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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.
VI Mining is planning to join NEX this month. The Peru-focused miner is acquiring two gold mining assets in tandem with the flotation. VI will raise up to £10m in cash at 500p a share and issue a further £10m worth of shares as part of the initial payment, along with some of the cash, for the two mining assets at Rosario and Minaspampa. VI has debt facilities in place. There is a capital expenditure and working capital commitment of £30m for Minaspampa and the mine could be in operation by next August. Rosario requires £15m of capital spending and working capital and already has licences and infrastructure. Annual gold production of 83,720 ounces from the two mines could yield a $43.5m annual profit based on a $1,300/ounce gold price. That is expected to be the initial production and it could end up quadruple that level. Two tolling projects could also generate cash for the group and the first could be up and running in a few months time. VI would be valued at £535m at the flotation price. This is backed up by a Daniel Stewart estimated valuation of £557.8m. The board will retain 73% of the company. The plan is to move to the Main Market in 12 months or so. The free float will need to be increased in order for it to be at least 25% when the move is made.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has published the competent person report on the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania. This indicates that the project has a NPV of $113.2m. The processing facilities are being refurbished and operations are expected to commence in 2018 following the approval of the environmental management plan.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has acquired a 30% stake in Startup Token, which provides advice to start-ups undertaking token offerings. Coinsilium is paying £361,000 in cash and shares at 8.5p each. Coinsilium is also providing a six month loan of $100,000 that can be converted into a further 6.4% of Gibraltar-registered Startup Token.
IMC Exploration (IMCP) has started drilling on PL 3729 in County Clare, which adjoins the Kilbricken zinc deposit. A feasibility study has commenced on PL 3850 in County Wicklow. IMC’s partner Koza has completed an exploration targeting report on other licences and prioritised further exploration.
Ganapati (GANP) has agreed to supply online games to Bethard Group. Ganapati will initially supply eight games and then one each month.
Hearing and mobility products retailer DHAIS (DHAP) has delayed its figures for the year to June 2017 because it wants to ensure it has support from its main funder.
Welney (WENP) had a cash outflow of £19,000 in the year to June 2917 and most of that was covered by loans from related parties and a further £11,000 has been loaned since the year end. These loans will not be called in for at least 12 months. Net liabilities are £197,000. The board is assessing potential deals.
African Potash (AFPO) has entered into a joint venture with SG Inc to develop fertiliser opportunities in the Republic of Congo. A blockchain joint venture has also been announced with FinComEco Ltd and this will develop platforms for agricultural markets in Africa. There is a plan to offer microloans to farmers. The company intends to change its name to Block Commodities Ltd.
Forbes Ventures (FOR)
Pebble Beach Systems (PEB) continues to underperform and it is not likely to get the $1.75m it is still owed by xG Technology for the sale of Vislink. The broadcast software supplier requires its banks support and needs to appoint a new management team. Talks with potential bidders did not yield an offer. This year’s revenues will be slightly lower than last year
Versarien (VRS) has a strong balance sheet after the recent fundraising and it is generating interest for its Nanene graphene product. The carbide business has won a significant aerospace order. The 167% growth in revenues to £4.38m in the first half was mainly down to the acquisition of a plastics business. A US sales office has been established.
Mortice (MORT) reported strong revenue growth but cost pressures on a particular contract held back profit. The security and facilities management business reported a 17% rise in first half revenues to $106.3m. The contract is being sorted out and house broker finnCap still expects full year profit to improve from $5.4m to $7m.
Anti-microbial drugs developer Destiny Pharma (DEST) has secured a deal with former AIM company China Medical Systems Holdings Ltd (CMS), which is now listed in Hong Kong, for a £3m cash injection into the company and a strategic partnership that gives CMS rights to Destiny’s drug candidates pipeline in China and some other Asian countries. CMS will carry out research and development and the commercialisation of any drugs in its territories. Destiny will make a margin on manufacturing products and receive payments based on sales milestones.
Tri-Star Resources (TSTR) is investing a further $6m in its Oman joint venture. This is in the form of a mezzanine loan to the company where Tri-Star has a 40% stake. The interest rate is 15% and payable on redemption – the loan term is five years. The cash will help to finance the development of the antinomy roaster in Oman. The capital budget was recently increased to $96m.
Recruitment has started for a pharmacokinetic study into the Futura Medical (FUM) erectile dysfunction treatment, MED2002. This will help to determine dosages for a phase III study. The UK and Netherlands regulatory agencies have been supportive concerning a possible switch from prescription to over the counter.
Veltyco (VLTY) has yet again announced that its figures will be better than forecast. The online gaming marketing business says that profit is likely to be much higher than expected.
ECSC Group (ECSC) is the perfect example of how a share price can get carried away on the back of general news. The share price is one-quarter its peak after publicity about cyber security and hacking. Trading is in line with previously reduced expectations following cost cutting and the securing of two managed services contracts.
Belluscura has pulled its flotation after failing to gain the EIS/VCT approvals in time and because it could not get the valuation it wanted.
The founder of Focusrite (TUNE) and a relation have sold eight million shares at 315p a share. They still retain a 38.3% stake in the audio equipment supplier.
Active Energy Group (AEG) expects its Utah-based Coal Switch plant to be completed this month. The production capacity is five tonnes of the coal replacement fuel per hour. Once the plant is up and running and proves the viability of the process there should be other plants built in 2018. The plant is modular so it is easy to increase capacity.
Trading in the shares of Graphene NanoChem (GRPH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of CG TekBuild, which is involved in modular buildings. The deal is dependent on £18.2m of debt being converted into shares. The proceeds of the sale of non-core activities will be used to pay other creditors. The company believes the acquisition will help it to apply it graphene technology in building materials.
ITM Power (ITM) has £20.2m of projects under contract and a further £22.4m in negotiation. The figure under contract is similar to two months ago but the under negotiations figure is one-third higher.
Defence and petrol stations structures supplier MS International (MSI) reported sharply increased interim profit from £610,000 to £1.64m as revenues increased by two-fifths to £34.6m. Net cash is £14.5m. Most of the growth came from the petrol station branding business and this more than offset the decline in profit from defence. The interim dividend was increased from 1.5p a share to 1.75p a share.
Precision optical components supplier Gooch and Housego (GHH) reported slightly better than expected full year figures. Revenues were 30% ahead at £112m and underlying pre-tax profit improved from £14.2m to £16.1m. Acquisitions helped to fuel significant growth in aerospace and defence. There was also increased demand from the subsea telecoms market and other industrial applications. The life sciences division still needs bulking up.
