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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 25 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Western Selection (WESP) has reported a 22% decrease in NAV to 75p a share, due to the decline in smaller quoted company share prices. The NAV has recovered to 79p a share. The investment in Swallowfield (SWL) declined by nearly one-third and the value of the Bilby (BILB) stake fell by two-fifths in the six months to December 2018. Net debt was £1.25m at the end of 2018. The interim dividend is maintained at 1.1p a share.

Early Equity (EEQP) has acquired a 60% stake in MEI Home, a ecommerce platform for household, health and food products, for £282,000. The Malaysia-based business was profitable in the first financial year. The founder will retain a 40% stake and he also owns 6.12% of Early Equity. He also promises that annual pre-tax profit will be at least £95,000 in each of the next two financial years.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has taken a 50% stake in a joint venture with Vast Mineral Sands covering diamond mining concessions at the government-owned Alexkor diamond mine in South Africa. This should generate cash, through planned production of 900 carat per month, to invest in other projects. Tectonic is paying $650,000 in shares at 2.2p each. A year long research study has confirmed that there is an interaction of two styles of mineralisation at Mount Cassidy prospect in Queensland, Australia. There is stratabound copper and zinc, gold and silver mineralisation and epizonal to epithermal gold and silver mineralisation.

MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has extended the life of its convertible bond by one year to 19 January 2020. The annual coupon increases from 6% to 7.2%. The conversion into shares can take place if an alternative quotation on a recognised stock exchange is secured.

First Sentinel (FSEN) has completed a £4m bond issue. These 7% bonds 2023 are due to start trading on NEX.

AIM  

Michelmersh Brick (MBH) has made its first acquisition outside of the UK. Michelmersh is paying up to €9.9m (£8.7m) for Antwerp-based Floren and Co in a deal that should be immediately earnings enhancing. A placing raised £5m at 90p a share. In 2018, Floren generated EBITDA of €1.75m on revenues of €5.7m. Michelmersh is planning to increase production levels from 19.5 million bricks a year. The acquisition includes 120 acres of land, of which 60 acres is used in production.

IP legal services provider Murgitroyd Group (MUR) is acquiring Southampton-based Chapman IP for £6.6m and Helga Chapman has been appointed a non-executive director. Net cash was £2.03m at the end of November 2018. Interim pre-tax profit edged up from £1.67m to £1.7m. The interim dividend was increased by 8% to 7p a share. Edward Murgitroyd is retaining his role as chief executive and handing over the role of finance director Keith Young.

Carpets and hard flooring manufacturer Victoria (VCP) continued to sacrifice margins in order to add market share in a declining flooring market in the UK in the second half of the financial year to March 2019. Full year EBITDA should be between £95m-£97m, with underlying pre-tax profit of at least £55m. This is not as much as previously forecast. There are additional inventories ahead of Brexit. Restructuring measures and capital investment should add more than £14m to pre-tax profit for the year to March 2020.

JD Sports Fashion (JD.) has acquired 21.3% of Footasylum (FOOT) and it says it may acquire up to 29.9%. FIL Ltd’s stake has fallen below 5%. Artemis has sold its 5.74% stake.

Angling Direct (ANG) expects to report full year revenues of £42m, up from £30.2m. Three new stores have been added to the group, taking the total to 24. International sales doubled. The full year results will be published on 13 May. Angling Direct is considering the acquisition of Glasgow-based Chapmans Angling Ltd, which is a subsidiary of The Glasgow Angling Centre Ltd.

Egdon Resources (EDR) has competed drilling at Biscathorpe-2 in Lincolnshire. There are signs of an effective petroleum system even though the sands were poorly developed. The reservoir may be better developed to the north of the well. Egdon owns 35.8% of the exploration licence and Union Jack Oil (UJO) owns 22%.

Trinidad-focused oil and gas producer and explorer Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) has raised £3.8m at 12p a share in order to finance the 9,000 feet of exploration drilling at Ortoire.

Pelatro (PTRO) has gained a contract to supply its mViva contextual marketing service to Vietnam-based Vinaphone. The deal with the telecoms company should be worth $1.5m over three years. Pelatro gets a fixed monthly fee plus a share of incremental revenues generated. This provides additional confidence that the 2019 revenue forecast of $10.5m can be met. That is expected to generate pre-tax profit of $6m because of the high operational gearing of the business.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) has raised £1.5m at 16p a share from Seneca Partners. There was £2.52m in the bank at the end of 2018. The cash will be invested in further development of products and commercialise them.

Duke Royalty (DUKE) has provided £10m of royalty finance to recreational vehicle parts wholesaler Miriad Products. The monthly payments are expected to provide a yield the equivalent of 13% a year.

Biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) has a second approved product thanks to its commercial partner Eastman Chemical Company. Nematicide formulation Cedroz has received authorisation in Malta and Eastman will apply to gain approvals in individual EU member states. The full benefit of these approvals is likely to show through next year.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has received US FDA clearance for the use of the Quo-Test glycated haemoglobin analyser in clinical laboratories.

It has been a mixed start to the financial year for Gooch and Housego (GHH) with softer demand in microelectronics, due to trade tariffs, but the second half improvement in subsea cable business has continue. The AGM statement has led to a reduction in the underlying profit forecast for this year from £21.5m to £19m, which is slightly higher than last year’s outcome.

Social housing software provider Castleton Technology (CTP) has acquired its software development partner in India for £350,000 in cash and shares.

eServGlobal (ESG) says that its 35.7%-owned mobile transfer payments joint venture HomeSend increased its average transaction value by 35% in the second half following a change in strategy to focus on account-to-account transactions rather than remittances.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is acquiring eight abbreviated new drug applications in the US from Sandoz Inc. This takes the number of US approved drugs to 14, with four currently being exported to the US.

Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) has raised £4m at 2p a share and wants to raise up to £4m more through a seven-for-one open offer closing on 11 March. If these shares are all issued they will account for 93% of the total shares in issue. Haydale needs cash to invest in its inks business as well as to cover continuing losses. Keith Broadbent will become chief executive.

