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Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 1 April 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Brewer Adnams (ADB) increased its revenues last year, but it reported a loss. Beer volumes grew by 2.2% and revenues were 6% ahead at £78.9m. The loss of £877,000 was after £1.77m of pension and property impairment costs. The final dividend is unchanged at 150p per B share. Adnams is optimistic about the proposed government review into small breweries relief – if Adnams paid the same duty rates as small brewers it would save £7m a year.

European Lithium (EUR) is making progress with its definitive feasibility study for the Wolfsberg lithium project in Austria. The plan is to produce lithium chemical for batteries. A test programme has been completed and this is designed to improve grades and the amount of lithium-bearing mineral. Laser sorting was found to be the best method.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has increased its NAV by 9% to 48.05p a share in the six months to February 2019.

Trading in the shares of Block Commodities (BLCC) has restarted following the publication of its interim results. There was $1,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and a further $400,000 has been raised via a convertible loan. This will fund the entry in the cannabis market. Block is collaborating with Hexis Lab to develop cannabis-based therapeutic and cosmeceutical products

Altona Energy (ANR) has net assets of £11m, but these are predominantly intangible assets. There are also £19.8m of potential tax losses. Altona is re-evaluating its underground coal gasification project in South Australia and assessing an investment in a Chinese vanadium mine.

MetalNRG (MNRG) plans to move to the standard list. An option agreement has been replaced with a farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit. This will reduce the immediate cash outflow. A $161,000 payment was made under the option agreement and $400,000 more has to be paid by 10 April to earn a 51% economic interest. This payment is conditional on a capital raising at the time of moving to the standard list. A further $1.99m investment is required in three equal tranches in order to maintain the stake. The payments are due in November 2019, April 2020 and October 2020.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) outperformed the MSCI UK Residential Property index last year, because it achieved 8.75% growth, compared with 5.2% for the index.

The net liabilities of Welney (WENP) increased from £234,000 to £301,000 in 2018. This is being funded by loans from directors. Costs have been kept low as management seeks a suitable acquisition.

Sport Capital Group (SCG) has issued 800,000 shares at 0.625p each to pay for adviser fees on the unwound acquisition of Palermo FC.

AIM  

Churchill China (CHH) improved margins last year. Revenues were 7% higher at £57.5m, but underlying pre-tax profit was 26% higher at £9.4m. Growth in exports is a major factor and they account for three-fifths of revenues. Retail sales fell and hospitality sales increased by £5m. The total dividend was raised from 24.6p a share to 29p a share. There was £14.4m in cash at the end of 2018.

Cloud-based communications software provider Cloudcall (CALL) increased recurring revenues by one-third last year and total revenues were 28% ahead at £8.8m. The fastest growth was in the US. The cash outflow from operations increased from £1.57m to £2.38m. This is due to higher operating costs in terms of product development and marketing.

Frontier IP (FIPP) has increased the value of its portfolio of investments by 27% to £11.5m in the six months to £11.5m. NAV is 38.8p a share. The 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 in the current six month period.

Parity (PTY) says it has lost a major contract with the Scottish government, but it should not have a significant effect on profit because it is low margin. This year’s revenues will be 10% below expectations. The 2018 results will be announced on 16 April.

Rambler Metals and Mining (RMM) has launched a one-for-one open offer to raise up to £1.7m at 1.4p a share and it closes on 12 April. This follows the £8.4m placing at 1,4p a share, which raised cash to pay off debt and provide working capital.

Alliance Pharma (APH) improved its pre-tax profit from £23.9m to £28.1m. This excludes a £1.9m write down of an acquired intangible relating to a manufacturing supply contract. A pre-tax profit of £32.8m is forecast for 2019.

Quixant (QXT) reported a strong second half to 2018 even though the gaming machines market was tough. Full year revenues were 5% higher at $115.2m and pre-tax profit improved from $17.7m to $18.2m. This year will also be second half weighted with revenues expected to hit $119m and pre-tax profit of $20m forecast.

MAIN MARKET 

Funds managed by Epiris LLP have launched a recommended cash offer of 193p a share for Ireland-based financial services group IFG (IFP), valuing it at £206m.

