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Proton Partners International Ltd (PPI) has asked Woodford Investment Management to subscribe for £25m worth of shares at 176p a share. This is part of an agreement with Woodford that was outlined in the prospectus and it comes at a time when the fund manager is coming under pressure for poor performance and it has closed redemptions from one of its funds. The cash will pay off a loan and provide working capital.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) is making a £155,000 investment in Tasmania Energy Metals and the two companies will evaluate whether they should develop an integrated facility for the treatment of metal concentrate. NQ also has an exclusivity period until the end of July during which to decide whether to acquire Tasmania’s assets.
Sativa Investments (SATI) has signed an offtake agreement with a Swiss supplier of cannabis oil. This will be used to manufacture cannabidiol products.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has invested £300,000 in Apollon Formularies for a 0.71% stake. Apollon plans to open a licenced retail medicinal cannabis dispensary and processing facility in Jamaica by the end of the month.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that it is unlikely to return to paying dividends or return capital to shareholders before 2022 at the earliest. There is uncertainty about future revenue streams from fixed-odds betting terminals and how this could impact UK betting. It could reduce prize money levels. The onsite hotel has increased revenues by 15% so far this year.
Trading in shares of Equatorial Mining (EM.P) has been suspended ahead of publishing accounts. They should be published at the time of the general meeting to gain approval of the acquisition of Rwanda-based miner and explorer Eastinco. A £1.2m fundraising is also planned.
Altona Energy (ANR) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Shaanxi Qianyan Vanadium and Magnesium Mining, which owns a vanadium mine in China. The plan is to forma joint venture where Altona will be the controlling shareholder. Due diligence will take up to six months and there will be a JORC-compliant mineral resource classification report. The estimated reserve is 190,000 tonnes of vanadium.
Formation Group (FRM) has secured a £10m subscription at 7.71p a share through the acquisition of Zandra Holdings, whose asset is £10m in cash. This takes the Kennedy Private Trust stake in Formation to 89.99%. A £10m loan facility ahs also been secured.
The Little Bear mine area has been transferred to Panther Metals (PALM) and the Little Bear vein is a high priority drill target in order to see if the bonanza grade gold mineralisation still exists at depth. Panther has also applied for a licence over the Annaburroo gold project in Northern Territory, Australia.
Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has secured a £600,000 secured revolving credit facility and spent £465,000 on a bungalow in Didcot to be redeveloped into a home providing specialist support for four adults.
Valiant Investments (VALP) is raising £263,000 at 1.5p a share and it is changing its name to Eurocann International as an indication of the change in strategy to investment in the medicinal cannabis sector. Jeremy Rose will become chief executive and he has a number of directorships including of Speakeasy Cannabis. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi will become a non-executive.
EcoVista (EVTP) had £419,000 in cash at the end of February 2019 and it is seeking further investment. The interim loss declined from £238,000 to £202,000. Net assets were £1.19m at the end of February 2019.
Share trading in Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has been suspended because it has not published its 2018 accounts.
The smart machines division of Vianet (VNET) is going to be the source of profit growth for the coming years. Profit can be improved by converting the vending machines that came with the Vendman acquisition to Vianet’s contactless technology, as well as winning new business. The smart zones pub dispensing technology division should be able to maintain its contribution with lower UK profit due to pub closures being offset by an improved performance in the US. Pre-tax profit is expected to improve from £2.7m to £2.9m, although earnings per share will be hit by a higher tax charge.
Interim revenues at smart home devices supplier LightwaveRF (LWRF) increased 120% to £2.5m, although there was still a pre-tax loss of £1.35m. New distribution channels are helping to accelerate growth in revenues. The company could move into profit next year
Bad weather in the US has hampered the progress of Somero Enterprises (SOM) and led to forecast downgrades. Demand for concrete levelling equipment is normally stronger in the spring. This year’s earnings have been cut by 12% and next year by 11%. This will also reduce the potential dividend. The forecast 2019 normal dividend plus payout of surplus cash has been cut from 27.8 cents a share to 19.8 cents a share.
Waste-to-energy technology developer EQTEC (EQT) is acquiring a 19.99% stake in North Fork Community Power, a biomass gasification power project in California. EQTEC will supply $2.5m worth of equipment from its Newry site in return for the stake. It also expects to generate €2.2m from selling additional equipment.
Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has signed a distribution agreement for the Microsaic 4500 MID MS detector with CM Corporation for the South Korean market.
