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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.
Wines maker Chapel Down Group (CDGP) says that its open offer at 50p a share was oversubscribed. Excess applications will be scaled back. The additional £1.47m raised takes the total to £20m. BlackRock holds a 5.79% stake and Nigel Wray owns 16.2%.
Startup Giants (SUG) has made its first investment since floating. An undisclosed investment has been made in Go Show Ltd, which operates a brand marketplace designed to enable product placement deals (www.goshow.net), and it will be released when milestones have been achieved. Go Show initially applied for funding in 2015 and it has been mentored by Startup Giants. There is a target for revenue generation of up to £1m within 12 months. An accelerator round has also been launched by Startup Giants. It is aimed at early stage, UK-registered companies.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased its shareholding in Indorse from 3% to 6.5% at cost of S$175,000. There is an option to acquire a further 3.5%, at the same cost, to take the stake to 10%. Indorse completed a token sales last September and those tokens are currently valued at $34m. The Indorse platform is designed to enable users to generate income from sharing their skills and validating the claims of others.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has entered into an agreement with Gibraltar-based TokenCommunities Ltd. This deal will help the blockchain joint venture that has also already been announced with FinComEco Ltd, which is developing platforms for agricultural markets in sub-Saharan Africa. TokenCommunities will advise on the deployment of tokens. The chain will link smallholder farmers, traders, brokers, storage, transportation and commodity buyers. There are plans for microloans to farmers at an annual interest rate of 12%, which is lower than existing rates. African Potash has completed the raising of £400,000 at 0.025p a share.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the €2.76m purchase of four plots of land with permission to develop a camping complex. It has also invested €3.37 to help finance the development of the site, which could be completed by the middle of the year. Black Sea Property raised €3.53m at €0.01 a share late last year.
Lake Acquisitions (U.P) says that the contingent value rights holders will not get a distribution for 2017. The cumulative relevant revenues from the eligible nuclear power output was £41.1m. The cumulative base revenues were £41.9m.
UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) has decided to drop its NEX Exchange quotation on 31 January. That is just over 27 months after it joined. The company says that there have been low levels of trading on NEX and it still has its primary quotation on AIM. Interestingly, oil and gas company UK Oil and Gas was formed many years ago out of the shell of a former technology equipment business, yet it is still classed under the technology hardware and equipment sub-sector of the technology sector in the AIM statistics.
Nexus Infrastructure (NEXS) reported maiden full year results as a quoted company that were slightly better than expected. The housebuilding infrastructure provider reported a dip in pre-tax profit from £10.8m to £9.1m on flat revenues of £135m. The total dividend is 6.3p a share. A 2017-18 pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast.
Ilika (IKA) reported a significant cash outflow in the first half but the outflow should be reduced in the second half. Interim revenues trebled to £1m and full year revenues of £2.9m are forecast. The loss is reducing. There are licensing proposals with a handful of potential customers and any one of these could transform the fortunes of Ilika.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has confirmed that trading was strong in 2017 and EBITDA will be much better than the £8.8m forecast. EKF plans to spin-off its sTNFR biomarker technology into a separate company. This technology has no value in the balance sheet.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal Group (DNL) says that its Akindi treatment has performed well in a food matrix study in the US and it will be able to move onto the next stage in the process of gaining US approval. European approval for Akindi is expected in a matter of weeks. There was £14m in the bank at the end of 2017. The interims will be published on 12 March.
Lombard Risk Management (LRM) is recommending a 13p a share cash bid, which was nearly double the market price. The bid from rival financial services technology supplier is valued at £52.1m.
Somero Enterprises (SOM) has sparked another forecast upgrade with the 2017 pre-tax profit forecast rising 8% to $25.9m. Net cash should be at least $18.5m and that could rise by around $10m by the end of 2018. That leaves room for another special dividend as well as growth in the ongoing dividend. The tax changes in the US had already led to a one-fifth increase in the 2018 earnings per share forecast to 34.4 cents, which has been raised again to 36.8 cents.
Engineer Avingtrans (AVG) says that trading is on track and the integration of Hayward Tyler continues. A pre-tax profit of £2.2m is forecast for the year to May 2018 and this should generate nearly enough earnings to cover the forecast dividend of 3.6p a share.