Ovoca Bio (OVB) is increasing its stake in IVIX to 59.9%. The additional 9.9% costs $2.04m. IVIX’s drug Libicore has met the pre-specified primary efficacy endpoint and significant outcomes in secondary endpoints as part of its phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of hypoactive sexual desire disorder.

Standard list shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) still had £1.54m in the bank at the end of 2018. Potential technology acquisitions are being assessed.

Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is still seeking an acquisition after the deal to buy Chorum fell through due to weak stockmarkets. There was £1.21m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 February 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

AIM  (February 2019 AIM Journal available here)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore: Quoted Micro 15 October 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Smart home products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported a decline in overall revenues from £3.75m to £3.62m for the year to May 2018, but this masks the 71% growth of the Energenie MiHome revenues to £1.01m. Sandal reduced its operating loss and there was nearly £51,000 in the bank, although net debt was £1.09m.. A small profit is forecast for 2018-19 with a small increase in net debt expected. Sandal may need additional cash to increase the marketing for the Energenie MiHome brand.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £500,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 77% premium to the market price. Malcolm Burne and Professor Michael Cain have left the board and been replaced by Jens Zimmerman, who becomes non-executive chairman. The investment strategy will be widened from medicinal cannabis, because of a lack of opportunities, to technology. The company intends to acquire a 9.8% stake in Belgium-based artificial intelligence software developer Sentiance. The software enables companies to understand user behaviour. The data comes from smart devices. The technology is used in areas, such as insurance, health and car driving.

Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) improved its interim revenues from $1.15m to $1.24m. The pre-tax profit fell from $162,000 to $66,000. There was $1.4m in the bank at the end of August 2018.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has published its 2017 figures and interims to June 2018. The full year loss was £294,000 and the interim loss increased from £117,000 to £162,000. There was £53,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The company is beginning to ship coal from its mine in Nigeria.

Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed KSA Group Ltd to liquidate the company.

Shen Chaohuli has sold his 18.3% stake in TechFinancials Inc (TECH) to Ou Qiao.

AIM  

Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) has received a cash injection to keep it going, after unknown overdraft facilities were discovered. The cash balance in the recent accounts does not appear to exist. A placing has raised £15.7m at 50p a share. Chairman Luke Johnson is also providing loan facilities of up to £20m.

EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has revealed details of the spinning off of Renalytix AI on AIM. Renalytix AI is raising cash at 121p a share as part of the flotation, which should happen on 31 October. EKF will distribute its near-21 million shares in the company to its own shareholders, although it will subscribe for new shares. EKF shareholders will also get the chance to invest up to £3.5m in new shares.

Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) is making another major acquisition. The oil and gas producer is paying $183m for Core Appalachia, which is funded by cash and shares issued at 115p each. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.

Vertu Motors (VTU) has been hit by a lack of cars due to the newly installed testing procedures but it still has a strong balance sheet and it will make a significant full year profit. September registrations were the worst since 2011 and Vertu was not immune. That will hit the second half. There was an improved performance in the used car market to help offset the weaker new car sales in the first half. Pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £28.6m to £22.1m in the year to February 2019.

Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) has reaffirmed that it is on course to make a full year pre-tax profit of £24.2m, down from £29.1m in 2017.

OnTheMarket (OTMP) has increased its spending on marketing and IT since floating on AIM and this has pushed it into loss. A full year loss of £14.7m is expected and there is not likely to be much of a reduction the following year. The online property platform has succeeded in doubling the estate agency offices using the service to more than 11,000 many of the additional offices are in a trial period and not paying to put their properties on the platform. The investment being made will only be justified if these offices start to pay fees. The IT investment will enable the company to offer more products and services and increase revenues that way as well.

Access Intelligence (ACC) is acquiring ResponseSource, which provides SaaS-based services to the PR and media sectors, for £5.5m. This company fits well with the group’s existing business. A ten-for-one share consolidation is planned.

Health monitoring equipment developer LiDCO Group (LID) is still going through the transition from a sales model to one based on regular income from hospitals. Interim recurring revenues increased by 11% but total revenues were 8% lower at £3.6m. Importantly, there should be enough cash in the bank to move the business towards profitability. That could happen in 2019-2020 but is more likely to be the following year.