Timber supplier James Latham (LTHM) reported a 7% increase in interim revenues to £107.3m but a decline in margins meant that pre-tax profit was 12% lower at £6.7m. The interim dividend was unchanged at 4.5p a share and net cash declined to £11.6m due to capital spending. The pension deficit has fallen from £16.6m to £8.5m. A slight fall in full year profit to £13.4m is expected.
Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) is raising £21.6m at 410p a share to speed up its growth in the US and finance the relocation of facilities in the UK. The new facility will help to improve efficiency. In the year to September 2017, revenues were one-quarter higher at £109.6m and pre-tax profit improved by 46% to £12.9m.
Torotrak (TRK) has been unable to secure the finance it requires. The vehicle technology developer is considering selling its technology and IP or it may have to appoint an administrator.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised £530,000 at 0.4p a share and joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market on 14 November. The founders subscribed for shares at 0.25p each during September and October. The expected admission price was 1p and the share price ended the week at 1.45p (1.3p/1.6p). That values the company at £2.26m. There is £512,000 in the bank after expenses of £63,800. Clean Invest Africa is focused on renewable and clean energy projects and technologies that will aid the development of Africa. Executive coach Rene Carayol has a 6.28% stake.
Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) reported an improvement in interim revenues from £44m to £48m but pre-tax profit was flat at £5.4m, excluding movements on interest rate swaps. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share. Net debt rose to £60.9m due to hotel acquisitions and capital investment. Most of the growth in revenues has come from the hotels and inns businesses. Management says that it is aware of some weakening in its consumer markets.
Metal NRG (MNRG) lost £59,000 in the six months to August 2017 but there was still £273,000 in the bank. The focus is cobalt and investments have been made in Western Australia and Nevada. There are further potential investments in Australia and North America. Management plans to announce how it will increase its profile and the liquidity of its shares.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) is raising £400,000 at 0.025p a share and the cash will finance the development of the African fertiliser trading business and an eVoucher payment system using blockchain.
Science in Sport (SIS) has secured £14m via a placing at 70p a share in order to expand geographically and in terms of sports. A further £1m could be raised through a one-for-32 open offer at the same share price. The cash will be used to expand the company’s online presence in the US and new product development. The US expansion will be predominantly via Amazon initially and this will require additional stock levels. The SIS.com ecommerce platform will also grow. A move into football will increase the addressable market. Losses are expected to continue for at least two more years.
Zoo Digital (ZOO) is already getting the initial benefits from its film and video dubbing service ZOOdubs. This has widened the scope of the business and helped interim revenues to grow by 63% to $12.7m. A full second half from ZOOdubs will help achieve full year revenues of $26m and that should move Zoo digital into profit in the year to March 2018 even though costs are being increased ahead of expansion in revenues. Localisation services are generating more than two-thirds of revenues with subtitling service ZOOsubs also growing its revenues. ZOOscripts is being developed to provide scripts and metadata that can be used by the other services.
Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has agreed to acquire floor and wall ceramic tiles manufacturer Keraben Grupo for £246.5m. A placing is raising £180m at 783p a share.
Meat and dairy products supplier Zambeef (ZAM) achieved its downgraded forecast for last year but there has been a further downgrade for 2017-18. Revenues were 17% higher at $255.8m but profit slumped to £200,000. Sales are expected to be flat this year but a recovery in pre-tax profit to $4.2m is anticipated. Non-executive director Tim Pollock, who is investment director for food and agriculture at CDC Group, will take over as joint chief executive from Carl Irwin at the end of March.
President Energy (PPC) is beginning the workover programme of four wells on Puesto Flores, which will cost $2.2m. The payback should be less than 12 months, assuming an oil price of $55/barrel. This is one of the reasons behind the expected increase in forecasts sales from $20.6m in 2017 to $69.5m in 2018, which will enable a 2018 pre-tax profit of $10m.
SRT Marine Systems (SRT) expects a strong second half following a 10% rose interim revenues to £2.9m but a higher loss of £1.6m. That excludes a £1.5m impairment charge for a large Asian contract that has been delayed until 2018-19. finnCap expects the maritime awareness technology developer to report flat full year pre-profit of £1.5m but that requires £12m of revenues in the second half. That requires project milestones to be achieved.
AB Dynamics (ABDP) continued to grow its business at the same time as starting to move into new premises. In the year to August 2017, the automotive testing systems and measurement products supplier increased revenues by one-fifth to £24.6m. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.72m to £5.94m. The total dividend has been raised by 10% to 3.331p a share. Net cash was £9.6m.
Versarien (VRS) wanted to raise £1.2m via institutions and PrimaryBid.com at 18p a share and it ended up accepting £2.9m. Back in March, £1.5m was raised at 15p a share in the same way. The advanced materials company has announced a collaboration with a global consumer goods company on the development of the Nanene graphene nano-platelets in polymer structures. The first purchase order has been made.
GCM Resources (GCM) has completed the appointment of Northland as nominated adviser and joint broker. GCM wants to raise £2m via an offer at 34.4p a share through PrimaryBid. The cash will be used to provide further funding for the development of a mine mouth power plant proposal and for working capital.
Serabi Gold (SRB) has announced the conditional acquisition of Chapleau Resources Ltd for an initial $5m, with a further $5m payable in three months and the final $12m when first gold is produced from the Coringa project in Brazil or 24 months from the initial payment. Coringa is relatively near to Serabi’s existing producing gold mine at Palito. Running the two together should reduce the costs of production. The initial payment can come out of existing facilities. Serabi generated revenues of $36.2m and a cash inflow from operations of nearly $7m.
InterQuest Group (ITQ) appears to have set in motion the first stage of plans to leave AIM. That is because it wants shareholder approval to allow it to issue additional shares equivalent to 75% of the issued share capital. The management behind the recent bid for the company own a majority of the shares but need the backing of 75% of the shares voted in order to cancel the quotation. By issuing additional shares InterQuest can dilute the stake of the shareholders that oppose the cancellation of the AIM quotation and management can get what it wants.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) reported a 36% increase in interim revenues to £22.6m with managed services contributing more than two-thirds of the total. Pre-tax profit increased by 29% to £3.9m. The interim dividend was raised by 13% to 4.25p a share. Full year profit is expected to rise from £6.9m to £8.3m.
Boku Inc develops technology which enables people to pay for services via their mobile. The company is loss-making but it is highly operationally geared so after it covers its costs the profit should grow rapidly. At 59p a share, Boku will be valued at £125.9m. Existing shareholders will raise £30m and the company will raise £15m.
Belluscura has announced details of its plans to join its parent company Tekcapital (TEK) on AIM in early December. Tekcapital’s 47.5% stake in Belluscura will be diluted by a fundraising to generate between £7.5m and £10m. Belluscura has acquired non-core product lines from large medical device companies as well as new IP and technologies.