Reach4Entertainment (R4E) has acquired the arts and entertainment advertising agency trading as Sold Out for an initial £3.94m in cash and £250,000 in shares. The total purchase price is dependent on performance in the period from 1 June 2017 to the end of 2021 and is capped at £10m. In the year to May 2018, Sold Out made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m.

Paragon Entertainment (PEL) has sold its current administration offices in York for £550,000. The relocation to other group premises should save £100,000 a year. The cash will pay off the mortgage of £134,000 and reduce the overdraft from £1.04m. The overdraft limit will be cut from £1.2m to £882,000. A creditor owing £168,000 has filed for protection from creditors. Management want to raise additional capital.

Medical devices supplier Inspiration Health (IHC) says revenues for the year to January 2019, will be £15.5m, which is £1m below forecast, and pre-tax profit will be slightly lower than forecast at £1.2m.

Holders Technology (HDT) has more than trebled its full year pre-tax profit of £177,000 thanks to a reduced LED loss and improved profitability at the printed circuit board materials business. There was still a cash outflow from operations. The dividend has been increased by 50% to 0.75p a share.

Arc Minerals Ltd (ARCM) has raised £2.2m at 3p a unit. The unit includes a share and one warrant exercisable at 4.5p each and lasting for 36 months. The cash will finance exploration and development at the Zamsort copper project in Zambia. Arc has also sold its 18.5% stake in Andiamo Exploration for $250,000.

Malvern International (MLVN) has raised £606,000 at 4p a share. This is more than the education services provider originally asked for in order to cover working capital requirements and investment in a new college in Brighton and online course material.

AIM-quoted blockchain and technology investment company Vela Technologies (VELA) is taking advantage of the discount to cash by buying 500,000 shares in cryptocurrency mining services provider Argo Blockchain (ARB) at 3.072p a share. This compares with cash of 5p a share. Vela has 3 million shares in Argo, equivalent to 1.02%. The rest of the shares were bought prior to Argo’s standard listing and cost 8p each, compared with the flotation price of 16p a share. The average cost is 7.17p a share, so the average cost exceeds the value of cash in the business. Argo is refocusing on its own currency mining. Ongoing costs will be cut by one-third, although there will be some one-off cash costs. Net cash is £15m and that is much more than the market capitalisation of Argo.

ReNeuron (RENE) has released early data on three patients in phase I/IIa clinical trial the human retinal progenitor cell product. There have been significant improvements in vision for the patients, but this is a small sample size over a short time. Cash should last until the end of 2019.

Pires Investments (PIRI) has received a requisition notice for a general meeting in order to make changes to the company’s board.

Best of the Best (BOTB) has received tenders for just over 4 million shares, which is 5.6 times the number that it was tendering for. Best of the Best will pay £3.5m for 721,327 shares (485p a share).

FAIRFX Group (FFX) has become a direct participant in the UK faster payments scheme. It is the fourth non-bank to be a direct settling member.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) says Kinnerton Confectionery will be using its Rizikon Assurance secure third party assurance platform.

Former AIM company Lionsgold Ltd (LION) is changing its name to Tally Ltd. Mobile banking app Tally is in beta testing and could be released by the end of February. Once this has been released the company will seek to gain a new quotation. The exercise of warrants, mostly by directors, at 1.2p a share has generated £288,000.

MAIN MARKET 

Packaging group Macfarlane Group (MACF) increased its pre-exceptional profit by one-fifth to £11.2m in 2018. Both distribution, helped by acquisitions, and manufacturing divisions increased their profit contributions. Manufacturing sales grew fastest but margins fell. The dividend was increased by nearly 10% to 2.3p a share. Net debt was £13.2m and there are plenty of unused bank facilities to fund any further acquisitions. The pension deficit was reduced by £2m to £9.8m.

In the six months to December 2018, Avation (AVAP) reported doubled earnings per share thanks to the gain on the sale of a A321-200 aircraft. The NAV is 288p. The aircraft fleet continues to increase, particularly turboprop aircraft. Although full year pre-tax profit is set to rise even more than originally forecast, earnings per share are likely to be flat at 31.7 cents. Next year’s profit will be lower, assuming no aircraft disposals.

InnovaDerma (IDP) reported interims in line with expectations and there are plans for a mid-March launch for Skinny Tan in Boots. This will help the second half performance, which is normally stronger. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to more than double to £1.5m, a downgrade of 10%. Net cash was £700,000 at the end of 2018. A cash inflow is expected in the second half, but fluctuations in cash in terms of working capital requirements, such as Boots order levels, during the period could lead to InnovaDerma deciding to raise more money.

Anglo African Agriculture (AAAP) reported a reduction in turnover from £2.13m to £1.74m in the year to October 2018. Even so, gross margins improved and the pre-tax loss edged up from £550,000 to £573,000. Net cash was £856,000. The company is assessing acquisitions outside of the agriculture sector.

Trading in the shares of daVictus (DVT) has been suspended ahead of finalisation of a deal where the standard list shell will buy the rights to a restaurant concept from Typical Dutch NV for £100,000. This is deemed to require a prospectus before the company can be readmitted to the standard list. The Havana Rolled Cigar Music Café concept has been developed at a site in Aruba. daVictus had £431,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

Offshore support vessels operator Gulf Marine Services (GMS) has sent out the document for its requisitioned general meeting on 18 March. Rival Seafox International wants to remove the chairman and appoint three new directors. Ithmar Capital Partners wants to appoint another director.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 December 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

European Lithium (EUR) joined NEX on 26 November. European Lithium is the 100% owner of the Woflsberg lithium project in Austria and it is already quoted on the ASX. The plan is to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide for the European market. Capex of $390m is required for the project. WH Ireland estimates the NPV at $223m.

Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has confirmed its move to AIM in the middle of December. The cyber security systems developer plans to raise up to £2.25m.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) raised £125,000 at 1p a share. This will finance product development. Wheelsure has established a project with Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) and the University of Manchester. This will develop a product combining graphene with Wheelsure’s failsafe locking system.

Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has completed the acquisition of the Mecca bingo hall in Chesterfield for £4m. The property has a ten year lease and generates annual rent of £388,000. Ace has issued 147,070 shares at 100p each covering the conversion of convertible loan notes and payment of related interest.

Sandal (SAND) says that it needs more to cash in order to fully exploit the potential for Energenie MiHome products. Revenues in the first five months of the new financial year are higher than in the same period last year, even though there was a stock overhang at one Energenie MiHome customer.

IMC Exploration (IMCP) is relinquishing two licences in order to focus on its three main projects. They are the tailings project in Avoca, Wicklow, the north Wexford gold project and the zinc project in County Clare. There was €212,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018.

TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has launched the Beta version of its CEDEX blockchain diamond exchange.

Barkby Group (BARK) has taken on a ten-year lease for The George at Burpham in Sussex.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) has purchased 27 million shares in Greatland Gold (GGP) at an average price of 1.67p a share. The investment totalled £450,000. This is on the back of positive drilling results. At the Havieron gold/copper project in Western Australia.

Dana Group International Investments (DANA) reduced its underlying loss in the year to June 2018 and it ended the period with a NAV of 21 cents a share. There was a sharp decrease in NAV due to the write-down in the value of investments.

Imperial Minerals (IMPP) is still seeking a resources acquisition. There was £20,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018 and subsequently a further £50,000 was raised by a convertible issue.

AIM   

Active Energy Group (AEG) has raised nearly £1.5m at 1p a share and there is one warrant with every four new shares. The warrant is exercisable at 1.75p a share over a 12 month period. Creditors have been issued 15.5 million shares for the money they are owed. The cash will be used to finance the plans for a CoalSwitch plant with its joint venture partner and the working capital for the newly awarded cutting permits in Newfoundland.

Financial services provider STM Group (STM) expects a significant release from the London and Colonial Assurance of at least £500,000 before the year end. Last year, the release was £1.3m. There have also been one-off costs, but overall pre-tax profit should be in line with expectations.

Kropz (KRPZ) began trading on AIM on Friday. The share price ended the day at a 3.5p premium to the 40p placing price. The plant nutrient producer raised £27.3m to finance the Elandsfontein phosphate project.

Inland Homes (INL) has a land bank of 7,000 plots and 1,700 of them have planning consent with a further 2,000 in the planning pipeline. The sale of 386 plots in Buckinghamshire has generated a management fee of more than £7m. There should be 80 houses completed in the first half. The Rosewood Housing business has obtained approval to become a provider of affordable housing.

Argentina-focused oil and gas producer and explorer President Energy (PPC) has completed the acquisition of additional assets. Incremental production will start in December. Drilling of the third well at the Puesto Flores field has started.

Gift wrap supplier IG Design Group (IGR) has grown in the first half via a combination of acquisition and organic growth. The interim figures have led Progressive Equity Research to raise its 2018-19 earnings forecast from 25.9p a share to 27p a share.

Babestation broadcaster Cellcast (CLTV) says that revenues are declining and this is likely to continue. There is £700,000 in the bank and management is trying to collect money owed in Kenya.

IDOX (IDOX) says that full year revenues, excluding the former digital division, fell from £73.5m to £67.2m. The information management software provider generated adjusted EBITDA of £14.4m, down from £16.7m. Annualised recurring revenues are running at £32.4m. The annual results will be published in February.

Safestay (SSTY) is raising up to £11m via a placing and one-for-12 open offer at 34p a share. This cash will finance the conversion and refinancing of two hostels as well as investment in other existing sites and acquiring new ones.

Faroe Petroleum (FPM) has rebuffed a bid approach by DNO. Faroe says that the 152p a share cash offer, which values the oil and gas company at £607.9m, undervalues the business and its prospects. DNO already owns a 28.2% stake in Faroe.

Rose Petroleum (ROSE) has been paid around $300,000 in shares for providing its uranium database to enCore Energy Corp. The shares have to be retained for four months.

Timber merchant James Latham (LTHM) reported a 10% increase in interim revenues, while underlying pre-tax profit was £7.6m, prior to a £1.1m gain on the sale of the Yate site. The order book is strong, but it is more difficult to pass on price rises. There is £12.9m in the bank.

Maistro (MAIS) has launched a one-for-7.28423264 open offer at 1p a share. That could raise up to £250,000, which could take the total raised to £2.2m.

TLA Worldwide (TLA) is planning to sell its US operations to major shareholder Gatemore and may also sell its Australian activities. This may raise enough to pay off debt and leave a small amount of cash in TLA.

Gaming demand continues to be strong for security technology provider Synectics (SNX) but UK bus demand means that the full year profit forecast has been cut from £3m to £2.8m. The £4m profit forecast for the following year has been maintained.

The optimism about the Wressle oil project proved false and the planning permission was not approved as had been recommended. The original application was refused two years ago and an appeal is planned. Operator Egdon Resources (EDR) owns a 30% interest in Wressle, Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) has a 30% interest and Union Jack Oil (UJO) has a 27.5% interest. Humber Oil and Gas owns the other 12.5%.

Altona Energy (ANR) has temporarily suspended its activities at the Westfield Tenement in Australia. Management believes that other coal deposits may be more suitable for its pyrolysis technology.

Realm Therapeutics (RLM) has selected a shortlist of potential transactions, including a potential sale of the company. Further news will be published in the first quarter of 2019.

Fishing Republic (FISH) is still trying to raise additional funds for the business and it is also assessing options for selling the business.

Webis (WEB) improved its pre-tax profit from $5,000 to $103,000 in the 12 months to May 2018 and this is before any benefit from legalised online sports betting in the US.

