Ananda Developments (ANA) is acquiring MRX Global, which has invented a method to formulate cannabis medicines, for £2.02m in shares at 0.3p each. The first formulation is MRX1, which will be used in two phase II randomised controlled trials to investigate the effectiveness of cannabidiol in chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy and in patients with endometriosis. These trials have £1.55m of grant funding. Directors of Ananda are shareholders in MRX, so the deal requires shareholder approval. These directors will a 3% royalty on net sales of any commercial products sold by MRX. Ananda has raised £326,000 through a subscription at 0.3p a share and there is a broker option that could lead to the issue of 33.3 million shares at the same price. Charles Morgan has converted convertible loan notes into 747.3 million shares at 0.3p each. Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess will own 53.8% of the company.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has raised £2m at 5p a share, which is more than the £1.25m it was initially seeking. This is part of the move to the standard list on 20 March. A maiden JORC compliant mineral resource estimate and a scoping study for the Monte Muambe rare earths project in Mozambique. Altona is increasing its stake in the project from 20% to 51%.
Vulcan Industries (LON: VULC) is acquiring Forepower Lincoln (250) Ltd, which has a 240MW lithium-ion battery storage project, for £2.6m in shares at 1p each. This means that Britt Foreman of Forepower Lincoln (250) Ltd has a 29.9% stake in Vulcan. The two companies have been working together for the past year and Vulcan can help to raise the finance for the project. There are plans to raise more cash to settle liabilities of £250,000 and continue to develop the project.
Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has sold a 220KWh VS3 flow battery to Dawsongroup, following a sale earlier in the year. STS Group and project partner Ideona have been appointed to deploy Invinity Energy batteries in Hungary, primarily for co-located solar and grid support projects.
Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) published 2021-22 figures and interim figures to September 2022 and trading in the shares was restored. Net assets are £526,000. On 3 March, cash was £70,000. Optiva has been appointed as corporate adviser.
CBD products supplier Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) continues to restructure its operations, but it is still trying to find a way of moving the business forward. Following the exit from many businesses, the remaining businesses are in Europe. Yooma Wellness may have to sell other businesses if additional funds are not secured.
EPE Special Opportunities (EO.P) had an NAV of 334p a share at the end of January, which was a 27% decline. The decline in the Luceco (LUCE) share price was a major factor even though this stake has been reduced in recent years. Rayware was another poor performer. Quoted shell company Epic Acquisition Corp is reviewing acquisitions. An investment in dog snacks company Denzel’s was completed in October. Investments in Atlantic Credit Opportunities Fund and Prelude Structured Alternatives Master Fund.
Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd (GSVR) says a US institutional investor has acquired 24 million shares from Great Panther Mining and its other shares were bought by other investors.
Rogue Baron (SHNJ) says Shinju premium Japanese whisky won a gold medal at the 2023 LA Invitational Wine and Spirits Challenge.
Pioneer Media (PNER) has left the Aquis Stock Exchange.
Marula Mining (MARU) has appointed Peterhouse as broker, replacing OvalX.
Music artists and events company All Things Considered (ATC) won the agent of the year award at the International Live Music Conference Gala Dinner.
Begbies Traynor has been appointed administrator to Love Hemp.
A positive trading statement by NWF (NWF) has led to a forecast upgrade for 2022-23. Peel Hunt increased its pre-tax profit forecast by 42% to £17.5m, compared with £20.9m last year thanks to a bumper year for fuel distribution. The expected downturn in fuels profitability has not been as sharp as previously thought and the food distribution and feeds divisions are also doing better than expected. Net cash of £5.5m is anticipated at the end of May 2023 and there are borrowing facilities of £65m. This leaves plenty of scope for further add-on acquisitions of fuel businesses.
Franchise Brands (FRAN) reported better than expected 2022 pre-tax profit up from £6.5m and £12.8m and it plans to sell its B2C franchise businesses. The Filta business made a 10-month contribution last year. Net cash was £8m at the end of 2022 and the B2C businesses, which could be sold separately or in one disposal, will generate more cash. The next acquisition will be in the B2B area, and it is likely to be significant.
Gelion (GELN) is acquiring Johnson Matthey’s lithium sulfur and silicon anode patent portfolio for £4.25m. This will help Gelion to increase gravimetric energy density for its batteries and enable faster commercialisation of lithium sulfur technology. Gelion plans to sell the silicon anode patents and could receive around £1.25m for them.
Data analysis technology provider WANdisco (WAND) was considering a US listing, but it has discovered accounting problems leading to a suspension of share trading.
Steel structures supplier Billington (BILN) sparked a forecast upgrade with its trading statement. Not only were 2022 profit and cash better than expected, 2023 momentum is ahead of estimates. The 2022 pre-tax profit has been upgraded from £5.3m to £5.8m, while the 2023 figure is increased by £1m to £8m. The 2022 dividend is expected to be 15p a share.
In The Style (ITS) has completed a strategic review and is proposing the sale of its operating business for £1.2m and the cancellation of the AIM quotation. The online retailer is losing money and running out of cash. The purchaser is Baaj Capital, which has other fashion-related investments, including Officers Club. Chief executive and founder Adam Frisby will continue to run the business and take a stake. The company will change its name to Itsum.
Aferian (AFRN) says customer destocking of streaming devices has hit sales and they will be significantly lower than expected for this part of the business. Streaming video services provider 24i continues to grow. There should still be a positive EBITDA this year. The annualised cost base is being reduced by $5m. Annual results to November 2022 will be delayed while discussions with banks continue over future covenant compliance. At the end of 2021, Aferian secured a $50m loan facility from three banks, including Silicon Valley Bank, which lasts until 23 December 2024. BLOE
Gold explorer Panthera Resources (PAT) has entered into a conditional arbitration funding agreement with a subsidiary of Litigation Capital Management (LIT) for the damages claim against the Republic of India for breaches of its obligations under the Australia-India bilateral investment treaty. Up to $10.5m will be provided to cover the costs of the claim.
Amur Minerals (AMC) has completed the sale of the AO Kun-Manie project in Russia to Bering Metals. The $35m consideration should be received soon. A 1.8p a share dividend is planned, and Amur Minerals will become a cash shell.
Purplebricks (PURP) has received approaches for the acquisition of the company, or its businesses and the ongoing strategic review has been widened to include a formal sale process.
Networking and biomedical company BATM (BVC) reported a dip in full year revenues from $132.8m to $116.1m, partly due to a slump in Covid-related diagnostics income. Operating profit slumped from $11.3m to $3.7m. This was slightly better than expected. The networking and cyber division made a lower loss in 2022. There should be a recovery in revenues and profit this year. Moti Nagar has become chief executive.
Lookers (LOOK) has acquired vehicle hire and brokerage business Fourways Vehicle Solutions, which had revenues of £3.8m last year. This business could provide Lookers own rental requirements at lower cost.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £1.22m at 2p a share to finance proof-of-concept funding at the Kochang gold and silver mine in South Korea. That is the same price as the previous placing. Production could eventually reach 5,000 ounces per annum. SI Capital has been appointed broker.