Keystone Law Group is the latest legal firm to come to AIM. A placing at 160p a share will raise £10m and value the company at £50m. The flotation is due to be completed on 27 November.
Beeks Financial Cloud Group is raising £7m at 50p a share, which values the company at £24.5m. The flotation date is 27 November. Beeks is a cloud-based provider of automated foreign exchange and futures trading.
Ten Lifestyle Group is a lifestyle and travel platform providing concierge services. Corporate clients provide Ten’s services to individual customers. It also expects to join AIM on 27 November.
Mirriad Advertising has developed native in-video advertising technology, which can insert branded advertising into existing content. Revenues are modest and Miriad is still heavily loss-making. IP Group currently owns 38.2%. The flotation is expected on 29 November.
Concepta (CPT) has confirmed a £600,000 order from China for its MyLotus product which provides measurements to help improve the chances of conception. On the back of this, Concepta raised £2m at 7p a share.
Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with El Seif in Saudi Arabia for its products.
Africa Oil Corp is subscribing for £8.46m worth of shares in Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas (ECO) and this will give it a 19.8% stake. The subscription price of 22.25p a share was at a 28% premium to the closing price on the previous day’s trading. The cash will be used to identify and acquire new oil and gas exploration assets.
MTI Wireless Edge (MWE) has won a $1m contract for military antennas. Along with previous contracts, the revenues will be recognised over the period until the end of 2019. There is potential for larger orders to come.
TLA Worldwide (TLA) reported its 2016 results at 7am on 15 November and the 2017 interims at 7.01am on the same day. That is much better than releasing the profit warning concerning the 2016 figures at 6.26pm on the last day of trading prior to Christmas 2016. Trading in the shares resumed at 2pm on 16 November after the 2016 accounts were posted. The 2017 loss was $9.26m. The interim loss was $3.86m and net debt was $25m with further contingent consideration of $12.2m. The share price slumped to 12p and then recovered to 14p.
Former chairman Michael Ellis has requisitioned a general meeting at Van Elle Holdings (VANL) so that he and his son-in-law Thomas Lindup can be returned to the board. Both men had left the board of the ground engineering services provider prior to its profit warning in March, which was five months after floating. Ellis also wants to remove chief executive Jon Fenton and senior independent director Robin Williams.
Utilitywise (UTW) has delayed publication of its results because of the requirements for further auditing.
Integumen (SKIN) has acquired the Stoer skincare range for men and its ecommerce platform. This brand complements the Visible Youth brand aimed at women. Integumen is issuing 12.6% of its enlarged share capital in payment for Stoer, which values it at £510,000 at a share price of 2.45p.
Interim revenues fell from £21.9m to £17m at Hornby (HRN) and the loss increased to £5.7m. Net debt was £4.7m at the end of September 2017. A £12m placing and open offer at 29.5p a share will provide cash for investment and to buy a 49% stake in the holding company of Oxford Diecast Ltd, which is controlled by Hornby chief executive Lyndon Davies.
Blue Prism Group (PRSM) has sparked another upgrade with its latest trading statement. The robotic process automation supplier has added more customers and has a 100% renewal rate so full year figures will be comfortably ahead of expectations but the loss will be in line with forecasts. The annual figures will be published on 25 January.
Fishing Republic (FISH) has been hit by increased competition in the fishing market, which has knocked profit margins. There was a decline in like-for-like store sales in October. That means that there will be a loss this year. This has led to the departure of the chief executive and other board members. Chris Griffin becomes acting chief executive and he will conduct a strategic review. His experience should be helpful with online sales, which continue to grow.
Angling Direct (ANG) has acquired North West Angling Centre and Tacklesaver for £450,000 in cash plus stock. They have annual revenues of £1.8m. That takes the number of stores to 20. Angling Direct has reassured the market that trading is in line with expectations.
Oracle Power (ORCP) and its partners have submitted plans to the Pakistan authorities for a 660MW power plant which would eventually become a 1,320MW plant. The coal for the power plant will come from Thar Block VI. If the regulator issues a letter of intent then the partners will have to submit an electricity tariff application and apply for a generation licence.
Film finance provider FFI Holdings (FFI) has acquired digital, post-editing machine rental business EPS-Cineworks for $9.54m. This business fits well with the Pivotal Post post-production business acquired earlier this year prior to flotation.
BOS Global Holdings (BOS) says that Innovation Corporation has asked for security to be provided against its convertible note. Innovation has converted £217,000 of convertibles at 16p a share. That left £1.06m available from the note. Former managing director Michael Travia, who has requisitioned a general meeting to change the BOS board, is associated with Innovation and they have a total stake of 18.9%. BOS admits that its cash position is tight.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) says it expects full year expectations to be met as the momentum of the first half has continued into the second half. The distribution division increased revenues by 11% in the four months to October 2017 which more than offset a small dip in manufacturing sales. Manufacturing profit will be flat this year but distribution profit will be much higher.
Standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has viewed potential acquisitions but has yet to find one that fits with its criteria. It is seeking an energy or industrial acquisition valued at between £5m and £30m. There was still £1.1m in cash at the end of October 2017 and the NAV was 4.23p a share.
Telecoms business Toople (TOOP) has more than 1,300 small business customers and it says that “monthly revenues have consistently exceeded £100,000” between June and October 2017. Toople has decided to end its relationship with a third party sales agency and bring sales in-house. The current customer acquisition cost is said to be “within the range previously announced of £40 to £91 per customer” and that is the same as 12 months ago. In the first half, admin expenses were £662,000. There was a £82,000 gross profit on sales of £655,000. Management has tried to keep costs down but revenues do not appear to be significantly higher in the second half based on the above statement. The first half cash outflow from operating activities was £552,000. This may have been reduced in the second half but the outflow is still likely to be significant. There was net debt of just over £300,000 at the end of March 2017 but since then £1.26m net from a fundraising in June. The share price is 1.18p, compared with the 2p fundraising price.
Simian Global (SMG) says that the exclusivity period for the acquisition of media and advertising company GVC Holdings has been extended to the end of March 2018. A further £50,000, on top of £200,000 already lent, will be provided to GVC at an interest rate of 15%.
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.
Supported housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has improved its net asset value by 4.4% to 94p a share in the six months to September 2017. Interim figures should be published within a fortnight.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has decided not to acquire investment company Onshore Energy Ltd and concentrate on its fertiliser business instead. Progress has been delayed but fertiliser trading has started in Zambia and a 21% stake was acquired in Advanced Agricultural Holdings, which is focused on South Africa. There were no revenues in the year to June 2017, although there was trading income of $9,000, and the loss was $2.27m. There was £11,000 in the bank at the end of June 2017. African Agronomix is earning a stake in the company’s potash interests. Trading will recommence in the shares on 23 October.