Melissa Blau is stepping down as chief executive of Veltyco (VLTY) fewer than seven months after she was appointed. The shares price has fallen by three-fifths in the subsequent period.

Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) has raised £3m at 32p a share, which is more than double the flotation price of 15.1p a share. First half revenues were £1.84m.

MAIN MARKET   

Titon (TON) has firmed up its plan to move to AIM. The window components manufacturer expects to join AIM on 10 December.

Toople (TOOP) says trading in the first week of its new financial year is ahead of expectations. The statement remains, as ever, light on proper financials and indications of losses. Toople raised £2.2m at 0.3p a share, so it has enough cash for the time being.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore: Quoted Micro 17 September 2018

NEX EXCHANGE        

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) reported a 19% increase in interim revenues to £61.8m. Pre-tax profit has more than trebled to £2.4m, if discontinued activities, including the investment in the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, are excluded. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1p a share. A brand relaunch is planned for the second half.

Eight Capital Partners (MORE) has made its first investment in the financial services sector. It is acquiring €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Management believes the link up with the Italian company will fit well with other potential investments.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda. Trading in the shares has been suspended. Trading should be restored by 21 September.

KR1 (KR1) continues to invest in new token issues. A $200,000 investment has been made in Foamspace Corp for 3.63 million FOAM tokens. This business intends to develop a protocol for a network of beacons providing location services. A further $100,000 has been invested in the Althea Mesh project tokens. This enables decentralised internet service providers to be set up. There has been $100,000 invested in Etherisc tokens. Etherisc is developing a blockchain service for the insurance sector.

Sandal (SAND) has launched an installer service for its MiHome smart home range. The service will be provided by Icon Heating Solutions.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has initiated a ten hole drilling campaign at the Specimen Hill discovery in Queensland. Four holes have been completed. The drilling should be complete in four weeks.

Panther Metals (PALM) has acquired the Bear Lake project, which is a package of gold and base metal prospects in north wester Ontario. The consideration is C$133,000 (£77,000) in cash and shares.

AIM  

Manx Telecom (MANX) reported relatively flat interim figures but a deal by one of its developing investments could mean that the business could become significant in a couple of years time. The interim dividend was raised by 5% to 4.1p a share. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to edge up to £15.2m with a similar increase in the final dividend. Investee company Goshawk has developed a hearing loss product and signed up BT’s mobile subsidiary EE, which could provide a potential market of 3 million people.

Property Franchise Group (TPFG) grew all its letting brands in the first half of 2018 and its online estate agency eweMove went from loss to profit in the period. Full year profit is expected to increase from £4.3m to £4.6m.

Anexo Group (ANX) has reported growth in interim revenues and profit although the cash raised in the recent flotation has yet to be put to use. The legal services and credit hire provider is expected to increase full year pre-tax profit from £13.8m to £14.7m in 2018, and then to £16.4m in 2019.

STM Group (STM) increased interim revenues by 6% to £10.8m and pre-tax profit by 11% to £2.1m. The interim dividend was increased by 17% to 0.7p a share. The main growth has come from the pensions business.

K3 Capital Group (K3C) continues to go from strength to strength. The mergers and acquisition adviser increased revenues by 53% to £16.5m and net cash more than doubled to £7.5m by the end of May 2018. Pre-tax profit could dip from £7.3m to £7m, which would lead to a small reduction in dividend from 11.2p a share, but there is scope for upgrades in expectations.

Gatemore continues to build up its stake in TLA Worldwide (TLA) by taking advantage of the share price decline following TLA’s latest profit warning, which was released in the morning for a change, but there is no news about a replacement nominated adviser. The shareholding has been increased from 12.2% to 13.7%. No news about a new nominated adviser.

Audio visual equipment distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) increased its interim, constant currency, revenues by 24% to £264.1m. Organic growth was around 9%. Underlying pre-tax profit was 22% higher at £9.78m. A full year pre-tax profit of £28.4m is forecast.

