chief executive and founder has stepped down. That was inevitable considering the ridiculously high valuation put on the company when it floated and how it has not justified that level of optimism. The mattress supplier grew sales by 61% in the first half when the market had expected more than doubled sales. A new distribution agreement with beds retailer Dreams should help supplement growth in the second half. Even so, eve Sleep is not expected to make a profit until 2020.

Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has received a bid approach from Huadong Medicine and discussions are at an early stage. Both companies supply aesthetic products. Sinclair says first half revenues outside of the US grew by 18% and overall sales improved from £20.1m to £21.3m. US sales fell from £2.5m to £800,000 following the split from the company’s former partner. The direct sales operation in the US is beginning to generate revenues. Net debt was £14.8m at the end of June 2018.

Integumen (SKIN) is not proceeding with the reverse takeover of biomaterials company Cellulac but it hopes to acquire a minority stake. The 2017 accounts have still not been published.

Digital imaging technology developer Kromek (KMK) increased its revenues by nearly one-third to £11.8m in the year to March 2018 and the loss was down from £3.79m to £2.34m. There is £7.7m in the bank and that should be enough to enable Kromek to reach a cash generative situation. The medical business is growing particularly well, while nuclear detection has good prospects for medium-term growth.

Telematics firm Quartix (QTX) reported first half revenues grew by nearly 10% and flat profit. Insurance business is declining because of competitive pricing so all the growth is coming from overseas fleet business. Full year earnings per share are likely to be flat. The forecast dividend of 13.5p a share would not be covered by earnings of 12.8p a share.

Defence equipment and services supplier Cohort (CHRT) managed to improve its pre-tax profit from £14.5m to £15.5m even though the defence market was tough. Management believes that the order book has fallen due to delays to projects. The dividend was raised from 7.1p a share to 8.2p a share.

Technology business investor Mercia Technologies (MERC) reported flat NAV of 40.7p a share but it has a number of investments that could mature over the next couple of years and their valuations could be upgraded. Mercia nearly covered its expenses with its revenues. There is still £52.9m of cash that can be invested.

Waste to energy plants developer Powerhouse Energy (PHE) has raised £694,000 at 0.5p a share. Powerhouse had £750,000 in the bank at the end of 2017 but there are still significant cash outflows.

Direct carrier billing company Boku Inc (BOKU) appears on course to make a £2.7m pre-tax profit this year. Boku processed $1.5bn worth of transactions in the first half and revenues should be nearly $17m. There was $30m in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Churchill China (CHH) says that first half trading is stronger than expected on the back of growing sales in Europe. The interims will be published on 30 August.

EQTEC (EQT) has secured $3.2m (£2.4m) in new loan facilities from Cuart Investments Fund and associates. This will be drawn down in two instalments. Origen Capital put together the lenders and it is subscribing £1.15m at 0.6p a share. Existing lenders have agreed to capitalise £693,000 of interest. This means that the previous loan facility has ended.

MAIN MARKET    

Shefa Yamim (SEFA) has made a high grade spinel discovery. The northern Israel-focused gemstone explorer has found nine different gemstone minerals.

Software company Gresham Technologies (GHT) is paying up to €8.5m for B2 Group, which will add €1.4m in revenues and should be earnings enhancing in its first full financial year. The customer base includes banks, insurers and asset managers. Gresham expects its own first half revenues to be 5% lower due to a weak performance in Australia. Net cash was £6.8m at the end of June 2018.

Electronic Data Processing (EDP) has recommended a bid from a company owned by Kerridge Commercial Systems. The cash offer is 91p a share and values the enterprise resource planning software provider at £11.9m.

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

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 22 January 2018

NEX EXCHANGE

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) reported a decline in full year revenues from £560,000 to £372,000 and there was no repeat of the realised gains on investments in the previous year. There was an increase in unrealised gains from £71,000 to £317,000. However, there was a £1.32m investment impairment. This meant that a profit of £158,000 was turned into a loss of £1.17m. There is £1.28m in the bank. The employee-owned businesses investor is focusing on managing its portfolio and the advisory business spun off into a joint venture. The NAV is 42.7p a share.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has invested the £1.4m it raised when it joined NEX last year. These investments include fellow NEX-quoted company NQ Minerals, where First Sentinel boss Brian Stockbridge is chairman, AIM-quoted UK Oil and Gas Investments and AIM-quoted Premier African Minerals. There is a £65,000 loan to unquoted tea cafés operator Yumchaa, where Stockbridge is 50% shareholder. The loan has an interest rate of 12% and lasts until October.

Block Energy (BLOK) has further delayed the planned move to AIM. The oil and gas company has a new expected admission date of end-February. Trading remains suspended on NEX.