Black Sea Property (BSP) has €7m of debt, in the form of a mortgage, from UniCredit Bulbank. This will be used to complete the planned acquisition of the office building in Sofia. The loan lasts for three years from completion of the documentation.
Via Developments (VIA1) has completed the purchase of the development site in Latimer Road, Luton.
Belvoir Lettings (BLV) has approached The Property Franchising Group (TPFG) about a merger between the letting agents but the reaction has been negative. Belvoir believes that the market is consolidating and it makes sense for two of the major players to come together. The indicative offer is 0.715 of a Belvoir share and 52.2p a share in cash for each TPFG, although the amount of cash could be varied. This values each TPFG share at 130.5p.
eServGlobal Ltd (ESG) is raising £24m at 9p a share with existing retail investors given the chance to clawback £3.4m of the shares. Cash is required to be injected into the HomeSend joint venture so that the 35% stake can be maintained. There will also be costs to rationalising the core business in order to help move it into profit.
Overseas growth dominated the Tristel (TSTL) where full year revenues were one-fifth higher, or 7% excluding the acquisition of the Australian distributor. Tristel has already warned that regulatory approval has been delayed in the US but it can still continue to grow its infection control sales. Animal health and contamination control revenues fell but margins improved. House broker finnCap forecasts an improvement in profit from £4m to £4.4m this year.
Secure payments and contact centre technology provider Eckoh (ECK) continues to add contracts in the US while UK revenues are steady. Seven US contracts worth $5.1m have been won. Eckoh has moved into a net cash position of £1.7m. Interim figures will be reported on 22 November.
Telecoms software supplier Artilium (ARTA) has formed an alliance with NYSE-listed Pareteum Corporation, which involves the sharing of distribution, products and technology. The focus will be Latin America and Asia. A share exchange will mean that Pareteum will own 8.8% of Artilium, which will own 19.9% of Pareteum. Artilium is opening a new office in Germany.
Cloud-based communications software provider Cloudcall Group (CALL) is raising £5.7m at 143.5p a share and the cash will help to finance further growth. Cloudcall wants to take advantage of its partnerships with Microsoft Dynamics and Bullhorn and attract new partners.
Proteome Sciences (PRM) says that its deal pipeline is improving but the adoption of its proteomic services has been slower than hoped. This year the loss will be reduced but it will be higher than previously expected. Proteome has gained Good Clinical Laboratory Practice accreditation which will enable it to take on larger clinical projects.
Sula Iron and Gold (SULA) is evaluating the best way to develop the Ferensola gold asset as well as seeking to bring other assets into the group. There could be a joint venture or farm out at Ferensola and Sula intends to solicit interests from potential partners.
Hornby (HRN) is ending the discounting of its stock but it will still hit the figures for this financial year. New chief executive Lyndon Davies continues to review the business strategy and more will be revealed with the interim figures. The interim chairman is leaving the board.
BP Marsh (BPM) has increased its NAV from 273p a share to 304p a share in the six months to July 2017. Disposals brought in significant amounts of cash and this is being reinvested. One of the main focuses of the investment is the North American market.
Infinity Energy S.A. (INFT) is in talks to acquire Transgas Ltd from its own chief executive and its family. Transgas owns petroleum exploration licences in south west England. Infinity will issue shares for the purchase if it is agreed and it intends to change domicile from Luxembourg to Guernsey.
Molecular diagnostics firm Genedrive (GDR) has signed a distribution agreement with Sysmex Europe for the supply of the Genedrive hepatitis C (HCV) ID kit, which is designed to be used in a decentralised environment and produce results within 90 minutes. This is the first commercial partner and Sysmex will be responsible for marketing and distribution in the EMEA region. The initial focus will be African companies.
RNA therapeutics technology developer Silence Therapeutics (SLN) is claiming money in the High Court for income it believes it is owed on products sold by Alnylam. The High Court has to determine whether Silence is entitled to supplementary protection certificates, which can give up to five years of exclusivity after a patent expires
Seeing Machines (SEE) believes that it could treble its revenues this year to between A$38m to $A43m and revenues could double again next year. However, cash is in short supply so investment has been curtailed. New investment is being sought. Interest is building in the automotive sector for the FOVIO driver monitoring technology.
Jim Meredith has become executive chairman of Augean (AUG), following the resignation of Stewart Davies as chief executive, and Christopher Mills and Roger McDowell, who stepped down in June 2015, have joined the board as non-executives. Augean continues to have problems with the HMRC regarding its landfill tax assessment and profit will be lower this year and in 2018. A further £1.7m is being cut from annual overheads.
Futura Medical (FUM) has received positive market research from fellow AIM company Cello (CLL) for its MED2002 gel for erectile dysfunction. More than three-fifths of physicians canvassed in the US thought that MED2002 was better than existing treatments. The equivalent figures in Germany and France were 60% and 54% respectively.
Concepta (CPT) has signed up two distributors in China for its MyLotus fertility product. This takes the number of distributors to three and more will be signed up in the coming months. The product is being evaluated for use after a woman has got pregnant.
Sunrise Resources (SRES) has discovered a new deposit at the CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada. There have also been positive drilling results in the existing deposit areas.
Omega Diagnostics Group (ODX) has signed a three year agreement to supply food intolerance product FoodPrint to a US laboratory testing services provider.
Thor Mining (THR) is moving to a phase of progressing the commercialisation of its exploration interests. There has been a resource upgraded at Pilot Mountain and there will soon be a resource estimate at Kapunda. The options for progressing with the development of the Pilot Mountain and Molyhil projects are being considered. A placing will raise £565,000 at 0.8p a share. There is a warrant with each share which enables the holder to subscribe for a new share at 1.2p.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has entered into a binding term sheet to acquire the owner of the Leigh Creek copper mine project, which is the northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. It will cost A$1.8m to restart production at the mine. Strategic has to inject A$1m into the holding company, pay A$250,000 in cash and A$750,000 in shares to the current owner and agree a royalty agreement with them which will be capped at A$3.65m. The Cobre magnetite ore operation in New Mexico had a record quarter to September 2017. Revenues were $2.04m, which was more than the first six months of 2017 and for 2016 as a whole. Annual sales should exceed $5m and this provides cash flow for other projects. Strategic had $1.63m in the bank at the end of September 2017. Shareholders have agreed to a new option programme for management.
Sportech (SPO) has put itself up for sale, although the strategic review continues. There have already been four preliminary proposals but no detailed discussions have commenced.
InnovaDerma (IDP) has been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for some of its online advertising for Skinny Tan. Trading is in line with expectations.
Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has raised £10m via a 6% convertible loan note. The conversion price is 71.25p a share and full conversion would be the equivalent of 26% of the share capital. The loan note is redeemable on 23 May 2019. The holder of the loan note has also been granted an option to purchase some of Ace’s properties.
Block Energy (BLOK) has increased its ownership of the Norio onshore oil field production sharing contract in Georgia from 38% to 69% at a cost of $310,000 in cash. The plan is to move to a 100% working interest. Schlumberger estimates that Norio contains 118.7 million stock tank oil initially in place and it has produced 1.9 million barrels. The production is running at 25 barrels per day and the plan is to increase this to more than 250 barrels per day. That could happen within six weeks of the start of a work programme.
African Potash (AFPO) has raised £50,000 at 0.045p a share and appointed Alexander David as its new corporate adviser. This will help to get the trading suspension lifted. Warrants to raise a further £50,000 will last for 90 days from the lifting of suspension. An agreement has been entered with African Agronomix, which is being given the right to acquire 100% of the company’s 70% interest in the Lac Dinga project in the Republic of Congo.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) has appointed Beaumont Cornish as its provisional nominated adviser for a proposed move to AIM. NQ Minerals has secured a $7m loan facility from the RIVI Opportunity Fund and this funds the final payment for the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania. A gold purchase agreement means that 14% of the first 22,000 ounces of payable gold and 7% of the amount in excess of that figure has to be sold to RIVI.
The joint venture between a 40%-owned subsidiary of food and logistics company AfriAg Global (AFRI) and LGC Capital, which is quoted on TSX, is acquiring a 60% stake in South Africa-based House of Hemp, which has a long-term lease on the only certified indoor cannabis growing facility. The joint venture is paying nearly C$20,000 and C$37,000 a month for six months. The joint venture will also secure C$4.9m to scale up production. David Lenigas is chairman of both joint venture companies.
MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has raised £166,000 at 28.5p a share.
Audio visual products distributor Midwich Group (MIDW) says that the weakness of sterling has helped it to grow and the recently acquired Spanish business has done better than expected. This has led to upgrades for the next three years. Investec has raised the 2017 earnings forecast to 21.3p a share. Cash generation remains strong and the net debt forecast has been reduced to £20.2m. The interim figures will be reported on 12 September.
Regenerative medical devices developer Tissue Regenix Group (TRX) is acquiring CellRight Technologies, a US-based developer of bone processing and soft tissue products, for an initial $25.9m (£19.9m) with an earn-out of up to $4.1m (£3.1m) depending on revenues. The bone technology widens the group product range from a pure focus on soft tissue products. The deal also includes a US manufacturing facility. CellRight has launched 13 products since 2012 and more are due in the second half of 2017. The products are sold through distributors. In 2016, revenues were $5.42m and the gross margin was 62%. Two-fifths of revenues were from spine products. In the eleven months to December 2016, Tissue Regenix revenues were £1.44m. Tissue Regenix raised £40m at 10p a share and the additional funds will finance the growth of the enlarged business. All but one of the directors has subscribed for new shares. Management believes it is possible for the group to move into profit by 2020. Tissue Regenix plans to launch seven products over the next two years.
Qannas Investments Ltd (QIL) is using $8m to tender for 12.9% of the share capital at $0.90 each. There are not enough distributable reserves to pay a dividend of this size.
Transport optimisation software and services provider Tracsis (TRCS) has won a multi-million pound contract with a UK rail operator. The contract will last four years and includes the renewal of some existing licences. There should be recurring revenues after the four year period. There will be no contribution in the year to July 2017.
Tristel (TSTL) says that sales in the year to June 2017 were 17% higher at more than £20m and pre-tax profit is going to be more than 10% higher than forecast. The pre-tax profit is expected to be £4m. The growth is predominantly from international sales.
Crop enhancement technology developer Plant Impact (PIM) says that full year revenues will be between £8.5m and £9m, up from £7.2m the previous year. This is despite the cancelation of shipments of Veritas to Brazil. Contract discussions about Veritas with Bayer in Brazil are continuing and they may take some time. However, new buying arrangements are expected to help 2017-18 revenues reach £13m. There is £3.2m left in the bank but a further £2m is being raised at 31p a share with the possibility of a further £2m. This cash is required to finance R&D.
IP Group has raised its all share offer for Touchstone Innovations (IVO) but technology business developer says that the offer of 304p a share, based on an IP Group share price of 137p, is still below its NAV of 312p a share.
EQTEC Group (EQT) is in talks to acquire the waste-to-energy technology subsidiary of its majority shareholder, EBIOSS. EQTEC will pay for the business in shares and it will also need to raise more cash for working capital. Due diligence is being undertaken.
TV programmes producer Zinc Media Group (ZIN) expects to make EBITDA of £300,000 in the year to June 2017. The business has been restructured and starts the new financial year with a strong base. There is a commissioned TV slate of £6.5m for this year.
Security technology supplier Synectics (SNX) reported a 5% increase in revenues and a rise in gross margins, which enabled the interim pre-tax profit to increase by £1m to £1.3m. The oil and gas sector is showing signs of recovery and the order book is worth £33.7m. There is net cash of £1.8m. A full year profit of £3m is forecast.
Inland Homes (INL) increased its completions by 28% to 188, helped by the development of the company’s in-house construction team. In the year to June 2017, revenues will fall from £102m to £90m, although this excludes the revenues from two land sales.
First Property Group (FPO) has launched a new fund which could double third party assets under management. Fprop Offices LP has eight institutional investors and will invest in office blocks and business parks over a seven year term. So far, £182m has been invested in the fund, including £3m by First Property. A loan to value of up to 30% is allowed. This new fund will not pay recurring management fees and instead First Property will take a share of any profit.
Parity Group (PTY) continues to increase its exposure to consultancy activities. WH Ireland has trimmed its revenues expectation for this year but has maintained its pre-tax profit forecast at £1.6m.
Pembridge Resources (PERE) is raising £2.5m at 1.6p a share as part of the planned move to a standard listing.
World Trade Systems (WTS) has dispatched a circular to shareholders in order to gain retrospective approval for loans from Kudrow, which is deemed to be a related party. This is part of the process of the re-application for a standard listing. Kudrow has waived its right to interest and there is an intention to convert the remaining loan of £860,000 into shares.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) says that work has started on reopening the Gubong mine in South Korea.