Tough market conditions and adverse currency movements have not stopped motor dealer Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) trading ahead of expectations. Forecasts had already been upgraded and the 2017 pre-tax profit estimate has been raised a further 2% to £28.8m. However, a decline in pre-tax profit to £23.5m is forecast for 2018.
Smart meter communications technology provider CyanConnode (CYAN) continues to progress but the timing of orders has been delayed. The order book is worth $100m but 2017 revenues were £1.2m and the loss more than £10m. This year’s revenues are forecast to be £10m and the loss £7m. There should be enough cash to last the whole of 2018.
Strategic Minerals (SML) generated fourth quarter revenues of $2.14m from magnetite ore sales at Cobre. The 2017 total revenues of $5.64m were quadruple the previous year. Strategic had $3.8m in the bank at the end of 2017.
Online Blockchain (OBC) has taken advantage of its rising share price to raise £1m at 100p a share.
Fashion retailer Footasylum (FOOT) increased revenues by one-third to £89.8m in the 18 weeks to 30 December 2017. The fastest growth came from e-commerce. The revenues for the 44 weeks to 30 December 2017 also improved by one-third to £173m. These are not like-for-like increases and six stores were opened in the past 18 weeks.
There was a small decline in the full year revenues of Shoe Zone (SHOE) from £159.8m to £157.8m. The shoes retailer did improve its gross margin from 62% to 63.2% but higher admin and distribution costs offset this and pre-tax profit fell from £10.3m to £9.5m. The total dividend was edged up from 10.1p a share to 10.2p a share. Net cash was £11.8m at the end of September 2017. The pension fund liability has fallen from £13.1m to £7.1m. Consumer demand and currency movements remain the main challenges.
BNN Technology (BNN) directors Harry Keiley and Lord Mancroft are following the nominated adviser out of the door. Mark Hanson becomes non-executive chairman.
Film completion contracts provider FFI Holdings (FFI) has acquired the motorsports entertainment insurance book of business from All Risks for $1.825m. The acquisition has been made by Reel Media, which itself was acquired before Christmas for $7.25m in total.
Background checking services provider ClearStar (CLSU) traded in line with expectations in 2017. Revenues were 11% higher at $17.8m and the loss was reduced. There was net cash of $1m. The loss should be further reduced in 2018.
Masawara (MASA) and Kimberly Enterprises (KBE) both plan to leave AIM. Two shareholders own 90% of Masawara. Minority shareholders are being offered 25p a share or the chance to convert the shares into preference shares. Eastern European property investor Kimberly has net liabilities of €24.1m and sold most of its property assets. The lease agreement for the Marina Dorcol project has been terminated.
Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) has completed the enrolment of its 560 plus patient phase III trial for a treatment for patients with allergic rhino conjunctivitis due to birch pollen. The results of the trial should be available before the end of this year. The potential market is worth around £3bn.
Two large clinical trial contracts have been delayed and this means that Cambridge Cognition (COG) 2017 revenues will be 18% lower than expected. This means that there will be a loss for the year.
Telematics equipment and services provider Quartix (QTX) pleased the market by growing its 2017 revenues by 5% to £24.4m. This means that earnings per share forecasts have been raised from 11.8p to 12.3p.
Geospatial software company 1Spatial (SPA) has won a five-year contract from the state of Michigan in the US worth $766,000. Liontrust has sold all its 9.35% stake.
Xeros Technology Group (XSG) has launched its domestic washing machine that can cut the use of water, detergent and energy by up to 50%. A second development agreement has been signed with a commercial washing machines manufacturer.
Oracle Power (ORCP) is acquiring the minority stake in coal mining lease owner Sindh Carbon Energy for up to £3.6m in shares.
APC Technology Group (APC) has acquired electronic components distributor First Byte Micro for £1.2m. In 2016, First Byte made a pre-tax profit of £194,000 on revenues of £1.3m.
Reconstruction Capital II (RC2) has acquired stakes in two funds that own 60% of Romanian paints and coatings supplier Policolor. This will mean that Reconstruction Capital II has an effective stake of 55.36% in Policolor and make it easier to liquidate the investment.
BOS Global (BOS) wants to raise £1.2m at 1.25p a share to settle debts and provide working capital. The software company says the directors will not be paid until April and one of them, William Giles, will subscribe up to £300,000 in the placing and open offer.