AIM

Mark Watkin Jones intends to step down as chief executive of student and private rental accommodation developer Watkin Jones (WJG) but he will stay until a successor is identified. In the year to September 2017, revenues were 13% higher at £301.9m and underlying operating profit rose by a similar percentage to £42.7m. The dividend was 6.6p a share, equivalent to a 10% increase if Watkin Jones had been quoted for all the previous year. Investor demand for student accommodation and private rental residential property remains strong.

Van Elle (VNL) has an outstanding debt of £1.6m from failed facilities management and construction company Carillion. finnCap has also assumed lower second half profit of £1.3m relating to expected business from Carillion. The specialist piling contractor has a poor record since floating and this does not help.

Engineering and IT recruitment company Gattaca (GATC) says that most of Carillion’s debt to the company is insured with around £100,000 uninsured. Premier Technical Services (PTSG) says that it has £800,000 of annual revenues with Carillion with £300,000 still owed. Elsewhere, business is in line with expectations. Bilby (BILB) says that it does not think that the contract with CarillionAmey will be impacted.

Sinclair Pharma (SPH) directors have been buying shares on the back of the news that it has received regulatory approval of Ellanse pre-mixed bioresorbable collagen stimulating fillers in Brazil, one of the most important global markets. Ellanse will be soft launched immediately and the full launch is a matter of weeks away. Other Sinclair dermatological products are selling well in Brazil.

K3 Capital (K3C) reported interim figures that were better than forecast. This led to a £1m increase in forecast full year revenues but the pre-tax profit forecast is maintained at £5.4m because of additional costs required to accelerate the growth of the business. The business broker and corporate finance adviser announced an interim dividend of 2.85p a share and a total dividend of 8.2p a share is forecast for the full year.

Full year trading at Midwich (MIDW) was better than expected with revenues 28% ahead at £470m, helped by acquisitions performing ahead of expectations. The audio visual equipment distributor has also improved gross margin. The 2017 results will be published on 13 March.

Utilitywise (UTW) has changed its accounting policy relating to initial revenue recognition of new contracts.

LiDCO (LID) has signed up a new Japanese distributor. Merit Medical has a three year exclusive agreement and there is potential to significantly increase last year’s sales of £117,000. The LiDCOunity version 2 monitor has been approved in Japan.

African Battery Metals (ABM) is the new name for Sula Iron and Gold. Prior to the name change, £1.75m was raised and the Riverfort facility terminated with an associated buy back of shares. ABM is paying $100,000 ($50,000 is still outstanding) for a 70% stake in cobalt licences in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The other shareholder will retain its 30% stake up until a decision is made to mine, so ABM will pay the exploration costs.

Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) produced 7,052 ounces of gold at an average cash operating cost of $867/ounce in the second quarter and plans to produce at least 30,000 ounces in the financial year. Although the South America-focused gold producer and explorer generated $2.16m in cash in the second quarter, there was a $251,000 loss in the period because the all in sustaining cost was higher than the gold price received. Asset Chile has forfeited the 16% stake it earned in Anillo because it did not move into phase 2 of the project.

Shareholders have approved share buybacks by China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) until the end of 2019. Up to one-fifth of the shares can be acquired for less than 2p a share. The bioenergy technology developer and operator increased revenues from £8.85m to £24.7m in 2017 and the order book is worth £13.7m. The company was profitable last year and anticipates it will be in 2018.

Data software company WANdisco (WAND) says bookings increased 45% to $22.5m in 2017 with two-thirds generated by WANdisco Fusion software. There was cash of $27.4m at the end of 2017, with $4m from a new growth capital facility.

Thor Mining (THR) has had its stake in US Lithium diluted to 20.8% due to a A$240,000 fundraising at A$0.12 a share, which is four times the Thor acquisition price. US Lithium plans an ASX-listing.

Veltyco Group (VLTY) is acquiring a 51% stake in Varkasso, which has exclusive rights to use the crypto wallet technology platform 8Crypt, for £265,000 in cash and shares. Veltyco will incorporate the 8Crypt crypto wallet in all the gaming platforms it is involved with.

Newmont Mining has decided not to become involved in the Greatland Gold (GGP)-owned Ernest Giles gold project in Australia. It appears that the project was not in the right place or large enough for Newmont to go ahead with, although it took its time to make a final decision. Greatland benefits from the work conducted by Newmont, which has identified a large gold anomaly. Targeted exploration will be undertaken at Ernest Giles in the first quarter of 2018.

Kodal Minerals (KOD) says that the authorities have approved its exploration licences for the Bougouni lithium project in southern Mali. Triumvirat Mining Company will have a 10% economic interest in the licences, which are for an initial three year life. There has been positive drilling news concerning the Ngoualana and Sogola-Baoule prospects.

Electrical accessories supplier Volex (VLX) moved from the Main Market to AIM on 19 January.