MAIN MARKET  

Bioquell (BQE) is recommending a 590p a share cash bid from US-based Ecolab. That values the bio-decontamination business at £140.5m. The bid is nearly four times the level of the share price three years ago.

Standard list shell Hertsford Capital (HERT) has raised £3mat 10p a share. The technology-focused investment company has £2.8m in cash after costs. The share price ended the week at 11.75p.

Interim revenues declined from £666,000 to £498,000 at Associated British Engineering (ASBE) although the loss fell from £377,000 to £342,000 due to an improved performance at British Polar Engines as annual cost savings of £150,000 start to show through. There is around £1m of cash and available for sale financial assets, which is similar to the NAV.

PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has received the final payment of €14.3m in settlement of claims against a customer.

Flavour and fragrance ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) increased its revenues by 11% to £112.2m in the year to September 2018. Pre-tax profit improved from £11.7m to £12.6m. US capital investment should be completed next year.

Vertically integrated gemstone explorer Shefa Yamim (SEFA) is set to begin trial mining early next year. The latest exploration results have increased the volumes of mineralised placer gravels at three target sites from 1.1 million tonnes to five million tonnes.

Cardiff Property (CDFF) increased its net assets from 2126p a share to 2178p a share at the end of September 2018. The property investor has no debt and there is cash and financial assets of £5.8m. The dividend has been increased from 15.5p a share to 16.6p a share.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 16 October 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

This month marks the 22nd anniversary of the launch of NEX Exchange, although it was then originally called Ofex. A number of companies have gone on to bigger things, including Genus, which is in the FTSE250 index and accesso Technology, which is one of the top 50 companies on AIM. Further information can be found at http://www.hubinvest.com/AIMPDFOctober2017_97.pdf

MetalNRG (MNRG) has applied for two cobalt licences at Palomino and north Palomino in Western Australia but a rival has applied for the latter licence. There has also been interest from potential acquirers of this interest. A report has been received about the company’s US cobalt interests and this is being reviewed. A potential uranium project has been brought to the company and it is considering the opportunity.

Indigo Holdings (INGO) has invested £10,000 in 3sootjobs, a job search platform in Iran, giving it a 1.53% stake. Turquoise, which owns 32.1% of Indigo, and related parties, including Indigo directors, own around two-thirds of 3sootjobs.

Ecovista (EVTP) has bought a 80% stake in a company that owns a four bedroom property near Stanstead and it has paid £10,000 for an option on the next door property. The properties cover 1.72 acres.

AIM

Parcel delivery company DX (Group (DX.) is raising £24m from an issue of convertible loan notes. The conversion price will be 10p a share and the interest rate 8%. There is potential to issue a further £2m of loan notes. Lloyd Dunn has been appointed as chief executive but he is not on the board. Along with three directors, he is subscribing for £5.25m of loan notes.

Angle (AGL) has further positive indications of the effectiveness of its Parsortix liquid biopsy technology and it has also raised a further £2.8m, taking the total raised at 37.5p a share to £15m. Heinrich Heine University researchers has been able to able to continue to grow circulating tumour cells harvested using a Parsortix device.

Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) performed strongly in the first half and online sales have increased to one-quarter of the total. This was before the launch of a website focused on Spain and there are plans for other international websites. The UK stores grew sales by 15%. Overall revenues were 35% ahead at £56.1m.

Orogen (ORE) is acquiring Thread 35 Ltd and changing its name to Sosandar (SOS), which is the acquisition’s online womenswear brand. The brand was launched on 19 September 2016 by the founders of fashion magazine Look and is aimed at the affluent professional woman. Orogen is paying £6.3m in cash and shares for the acquisition. Ten Orogen shares are being consolidated into one new share. A placing at 15.1p a share will raise £4.8m net to cover the cash portion of the acquisition cost.

Toilet tissue supplier Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) expects to pay between£550,000 and £2.9m and because of its guilty plea the amount will be discounted by one-third. The figure will be announced early next year. Talks continue with major shareholders and the bank.

Wynnstay Group (WYN) has appointed administrators to Just for pets and 18 of the stores have been sold to PSR Ltd. The other seven have been closed. The loss-making pet products retailer had net assets of £2.2m.

Crop enhancement products supplier Plant Impact (PIM) increased its full year revenues by 17% to £8.5m even though sales in Brazil were disappointing. Higher research and development spending meant that there was a £3m loss. There was £7.2m in the bank at the end of July 2017. Plant Impact is moving into new geographic markets as well as building share in its existing markets.

Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) intends to use some of its cash to buy back up to £3m worth of shares. There was net cash of £20.8m at the end of August 2017. Interim revenues were flat at £1.45bn buy underlying pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £20.9m.

Patrick O’Sullivan, who failed to gain a board seat at Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR), has reduced his stake in the Irish gold explorer to three million shares (24.6%). Conroy was awarded costs of the court proceedings made by Patrick O’Sullivan and the level is still to be assessed. Conroy has decided to cancel its quotation on the Dublin-based Enterprise Securities Market on 6 November. Conroy will still be quoted on AIM so shareholder approval is not required. Andrea Gonella currently owns less than 3% of Conroy, having owned more than 6% in July. Conroy has raised €240,000 via a €0.30 a share placing and a further €167,000 was raised from warrants taken up by directors Professor Richard Conroy and Maureen Jones.

Digital Barriers (DGB) has decided to sell its video business for up to £27.5m. It will concentrate on its Thruvision people screening business.

InterQuest Group (ITQ) has appointed Allenby as its nominated adviser and Peterhouse as its broker so trading in the shares has recommenced. Chisbridge Ltd ended up with 58.3% of InterQuest after its bid. It still wants to ditch the AIM quotation and it can buy shares in the market in order to increase the stake.

Patient monitoring device developer LiDCO (LID) has gained its first long-term high use programme contract with a US customer but that did not contribute in the first half. In the six months to July 2017, revenues were 4% higher at £3.9m and the loss was £1m. That was due to higher sales and marketing costs without the benefits of higher sales yet showing through.