A shareholder owning a 17.2% stake in Rurelec (RUR) intends to propose an AGM resolution for the appointment of Gordon Fisher as a director. He is a former boss of a freight forwarding and customs brokerage. The electricity generator reduced its pre-tax loss from £5.8m to £600,000 in 2018, mainly due to lower overheads, exchange gains and a disposal gain. NAV is 4.4p a share, which is more than four times the share price.
Driver (DRV) had already said that its interims would be disappointing and pre-tax profit slumped from £2.11m to £762,000. The Middle East and Asia Pacific were tough markets with lower contributions. The expert witness operations made a reduced contribution. A 0.5p a share interim dividend was announced, and the ex-dividend date is 19 September. The company is also buying back shares in order to put a floor under the share price.
Chemicals-focused shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) is in exclusive discussions with Arclin Inc for a potential acquisition. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Acquisitions consultancy K3 Capital (K3C) has confirmed that trading is in line with previous guidance and EBITDA is at the upper end of the range of £4.5m to £5m. An 80% payout would mean a reduction in dividend from 11.2p a share to 7.2p a share.
Osirium Technologies (OSI) has won a contract with a European telecoms services provider. The three year contract covers cyber security software and services.
A strong first half has continued into the second half trading for automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) and pre-tax profit for the year to May 2019 is expected to exceed expectations by 10%. This suggests pre-tax profit of around £2m. The results will be announced on 12 September.
Caffyns (CFYN) reported a small improvement in underlying pre-tax profit to £1.45m in the year to March 2019. New car sales were 10% lower, which is more than three times the market decline. However, there was growth in used car sales and aftersales revenues.
Positive news from Argo Blockchain (ARB) where results for May were well ahead of the company’s budgets. New cryptomining hardware has started contributing faster than expected and rising cryptocurrency prices have improved mining yields. A further £2.85m is being invested in equipment. There was £685,000 generated in May, based on a bitcoin price of $8,575, while cash operating costs were £280,000. Second quarter figures will be better than expected. If the bitcoin price is maintained, then there will be £2.85m of crypto assets at the end of the second quarter.
BigDish (DISH) has raised £2.1m at 7.2p a share and this should be enough cash for the restaurant platform until 2021. The UK rollout will be accelerated.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) is acquiring the Minto mine from Capstone Mining. Pembridge will pay up to $20m out of future cash flows. Commercial production could recommence before the end of the year. A $10m loan has been secured.
Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) has made an investment in Soothe Healthcare, which manufactures feminine hygiene products under the Paree and Pariz brands.
Blockchain investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed a memorandum of understanding with UMT United Mobility Technology, which has shares traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and owns 3% of Coinsilium, to collaborate on the development of blockchain-related mobile payments services for the business to consumer market. Coinsilium will advise UMT on the potential uses of digital tokens. The initial agreement is for three months.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) has launched a one-for-three open offer at 0.5p a share that will raise £250,000. The minimum subscription is 100,000 shares and the closing date is 22 November. Each share comes with a warrant for an additional share.
Early stage investor Primorus Investments (PRIM) has invested a further A$75,000 in Melbourne-based Fresho at A$0.38 a share. Online food ordering business Fresho was seeking A$1.5m but eventually raised A$2m. Primorus initially invested at A$0.27 a share and it owns 3.1% of Fresho, which is valued at nearly A$500,000 at the placing price. Fresho is moving towards cash flow breakeven in Australia earlier than expected and the $4m in the bank will help the company to launch operations in New Zealand and Singapore.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has generated £750,000 at 6p a share in order to invest in more blockchain token issues. Smaller Company Capital has increased its stake to 4.59% and one of its owners and Kryptonite 1 non-executive director Jeremy Woodgate owns 1.27%.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £150,000 at 8.5p a share and a holder of convertible loan notes has converted into 350,000 at a price of 8p a share.
Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £590,000 at 0.6p a share and issued 30 million shares to pay for 60,000 units in Yicom Global. Early Equity owns 47.1% healthcare products importer Yicom.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has issued a further £45,000 of 7.5% convertible loan notes 2020, with 450,000 warrants, exercisable at 10p a share, attached. That takes the convertible loan notes in issue to £195,000.
Peter Hain, Simon Dorling and Declan O’Brien have all stepped down from the board of African Potash (AFPO).
Tracsis (TRCS) had a much better second half as predicted at the interim stage. In the year to July 2017, revenues improved by 6% to £34.5m, while pre-tax profit was 14% ahead at £4.6m. The total dividend was increased from 1.2p a share to 1.4p a share. There is £15.4m in the bank. The main growth in the rail technology division was from Ontrac software business, while revenues from traffic and data were flat, although there was growth if the former Australian operations are excluded. Profit should edge up this year but it will do even better if further large contracts are secured.