Connemara Mining (CON) has announced drilling results from the Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford. Most of the intersections contained gold at grades of less than 1g/t but two were more positive with 4.53g/t over eight metres and 16.1g/t over two metres.
Versarien (VRS) is collaborating with an Asia-based global textiles manufacturer on incorporating graphene into fabrics via yarns and finishes.
E-commerce-focused cash shell AIQ Ltd (AIQ) soared as trading commenced on the standard list and trading in the shares had to be suspended after three days. There appear to have been nearly 1.4 million shares traded over three days, which is 2.8% of the shares in issue. Cayman Islands-based AIQ, raised £3.6m after expenses, at 8p a share. The suspension price is 125p. That means that the quotation and £3.6m in cash are valued at £62.5m. The plan is to seek an e-commerce acquisition, which has a strong management and is near to cash generation.
Bio-decontamination products supplier Bioquell (BQE) has completed the £122,000 disposal of the UK AirFlow parts and manufacturing business and received the final £70,000 for the sale of the service business. There was already net cash of £14.5m at the end of 2017. Full year revenues were better than expected at £29.3m, up from £26.8m and pre-exceptional profit will be much better, even before the £250,000 gain on the Airflow disposals. The 2017 figures will be published on 7 March.
Software supplier Gresham Technologies (GHT) says 2017 revenues were 24% ahead to £21.3m and more of these revenues are coming from Clareti enterprise data integrity software. There is £8.5m in the bank. Kestrel has trimmed its stake from 14.9% to 12.5%.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has won a cyber communication technology contract with a government worth $4m over 12 months. Delivery will start in the second quarter of 2018.
Thomas Charlton has further increased his stake in North Midland Construction (NMD) from 7.24% to 8.2%. This appears to have sparked a recovery in the share price.
Avocet Mining (AVM) has deferred the completion the sale of its Burkina Faso assets for $5m. The buyer, the Balaji group of companies, wants more time to settle a claim from International Royalty Corporation, a creditor of the holding company of the assets. Avocet has received a deposit of $500,000.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has announced the results of preliminary grab samples from the Gubong gold mine. The majority of samples had gold grades of more than 1g/t and silver grades of 10g/t or more.
Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN) has entered an exclusivity agreement for the acquisition of production and exploration licences in a Central Asian country. Azerbaijan-focused Zenith would be acquiring assets in a proven petroleum system and they produce 250 barrels of oil per day.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has started drilling at the Gakara project in Burundi. Gakara has an estimated in situ-grade of 47%-67% total rare earth oxide. The drilling is focused on the production area at Gasagwe and anomalies that have been identified. The first results will be in April. A second phase of drilling is planned later in the year and this could produce a JORC-compliant resource before the end of 2018. Production is building up and the run rate target for the end of 2018 is 5,000tpa. In December, Rainbow raised £2.8m at 14p a share in an oversubscribed placing. The cash will be used to acquire capital equipment.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) says that one of its employee-owned investee business FJ Holdings has sold its businesses and been placed in administration. Capital for Colleagues had not been kept up to date with these moves. The loans to FJ and its subsidiary Ham Baker Adams plus the FJ share stake were valued at £1.3m at the end of November 2016, which included a £790,000 valuation for the share stake. That investment is equivalent to one-quarter of Capital for Colleagues’ NAV, suggesting a pro forma NAV of about 40.5p a share if the investment is completely written off. That is well below the current share price.
Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) says that the £3.55m sale of Hume House in Leeds announced in January 2016 has not been completed. Hume House was acquired for £1.67m in March 2014 and annual rental income is £188,000. Ace has raised £4.55m from the sale of Bridge House in Luton, which was acquired for £2.75m in November 2014, and been occupied by HM Revenue & Customs for more than three decades.
Middle East-focused investment vehicle Indigo Holdings (INGO) has made its first investment ten days after it joined NEX on 10 February. There was net cash of £818,000 at the time of flotation and €176,800 (£150,000) was spent on a 5% stake in Iranian car ride sharing app Carvanro. Indigo believes that the growing younger population in Iran will be receptive to the service. The app was launched in mid-2016 and registered users and completed rides are growing month-on-month.