Potatoes producer Produce Investments (PIL) is recommending a 193p a share cash bid by Promethean Investments. This values the company at £53m.

Orosur Mining (OMI) has secured a $2m investment from Newmont Mining at more than treble the pre-deal market share price. This will provide investment for the Anza project in Colombia. Orosur had been profitable and cash generative but it fell into loss in the year to May 2018 as gold production costs were in excess of the selling price.

Education services provider Malvern International (MLVN) made a small first half loss but it is on course to move into profit in the full year. The number of students signing up for courses means that enough revenues should have been secured for a full year pre-tax profit of £300,000. There will also be a second half contribution from the recent Manchester acquisition.

MAIN MARKET  

Photovoltaic silicon wafers supplier PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) had net cash of €39.6m at the end of June 2018. This could be returned to shareholders or used to finance an acquisition. The decision will be made before the end of this year. Multicrystalline silicon wafer production ceased in April 2018 and the focus is cutting of quartz and glass. Interim revenues more than halved to €6.2m.

Toople (TOOP) is raising £2.2m at 0.3p a share, following its recent contract news. This is no surprise, but the share price has fallen back from just over 0.9p near the end of August.

Contango Holdings (CGO) continues to undertake due diligence on a near-term producing asset in Zimbabwe. This potential deal was announced last December. There was nearly £638,000 in the bank at the end of May 2018.

Standard list cash shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £962,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The NAV is 35.5p a share.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 April 2018

NEX EXCHANGE   

Sativa Investments (SATI) is acquiring a 51% stake in George Botanicals from Carbon Managers, where Sativa boss Geremy Thomas is 100% owner, for £200,000. Thomas was not involved in the decision making concerning this investment. He was the founder of former AIM company PNC Telecom and invested in George Botanicals before Sativa was set up. George Botanicals supplies cannabidiol (CBD) products, such as vape pens, balms and edible gels. Non-executive director Noel Lyons has sold 750,000 shares at 3p each. He still owns 2.25 million shares. This should have generated more cash than his initial investment, assuming he bought shares in the directors subscription at 0.5p each.

Mandicon (MECP) intends to return 250.125p a share in cash to investors via a solvent liquidation. An offer of £1.1m has been made for the remaining business, Nirvana Engineering, but the board believes it is worth £1.5m. Chairman Wilf Boardman will not receive the cash distribution and instead he will receive the balance of cash left after the liquidation costs and take control of Nirvana and have the right to potential deferred consideration of £400,000. Even taking Nirvana as being worth £1.5m, Boardman will receive the equivalent of slightly less than the cash distribution to the minority shareholders.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Sport:80 has commenced the preparation of documentation for a flotation that could happen in the third quarter. Non-executive chairman Jeremy Taylor-Firth has acquired an initial holding of 12.5 million Primorus shares at 0.1585p each.

Ganapati (GANP) says that iSoftBet will be integrating its Japanese-themed games to the Game Aggregation Platform. This means that these Ganapati games can be delivered to operators via the platform. Robert Dowling has been appointed as chief commercial officer.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) continues to review investment opportunities. The company owns 1.92% of NQ Minerals (NQMI).

National Milk Records (NMRP) chief executive Andy Warne has taken up the options for 85,000 shares at 28p each and then sold 27,200 shares at 87.5p a share. Two other managers, Jonathan Davies and Ben Bartlett, each took up 50,000 shares at 28p a share and each sold 16,000 shares at 87.5p a share.

Panther Metals (PALM) has changed the general meeting date to 11 May.

Etaireia Investments (ETIP) is investigating a number of transactions undertaken by Baron Bloom before his resignation as a director. These cover acquisitions totalling 16% of the company’s assets.

AIM   

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) is making a habit of putting out statements late in the day and sometimes at the end of the week. The latest is a trading statement released at 4.35pm last Friday. Full year revenues are 5% lower at £37.9m and also below the 2015-16 level, which was a previous low point when the reported loss was nearly as high as the revenues. There was around £28.5m in the bank at the end of March 2018, compared with cash of £29.7m (and debt of £1.33m) at the end of September 2017. The preliminary results are due to be announced on 20 June, possibly at an earlier time, although the interim figures were published at 4.30pm on Friday 24 November. Management will undoubtedly be bemused why the share price is so low, immune as they appear to be from a good sense of investor relations.