1Spatial (SPA) has sold its non-core assets so that it can focus on geospatial data. There is particular potential in the US market. Although interim revenues were flat at £12.1m but a greater proportion were from the geospatial business. The operating loss was reduced from £1.9m to £1.2m and the cash outflow in the period was minimal. Claire Milverton has been confirmed as chief executive.

Two graphene-related companies are raising cash. Applied Graphene (AGM) has raised £9m at 36p a share and existing shareholders are being given the chance to subscribe for up to £1m via a one-for-eight open offer. There was £4.7m in the bank at the end of July 2017. The cash is being used to finance joint development activity for the strategic ink programme, which uses 2D inkjet printing to deliver graphene-based inks. Other potential uses are also being explored. Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) is raising £10m via a placing and offer at 120p a share, which was a 32% discount to the market price. Haydale recently changed broker to Arden. The cash will be used to provide working capital for existing orders and to develop new uses for graphene, including cookware.

SaaS-based accounting software supplier FreeAgent Holdings (FREE) says that it generated interim revenues of £4.6m, compared with £3.6m. There was a smaller first half loss and had net cash of £3.4m at the end of September 2017.

Top level domain names owner and distributor Minds + Machines (MMX) has received approval from the authorities in China to sell .law, .work, .beer and the Chinese equivalent of .shopping. Four more extensions are going through the approvals progress. So far, revenues from China for .vip have been a significant contributor to group revenues.

A consortium led by former chief executive Peter Earl is in early discussions with Rurelec (RUR) about a bid that could be backed by Rurelec’s joint venture Patagonia Energy Ltd.

An application to enable Redx Pharma (REDX) to get back control of its main subsidiary will be heard on 26 October. If approved, the subsidiary will come out of administration and the suspension of trading in Redx shares could be lifted.

Realm Therapeutics (RLM) has completed the £19.3m placing at 29p a unit (one unit is one share and a warrant for 0.4 of a share). The warrants provide an opportunity to subscribe for a share at 58p each. The initial focus of the cash will be the treatments PR022 for atopic dermatitis and PR013 for allergic conjunctivitis. There are also plans for a phase II trial for the PR023 treatment for acne vulgaris.

PipeHawk (PIP) has sold its 28.4% stake in south east England-based survey practice SUMO Ltd to its own executive chairman Gordon Watt for £197,499. That is the equivalent of the investment in loss-making SUMO and is more than its value in the books.

Dr Cliff Holloway has been appointed as chief executive of Scancell Holdings (SCLP) and he will push forward the immunotherapy platforms being developed by the company. His predecessor Dr Richard Goodfellow is remaining on the board. Scancell had £2.67m in the bank at the end of April 2017, which was less than the cash outflow in the previous 12 months.

Ashanti Gold Corp says that the Anumso gold project, where Goldplat (GDP) is earning up to 75% through a $3m investment in exploration, has broader and new mineralised zones. Soil sampling has produced good results and suggests high gold recovery rates.

Former AIM company Zenith Hygiene has agreed a cash bid from BCPE Diamond UK. The deal values Zenith at £100m, based on its enterprise value, although the final amount depends on performance.

MAIN MARKET

Cash shell J2 Acquisition Ltd (JTWO) commenced trading on the standard list on 10 October, having raised $1.25bn. The shell is seeking a company with a strong market share and proven track record. If an acquisition is not made within two years, shareholder approval will be required for a further 12 months of operation.

Levrett (LVRT) has completed the acquisition of Nuformix Ltd for £12m in shares at 4p each and it has changed its name to Nuformix. A further £2.3m has been raised at 4p a share. Trading will recommence on 16 September.

Sealand Capital Galaxy (SCGL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with AIM-quoted MySQUAR (MYSQ) that will enable the two companies to distribute each other’s mobile games.

Monchhichi (MCC) still intends to follow Pembridge Resources (PERE) from AIM to the standard list but the move has been delayed until mid-November. This will follow shareholder approval for the €10m investment in artificial intelligence, machine learning and behavioural data science company Sentiance and the approval of the prospectus by the UKLA. Sentiance lost more than €2m on revenues of €1.4m in 2016.

WideCells Group (WDC) plans to launch its CellPlan insurance for stem cell treatment in Spain before the end of the year. A partner has been secured for the expansion of stem cell services in the Middle East, north Africa and Asia Pacific. White Apex General Trading will be exclusive strategic partner for three years.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 20 March 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Health and care properties developer Ashley House (ASH) is widening its area of operations through the acquisition of a modular off-site construction business by its subsidiary F1 Modular, which already works with the company. The acquired business was in administration and assets have been acquired for £113,500 and a lease taken out on its premises – there is an option to acquire the premises. Ashley’s stake in F1 Modular has been raised from 52% to 76% for up to £250,000 depending on performance and the repayment of a previous loan. If F1 Modular makes more than £4m in profit over the next three years then the additional stake will be transferred to the minority shareholders. F1 Modular could win housing business and there are already potential housing deals with two local authorities, as well as a prospective customer for retail pods. Other potential markets are schools and student accommodation. There are also opportunities in Ashley’s core business. Ashley has reiterated it warning that the figures for the year to April 2017 because of contract delays due to a consultation on supported housing. This means a small full year profit is likely. Non-executive director John Moy acquired 2.4 million shares at 7.5p each from his son and then transferred his entire holding of 6.9millionshares to his wife, although he is still deemed to have an interest in this 11.6% stake.

Bulgaria property investment company Black Sea Property (BSP) has successfully tendered for a Sofia office building called the UniCredit Building. UniCredit is the current occupier and owner. Black Sea Property bid €10.52m and €7.6m of this will come from a loan, while the rest will have to be raised from shareholders. A deposit of €1.04m has been paid. That deposit will be forfeited if the deal does not go ahead. UniCredit can remain in the building for six months after the transaction is completed, expected to be May assuming the fundraising is successful, and will not have to pay rent. The property is more than 100 years old, has five floors and covers 98,000 square feet.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has been taken on by cosmetics firm LUSH to help it introduce employee ownership. An initial stake of 10% will be held by the employee benefits trust.