Castleton Technology (CTP) reported a rise in interim EBITDA from £2m to £2.3m and strong cash flow is reducing borrowings. Net debt was £8m at the end of September 2017. Castleton provides software to social housing operators and they are signing up for multi-year contracts.
Oxford Pharmascience (OXP) is demerging its assets into an unquoted vehicle and retaining a quotation as a shell. Management believes that it will be better for the business to be private in order to commercialise the OXPzero technology and existing investors will still have an interest. The shell will have few limitations in terms of the sectors that could provide an acquisition but there is board experience in pharma and technology. There was still £20.6m in the bank at the end of October and the shell will retain more than £19m. The company will change its name to Abaco Capital.
AfriTin (ATM) has completed its spin-off from Bushveld Minerals (BMN) and a placing raised £3.5m with a further £1m coming from convertible loan notes. The main asset is the Uis tin project in Namibia.
City Pub Group has confirmed plans to join AIM by the end of November. The company has 34 pubs in southern England and it wants to raise £30m. The business was founded in 2011 by experienced pub group operators, including David Bruce, who previously sold Capital Pub Company to Greene King for £93m.
Peter Gyllenhammar has built up a 8.35% stake in Stratex International (STI) and Bob Foster has returned as interim chief executive. He will review the strategy of the company. The takeover of Crusader Resources is not going ahead. The sale of the Goldstone Resources stake raised £550,000 and there was £6.08m in the bank at the end of June 2017. Gyllenhammar is more likely to be interested in the cash rather than the mining operations. The current capitalisation of Stratex is similar to the pro forma cash and around one-third of NAV.
Versarien (VRS) raised £2.9m instead of the £1.2m it was seeking one week ago. The cash was raised at 18p a share and the share price has risen to 24p. The cash will be used to purchase capital equipment.
Pre-IPO investment company St Peter Port Capital (SPPC) has concluded a strategic review just over 13 months after it commenced. The formal sale process has been terminated. The plan is to realise investments in an orderly manner. The NAV was 25.3p a share at the end of September 2017.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has returned from suspension having come out of administration. The share price almost halved to 17.5p. Chief executive Neil Murray has been given the push, or stepped down as it is described in the announcement, and Iain Ross has taken over as executive chairman. Dominic Jackson has been appointed as finance director. Hopefully, this will mean that Redx is better run than it was before. A phase I trial for the lead cancer asset is due to start in the first quarter of 2018 and initial phase 1a results should be available by the end of 2018. There is £13.6m in the bank and no debt.
BOS Global Holdings (BOS) is facing a battle with its former boss. The workflow efficiency software provider has received a general meeting requisition from interests related to former managing director Michael Travia, who recently stepped down from the board. He wants to be reappointed to the board and have Adam Webb removed from office. These are two of the eleven proposals put forward.
Trading in the shares of Red Emperor Resources (RMP) on ASX has been suspended because it does not have sufficient operations to warrant a listing. There are plans to increase the company’s stake in an exploration block in the Philippines and there are also potential oil lease acquisitions in California.
Shari’a-compliant investment company Tejoori Ltd (TJI) is cancelling its AIM quotation ahead of returning cash to shareholders. The company’s investments have been sold and there is $17.6m in cash.
Beximco Pharma (BXP) is commencing the export of Sotalol Hydrochloride, which is a generic version of heart drug Betaplace. This is the second product to be exported to the US. Interim pre-tax profit improved by 13% to £27.5m on the back of double digit sales growth.
Amphion Innovations (AMP) has a 26% stake in Polarean Imaging Ltd, which is planning to float on AIM. Polarean is a clinical stage medical imaging business and it is expected to be valued at $29m before new money. This compares with a valuation of $22m at the time of the previous fundraising during May. That would mean that the Polarean stake is worth more than Amphion’s current market capitalisation.
SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) says that its SkinBiotix technology has passed all three necessary toxicity tests. This will enable human studies to begin next year.
Connemara Mining Corp (CON) has completed five holes at the Meeneragy gold project and they demonstrate the presence of a significant gold bearing system in the area. Survey data should be processed by next February.
Coal bed methane projects developer Tlou Energy (TLOU) has commenced core hole drilling at the Lesedi project in Botswana. A seismic survey is almost complete. The focus is increasing gas reserves and contingent resources. The data will be used to provide information for when development starts.
WynnStay Properties (WSP) increased its NAV to 685p a share at the end of September 2017 and the interim dividend has been raised by 18% to 6.5p a share. There was a gain on sale of properties in Colchester and Gosport as well as a 16% increase in property income to £1.12m.