Queros Capital Partners (QCP) has issued an additional £960,000 (£950,400 net) of 8% bonds 2025. That takes the bonds in issue to £2.625m. The cash will initially be used to provide bridging loans as Queros seeks to acquire social housing projects in the longer term. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £82,000, having raised £128,750 at 0.8p a share last week. IMC Exploration (IMCP) has issued 2.5 million shares at 1p each to pay for professional fees and converted a Wilhan loan note into 3.2 million shares at 2p each. .
Peterhouse has replaced Grant Thornton as corporate adviser to Chinese medical products and services provider MiLOC Group (ML.P). Director Dennis Ow has satisfied a HK$500,000 loan by transferring 177,353 shares previously pledged as collateral, taking his stake to 0.44%.
Impact investing company Menhaden Capital (MHN) has decided to delist from the NEX Exchange Main Board in order to reduce costs but retain its premium listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Fishing tackle and products retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) is on course to increase pre-tax profit from £305,000 to £404,000 in 2016. Year-on-year revenues were 40% ahead, suggesting a figure of around £5.8m. A new store was opened in Mildenhall at the end of 2016 and another in Milton Keynes in January 2017. Two more, in Reading and Ipswich, are planned before the end of the fourth quarter. These stores will all be ready for the 2017 fishing season. Online sales have fallen but a greater proportion of them are direct through the company’s website which has improved gross margin. Last year’s share issue has diluted earnings per share but investing the cash in new stores will help to compensate for that. The 2016 figures will be published before the end of April.
Software robotics company Blue Prism (PRSM) says that its revenues were strong in the first quarter and it already expects full year revenues to be well ahead of expectations.
North Italy-based gas producer Saffron Energy (SRON) joined AIM on 24 January and ended the day at 7.38p. Saffron raised £2.5m at 5p a share. The cash will finance the development of three gas fields.
Gold recovery services and mining company Goldplat (GDP) increased its revenues in the first half even though gold sales were lower due to delays in selling gold from the Ghana plant, which did not get the required licence to sell the gold until the end of the period. The gold has been sold in the second half. First half revenues were still higher because of a 15% rise in the gold price achieved and currency movements. There was still £885,000 in the bank at the end of 2016. A full year pre-tax profit of £1.94m is forecast as the benefits from the investment in the Kilimapesa gold mine start to show through. Further capital investment will be required for the Kenyan mine and the gold recovery activities.
Conygar Investment Company (CIC) is selling its investment property portfolio to Regional Commercial Midco, which is owned by Regional REIT, for £129.8m – a few hundred thousand pounds ahead of its book valuation. Regional REIT will issue 26.3 million shares at 106.347p a share and assume bank debt and repayment of zero dividend preference shares. Shareholders will have to approve the transaction. Conygar will be able to focus on its development assets.
Vernalis (VER) made further progress in building sales of the Tuzistra cough treatment in the first few months of the cough season. In the six months to December 2016, revenues were one-third higher at £800,000 and the second half could be stronger. Growth in Tuzistra sales was not enough to offset declines elsewhere and total revenues fell from £6.1m to £5.6m. There could be two additional cough treatments on sale next year if the FDA approvals are achieved. Net cash was £74.2m at the end of 2016.
Security technology and services supplier Synectics (SNX) reported a 4% rise in revenues to £70.9m last year but higher margin gaming contracts meant that there was a sharp bounce back in profit. Net cash was £2.17m at the end of November 2016. This year’s underlying pre-tax profit is expected to grow from £2.6m to £3m, although this represents slower growth than originally expected.
Cairn is resigning as nominated adviser to CloudTag Inc (CTAG) on 10 April but the company has managed to raise £975,000 at 3.75p a share via Novum Securities at a cost of £58,500. Trading in the shares was subsequently suspended pending an announcement. CloudTag will need to find another nominated adviser to continue on AIM.
International benefits insurance provider GBGI Ltd (GBGI) joined AIM on 22 February when it was valued at £130.4m at 150p a share. The share price was unchanged at the end of the week. GBGI intends to pay a dividend equivalent to 60% of distributable profit.
Stellar Diamonds (STEL) is raising £324,500 from a placing at 5.5p a share and up to £250,000 from an open offer at the same price. Once the placing is completed the shares will return from suspension. The cash will help to pay creditors and be used to progress the Tonguma project in Sierra Leone. Further cash will be required.