AIM

There could be a bid battle for FIH (FIH), formerly known as Falkland Islands Holdings. Staunton, which is backed by the Rowland family, has bid 300p a share and has acceptances of just over one-third of the shares in issue – it owned 25% prior to the bid. Eduardo Elsztain has entered the fray via Dolphin Fund, which says it is willing to offer even more. Elsztain is an Argentinian who has built up significant property and agricultural interests having initially been backed by George Soros in 1990. FIH has refused requests for further information because it was not provided with answers to its request about ownership and control of Dolphin. There has been a change to the current bid which no longer require 90% acceptances to go unconditional. The figure has been reduced to 50%.

Audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) grew its 2016 revenues by 18% to £370.1m via a combination of acquisitions, currency movements and organic growth. Gross margins are strong for a distribution business but they still edged up from 14.9% to 15.3%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 23% higher at £17.9m. Net debt was £15m at the end of 2016, while the dividend for the eight months that Midwich was quoted on AIM was 8.62p share. Displays and technical products are becoming more important and there was also growth in projection products sales although not as fast as the main parts of the business. Sales of scanners and other document-related products fell. France, Germany and Australasia made significantly better contributions. Further acquisitions are likely to supplement continued organic growth.

Crossrider (CROS) has refocused its business on apps and a mobile security acquisition further boosts this side of the business. CyberGhost will cost an initial €6.2m in cash and shares with up to €3m more payable dependent on performance. The acquisition should be earnings enhancing in 2017. Last year, Crossrider group revenues fell from $84.6m to $56.5m but the core apps business grew both its revenues and its profit contribution. Net cash was $72.1m at the end of 2016. Next year, revenues and profit should start to grow again and Crossrider may even pay a dividend.

University technology commercialisation business Frontier IP (FIPP) has raised £3m at 40p a share in order to finance existing investments and make new ones.

Igas Energy (IGAS) wants to raise £45.2m via a placing and up to €5m through an open offer as part of its financial restructuring. There is also a proposed debt for equity swap and the majority of these bondholders have indicated that they will accept this proposal.

Software provider Cerillion (CER) has won a €2.4m (£2.1m) with a European wholesale telecoms company. So far this financial year, £13.2m of work has been won. That will not necessarily all be delivered this year but, along with the year-end order book, this provides backing for the £16m revenues forecast for 2016-17.

Trading and risk management systems provider Brady (BRY) is restructuring its business but the 2016 figures do not show the benefits. The company has grown by acquisition and the strategy is to fully integrate them all into one platform. Revenues increased 11% to £30.3m, mainly due to currency changes, and Brady returned to profit before exceptional charges.

Recurring revenues continue to grow at performance measurement software provider Statpro (SOG) and they were running at a rate of £39.7m at the end of 2016. House broker Panmure Gordon expects an increase in underlying pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £3.3m in 2017. The dividend is being maintained at 2.9p a share in order to build up earnings cover and invest in software development.

Training technology and services provider Pennant International (PEN) has already secured orders that underpin the 2017 revenues forecast by house broker WH Ireland, although the timing of orders can be delayed. Revenues are expected to grow from £17.2m to £18m and pre-tax profit should edge up from £2.2m to £2.4m. There was £3.5m in the bank at the end of 2016. Two additional facilities have been secured to help cope with demand for the group’s services. Defence clients dominate the business but there are plans to increase exposure to other markets. Phil Walker has taken over permanently as chief executive.film Sandy Wexler 2017

Wealth adviser Brooks Macdonald (BRK) has increased its discretionary funds under management by 19% to £9.33bn. Underlying interim pre-tax profit were one-quarter higher at £8.87m. New chief executive Caroline Connellan will start work in April.

Investment manager Miton (MGR) has grown its funds under management despite a large decline in its value fund due to the departure of its manager. The funds under management increased from £2.78bn to £2.91bn with a recovery in multi-asset funds and growth in other funds covering the loss of value investment funds and growth coming from market improvements. Miton is seeking a new chairman and it will then find a permanent chief executive. On 23 March, Miton is launching its new global infrastructure fund, which is aiming for a 4% yield.

C4X Discovery (C4XD) has raised £7m from a placing at 85p a share. The cash will be used to strengthen the balance sheet while c4X is negotiating with potential partners and strategic collaborators.

EMIS (EMIS) has managed to grow its business even though there is continued uncertainty in the NHS. The GP, pharmacy and health-related administrative software provider reported a 2% increase in 2016 revenues to £158.7m, while operating profit was 6% higher at £38.8m. Net debt fell to £400,000. The total dividend was increased by 10% to 11.7p a share, which is covered more than four times by earnings.

Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) continues to benefit from the global upturn in construction activity, particularly in North America and Europe, although the revenues from the latter are still not back to their peak levels. The dividend payout level has been raised from 30% of earnings to 40% of earnings but there is still more than $20m in the bank so a special dividend is possible later in the year.

Ilika (ILK) admits that it is unlikely to generate any licence income until the next financial year. The advanced materials developer still has plenty of cash in the bank. Development deal revenues should still double revenues to £1.2m in the year to April 2017. A £1m bioelectronics deal and an additional agreement with Toyota mean that there is a good revenue base going into the new financial year, which should reduce the annual loss even without licence deals.

Active Energy (AEG) has raised £11.6m via a convertible loan note issue. The five-year convertibles will be quoted on the Channel Islands Securities Exchange. The yield is 8% and the conversion price is 3.3p a share. The cash is required to build a commercial scale plant to produce CoalSwitch biomass fuel for use in coal-fired power stations.