TLA Worldwide (TLA) has agreed a renewed senior debt facility of $28.75m from SunTrust Bank. This was announced at 8.48am on 9 November. This contrasts with the profit warning released at 6.26pm on the last day of trading prior to Christmas 2016.
Snoozebox (ZZZ) has appointed Moore Stephems as administrator and trading in the shares has been suspended. Snoozebox is moving towards cash breakeven but the main lender, SQN Asset Finance Income Fund, has not agreed to a suitable debt refinancing plan so the company cannot continue to trade as a going concern. Panmure Gordon has resigned as nominated adviser and broker.
Thor Mining (THR) has raised nearly £494,000 from the conversion of warrants, at 0.9p each and 1.25p each, so far in November 2017. A placing recently raised £565,000 so there is plenty of cash to move ahead with exploration activities.
InterEnergy Holdings has decided not to become involved with a bid for Rurelec (RUR) as part of the consortium headed by Peter Earl. He had approached InterEnegy about the provision of loan finance. The bidding consortium subsequently pulled out of the potential bid until the full effect of the problems at Rurelec’s Patagonian power station are known.
PV Crystalox Solar (PVCS) has won an award of €34m plus interest from the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. This relates to a supply agreement with a PV company, which failed to purchase wafers in line with its contract. The customer has to pay up but it can also ask for the delivery of 22.9 million wafers that are due under the contract.
Sportech (SPO) is seeking potential offers by January 2018. A distribution of cash to shareholders is still planned for this year. Annualised cost savings of at least £2m have been identified. Trading remains in line with expectations.
Illustrated book publisher Quarto Group (QRT) has ditched its dividend after a second half upturn was not strong enough to achieve profit expectations. Full year revenues will be lower. Year end net debt will be higher than at the end of 2017. Bid talks appear to have hampered the business. The children’s and foreign rights businesses are strong. The focus is to achieve 60% annual recurring revenues.
Gemstones project developer Shefa Yamin plans to join the standard list and the Israel-based company will use the money raise to finance further exploration and to complete the pre-feasibility study at the Kishon Mid-Reach project. There are plans to set up an internet platform to sell the gemstones, some of which are unique to the area. The Carmel Sapphire brand has been registered for dark blue sapphires. Several potential primary and secondary deposits have been identified. Bulk samples are being taken, so far 11,000 tonnes have been sampled, and there are plans to delineate a mineral resource. Production is targeted within the next 24 months.
Symphony International Holdings (SIHL) had a diluted NAV of $1.146 a share at the end of September 2017. This was after a $0.10 a share dividend. The shares are trading at a one-quarter discount to NAV.
Challenger Acquisitions Ltd (CHAL) is diversifying into film conventions. Challenger is loaning £100,000 to a private company that is putting on a film convention in London in 2018. The loan is repayable, with a premium of 40%, by 15 May 2018. The cash will help to finance the venue, staff and guests. Challenger has the right to participate in future events held by the company.
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) is collaborating with a major US biopharma company for research into patients that have abnormal wound-healing responses leading to fibrosis. The collaboration will use the EpiSwitch platform.
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.
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.
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.
Even though Daniel Thwaites (THW) has sold most of its brewing and related assets to Marstons it still managed to increase its profit in the six months to September 2015. Pre-tax profit before interest swap movements rose from £4.8m to £4.9m with the contribution from discontinued brewing activities down from £1.3m to £100,000. Revenues from continuing activities improved from £40.1m to £41.8m. Net debt was £29.1m at the end of September 2015, while the NAV is £177.6m. At 117p a share, Daniel Thwaites is valued at £70.5m. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share. The hotels, pubs and inns businesses have grown revenues with inns growing the fastest. Central costs have been reduced.
A contribution from the bull semen business bought last year helped National Milk Records (NMRP) to grow revenues by 4% to £10.1m in the six months to September 2015. However, overall trading has been tough due to the reluctance of dairy farmers to invest in the company’s newer services when the milk price is low. The traditional milk recording and payment testing services are trading ahead of the same time last year. Pre-tax profit fell from £850,000 to £599,000 as the new genetics operations made a loss and there was a goodwill amortisation charge. At 71.5p (70p/73p) a share, NMR is valued at £5.4m. There is a pension liability of £8.4m.
IP Group is providing a loan facility of up to £1.5m to Green Chemicals (GNCP), which is developing cleaner and safer consumer and cleaning products. This could be converted into shares. IP Group already owns 8.1% of Green Chemicals and along with two other associates IP Group has a total interest of 29.5%.