Timber processing and renewable energy business Active Energy (AEG) is in discussions to acquire further timber assets in North America and Europe. AEG WoodFibre generated lower revenues in 2016 because of weak demand from MDF manufacturers in Turkey after the coup. A new softwood processing plant should be up and running in April. The CoalSwitch division will be the main focus of growth this year.
SigmaRoc (SRC) says that its maiden acquisition Ronez has been integrated more quickly than it expected. The new systems should be up and running by the end of April and the back office systems budget should be halved. January sales volumes were ahead of budget and the first quarter order book is strong for the Channel Islands-based construction materials supplier. SigmaRoc has secured a £2m revolving credit facility from Santander and a £18m term facility is being negotiated. These two facilities will last until 2021.
Northland has increased its profit forecasts for online gaming marketing business Veltyco Group (VLTY). The 2016 pre-tax profit estimate has been raised from €1.35m to €1.99m, which is in line with the recent trading statement. The 2017 profit forecast has been raised from €3.18m to €4.27m and for 2018 from €4.21m to €5.44m.
Savannah Resources (SAV) has raised £2.24m at 5.25p a share and it has letters of intent for a further £1.01m from the chairman and a major investor, Al Marjan, which will maintain its stake at 29.9%. Savannah has reduced its full year loss from £3.1m to £1.8m and there was £700,000 left in the bank at the end of 2016. This year Savannah expects to complete the scoping study for the Mutamba heavy mineral sands project in Mozambique, where it has signed a consortium agreement with Rio Tinto, and start mining copper in Oman. Savannah is also defining drill targets for Lithium in Finland.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) is on course to get production restarted at the RHA tungsten mine. Underground mining contract terms have been agreed with delivery of up to 16,000 tonnes of ore each month.
Edenville Energy (EDL) has raised £2m at 0.8p a share, with every two new shares eligible for a warrant exercisable at 1.08p a share over the next 18 months. The cash will be used to acquire capital equipment and finance other costs of developing the Rukwa coal project in Tanzania. Commercial mining should begin by the end of the first quarter of 2017. Edenville has relinquished its uranium prospecting licence to concentrate on Rukwa.
Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) has increased its dividend by 8.8% to 8.6p a share, although NAV growth was more modest at 2.5%. Last year, Athelney did not do as well as AIM or the FTSE Fledgling index which each grew by around 15%. Athelney is more exposed to the commercial property market than AIM or the Fledgling index. Property shares were hit by the EU referendum and did not clawback their falls by the end of the year. Athelney takes a long-term view and it has still outperformed AIM since 2005. The focus remains companies that are steadily growing profitability and dividends. Realised capital gains were £294,000 in 2016, helped by takeovers of Premier Farnell, UK Mail and Wireless. A stake was acquired in Lavendon last year and that is being taken over. The NAV was 251.1p a share at the end of 2016. Having raised £407,000 at 233.2p a share last April, Athelney still had invested most of the cash and had £59,000 left in the bank – slightly higher than a year earlier. The NAV had slipped to 250.4p a share by the end of January.
Standard listed and TSX Venture Capital Market-quoted Zenith Energy (ZEN) is selling its operations in Argentina so that it can concentrate on its operations in Italy and Azerbaijan. Production was suspended in 2015 because a storage tank owned by the state oil company collapsed so oil could not be transported. The operations are being sold for a nominal sum because investment is required and the buyers are taking on environmental responsibilities.
Standard list shell Sealand Capital Galaxy Ltd (SCGL) is acquiring SecureCom Group for 10 million shares and £1m in cash. Sealand had £600,000 in cash at the end of June 2016 and it is raising a further £1.4m (1.27m net of expenses) at 20p a share. The November 2015 flotation price was 10p. SecureCom also brings cash with it and pro forma cash is £3.26m and there is subscription money owed to the company of £8.58m. The pro forma NAV is 3.87m because of the heavy losses incurred by SecureCom, which has spent large amounts on sales and marketing of its instant messaging and communications products n the Asia Pacific region.
NEX / ISDX
Ecommerce technology provider Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) has secured three contracts in the drinks sector. Brewer Marston’s, pubs operator Enterprise Inns and drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark have bought ecommerce portals. They all used the iTradeNetwork online ordering system previously but this will no longer be available from August so this provides a significant opportunity for Netalogue.