Sunrise Resources (SRES) has identified additional potential for the CS project in Nevada. New zones of pozzolan and perlite have been discovered in the Tuff zone and another zone. A project development concept study is due in the next few months.

Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) has secured a four year deal to supply silicon carbide micro-fibre to a manufacturer of tooling and wear-resistant parts. The deal has been won by the US subsidiary acquired last September. The minimum annual order quantity should generate revenues of $600,000 a year.

MAIN MARKET

Sportech (SPO) is investing £100,000 in 123gaming Ltd as part of a £1m fundraising via crowdfunding platform Seedrs (www.seedrs.com/123bet). The offer is eligible for EIS relief. The cash will be used to update the US betting platform and to launch an online site in the UK. Sportech already provides technology for the US online wagering site and the pari-mutuel-type offering, which combines traditional wagers and fantasy elements as part of the game. Several US racecourses licence 123gaming’s free-to-play contests as a marketing tool. Sportech is selling its football pools business for £83m – that is lower than the £97.25m offer that fell through last year. Sportech plans to return £20m to shareholders via a tender offer. The result of the tender will be announced on 21 March. There could be a further tender offer after the disposal proceeds are received.

Avation (AVAP) has decided to sell six of its turboprop aircraft at a price above book value. This could generate $31m after related debt repayments. A deposit of $3m has been received and the deal should be completed by the end of June. A further 16 turboprop aircraft are being retained and the additional cash can be used to widen the portfolio of aircraft. House broker WH Ireland estimates an underlying value for Avation of 270p a share.

PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES

Former ISDX and GXG company US OIL & Gas (USOP) has raised £1.18m at 27p a share via a ten-for-63 open offer to existing shareholders. That is 54% of the amount that the oil and gas company was seeking. A placing had already raised £470,000.

Andrew Hore

 

Quoted Micro 6 February 2017

NEX EXCHANGE

Bondholders in US-focused oil and gas company Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) have overwhelmingly opted to take the cash alternative ahead of the flotation of the ordinary shares on AIM on 3 February. A total of £10.35m worth of bonds (97.1% of bonds in issue) are taking cash, while £198,000 of bonds will be swapped for 380,769 ordinary shares. There will be £106,640 worth of bonds remaining in issue but there will be no trading facility. The ordinary shares of Diversified Oil & Gas (DGOC) raised £39.7m at 65p a share, valuing the company at £68.6m. The share price slipped to 56.25p at the end of the first day’s trading.

Property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) had a property portfolio worth £28.5m at the end of October 2016 and this generates annual rental income of £2.31m. The NAV was £18.25m at the end of October 2016 with a £500,000 revaluation gain partly offset by the final dividend payment.Net debt was £6.7m, down from £7.7m at the year end and there are assets held for sale worth £6.3m. Since October, a property was acquired at Hanley for £9m. The deal was financed by a £13.75m loan facility from Lloyds Bank with the rest of the cash used to refinance debt relating to five other properties.

DagangHalal (DGHL), which operates an e-marketplace for Halal verification, has parted company with its chief executive and trading in the shares has recommenced. Mohamed Hussain was paid the compensation that he was entitled to in his contract but he is claiming for twice his annual salary – equivalent to £195,000. Ali Sabri Sani Abdullah has stepped up from finance director to chief executive, while Jeff Teo and Derek Marsh have been appointed to the board. Cairn has replaced Arden as corporate adviser. The share price has not changed since trading recommenced.

AIM-quoted Metal Tiger (MTR) has sold its 28.2% in MetalNRG (MNRG) to Value Generation Ltd, a business associated with MetalNRG director Paul Johnson, and Gervaise Heddle, which each own 14.1% of the resources shell. The sales price was 0.26271p a share, whereas Metal Tiger had paid 0.2628p a share nearly one year ago.

BWA Group (BWAP) says it has been in talks with three potential acquisitions but none of the potential deals progressed. There was a £16,276 cash outflow from operations in the six months to October 2016, which was partially offset by the sale of an investment. BWA had a NAV of £562,000, with £41,593 in the bank, at the end of October 2016.

Botswana-focused oil and gas explorer Karoo Energy (KEP) says that exploration work on its two licences has confirmed the company’s geological model which predicts a deep sedimentary basin that could contain shale gas. In the six months to October 2016, there was a £326,000 cash outflow including capitalised exploration spending. Karoo had £168,000 in the bank at the end of October 2016, and £11,000 has subsequently been raised.

Property development and management services provider Formation Group (FRM) plans to consolidate its shares and shareholders will get to vote on the proposal at the AGM on 27 February. If the five-for-one consolidation is approved it will take place on 28 February.

Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised a further £34,000 at 0.1p a share. Valiant’s 84.7%-owned subsidiary Flamethrower has set up a new company called Slot Right In, which will be the social casino division and Flamethrower plans to acquire and trade domain names. Flamethrower continues to add to its portfolio of apps.

Property investor Ecovista (EVTP) says it is looking at investments in London, Essex and Hertfordshire. An offer of £275,000 has been accepted for a cottage owned by the company, while a house in Bishop Stortford, acquired for £665,000 last year, has been demolished and construction of a new building with a gross value of £1.35m will start in the spring. A planning appeal has been lodged for the development of car park site near Stansted Airport.

Grant Thornton will step down as corporate adviser to Chinese medical products and services provider MiLOC Group (ML.P) on 6 March.

AIM

AdEPT Telecom (ADT) is acquiring Our IT Department, an IT services provider in London and the South East, for an initial £4.75m with up to £3.75m more payable depending on performance. This is a profitable business that brings additional IT skills to the telecoms business. AdEPT has secured a £30m, five-year bank facility from Barclays and RBS, which will help to finance further acquisitions.

Everpower International is acquiring a 9.9% stake in Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) in return for a £3.26m cash payment – equivalent to 170p a share. This is part of an agreement that will enable Haydale products to be manufactured for the Chinese market. Commercial revenues from the Huntsman agreement are not likely to come through until 2017-18 and with other strategy changes this means that the revenues for the year to June 2017 will be lower than expected.

