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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.
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.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested $100,000 in the initial coin offering of the Omisego project, which is being developed to enable decentralised payments and remittances, acquiring 365,199 tokens. A further $200,000 has been invested in a similar offering by the Insurex platform, a marketplace for insurance products, and $100,000 invested in tokens in the Agrello project, which is building an artificial intelligence-based interface for smart contracts.
Good Energy (GOOD) has agreed with Ecotricity that there should be a short deferral of the latter’s general meeting requisition. Good Energy still believes that “any nominee remunerated by Ecotricity” that joined the board would not act independently because of a conflict of interest. An appeal for planning permission for the Big Field onshore wind farm in Cornwall. Good Energy has switched its nominated adviser and broker from Arden to Investec.
e-commerce technology provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) says that strong second half trading made up for a weak first half. In the year to March 2017, revenues slipped from £1.12m to £1.04m and made a loss before restructuring coats of £11,000 compared with a pre-tax profit of £70,000 the previous year. This does mean that the second half profit was £221,000. Cash in the bank increased from £549,000 to £614,000, mainly due to lower debtors. There was a net increase in intangible assets of £67,000. New clients include AIM-quoted Conviviality, Enterprise Inns and Marstons. The full benefits of management changes and improved marketing are still to show through in the figures.
Ecovista (EVTP) has sold its subsidiary that owns 2 Willow Cottage and adjoining land near to Stanstead Airport for its book value of £400,000. However, the original cost of the investment was £500,000 and management was hoping to gain planning permission for car storage. It is unclear whether the former subsidiary still owns the same assets or whether any have been transferred elsewhere. The cash will be reinvested in other property.
V22 (V22O) has received planning permission for Silvertown Studios at the Royal Docks in London. V22 owns 51% of the company developing the studios, along with the landowners the Greater London Authority and The Silvertown Partnership, and a private investor owns the rest. There will be up to 200 workspaces and exhibition spaces. This development is part of £3.5bn Silvertown regeneration project.
Online games company Ganapati (GANP) has agreed a debt for equity swap with major Japanese shareholders. Shares will be issued at 52p each and £610,000 of debt will be capitalised. The current share price is 55p (45p/65p).
Morning sickness treatment Diclectin has not gained marketing authorisation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority in the UK, which is a blow to the strategy of Alliance Pharma (APH). The effectiveness of Diclectin is being questioned in Canada, where around 50% of pregnant women are prescribed the drug, and it is claimed that there are flaws in the original study of the treatment from four decades ago. In 2015, Alliance in-licenced Diclectin for the UK, and subsequently nine other countries, for £1.5m. Alliance hoped to begin sales in the UK by the end of the year and it was estimated that the potential annual revenues in all the in-licenced markets were £40m.
Fiserv has postponed the court meeting for its 2.9p a share bid for mobile banking technology developer Monitise (MONI) because some substantial shareholders have been unhappy about the level of the bid. The Monitise board still recommends the bid, which values the company at £70m. Full year revenues have fallen from £67.6m to £50.9m and the trend is set to continue. The new FINkit platform has yet to secure a contract.
Mortice Ltd (MORT) reported full year revenues 37% higher at $181m and more than trebled pre-tax profit of $5.35m. Net debt was $13.5m at the end of March 2017. Facilities management services grew revenues the fastest and it moved into profit but security revenues also grew strongly. Around three-fifths of the growth in revenues came through acquisitions but there was significant organic growth particularly in the core Indian business.
Minds + Machines Group (MMX) says that renewal rates for .vip have been 75%. There were 317,000 renewals and new registrations have risen by 49% since the beginning of the year. The .vip suffix accounted for 59% of 2016 gross billings and finnCap estimates that renewal revenues could be $6.1m this year. There will be more news about the strategic review with the interims in September.
ANGLE (AGL) says that there were positive results from a 400 patient ovarian cancer study using the Parsortix liquid biopsy technology and a breast cancer clinical study should report in the first half of next year. There are also pilot studies for other cancers. Any single cancer could provide a significant market for the Parsortix diagnostic technology. Sales for research use are taking time to build up but revenues did improve from £361,000 to £398,000. At the end of April 2017, there was £5.5m in the bank with more than £1m of R&D tax credits due to be received. That cash could last one year but this will depend on how quickly the research revenues grow and if there are any potential deals.
Crop enhancement technology developer Plant Impact (PIM) is raising £4m at 31p a share, which was a 6% premium to the market price. This will more than double the existing cash balance of £3.2m. The cash will be spent on R&D and product development.
Gear4music (G4M) says trading is in line with expectations. The musical instruments retailer expects second half weighted revenues this year. First half revenue growth will be modest but full revenue growth of 42% is anticipated. Investment in new European distribution centres will increase costs, including depreciation, and this is forecast to lead to a decline in full year pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £2.4m this year, before increasing to £3.3m the following year.
Quartix Holdings (QTX) reported flat interim revenues of £11.5m and pre-tax profit of £3.4m. The interim dividend of the telematics business has been increased by 9% to 2.4p a share and a special dividend is expected later in the year. Insurance business has recovered so full year revenues could be slightly higher, while pre-tax profit could be flat at £6.7m.
Conroy Gold & Natural Resources (CGNR) is holding a requisitioned general meeting in Dublin on 4 August. Patrick O’Sullivan, who owns 28% of Conroy, wants to remove six directors: Seamus FitzPatrick, James Jones, Dr Sorca Conroy, Louis Maguire, Michael Power and David Wathen and replace them with Patrick O’Sullivan, Paul Johnson and Gervaise Heddle. The three directors not affected by the requisition are Professor Richard Conroy, Maureen Jones and Professor Garth Earls. The indicated resources at Clontibret in Monaghan have been increased by 23% to 310,000 ounces of gold.
Interactive entertainment company Tencent has taken invested £17.7m in Frontier Developments (FDEV) and it is expected to promote games developed by the AIM company. The 9% stake was acquired at 523.2p a share.
Specialist smaller companies-focused investment trust Athelney Trust (ATY) increased its NAV by 7% to 268.7p a share by the end of the first half of 2017. This is after the payment of a final dividend of 8.6p a share. Athelney nearly doubled its money on Lavendon when it was taken over and it has also sold its stakes in Beazley, Hiscox and Novae. New investments include The PRS REIT, Murgitroyd, Safecharge, Hostelworld, Ibstock, Crest Nicholson and Debenhams. According to the company the uncertainty in the country and the economy means that: “A sensible aim would be to try to hang onto the gains made in the first half”.
Senterra Energy (SEN) is being readmitted to the standard list on 31 July as United Oil & Gas (UOG) following the acquisition of UOG Holdings.
Biodecontamination services provider Bioquell (BQE) says that its full year profit will be better than expectations. Bioquell increased its interim revenues by 19% to £14.3m and pre-tax profit more than trebled to £1.4m. Net cash was £11.8m at the end of June 2017, compared with a market value of just over £46m at 199.5p a share.
Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire at least 51% of China-based mobile games developer Rightyoo. The acquisition discussions are still at an early stage and the deal has to be approved by the Chinese authorities. Rightyoo has an agreement with communications technology firm Huawei to help it to distribute its games. Management believes that the deal will help to add traffic to Sealand’s social networking platforms.