Aviva has sold its 3.92% stake in Vernalis (VER) and GAM cut its stake below 5%. Stockholm-based HealthInvest Partners has bought a 5.69% stake. Vernalis had £46m in the bank at the end of 2017. US commercial cough treatment activity should finish by the end of September and that will slow the rate of cash outflow. A formal sale process for the company has started.

Bad news from Immupharma (IMM) concerning the phase III trial of lupus treatment Lupuzor. The performance against the placebo was not good enough to meet the required target. There is still potential for a treatment targeted at specific sections of lupus sufferers. Lanstead Capital has sold its 5% stake and Aviva has cut its shareholding from 7.27% to 4.4%.

Integumen (SKIN) plans to acquire Cellulac via an all share reverse takeover. Cellulac provides the group with operations involved in biodegradable plastic ingredients and food supplements. The shares issued for the acquisition will account for 84% of the enlarged share capital. There are also plans to raise £7.5m. Gerard Brandon and Camillus Glover will become chief executive and chief operations officer respectively. Declan Service has resigned as chief executive. The current business will focus on existing products.

ClearStar, Inc (CLSU) is regaining the confidence of investors with further growth in revenues and progress towards profit. In 2017, revenues improved $16m to $17.8m and the loss was reduced from $2.11m to $1.95m. In 2018, the loss is expected to halve to $1m and it could breakeven in 2019. Net cash is $1.3m.

N4 Pharma (N4P) has commenced the proof of concept clinical trial for sildenafil, which should take eight to ten weeks. Initial results should be available in July with the final study at the end of August. This will show whether the reformulation is successful and how the performance compares to Viagra.

Connemara Mining (CON) says that the maiden mineral resource estimate for the Stonepark zinc lead project is 5.3mt at 8.55% zinc and 2.6% lead. The mineralisation is relatively shallow. Connemara has a 23.44% stake in the Stonepark project and Group Eleven Resources owns 76.56%.

SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) says that the cream formulation of its SkinBiotix technology has proved effective on skin models. Stability testing is underway.

Property fund manager First Property Group (FPO) says its full year pre-tax profit will be in line with expectations. Funds under management have reached £625m. The Universities Superannuation Fund has sold its 8.58% stake.

Production grades declined in the third quarter at the Uruguay mines of Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) and production was lower than expected at 6,859 ounces of gold. Full year production should be more than 27,000 ounces. Orosur generated $6.3m of cash from operations in the nine months to February 2018.

Filta Group Holdings (FLTA) reported growth in continuing revenues from £8.5m to £11.5m with the grease management business making an initial contribution. The figures exclude the refrigeration activities which have been sold. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £831,000 to £1.73m. The main growth came in the North American franchised fryer management operation. Filta has bought the German master licence and this will provide a base from which to grow in Europe. The strategy is the same as in North America. The total dividend for the year is 1.3p a share.

Rose Peteroleum (ROSE) believes that the total cost of the first well on its project in the Paradox Basin in Utah will be in the range $7m-$8m, which is lower than previously thought, and it could be less than that.

Ascent Resources (AST) is reviewing its strategic options. A partner could be sought to help to exploit the existing gas assets. There is already interest from potential partners. Ascent still has cash of more than £1m.

Draper Esprit (GROW) has more than doubled its gross portfolio value to £244m in the year to March 2018 as it invests the cash it raised in the period. There is still £56m to invest and the funds managed by the group have a further £50m.

Profit has bounced back at Christie Group (CTG) thanks to a sharp recovery in the professional business services division. The stock and inventory systems division made a larger loss. Overall pre-tax profit improved from £1.8m to £3.15m, although the outcome as flat excluding the previous year’s exceptional pension-related charge.

In the six months to January 2018, Egdon Resources (EDR) produced 17,962 barrels of oil equivalent. That was higher than the previous year but revenues were flat at £513,000. There is £4.1m in the bank.