Ecovista (EVTP) has raised £269,000 at 0.05p a share, which is the mid price, and the cash will be used to make further property investments. The new shares equate to 35% of the enlarged share capital. Ecovista has completed the acquisition of the remaining 49% of Willow Cottages, which owns a cottage and 2.25 acres near to Stanstead. There is also an option to acquire a nearby cottage for £300,000 – the option cost £10,000.
UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) started trading on the ISDX Growth market on 12 November.
Panmure Gordon has upgraded its forecasts for AB Dynamics (ABDP) on the back of the better than expected full year figures from the automotive testing business. In the year to August 2015, revenues grew from £13.8m to £16.5m, while pre-tax profit jumped from £2.68m to £3.82m. The interim dividend was raised to 2.75p a share. AB benefits from a strong international spread of revenues and growth is coming from track testing services. Cash flow is strong and net cash was £7.97m. This means that AB has plenty of cash to finance the construction of its new facility in Bradford-on-Avon. The facility should be completed by early 2017 and AB will still have a cash pile after this additional investment. The 2015-16 earnings per share forecast has been raised from 18.8p to 20.8p and for 2016-17 from 21.3p to 23.6p.
Blackstone Funds have set up a vehicle to acquire Japan Residential Investment Company Ltd (JRIC) for £152.6m. The offer is 72p a share in cash and is recommended by the board although it says there is a potential rival offer at the same share price. At the end of May 2015, the JRIC NAV was 56.3p a share. JRIC floated on AIM at 100p a share back in October 2006 – during a period when a number of property investment companies joined the junior market. In July 2013, the life of the investment company was extended to 2018. Blackstone has been building up its Japanese residential property interests since 2013.
Fully listed-Volution (FAN) is making a recommended 345p a share bid for Energy Technique (ETQ), which values the manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning components at £9.25m. Energy Technique has complementary technology and a customer base that are potential customers for Volution products. The deal should be earnings enhancing in the first full year.
Security and facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) has acquired 51% of Singapore-based security services and products supplier Frontline for up to £1.89m (S$4.03m). The initial payment was £600,000 (S$1.28m) and the rest is dependent on the level of EBITDA for 2015. If the performance is poor then the vendor may have to pay back some of the initial payment. There is an option to acquire a further 25% of Frontline within three years. This is the first operational business acquired in Singapore even though Mortice has its corporate base there. Frontline provides services to 73 sites in Singapore and takes Mortice into selling surveillance equipment. In 2014, Frontline made a pre-tax profit of S$590,000 on revenues of S$4.25m.
Mariana Resources (MARL) has reported further positive drilling news from Hot Maden in Turkey and it expects to more news flow over the coming year. Two more drilling holes have been completed on the Turkish gold project and one of them shows 39 metres @ 5.8 grams of gold/tonne and 0.7% copper. This is from 88 metres downhole. There is further potential to extend the resource. Mariana is assessing drill prospects for the Dona Ines gold-silver project in Chile so that drilling can commence in the first quarter of 2016. Asset Chile can earn-in to a 50% stake in the project in return for $1.65m of funding.
Xeros Technology (XSG) has raised £40m at 225p a share in order to boost marketing to commercial laundries of its polymer bead-based cleaning technology that reduces the use of water. The cash will also be used to finance a move into new markets. Xeros will have pro forma cash of £55m and this should last for more than two years. By the end of July, there were 106 machines installed in commercial laundries and growth has been helped by subsidies in North America but last year’s revenues were a modest £466,000. Cash burn is £1.25m/month and this could rise with additional R&D. Xeros is developing a domestic product and a leather processing version. The year end is being changed to December.
Rurelec (RUR) has launched an open offer to raise up to £3.54m at 1p a share. If the cash is not raised then the South America-focused electricity generator will not be able to pay its creditors. The offer price is lower than the 2p a share par value so there will have to be a capital reorganisation, which requires shareholder approval. Rurelec intends to sell its Peru hydro electricity assets. The one-for-1.58800245 open offer closes on 7 December.
Silver Falcon (SILF) is the latest small shell to float on the standard list. The board includes Peter Redmond and Geoffrey Dart who have been involved in a number of shells, predominantly on AIM. The focus is on fintech and financial services businesses. Silver Falcon raised £1.3m at 3p a share. Initial share issues were at 1p a share. After expenses, there is about £1.4m in the bank. By the end of the week the share price had risen to 3.25p, which values the shell at £1.95m. The cash in the bank may covers less than three-quarters of that market value.