Waste gasification technology business EQTEC (EQT) has partially repaid a five-year, £1.1m loan facility with an annual interest rate of 15%. The remaining balance of £621,000 is repayable in July 2020. The £2m of convertible secured loan note with Altair Group Investment Ltd has been extended until July 2020 and the interest rate doubled to 15%.

Renewable fuels technology developer Velocys (VLS) has raised £14m via a placing at 10p a share and hopes to raise up to £4.4m through an open offer at the same price. Last year, there was a £1.16m share issue at 45p a share. The cash will be used to finance initial development of the Mississippi biorefinery and fund the UK waste-to-renewable jet fuel project which has been around for many years.

Generic drugs supplier Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) expects to complete the £18.2m acquisition of a 85.2% stake in Nuvista Pharma by the end of February.

Gama Aviation (GMAA) says last year’s trading was in line with expectations. The business aviation services provider has incurred $1m of costs relating to legal proceedings and there will be a similar amount to come. There will be around $2.5m of restructuring costs and write-downs. Net debt fell from $19m to $13m.

Although Blancco Technology Group (BLTG) says that first half sales declined this is due to the fact that certain contracts were not repeated in the latest period. The data erasure software business is expected to report continuing full year revenues 6% higher at £28.5m. However, higher overheads mean that there will be little profit.

Cyber security software supplier Crossrider (CROS) says that 2017 trading was in line with expectations and revenues improved 16% to $65.8m, while underlying EBITDA was 29% ahead at $8.3m. Profitability from the core activities more than doubled. There was $69.4m in the bank at the end of 2017.

Legend Gold Corp shareholders have agreed to the arrangement for Altus Strategies (ALS) to acquire the entity that owns the Legend gold projects in Mali in return for 41.1 million Altus shares. The mining projects investor is also applying for a dual listing on the TSX-V. Legend shareholders will be issued three Altus shares for each Legend share that they own, giving them 27.6% of Altus.

Toys supplier Character Group (CCT) says it has exited Christmas with “virtually no excess stocks”. International sales were poor but domestic sales grew. Pokemon products will be launched during the summer.

Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) reported higher than guided annual production at the Blanket gold mine. The prediction was 54,000-56,000 ounces but the outcome was 56,135 ounces.

Sustainable pallets manufacturer RM2 International SA (RM2) had unrestricted cash of $4.1m at the end of 2017, but that could fall to $2m by the end of January. That means that there should be enough cash until the third week in February. Management continues to seek additional finance. There are plenty of potential customers but little in the way of orders.

Tiziana Life Sciences (TILS) has raised a further £150,000 at 150p. This is on top of the £150,000, £275,000 and £200,000 raised at the same price during November and December. There is a warrant with each new share and they are exercisable at 160p a share, although the most recent warrants last until January 2024. The cash is being invested in the phase IIa clinical trial for the Milciclib cancer treatment.
Remote tracking and monitoring products developer Starcom (STAR) says that last year’s turnover improved from $5.1m to $5.5m and lower operating costs mean that it will move from loss to breakeven. Strong orders mean that revenues and margins should improve this year.
Condor Gold (CNR) has obtained a TSX listing.

MAIN MARKET

Path Investments (PATH) is cancelling its standard listing even before finalising its acquisition of a 50% participating interest in the Alfeld-Elze licence and gas field in Germany. The plan is to cancel the standard listing on 19 February and raise money and apply for an AIM quotation in the first quarter of 2018. Path has previously been on AIM in a different guise but if the deal does not go ahead the plan would be to maintain the standard listing.

World Trade Systems (WTS) plans a transaction involving the sale of its assets to a new company that will float on the Channel Islands-based The International Stock Exchange. WTS shareholders will be distributed shares in the new company that will be used to acquire the assets.
Loss-making telecoms firm Toople (TOOP) did not publish a full set of figures on RNS. That is always a giveaway. It did announce that the operating loss declined by 23% to £1.31m in the year to September 2017. Cash flow is much more important for a colander company like Toople.

Technology investment company Sure Ventures (SURE) has joined the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market, having raised £3.31m at 100p a share. The main focus is augmented reality, fintech and the Internet of Things.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has invested $300,000 in a new giant observation wheel for Dallas, Texas. Challenger also has the opportunity to operate the wheel.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 1 January 2018

NEX EXCHANGE    

Commercial property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has launched an open offer of convertible notes and warrants to raise up to £4.85m. The conversion price is 25p a share, while the warrants are exercisable at 80p a share. The closing date is 22 January.There are already commitments for £3.01m. Additional cash is required to make more property purchases.

Good Energy (GOOD) chairman John Maltby has invested £100,000 in the renewable energy supplier. He acquired 58,000 shares at 173p a share.

In the six months to September 2017, Via Developments (VIA1) increased its operating income from £309,000 to £557,000 but still made a small loss. There were net liabilities at the end of the period.