Newbury Racecourse (NYR) says that raceday attendances are 29% so far this year and no meetings were lost to the weather. Conference and events revenues have been maintained despite the refurbishment of the racecourse. Occupancy levels are building up at on-site hotel The Lodge. The Rocking Horse nursery has increased revenues by 29%. The pre-parade ring and saddling boxes are completed and the Owners’ Club conference and wedding venue will be finished in the late summer. Further improvements will begin later this year. The first home owners have moved into the residential development, which will take until 2021 to complete. Newbury is involved in the new racecourse controlled betting pool from July 2018.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has signed a memorandum of understanding with hedge fund HyperChain Capital. This will lead to co-investment opportunities in blockchain companies. Singapore-based HyperChain predominantly invests in tokens, which has proved more profitable than direct investment in companies in recent times – see Kryptonite 1. The two investors are each invested in social trading crypto platform CoinDash, which is about to launch a token offering.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has made a profitable turn on tokens in blockchain-related investments, some of which were acquired four months ago. The company sold 6,407 Melonport tokens for £33.17 each, raising £212,520, compared with the buying price of £3.87 each providing a profit of just over £187,000. The 2,105,254 tokens acquired in the Golem project were sold for an average price of 27p each – 27 times the original investment – raising £569,418 and representing a gain of just over £548,000. Kryptonite 1 has tax losses, which it should be able to use to offset against the total gains of £735,000. A small amount of the cash raised has been reinvested in 126,796.5 tokens in the initial coin offering of the Mysterium project – a peer-to-peer, server-less virtual private network.
Property investment company Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) is paying an interim dividend of 1p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 22 June.
Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to African Potash Ltd (AFPO), which has also completed the acquisition of a 21% stake in Advanced Agricultural Holdings in return for 221.6 million African Potash shares (11.8% of the enlarged share capital).
NEX Exchange Company of the Year
Here are the companies on the shortlist for NEX Exchange Company of the Year which will be awarded at the 2017 Small Cap Awards on 22 June.
£33.6m @11750p (11500p/12000p)
Brewer and distributor Adnams has been around the longest of the five nominees for this award and it is also much larger than any of the others. Adnams, which sponsored last year’s Tour of Britain cycling event, continues to invest in its brewery with beer sales moving above 100,000 barrels in 2016. More of that beer is being sold in kegs. The £7m investment in the brewery is almost complete.
In 2016, revenues improved from £65.7m to £70.3m, while pre-tax profit increased from £4.07m to £5.02m, predominantly down to a rise in asset disposal gains from £625,000 to £1.43m. The NAV has fallen to £27.5m because of an increase in the pension liability. There is a dividend of 150p per B share and 37.5p per A share.
So far this year, sales of beers and spirits continue to grow and Adnam’s pubs are trading well, although the sale of smaller pubs will reduce the profitability of this part of the group. Currency movements, the sale of the UK distribution rights for Lagunitas beers and the renovation of the Swan Hotel will hamper overall progress in the first half. This year there will be the first beer duty tax increase in four years.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP)
£6.9m @45p (40p/50p)
Employee ownership-focused investment company Capital for Colleagues has not had a smooth ride in the past year with a major investee company going bust but it is still able to attract more cash from investors. Capital for Colleagues raised £1.44m at 42p a share from its recent open offer and a further £980,000 in a placing at the same price.
One of the group’s employee-owned investee companies FJ Holdings sold its businesses and was placed in administration. Capital for Colleagues was not kept up to date with these moves. The figures for the six months to February 2017 show the aftermath of this loss. The profit from ongoing activities improved from £40,000 to £159,000 but the write-off for FJ of £1.32m, more than one-fifth of the previous asset value, meant that there was a loss of £1.16m. The NAV fell to 43.5p a share at the end of February and this will be slightly diluted by the subsequent fundraising.
There remains strong demand from companies wanting to encourage employee ownership and the Capital for Colleagues management has, excluding FJ, a good record.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP)
£94.9m @94p (90p/98p)
English wines producer Chapel Down has been one of the most high-profile companies on NEX. Revenues grew by one-quarter to £10.2m in 2016. The Tenterden-based wine business grew revenues by 22% and the brewing operations increased revenues by one-third.
Brewer Curious Drinks separately raised money to build a new brewery but Chapel Down still effectively controls the business – although it is now classified as an associate in accounting terms. The Ashford brewery will be open in mid-2018 and this will free up space for wine making at Tenterden.
Continuing operations moved from an underlying pre-tax profit of £156,000 in 2015 to £340,000 in 2016. Gross margins on the wine business improved from 40% to 43%. More premium wines are being launched this year.
Some of the Chapel Down vineyards were hit by frosts in late April but there will be firmer evidence of any effect this month. However, management says they were the worst April frosts in two decades.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS)
Crossword Cybersecurity is developing cyber security products with six UK universities. A blockchain-related Ministry of Defence smart documents contract was won with the University of Warwick and cyber risk product, Rizikon, which uses expertise from City University, has started to generate revenues.
Crossword is also involved with CyberOwl, a spin-out from Coventry University that is commercialising research into the early warning of cyber attacks. CyberOwl has been selected to join GCHQ’s Cyber Accelerator.
In May, Crossword Cybersecurity took advantage of the high profile of cyber security problems to raise cash at a large premium to the market price. Crossword raised £145,000 at 230p a share. Brenlen Jinkens took up 50% of the new shares and he has 5.13% of the company.
In 2016, revenues jumped from £21,000 to £345,000 but the loss increased from £755,000 to £950,000 – even after £78,000 of R&D tax credits. There was £1.55m in the bank at the end of 2016. AIM-quoted Iomart is cooperating with Crossword on launching the Nixer machine learning Denial of Service (DDoS) platform on the market.
£4.9m @ 29.5p (28p/31p)
Sandal is a developer and manufacturer of energy efficiency and other electronic products. It has signed a number of agreements with retailers and distributors for its Energenie MiHome range, which is also being integrated with a number of home automation systems, including those of Google and Amazon. Retailers selling the company’s products include Argos, Sainsbury, Robert Dyas, Shop Direct Group and Ocado.
Recently, Sandal signed an agreement with Spanish smart home technology business Momit, which will redesign its smart thermostat so that it is compatible with the Energenie MiHome platform. This is part of Momit’s strategy to enter the UK market. The redesigned product should be launched in September and, along with related radiator valve sales, could add £500,000 to Sandal’s annual revenues.
In the six months to November 2016, revenues were 13% ahead at £1.88m, with Energenie MiHome products growing revenues by 74%, and the pre-tax profit has improved from £7,000 to £35,000. Further growth is expected in the second half as home automation becomes a more mainstream product area.
PrimaryBid.com is helping Myanmar International Ltd (MIL) to raise between $3m and $5m. The Myanmar-focused investment company is offering shares at $1.18 each – a 9.2% discount to the market price. Myanmar wants to widen its shareholder base. The proceeds are expected to be invested within six months. This is the 23rd offer by PrimaryBid and it closed at 5pm on 18 June.
Disruptive Capital says that it is not going to make on offer for Stanley Gibbons (SGI) because it was not given the information it required, although the stamps and coins dealer has effectively put itself up for sale. A strategic review has commenced and the formal sale process is part of this.