MAIN MARKET    

Full year pre-tax profit fell from £908,000 to £730,000 at Tex Holdings (TXH) but NAV increased from 155p a share to 168p a share. The NAV improvement came from a reduction in the group pension deficit. Net debt increased from £3.75m to £4.87m. The plastics division improved its profit but the engineering division was hit by relocation costs. The dividend has been maintained at 8.5p a share. Chris Gray, who is in his seventies, is replacing Richard Burrows as chairman. David Redhead has switched from non-exec to executive director.

Sanity has not taken over when it comes to the share price of standard list shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) following the return from suspension. The suspension price was 125p a share and it ended the week at 130p a share, having fallen to 92.5p a share the previous day. AIQ raised £115,000 at 20p a share in order to help to improve the limited liquidity of the shares. A one-for-40 open offer at the same share price could raise up to £253,000 more. In January, £4m was raised at 8p a share.

Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) is selling SecureCom Media Holdings to Creative Alpha Ltd for £10,000, having acquired the business for £1m plus 10 million shares at 20p a share just over one year ago.

Boston International Holdings (BIH) had £811,000 left in the bank at the end of 2017. There was a £400,000 cash outflow during the year. Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) had £1.18m in the bank on 13 April 2018.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 19 October 2015

ISDX

AIM-quoted Rare Earth Minerals (REM) has announced its intention to gain a secondary quotation on ISDX on around 28 October. Executive chairman David Lenigas says that the shares will continue to be traded on AIM. REM has increased its shareholding in ASX-listed European Metals Holdings Ltd, which owns the exploration rights to the Cinovec lithium/tin deposit in the Czech Republic, to 11.07%. REM paid £170,640 for two million shares in European Metals plus two million warrants exercisable at A$0.20 for a 12 month period. Lenigas is also a director of AfriAg (AFRI), an AIM company that has already started trading on ISDX, and Evocutis, which expects to start trading on 19 October. AIM-quoted Sefton Resources says that it investigated the possibility of moving to ISDX if, as appears inevitable, it loses its AIM quotation but says it was not a viable option. This shows that ISDX will not just take any AIM company that wants to move to its market.

Another David Lenigas and Donald Strang vehicle, Leni Gas Cuba Ltd (LGC), has launched a pathfinder prospectus. LGC has already raised £4.525m prior to the flotation. Most of this cash was raised at 2p a share but the majority of shares in issue at the end of July 2015 were issued at 0.01p a share. BVI-registered LGC intends to make investments in Cuban businesses. At this stage there is still a wide range of options in terms of sectors. LGC may also invest 25% of its funds in other Caribbean ventures. LGC has already invested in an oil and gas company and a travel company. The oil and gas investment and related options, which have subsequently been exercised at an additional cost of £100,000, are in the balance sheet at £690,000. The travel investment cost £39,000. If £500,000 of additional cash is raised in the proposed subscription at 5p a share this will provide £148,500 after costs and pro forma cash would be £3.56m. Global Investment Strategy (UK), which is owned by AIM-quoted Octagonal (OCT) where Lenigas and Strang are former directors, currently owns 4.1% of LGC.

Cash shell Chalkstream Investment Company (CHLK) intends to leave ISDX on 14 November. At 0.115p (0.1p/0.13p) a share, the shell is valued at £900,000. There was £621,000 in the bank at the end of May 2015. There was a six month cash outflow of £58,000. The ultimate beneficial owners of Chalkstream are property company director Robert Ware and former Numis media analyst Dominic Buch. Chalkstream joined ISDX on 17 May 2013 when it raised £330,000 at 0.1p a share. There was £754,000 in the bank at that point. Chalkstream was seeking to buy a UK business in the services sector.

Nodding Donkey (NODD) has raised £42,600 at 3p a share and this cash will cover the company’s overheads and help to finance the 86.95% owned subsidiary Equatorial Oil & Gas in its exploration activities in Botswana. The placing is at a significant discount to the market price of 7.75p (7.25p/8.25p) a share, which values the company at £11.5m. The most recent trade was on 1 October at 7.5p a share. At the end of April 2015, Nodding Donkey had £29,000 in the bank and there was a cash outflow of £114,000 in the previous 12 months – according to unaudited accounts. Last month, Equatorial was issued with three petroleum exploration licences in Botswana, which could host shale gas. One licence was issued directly to Equatorial and the other two to Equatorial’s 85%-owned subsidiary Tamboran Botswana. Equatorial has two licences for coal bed methane.

Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) has raised a further £1m from the issue of 8.5% unsecured bonds 2020. This will mean that there will be 2.2 million unsecured bonds in issue. The proceeds will be used to develop the company’s oil and gas assets in Ohio and West Virginia

Wey Education (WEYP) founder Zenna Atkins has sold her remaining stake in the educational services provider. The 1.4 million shares were sold on 14 October. The sale removes an overhang and could make the planned move to AIM easier. At 4.5p (4p/5p) a share, Wey is valued at £2m.

AIM

Recruitment services provider Empresaria (EMR) is acquiring Pharmaceutical Strategies for up to $12.1m and this has led to house broker Arden upgrading its 2015 forecasts. The acquisition takes Empresaria into the US healthcare market and boosts the contribution of the sector to the group. The Massachusetts-based recruitment company specialises in pharmacy benefit managers and nurses, which is an area of growing demand in the US. There has been a slight reduction in 2015 estimates for Empresaria but the 2016 pre-tax profit estimate has been raised by 8% to £8.6m, while earnings per share estimates have been increased by 5% to 10.8p.

Infection prevention products supplier Tristel (TSTL) reported better than expected figures for the year to June 2015. All parts of the business improved their revenues, particularly overseas.  Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £1.8m to £2.6m. There was a special dividend of 3p a share and even excluding that the total dividend improved from 1.6p a share to 2.7p a share.  A 2015-16 profit of £2.9m is forecast. Tristel is in the process of getting regulatory approval in the US.

Digital video content distributor Rightster (RSTR) is undertaking a strategic review. The options include a sale of the company, divestures, partnerships or acquisitions – although this will be difficult to finance given the cash outflow from the group. The main problem is the deferred consideration that has been payable in shares and been highly dilutive. There were 137.9 million shares issued in August for past acquisition Base79 and these can be sold from 12 November with the consent of Cenkos. The shares were issued at 15p each compared with the current market price of 10.5p. A further £3.6m worth of shares are due to be issued by the end of 2015. Rightster has already issued a further 6.2 million shares for the deferred consideration of another acquisition.

Staffline (STAF) has acquired Northern Ireland-based recruitment agency Diamond Recruitment for an undisclosed amount. This will enhance the group’s business in Ireland. This deal comes three weeks after the purchase of professional drivers provider Milestone.

MAIN MARKET

Standard list shell Mithril Capital (MITH) has announced plans to acquire Agenda 21 Digital and move to AIM. Mithril has common backers with Satellite Solutions Worldwide (SAT), which was originally shell Cleeve Capital and followed the same route. Trading in Mithril shares was suspended at 3.6p. Mithril joined the standard list on 22 December 2014 and raised £3.32m net at 3p a share and the shares initially started trading at 6.5p each. Mithril subsequently switched its investing strategy from a focus on the resources sector to the technology sector. The purchase of digital media and analytics agency Agenda 21 marks the first step in a strategy to acquire digital focused marketing services and technology businesses. The initial consideration is £3.3m – 65% cash/35% shares – with up to £8.6m in deferred consideration payable based on performance over the next three years. Advertising industry veteran Peter Scott will become chairman of Mithril.

MATCHED BARGAINS

Surface treatments products and services Norman Hay has transferred its quotation from Britdaq to Asset Match. In 2014, revenues grew from £44.8m to £46.5m and underlying profit rose from £2.77m to £3.6m. Net debt was £494,000. Hay’s NAV was £18.9m at the end of 2014, just over one-third of which is intangible assets, whereas the current market cap is £14.8m – at 100p a share. That is equivalent to six times post-tax earnings in 2014.

ANDREW HORE

LATEST EDITION OF AIM JOURNAL AVAILABLE HERE. OCTOBER EDITION INCLUDES REVIEW OF AIM AWARDS WINNERS.

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