Positive Healthcare (DOC) made a maiden profit of £64,000 on revenues of £4.67m in the six months to September 2017. The year end is being changed to March. The healthcare staffing business continues to control costs.

Technology company incubator Milamber Ventures (MLVP) reported an increase in interim loss from £196,000 to £263,000. Milamber has launched the Milamber Education Technology Fund and has completed the acquisition of healthcare training company Essential Learning. The education sector will be increasingly important to Milamber.

Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) reported a decline in NAV from £901,000 to £853,000 in the year to September 2017. Hot Rocks has 14 investments in oil and gas, mining and pharma companies.

AIM    

Stanley Gibbons (SGI) put out its interim results just before the end of the year, thereby avoiding suspension. In the six months to September 2017, revenues fell from £17.3m to £16.6m, while the loss fell from £6.36m to £3.09m. The stamps business continues to lose money and the profit from coins was lower.

Avanti Communications (AVN) was another company bringing out results just days before trading in shares would have been suspended. The satellite communications operator’s revenues fell from $82.8m to $56.6m. There was net debt of $562m at the end of September 2017, which was before the refinancing plans. David Williams will step down as chief executive after March.

Telit Communications (TCM) says that its main bank has granted a waiver for breach of covenants at the end of 2017.

Parallel Media has completed the acquisitions of Brick Live and Parallel Live for £10m and changed its name to Live Company Group (LVCG). The previous businesses have been sold. There was £1.26m raised at 30p a share and £2.03m of debt was capitalised.

A net gain on its investment portfolio enabled Legendary Investments (LEG) to report an interim pre-tax profit of £248,000. The gain was on the stake in business services software supplier Virtual Stock Holdings. There was a net cash outflow from operations of £28,000. The NAV was £5.22m at the end of September 2017.

Clear Leisure (CLP) is injecting its 4.53% stake in 3D mapping company Geosim Systems Ltd into a new subsidiary company that will also be launching a joint venture called Miner One to develop bitcoin mining blockchain data centre. Clear Leisure will invest €200,000, lent by Eufingest, a 10% plus shareholder in Clear Leisure, for 50% of the joint venture. The new subsidiary will be used to acquire other IT business and could eventually be spun-off in order to gain its own quotation.

Thor Mining (THR) has appointed exploration manager Richard Bradley to the board. The definitive feasibility study for the Molyhil tungsten/molybdenum project should be finalised in the first quarter of 2018. A mineral resource estimate is expected for the Kapunda copper project is due early in the year.

Clean water technology company HaloSource (HAL) says that the Chinese government has halted production facilities in the region that supplies its glass pitchers so fulfilment of orders for JiuBan will be delayed. This means that 2017 revenues will be up to $3m and the loss will be up to $5.5m. There should be revenues of at least $840,000 from JiuBan in 2018.

Alliance Pharma (APH) has completed the purchase of Vamousse from TyraTech Inc (TYR) for an initial $13m plus additional payments of up to $4.5m. The human head lice treatment has been developed by TyraTech and it has built up Vamousse as an international brand. The deal is earnings enhancing for Alliance and provides TyraTech with the cash to develop animal health products. TyraTech launched a tender offer of up to $8.5m. The tender offer price is 3p a share. Alliance will be able to distribute Vamousse through its existing European and international partners.

Kestrel Partners is building up a shareholding in STM Group (STM) and just before Christmas it took its stake to 3.72%.

Oil re-refiner HydroDec Group (HYR) has extended the repayment date of three facilities to the end of 2018 and one of them has been increased by £500,000. The facilities are provided by director Andrew Black.

Oracle Power (ORCP) has raised £621,000 at 2.3p a share and broker Brandon Hill has exercised warrants at 0.65p each, which raised £150,000.

Silence Therapeutics (SLN) has sold further shares in Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, taking the total sale proceeds to £17.2m ($23m). The total cost of the Arrowhead stake was £9.2m ($11.3m) and Silence still owns 472,509 shares.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) will invest $200,000 for a fully diluted 2% stake in Cedex Holdings, a Blockchain-based diamonds exchange. There is also an option to acquire a further 90%, fully diluted, stake at an exercise price of $40,000. These stakes could be diluted by other share issues.

Copper and gold producer Rambler Metals and Minerals (RMM) has amended its offtake agreement with Transamine Trading, which is making a $4m advanced payment in return for a right of first refusal on any offtake agreement for five years from January 2022. The advance payment plus interest is repayable over 18 months. The phase II expansion is nearly complete and this will extend the mine life by 20 years.

EQTEC (EQT) has completed the acquisition of Eqtec Iberia for £14m in shares just over five months after it was announced. The acquisition owns the EGT gasification technology. EQTEC also raised £1.6m at 0.65p a share.

China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) is holding general meeting on 17 January In order to gain permission to buy back up to 20% of the shares in issue. This could benefit the share price, which currently has a modest rating given the profitability of the business.