Goldcrest Resources (GCRP) has raised £217,000 at 0.25p a share to provide working capital so that it can execute its plans. Further shares are being issued to Pelamis Investments Ltd for the conversion of a £70,000 convertible loan note at 0.25p a share and from issuing 48.52 million shares at the same price to settle £121,000 of liabilities. Goldcrest plans to seek further gold projects. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser and broker.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has secured funding of A$4m and raised £400,000 at 8p a share. The loan is secured on the assets of a subsidiary and has an annual interest charge of 12%, payable quarterly. There is a fee of A$35,000. Greg Lane, who has experience in mine development, has joined the board. He has four million options exercisable at 7p a share.
This year will be an important one for battery technology developer Ilika (IKA). There are discussions with potential licensees for solid state battery technology and there should be deals during 2017. Stereax M250 batteries are being assessed by a number of potential customers. In the six months to October 2016, revenues improved from £254,000 to £329,000 but the operating loss edged up to £2.2m. Full year revenues should grow from £600,000 to £2.5m, which is partly underpinned by recent grant wins. Losses are expected to continue for the time being. The balance sheet is strong and there should be £6.7m in cash at the end of April thanks to cash raised late in 2016.
Packaging supplier Robinson (RBN) says that trading is still tough but it has gained planning permission on part of its surplus property portfolio. The outline planning permission covers 23 acres on two sites. House broker finnCap believes that this could double the value of the land from £5m to £10m – equivalent to 60p a share. The disappointing trading and investment in sales and marketing has led to a 12.5% downgrade in the 2016 pre-tax profit forecast to £2m, and the 2017 forecast has been cut to £2.1m.
Somero Enterprises Inc (SOM) has sparked another forecast upgrade with its latest trading statement. A strong finish to the year means that the earnings per share for 2016 have been upgraded from 22.7 cents to 24.4 cents. There was good demand for newer products and larger concrete levelling machines. Net cash is expected to be $18.7m and the dividend payout ration has been increased from 30% to 40% of net adjusted income. There is even potential for a special dividend.
Cloud-based telecom services provider Cloudcall (CALL) increased its full year revenues by 50% to £4.9m with a large chunk of this growth coming from existing customers. Around 400 customers were added each month last year. There is cash of £3.2m. The expected 2016 loss of £3.5m is similar to the year before but it is expected to be reduced in 2017. Around 85% of revenues are recurring or repeating.
Focusrite (TUNE) says trading continues to be strong and cash is building up. Foreign exchange movements have been favourable. Timothy Carroll has taken over as chief executive.
Tertiary Minerals (TYM) is evaluating acquisitions so that it can generate revenues and profit earlier than would be the case with its current fluorspar interests. Legal changes in Sweden and poor market conditions for fluorspar has delayed progress with the existing assets.
Caledonia Mining Corporation (CMCL) says that its Blanket mine beat production expectations for 2016. There was an 18% increase in fourth quarter gold production (year-on-year) and 2016 gold production was 18% higher at 50,351 ounces. Caledonia owns 49% of Blanket mine. In 2017, production of 60,000 ounces is expected and the mine cost is estimated to be lower than in 2016 at $600-$630/ounce. Investment in infrastructure are improving production but there is a lot more to come and annual production of 80,000 ounces of gold is anticipated in 2021.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) has received a positive interim safety review from the Data Safety Monitoring Board for the use of SFX-01 to treat subarachnoid haemorrhage. This means that the phase II trial will proceed and results should be available in the first half of 2018. So far, 26 patients have enrolled out of a total of 90 people.
Pensions services provider Mattioli Woods (MTW) says that revenues are growing faster than expected. Profit growth has been held back by investment in the business but finnCap has raised its earnings per share estimate from 30.5p to 32.5p. The interim figures are due to be published on 7 February.
Edenville Energy (EDL) has started trial mining at its Rukwa coal project in Tanzania and commercial mining should begin by the end of the first quarter of 2017. The trail mining is generating revenues.
The old guard continues to depart from 1Spatial (SPA) with the latest being Marcus Yeoman.
Canadian oil and gas explorer and producer Zenith Energy Ltd (ZEN) joined the standard list on 11 January. The company, which operates onshore oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan, Argentina and Italy, is already listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. Zenith also produces electricity in Italy. AIM-quoted and NEX-quoted Gunsynd (GUN) has invested £524,000 in Zenith.