Wynnstay Properties (WSP) has kept up its record of increasing its dividend. The 19% rise took the total dividend to 15.75p a share. The NAV was 15% ahead to 674p a share at the end of March 2017.
Home improvements company entu (UK) is taking longer to turn around than was hoped. There were problems with installation capacity, which is not enough to meet demand but there are also problems with the supply chain. The underlying interim loss is likely to be similar to the restated loss in the first half of 2016. There will also be a full year loss. Net debt was £6.5m at the end of April 2017. The boilers and energy switching businesses have been closed and the LED business scaled back.
FIH Group (FIH) reported a 4% increase in 2016-17 revenues to £40.5m, while underlying pre-tax profit fell from £3.1m to £2.4m. The profit decline was not as great as originally expected.
Egdon Resources (EDR) is acquiring a 50% interest in PEDL278 in the East Midlands, with the other 50% being acquired by the proposed operator IGas (IGAS). The licence area includes a tight gas discovery from 1985.
Keras Resources (KRS) says drilling at the Warrawoona gold project in Australia, which is now part of Calidus Resources, has commenced. Calidus Resources is about to join ASX.
Savannah Resources (SAV) has received approval in principle for a tailings storage facility at the abandoned Lasail West pit in Oman. There is still potential for further copper mineralisation at the Lasail copper mine. It is taking longer than expected to gain licensing approval for the copper mine development at Mahab 4 and Maqail South. Mining should still start in the first half of 2018.
Italian PR firm SEC (SECG) reported a decline in revenues in 2016 as markets are growing slowly and competition is fierce. There was also a lack of large one-off events. Revenues fell from €21.2m to €18.5m, while pre-tax profit has slumped from €3.25m to €734,000.
Starcom (STAR) has secured a three-year, $1.5m equipment and tracking order. Shiptek Solutions is paying $1.2m for Tetis R container tracking units and there should be at least $250,000 of income from online tracking services over three years.
IT consultancy and resourcing firm Triad Group (TRD) believes that the appointment of Arden as broker in February “is a significant step in returning the group to its former glory”. In the year to March 2017, revenues improved from £28.3m to £30.9m and pre-tax profit increased from £863,000 to £1.52m. Net cash was £2.24m. Triad intends to build up business outside of the public sector and increase exposure to new technologies, such as blockchain. Triad is returning to paying a dividend with the latest pay out of 0.5p a share. The ex-dividend date is 10 August. The trustee in the bankruptcy of former boss Mira Makar has been selling down her shareholding, which was over 21% but it has been reduced to 17.4%. The share price has held up over the past couple of months despite this.
Storage and communications semiconductors developer CML Microsystems (CML) increased full year revenues by one-fifth to £27.7m and organic growth was 14%. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £3.5m to £4.3m. The dividend was increased to 7.4p a share. R&D investment continues to increase but there is plenty of cash to fund this. Net cash was £12.5m at the end of March 2017.
Industrial fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) increased its pre-tax profit by more than one-quarter to £20.5m, which was better than expected. Growth is coming from the top 25 key accounts and new product launches.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) has completed the acquisition of kidney stone analysis company Stone Checker Software in return for the issue of eight million shares at 3p each and been readmitted to the standard list on 16 June. A placing raised £550,000 at 3p a share. Stone Checker was previously 50%-owned by AIM-quoted Feedback (FDBK), which licenced its TexRAD software to the company for use with kidney stones.
North Midland Construction (NMD) has been awarded a joint venture infrastructure contract for Severn Trent Water on the Birmingham Resilience project worth more than £100m. This contract will be split between North Midland and its joint venture partner. The scheme starts in the third quarter of 2017 and this means that the 2017 figures will be ahead of expectations.
Jacek Slotala has stepped down as a director of fully listed shell Highway Capital (HWC). He joined the board in December 2015. Trading in the shares has been suspended since 22 September 2016. Highway has been seeking a significant acquisition for approaching two decades.
Chapel Down Group (CDGP) reported a one-quarter increase in group revenues to £10.2m in 2016, however, £3.44m of these revenues came from associate brewing company Curious Drinks, which is no longer consolidated following last year‘s fundraising. Chapel Down owns 49.79% of Curious Drinks voting shares but has a 90.2% economic share of the business. The continuing wine operations increased revenues from £5.56m to £6.79m, while the underlying pre-tax profit improved from £155,000 to £265,000. A further £1.6m of capital expenditure was mainly spent on additional vineyard acreage, which left cash of £1.2m. Wine exports to the US are growing.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) is planning to acquire investment company Onshore Energy Ltd but it will still require more cash even if the deal goes ahead. Christopher Cleverly is a director of both companies. At the end of April 2016, Onshore Energy had shareholders funds of £1.16m and it has raised further cash since then. The most recent was on 6 April 2017 and the company has more than 100 shareholders. Trading in African Potash shares has been suspended.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) plans to buy the Hellyer gold mine in Tasmania for A$20m in cash and shares equivalent to 29.9% of NQ on a fully diluted basis. The deal will be financed by two loan notes totalling A$13m and a A$8.5m, three year secured loan facility with an interest rate of 12%. The facility provider gets options over 64.3 million shares at 8p each and can appoint a director the NQ board. There is still scope to raise secured loans of up to A$27.5m to repay the A$13m of loan notes and develop the mine. NQ director Roger Jackson is also a shareholder in the current owner of the Hellyer mine and he has a commission arrangement to help finance the project. The assets acquired include three tailings dams and a processing plant.
Goldcrest Resources (GCRP) is changing its name to Bloc Energy when it finalises the acquisition of Georgian oil and gas assets. The general meeting to gain shareholder agreement is being held on 5 May. There are plans to move to AIM in order to raise additional cash for the business and the development of the newly acquired assets. Goldcrest intends to sell its existing gold exploration assets.
Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested £100,000 for 1,279,840 Atom tokens. The total initial coin offering by the Cosmos project raised $16.8m within 30 minutes. Cosmos is a proposed network of interconnected blockchains and shouldbe the first bonded point-of-stake block chain in production. Atom is the cryptocurrency for Cosmos.
Ecovista (EVTP) chief executive Louise Stokely has bought 50 million shares – 1.39% of the property investment company.
First Sentinel (FSEN) director Tom Dignall has acquired a 3.85% stake at 11p a share – a total cost of £300,000.
Verona Pharma (VRP) has launched its public offering of ADSs and ordinary shares ahead of a listing on the Nasdaq Global Market. This followed news that the FDA had given authorisation to proceed with a clinical trial in the US for RPL554 in order to assess its safety and tolerance.