New Trend Lifestyle Group (NTLG) is selling its remaining China-focused business for £100 and concentrating on Singapore. The Feng Shui business continues to trade poorly and is seeking acquisitions in Asia.

Xeros Technology (XSG) has completed its £25m placing at 225p a share. The polymer technologies developer will use the cash to further develop cleaning, tanning and textile technologies.

Gresham House (GHE) is selling its Newton-le-Willows property for £2.1m. The completion of the sale of legacy assets will have raised more than £18m. Gresham House should qualify for IHT exemption.

Summit Therapeutics (SUMM) is acquiring Discuva, which is a developer of antibiotics using a bacterial genetics based platform. Summit is paying £5m in cash and £5m in shares for Discuva but no employees will be taken on. Summit will still have enough cash to last it until the end of 2018.

Aquatic Foods Group (AFG) has been unable to publish its accounts and it has lost its AIM quotation.

URU Metals Ltd (URU) had £1.84m in cash at the end of September 2017. The first drill results for the Zebediela nickel and copper project in South Africa have been published and the drill results for the most recent three holes are due in January. URU also has a 9.7% stake in AIM-quoted Management Resource Solutions (MRS).

Draper Esprit (GROW) has made a gain of £7.2m on its stake in Clavis Insights, having originally invested £8.1m in December 2016. This gain will add 3p a share to NAV. Clavis, which is an e-commerce data analyser, was acquired by Ascential for $119m.

Windar Photonics (WPHO) has received a new order from its Chinese distribution partner for five WindVision LiDAR systems. Windar has already delivered 50 systems.

MAIN MARKET    

World Trade Systems (WTS) has reached agreement with Germany-based Naturemed and related companies about the commercialisation of its personal hygiene and healthcare products and it will also help to obtain Chinese registration for them. WTS has signed a five year lease on a London office. Shares in WTS are still suspended.

Over the top video streaming business Falcon Media House (FAL) made initial revenues of £232,000 in the six months to September 2017. The interim loss was £2.71m. Since then, £3.4m has been raised from a convertible loan note issue.

Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) still has nearly £385,000 in the bank. Negotiations are continuing concerning the possible acquisition of Greenview Gas Ltd.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 24 July 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has raised £10m via a 6% convertible loan note. The conversion price is 71.25p a share and full conversion would be the equivalent of 26% of the share capital. The loan note is redeemable on 23 May 2019. The holder of the loan note has also been granted an option to purchase some of Ace’s properties.

Block Energy (BLOK) has increased its ownership of the Norio onshore oil field production sharing contract in Georgia from 38% to 69% at a cost of $310,000 in cash. The plan is to move to a 100% working interest. Schlumberger estimates that Norio contains 118.7 million stock tank oil initially in place and it has produced 1.9 million barrels. The production is running at 25 barrels per day and the plan is to increase this to more than 250 barrels per day. That could happen within six weeks of the start of a work programme.

African Potash (AFPO) has raised £50,000 at 0.045p a share and appointed Alexander David as its new corporate adviser. This will help to get the trading suspension lifted. Warrants to raise a further £50,000 will last for 90 days from the lifting of suspension. An agreement has been entered with African Agronomix, which is being given the right to acquire 100% of the company’s 70% interest in the Lac Dinga project in the Republic of Congo.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed Beaumont Cornish as its provisional nominated adviser for a proposed move to AIM. NQ Minerals has secured a $7m loan facility from the RIVI Opportunity Fund and this funds the final payment for the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania. A gold purchase agreement means that 14% of the first 22,000 ounces of payable gold and 7% of the amount in excess of that figure has to be sold to RIVI.

The joint venture between a 40%-owned subsidiary of food and logistics company AfriAg Global (AFRI) and LGC Capital, which is quoted on TSX, is acquiring a 60% stake in South Africa-based House of Hemp, which has a long-term lease on the only certified indoor cannabis growing facility. The joint venture is paying nearly C$20,000 and C$37,000 a month for six months. The joint venture will also secure C$4.9m to scale up production. David Lenigas is chairman of both joint venture companies.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £166,000 at 28.5p a share.

AIM

Audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) says that the weakness of sterling has helped it to grow and the recently acquired Spanish business has done better than expected. This has led to upgrades for the next three years. Investec has raised the 2017 earnings forecast to 21.3p a share. Cash generation remains strong and the net debt forecast has been reduced to £20.2m. The interim figures will be reported on 12 September.