Automotive acoustics and thermal insulation designer Autins (AUTG) has shocked the market with a profit warning less than six months after joining AIM and the chief executive has resigned. First quarter sales have been in line with expectations but a major customer has reduced orders. The share price has fallen from the August placing price of 168p to 145p – but it had been as high as 240p. Miton had added to its stake in January.

Ascent Resources (AST) says the flow test at the Pg-10 well was better than expected. The maximum stabilised flow rate was 8.8 million cubic feet of gas per day.

LED lighting technology developer PhotonStar LED (PSL) says that its 2016 revenues will be slightly lower than expected and the loss will be higher because of a challenging second half. Revenues were around £5.4m and the pre-tax loss was £1.3m. There was £230,000 in the bank at the end of 2016 with £830,000 of invoice financing. Cost savings have been made and this helps to improve the outlook for 2017, although the poor second half trading has continued into January.

Eagle Eye Solutions (EYE) says that interim revenues have grown 72% to £5.1m, which is better than expected. The nationwide roll-out of the Asda contract has increased coupon redemption numbers. Cavendish Asset Management has increased its stake to 8.26%.

ECR Minerals (ECR) says that the Australian government has given consent to for drilling at the Byron target in the Bailieston project area. ECR has applied for two more licences and is awaiting news of the renewal of the Avoca licence.

Tissue Regenix Group (TRX) says that dermal allograft product DermaPure, which includes the company’s dCELL technology, has been included in the US Department of Veteran Affairs Federal Supply Schedule. This covers 152 hospitals and 800 outpatient units. This will boost the commercial prospects of the wound care product.

Prospex Oil & Gas (PXOG) is raising £850,000 at 0.5p a share and this will help to finance the evaluation of potential projects. The share price has slumped since the beginning of the year because of a disappointing result from a well on its Kolo licence area in Poland. The placing price is about one-fifth of the share price prior to the drilling news.

New management at Quantum Pharma (QP.) says trading is in line. This suggests that the pre-tax profit for the year to January 2017 will be £6.7m, down from £10m in the previous year, although there will be exceptional reorganisation charges. The loss-making NuPharm business has been closed. Net debt was £13.5m – after most of the reorganisation costs have been paid. The share price is less than one-third of its peak less than two years ago but it is higher than the 34p a share placing price in October.

Vela Technologies (VELA) is raising up to £550,000 from a bond issue via the UK Bond Network. There is already interest for £250,000 of bonds and the other £300,000 have been underwritten. The interest rate is 10% and the bonds can be repaid after one year, including interest. If they are repaid earlier than one year’s interest has to be paid. Vela will use £150,000 to increase its investment in Portr, the airline passenger facilitation and baggage transport service.

BP Marsh (BPM) has subscribed for a 30% cumulative preferred ordinary shareholding in Stewart Speciality Risk Underwriting Ltd, a Toronto-based start-up headed by a boss with 25 years of experience. Stewart specialises in insurance for the construction, manufacturing, onshore energy, transport and public sectors. A £480,000 loan facility is also being provided.

Reconstruction Capital (RC2) is returning €17m of cash to shareholders. This equates to €0.115 a share.

MAIN MARKET

Engineering and environmental consultancy Waterman Group (WTM) says that its interim revenues and profit will be in line with last year. Net cash was £6.7m at the end of 2016. This will enable Waterman to continue to increase its dividend.

Publisher Quarto (QRT) is on course to increase its pre-tax profit from $14.1m to $15.5m. Net debt was $62.2m at the end of 2016. A buyer has been identified for the Australian distributor Books and Gifts Direct. This will raise $1m in cash with the other $4.75m of the disposal price in loan notes. Even after a 46% increase in the share price, the 2016 multiple is less than eight. There are plans to change the way that the backlist of titles is valued.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) commenced trading on the standard list and the share price ended the week at 12p, compared with the placing price of 10p. Rainbow has issued £260,000 worth of shares at the placing price to cover a majority of the costs of its flotation.

Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) has sold Starneth less than two years after buying the designer and engineer of giant observation wheels. Challenger completed the acquisition of Starneth in July 2015 when an initial €1.25m was paid in cash and €825,000 in shares at 75p each. The second cash payment of €1.25m was delayed. Challenger will receive $6m in fees when the Jakarta wheel’s funding arrangements are finalised and the €1.25m payment will be taken out of that. There had been a third payment due but that does not appear likely to happen. This is a complicated deal but it is difficult to see this as a positive deal for Challenger but it will continue to work with Starneth and it will have a stake in the New York wheel. Acquisitions of businesses in the leisure and entertainment sectors that are close to revenues are likely.

Andrew Hore

 

Johnston Press Blames Brexit, Sterling and Headwinds

Johnston Press JPR saw total revenue fall for the year to 31st December, blame being directed wherever it will not show the board and management in a bad light. Summer trading was difficult and Brexit gets the blame for that by creating uncertainty. In quarter 3 severe headwinds were blamed for a 7% decline in revenue and poor old sterling gets a battering for causing the cost of ink and paper to rise. Signs of an improvement were seen in quarter 4 when the fall fell to 3%. The improvement has continued into 2017 with January producing a strong start  and impressive newspaper sales results. Web page views rose by 15% and Facebook followers were up by 60%

Smart Metering Systems SMS 2016 was a transformational year with the continuation of year on year double digit growth. Recurring annual income rose by 20% in the year to 31st December. Gas meter recurring rent was up by 13% and electricity meter recurring rent more than doubled.

Haydale Graphene Ind. HAYD anticipates that group revenue for the current  financial year will be below market expectations following the customer sampling programme taking longer than expected and meaning that commercial revenue from the customer will be delayed until the first half of the next financial year. In addition the decision to concentrate on collaboration with partners for the long term has and will result in  reduction of short term revenue.

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