Newbury Racecourse (NYR) generated a much higher profit from its core operations in 2015. There was a swing from an overall loss of £1.54m to a profit of £1.61m, on revenues up from £12.4m to £14.3m. This includes a profit on fixed asset sale of £722,000, up from £365,000 in 2014.Net cash was £1.69m at the end of 2015. The profit from the nursery business was flat. The number of racing days increased from 28 to 30 and attendances improved by 7% to 210,000. There was an increased contribution from conferences and events. Further redevelopment of the racecourse will be underway this summer. At 500p (475p/525p) a share, Newbury is valued at £16.7m.
Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) is raising a further £3.5m from the issue of 8.5% unsecured bonds. This means that Diversified Gas & Oil will have raised more than £10m. The oil and gas producer has entered into a letter of intent to acquire assets in Ohio for $5.2m – a 50% discount to future cash flows. This deal will take the number of operating wells to more than 7,300, producing 510 barrels of oil per day and 23,500 mcf per day of natural gas.
Recruitment software provider Bond International Software (BDI) has sold Strictly Education, which provides outsourced back office services to schools, for £7m in cash and a £4.3m loan note, which should be paid within six months. In 2014, the business made a profit of £1.8m on revenues of £10.2m. The initial proceeds will repay debt of £5.9m. This is the first disposal following the recent strategic review. Cash from this and other disposals will be returned to shareholders.
Pharma services provider Ergomed (ERGO) is acquiring Haemostatix, which is developing products to treat surgical bleeding, for an initial £8m. A placing will raise up to £13m at 140p a share. The total cost of the acquisition could rise to £28m depending on achievement of milestones. The additional cash raised in the placing will help to accelerate the development of two treatments. PeproStat, a topical liquid haemostat to control bleed during surgery is ready for phase IIb trials. ReadyFlow is a preclinical treatment that is a gel packaged in a pre-filled syringe for use with irregular bleeding sites.
Security and facilities management services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) says that revenues will be at least 40% higher at $124m in the year to March 2016. The UK business acquired last September has performed strongly and will contribute one-quarter of the revenues. Singapore-based security business Frontline Security has also done well since acquisition. The full year figures will be published during August.
Nostra Terra Oil & Gas (NTOG) is seeking finance to complete the acquisition of assets in the Permian Basin, New Mexico from Alamo Resources. Nostra Terra has extended the closing date for the deal to 31 May. Kayne Anderson Energy Fund V has received 282.1 million shares at 0.1p each in return for the extension of the closing date. The purchase price of the 50% working interest in the assets will be reduced by $370,000 to $2.5m and debt funding is being negotiated.
Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR) has raised £1m at 18.5p a share and there are warrants attached to the ordinary shares exercisable at 37p a share. This will help to finance the development of the Clontibret resource in Ireland. There is a 600,000 ounce gold resource at Clontibret even though little of the site has been explored. A starter pit could have a net present value of $22m at a discount rate of 8% and using a gold price of $1,250 an ounce. The exploration target is 5 million ounces.
Online education provider Wey Education (WEY) plans to add a premium brand service next January. This will be a semi-selective service for students with top quality academic results. There is £1m in the bank to finance the development of the new service and marketing expenses. The main service, which offers GCSE and A level subjects, is not selective and it is also expanding the range of subjects on offer. In the six months to February 2016, revenues were £700,000 and the loss was £467,000. The underlying InterHIgh trading business is profitable and the overall group loss includes £328,000 of flotation and legal costs.
House broker Northland believes that security and tracking products developer Starcom (STAR) could breakeven this year. Starcom lost $1.8m in 2015 but new product launches should help it to do much better this year. The outcome may depend on the timing of the launch of the WatchLock Pro by its partner Assa Abloy, which has invested around $500,000 in upgrading the original product. Delays to the completion of the new product have held back Starcom but it should be on sale in the second half of 2016. Starcom raised £450,000 so it has cash to keep it going while it waits for sales to build up.
Mariana Resources (MARL) has raised £6m via a placing at 1.82p a share. TSX-listed Sandstorm Gold Ltd has taken a 7.56% stake. Northland has increased its share price target from 4.8p a share to 5.4p a share. This takes into account a further £2m fundraising at the current market price in 2017. Mariana has plans for a dual listing on the TSX Venture Exchange. This process should be completed in three months Mariana withdrew from the Nassau gold project so that it can concentrate on the 30%-owned Hot Maden gold copper project in north east Turkey, which has an indicated gold resource of more than two million ounces.
Packaging and labels supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) is acquiring Glasgow-based protective packaging distributor Edward McNeil for up to £1.8m. Edward McNeil generated revenues of £3.6m in 2015. The business is a good fit with Macfarlane’s Linwood business. This follows the acquisition of Colton Packaging Teesside last month.
Asia-focused consumer businesses investor Symphony International Holdings Ltd (SIHL) is, along with a partner, acquiring the holding company of luxury furniture brand Christian Liaigre. The brand has 26 showrooms in 11 countries. No purchase price was revealed. At the end of March 2016, Symphony’s NAV was $1.37 a share, helped by the strengthening of Asian currencies. That is nearly double the current share price.
Peterhouse has resigned as broker to analytics technology company Trendit (TRIT) following the revelation that it has received less than one-fifth of the £4m it thought it had raised when it joined the standard list at the beginning of 2016. Trendit was expecting to receive funds from the sale of shares by Amnon Freudman, Ben Raelbrook and David Cohen. The flotation price was 5.53p a share and it has fallen to 4p (2.5p/5.5p). Trendit had no revenues in 2015.