Regenerative medical devices developer Tissue Regenix Group (TRX) is acquiring CellRight Technologies, a US-based developer of bone processing and soft tissue products, for an initial $25.9m (£19.9m) with an earn-out of up to $4.1m (£3.1m) depending on revenues. The bone technology widens the group product range from a pure focus on soft tissue products. The deal also includes a US manufacturing facility. CellRight has launched 13 products since 2012 and more are due in the second half of 2017. The products are sold through distributors. In 2016, revenues were $5.42m and the gross margin was 62%. Two-fifths of revenues were from spine products. In the eleven months to December 2016, Tissue Regenix revenues were £1.44m. Tissue Regenix raised £40m at 10p a share and the additional funds will finance the growth of the enlarged business. All but one of the directors has subscribed for new shares. Management believes it is possible for the group to move into profit by 2020. Tissue Regenix plans to launch seven products over the next two years.

Qannas Investments Ltd (QIL) is using $8m to tender for 12.9% of the share capital at $0.90 each. There are not enough distributable reserves to pay a dividend of this size.

Transport optimisation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has won a multi-million pound contract with a UK rail operator. The contract will last four years and includes the renewal of some existing licences. There should be recurring revenues after the four year period. There will be no contribution in the year to July 2017.

Tristel (TSTL) says that sales in the year to June 2017 were 17% higher at more than £20m and pre-tax profit is going to be more than 10% higher than forecast. The pre-tax profit is expected to be £4m. The growth is predominantly from international sales.

Crop enhancement technology developer Plant Impact (PIM) says that full year revenues will be between £8.5m and £9m, up from £7.2m the previous year. This is despite the cancelation of shipments of Veritas to Brazil. Contract discussions about Veritas with Bayer in Brazil are continuing and they may take some time. However, new buying arrangements are expected to help 2017-18 revenues reach £13m. There is £3.2m left in the bank but a further £2m is being raised at 31p a share with the possibility of a further £2m. This cash is required to finance R&D.

IP Group has raised its all share offer for Touchstone Innovations (IVO) but technology business developer says that the offer of 304p a share, based on an IP Group share price of 137p, is still below its NAV of 312p a share.

EQTEC Group (EQT) is in talks to acquire the waste-to-energy technology subsidiary of its majority shareholder, EBIOSS. EQTEC will pay for the business in shares and it will also need to raise more cash for working capital. Due diligence is being undertaken.

TV programmes producer Zinc Media Group (ZIN) expects to make EBITDA of £300,000 in the year to June 2017. The business has been restructured and starts the new financial year with a strong base. There is a commissioned TV slate of £6.5m for this year.

Security technology supplier Synectics (SNX) reported a 5% increase in revenues and a rise in gross margins, which enabled the interim pre-tax profit to increase by £1m to £1.3m. The oil and gas sector is showing signs of recovery and the order book is worth £33.7m. There is net cash of £1.8m. A full year profit of £3m is forecast.

Inland Homes (INL) increased its completions by 28% to 188, helped by the development of the company’s in-house construction team. In the year to June 2017, revenues will fall from £102m to £90m, although this excludes the revenues from two land sales.

First Property Group (FPO) has launched a new fund which could double third party assets under management. Fprop Offices LP has eight institutional investors and will invest in office blocks and business parks over a seven year term. So far, £182m has been invested in the fund, including £3m by First Property. A loan to value of up to 30% is allowed. This new fund will not pay recurring management fees and instead First Property will take a share of any profit.

Parity Group (PTY) continues to increase its exposure to consultancy activities. WH Ireland has trimmed its revenues expectation for this year but has maintained its pre-tax profit forecast at £1.6m.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) is raising £2.5m at 1.6p a share as part of the planned move to a standard listing.

MAIN MARKET

World Trade Systems (WTS) has dispatched a circular to shareholders in order to gain retrospective approval for loans from Kudrow, which is deemed to be a related party. This is part of the process of the re-application for a standard listing. Kudrow has waived its right to interest and there is an intention to convert the remaining loan of £860,000 into shares.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) says that work has started on reopening the Gubong mine in South Korea.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 13 February 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Investment vehicle Indigo Holdings (INGO) is seeking acquisitions in the consumer, financial and technology sectors in the Middle East and it joined NEX on 10 February. An initial 15 million shares were issued at 1p each and in January a further 26.5 million shares were placed at 3p each. The market capitalisation is £1.24m at 3p a share. There was net cash of £818,000 at the time of flotation. Indigo can issue a further 218.5 million shares. There has been one trade of 4,000 shares at 5p each but the bid/offer spread is 3p/5p.

Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) has signed a conditional option agreement to acquire a Mexican mining and exploration project. The option lasts 90 days and the acquisition will be funded by the issue of £10.4m worth of shares. Equatorial will need to raise at least £2m to finance the Tango project which includes copper, gold and molybdenum interests. This is an area with historic workings. An initial fundraising of £250,000 at 0.00125p a share will finance the current interests in Nigeria. There are plans to consolidate the Equatorial shares on the basis of 0ne new share for 650 shares and then switch to a standard listing.

A new investment in blockchain technology company Factom Inc means that the stake owned by investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased by 236.5% since the initial investment. The 1.5678% stake in the developer of audit and accountability tools using blockchain technology is valued at $473,000.

Western Selection (WESP) says that its NAV has increased by 6% to 84p a share in the six months to December 2016 but this had increased to 91p a share by the end of January. Gains have been made on the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) with some of the cash used to buy shares in Bilby (BILB), which has been hit by a profit warning. The interim dividend has been increased from 1.05p a share to 1.1p a share.

Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has removed Barney Battles from the board but he wants to convene a general meeting to get himself reappointed to the board. Milamber says that there are concerns about the League of Angels business that he sold to the company.

African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has raised £126,000 at 0.045p a share and issued 55.2 million shares to pay liabilities. The new shares account for 22.7% of the enlarged share capital.

FT8 (GFT) is still trying to secure payments from Billyst Holdings, which has defaulted on its agreement to provide monthly payments. This means that FT8 is short of cash.

AIM

Staunton Holdings Ltd has launched a recommended offer of 300p a share for FIH Group (FIH). The deal values the Falkland Islands trader and transportation company at £37.1m. The bidder is controlled by The Rowland Purpose Trust 2001he bid is at a significant premium to the market price prior to the announcement but it is below the level of the share price two years ago. FIH has net cash of nearly £10m. The bid values FIH at 15 times 2015-16 earnings but profit is likely to fall this year making the prospective rating 26 times. When the interim figures were published in November, house broker WH Ireland estimated a sum of the parts valuation of 320p a share but this was subsequently reduced to 300p a share.

Ascent Resources (AST) launched a £3m fundraising via PrimaryBid.com, which closed at 5pm on Sunday 12 January. The offer at 1.85p a share is underwritten. The cash will be spent on the Petisovci project in Slovenia, where there has been positive news on flow rates at Pg-10. Ascent has risen money via PrimaryBid.com a number of times in the past.

Strategic Minerals (SML) has exercised the option to take a 50% stake in the Redmoor tin/tungsten project in Cornwall. The £844,000 payment to take the stake to 50% will provide the joint venture with funds for the 2017 drilling programme. The rights to sell the stockpile of magnetite from the Cobre mine in New Mexico have been renewed for a further 12 months to the end of February 2018 and there is still a possibility to come to agreement over a contract lasting a number of years, which would provide more certainty about future revenues. Strategic Minerals moved into profit in 2016 thanks to strong sales of magnetite and it has enough cash to push ahead with the development of its other interests. Strategic Minerals is also interested in the CARE nickel project in Australia.

Billington (BILN) has confirmed that its 2016 figures will be in line with expectations, which ended had been increased by 26% over the past year. A pre-tax profit of £3.5m is forecast. The structural steel supplier will publish the figures on 21 March.

Thor Mining (THR) says that it should receive the final payment for the disposal of its Spring Hill gold project before the end of February. Heavy snow has delayed the commencement of drilling at Pilot Mountain. The cash received will help to finance the drilling.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that its 2016 figures will be better than expected but the loss of a client (24Option.com) will hit the 2017 figures. The client will end the agreement on 1 April. The 2016 EBITDA of $2.8m is well above the forecast of $1.6m. However, any dividend will be put off until there is more clarity about future trading.

Spend management platform developer blur Group (BLUR) has signed up the first large customer for its 12 month group buyer plan. The subscription is paid upfront which is good for blur’s cash flow. The attraction is the potential cost savings by the customer, which is a law firm, and it could be followed by other large customers signing up for the package which provides access to 65,000 suppliers and covers up to $2m of purchases in a year. There is a higher subscription rate for annual purchases of more than $2m. By focusing on larger customers blur has been able to reduce costs and it has been jettisoning unprofitable small customers. Cash burn has been reduced in each of the past five quarters and 2017 will see the full benefits of the cost cutting. The costs in the fourth quarter of 2016 were 43% down on the fourth quarter of 2016. There was £2m in the bank at the end of 2016. This will not last long if the cash burn is not reduced further.

Monchhichi (MCC), formerly Mercom Capital, is raising £2.1m at 35p a share in order to finance the company’s new investing policy focused on technology, media and internet sectors. Each of the new shares comes with a warrant that is exercisable at 80p a share. Shares have been issued at 40p each to cover £200,000 of professional fees.

Crystal Amber Fund Ltd (CRS) has increased its stake in medical devices developer GI Dyamics Inc from 22.65% to 38.73%. Other shareholders in the developer of the EndoBarrier minimally invasive device for treating type 2 diabetes and obesity, include Johnson & Johnson. EndoBarrier is in use in Europe and other countries outside of the EU but an FDA trial was terminated. More than 3,500 patients have been treated through the placing of a temporary bypass sleeve in the intestine – equivalent to a gastric bypass–type treatment. Although GI is based in Boston, Massachusetts but it is quoted on the ASX. The share price has slumped since GI joined the ASX in 2011 and Crystal Amber believes that this is an opportunity to invest in a treatment for significant clinical need at a depressed valuation.

Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), or Vislink as it was known up until the beginning of February, has warned that its 2016 figures will be even worse than expected. The poor performance of the former Vislink hardware activities is not great surprise and the additional write-offs were obviously required given the price it was sold for. However, the remaining software business has also disappointed, although order levels have been good. That suggests a better 2017. Debt remains high and the £8m deferred payment due in mid-March is important if Pebble Beach is to have anything like a stable financial position. Kestrel still believes in the business and it has taken its stake to 14.4%.

React Energy has changed its name to EQTEC (EQT) following the issue of shares to EBIOSS Energy taking its stake to 51%. The share issue covers the €5.15m debt that was due from 50.02%-owned subsidiary Newry Biomass. The 5.53p issue price was a premium to the market price at the time the deal was announced but it subsequently rose above the issue price. Newry should be on course to produce electricity by March 2018. The main revenue generating asset is a wind turbine in County Cork.

Mattioli Woods (MTW) has acquired a 49% stake in profitable small company-focused fund manager Amati Global Investors for £3.33m in cash and shares and has an option, lasting two years from February 2019, to buy the other 51% for cash and shares. The wealth management and employee benefits business reported interim earnings per share nearly one-quarter higher at 11.7p and an interim dividend per share 22% higher at 4.7p. Net cash was £22.6m at the end of November 2016.

PowerHouse Energy Group (PHE) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Peel Environmental to develop and operate an energy from waste plant at Peel subsidiary Protos’ Chester facility. This would be PowerHouse’s first commercial project and Peel has a number of other potential sites if this is successful. The deal is a positive result of the previously announced joint development agreement with Waste2Tricity.

Former Hydro International boss Michael Jennings has taken over as interim chief executive of Autins Group (AUTG). Jennings has been appointed for six months following the departure of the previous chief executive of the acoustic and thermal insulation supplier. The strategy is to take Autins products into new sectors so that it is not so dependent on a limited number of automotive customers. Earlier in the month, a major customer reduced orders leading to a profit warning.

A slow build-up of occupancy levels at the new Holland Park site meant that hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) performed disappointingly last year. Even so, EBITDA increased from £600,000 to £2.2m.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has entered into an option to acquire kimberlite projects in South Africa. Botswana Diamonds has the option to acquire a 72% interest in the projects in return for £942,000 in cash and 100 million shares. This is payable in stages. An exclusivity and option fee of £122,000 is payable equally in cash and shares at 1.9p each. Then £215,000 has to be spent on exploration in 12 months to earn a 15% stake and then a further £215,000 in the next 12 months to take the stake to 40%. There is then nine days in which to issue 96.8 million shares and pay £300,000 of shareholder loans in order to reach 72%. The main asset is the Frishgewaagt project in Limpopo province and there are nine other prospecting rights.

Connemara Mining Company (CON) has confirmed the presence of lead, zinc and silver within a 2 metre wide bed at the former silver mine at Glentogher in Donegal but there are no signs of gold. Connemara Mining had previously found gold 8km away and the structural model will have to be revised. Teck has spent enough on exploration to take its stake in the Oldcastle block on the Cavan/Meath border to 65%. The latest drill hole has found trace mineralisation (zinc and lead).

Savannah Resources (SAV) says that initial metallurgical results suggest that there should by 90% plus recoveries at the Oman copper gold project.

MAIN MARKET

BATM Advanced Communications Ltd (BVC) is paying £580,000 to buy Zer Laboratories, the largest private diagnostics laboratory in Israel. Zer’s expertise fits well with BATM’s move into non-invasive pre-natal tests. In 2015, Zer made a profit of $27,000 on revenues of $2.4m. There are potential deferred payments dependent on sales increases.

PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES

Integumen, which bought the Innovenn healthcare product development business of Venn Life Sciences (VENN), is raising £2.16m ahead of a flotation. EIS relief is available for this investment. The offer equates to 23.6% of the enlarged share capital. Integumen has made three other acquisitions and its interests include skincare, wound care and oral care. It also includes the Labskin product developed by AIM-quoted Evocutis before it was sold to Venn. The offer is available via the Crowd for Angels crowdfunding site (www.crowdforangels.com/integumen)

Former GXG-quoted company US Oil & Gas is trying to raise up to £2.18m via a ten-for-63 open offer at 27p a share. A placing has already raised £470,000 at the same price. Revised resource estimates in the area of the Eblana#1 well in Nevada show a 20% recovery factor suggesting a low case of 57 million recoverable barrels of oil and a best case of 207 million recoverable barrels of oil.

Andrew Hore

 

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