Veltyco (VLTY) is acquiring 51% stakes in two related businesses – Bet90 and www.tippen4you.com – for €2.5m. The same amount of cash has been raised at 39p a share. The acquisitions add further online betting brands to the group.
Motif Bio (MTFB) has announced positive phase III clinical trial data for Iclaprim when used for patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI). The REVIVE-1 data shows that the drug is reliable and safe. The drug was well tolerated with most adverse effects classed as mild.
FIH Group (FIH) has confirmed that second half trading was better than expected but the profit is still going to be at least one-fifth lower than the previous year. The underlying pre-tax profit will be between £2.3m and £2.5m. Trading in the Falkland Islands was below the record levels achieved the year before. Lower passenger numbers for the Gosport ferry were offset by price increases. Momart improved its profit. There was £15.1m in the bank at the end of March 2017 and this is likely to be used to help fund acquisitions in the UK – although a special dividend is still a possibility.
Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) has beaten expectations for 2016-17, helped by the movement in the sterling exchange rate. Revenues were approximately £40m, up 4%, but they would have been lower under constant currency rates. The full year figures will be published on 21 June.
ASX-listed Pharmanet Group has raised A$620,000 in order to provide cash to progress with the acquisition of the gold exploration assets that Keras Resources (KRS) intends to reverse into the company. The reversal is expected to happen by the summer and Pharmanet will change its name to Calidus Resources.
Power electronic systems supplier Turbo Power Systems (TPS) is holding a general meeting on 5 June to gain shareholder approval to cancel the AIM quotation. The management team controls 89.4% of the share capital so this is a foregone conclusion.
Former AIM-quoted Camden Town property developer Market Tech Holdings (MKT) is being taken private by its majority shareholder after less than two and a half years as a quoted vehicle at a discount to its original placing price of 200p. That fundraising was done at a significant premium to NAV and made it easier to add further properties in Camden Town. In July 2015, a further £200m was raised at 223p a share. Management hoped that the combination of property in a fashionable area and an online division would continue to provide a premium to NAV. That has not been true following MarketTech’s move to the standard list. The offer is 188p a share, which values MarketTech at £892.5m. Two years ago, the stated NAV was 140.76p a share but the directors said that the adjusted NAV was 300p a share, although that assumed that all the proposed development of the properties was completed at expected capital investment levels. LabTech already owns 71% of Market Tech so the cash cost of the bid will be less than £300m.
Investment vehicle Indigo Holdings (INGO) is seeking acquisitions in the consumer, financial and technology sectors in the Middle East and it joined NEX on 10 February. An initial 15 million shares were issued at 1p each and in January a further 26.5 million shares were placed at 3p each. The market capitalisation is £1.24m at 3p a share. There was net cash of £818,000 at the time of flotation. Indigo can issue a further 218.5 million shares. There has been one trade of 4,000 shares at 5p each but the bid/offer spread is 3p/5p.
Equatorial Mining & Exploration (EM.P) has signed a conditional option agreement to acquire a Mexican mining and exploration project. The option lasts 90 days and the acquisition will be funded by the issue of £10.4m worth of shares. Equatorial will need to raise at least £2m to finance the Tango project which includes copper, gold and molybdenum interests. This is an area with historic workings. An initial fundraising of £250,000 at 0.00125p a share will finance the current interests in Nigeria. There are plans to consolidate the Equatorial shares on the basis of 0ne new share for 650 shares and then switch to a standard listing.
A new investment in blockchain technology company Factom Inc means that the stake owned by investment company Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has increased by 236.5% since the initial investment. The 1.5678% stake in the developer of audit and accountability tools using blockchain technology is valued at $473,000.
Western Selection (WESP) says that its NAV has increased by 6% to 84p a share in the six months to December 2016 but this had increased to 91p a share by the end of January. Gains have been made on the disposal of shares in Swallowfield (SWL) with some of the cash used to buy shares in Bilby (BILB), which has been hit by a profit warning. The interim dividend has been increased from 1.05p a share to 1.1p a share.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has removed Barney Battles from the board but he wants to convene a general meeting to get himself reappointed to the board. Milamber says that there are concerns about the League of Angels business that he sold to the company.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) has raised £126,000 at 0.045p a share and issued 55.2 million shares to pay liabilities. The new shares account for 22.7% of the enlarged share capital.
FT8 (GFT) is still trying to secure payments from Billyst Holdings, which has defaulted on its agreement to provide monthly payments. This means that FT8 is short of cash.
Staunton Holdings Ltd has launched a recommended offer of 300p a share for FIH Group (FIH). The deal values the Falkland Islands trader and transportation company at £37.1m. The bidder is controlled by The Rowland Purpose Trust 2001he bid is at a significant premium to the market price prior to the announcement but it is below the level of the share price two years ago. FIH has net cash of nearly £10m. The bid values FIH at 15 times 2015-16 earnings but profit is likely to fall this year making the prospective rating 26 times. When the interim figures were published in November, house broker WH Ireland estimated a sum of the parts valuation of 320p a share but this was subsequently reduced to 300p a share.
Ascent Resources (AST) launched a £3m fundraising via PrimaryBid.com, which closed at 5pm on Sunday 12 January. The offer at 1.85p a share is underwritten. The cash will be spent on the Petisovci project in Slovenia, where there has been positive news on flow rates at Pg-10. Ascent has risen money via PrimaryBid.com a number of times in the past.
Strategic Minerals (SML) has exercised the option to take a 50% stake in the Redmoor tin/tungsten project in Cornwall. The £844,000 payment to take the stake to 50% will provide the joint venture with funds for the 2017 drilling programme. The rights to sell the stockpile of magnetite from the Cobre mine in New Mexico have been renewed for a further 12 months to the end of February 2018 and there is still a possibility to come to agreement over a contract lasting a number of years, which would provide more certainty about future revenues. Strategic Minerals moved into profit in 2016 thanks to strong sales of magnetite and it has enough cash to push ahead with the development of its other interests. Strategic Minerals is also interested in the CARE nickel project in Australia.
Billington (BILN) has confirmed that its 2016 figures will be in line with expectations, which ended had been increased by 26% over the past year. A pre-tax profit of £3.5m is forecast. The structural steel supplier will publish the figures on 21 March.
Thor Mining (THR) says that it should receive the final payment for the disposal of its Spring Hill gold project before the end of February. Heavy snow has delayed the commencement of drilling at Pilot Mountain. The cash received will help to finance the drilling.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that its 2016 figures will be better than expected but the loss of a client (24Option.com) will hit the 2017 figures. The client will end the agreement on 1 April. The 2016 EBITDA of $2.8m is well above the forecast of $1.6m. However, any dividend will be put off until there is more clarity about future trading.
Spend management platform developer blur Group (BLUR) has signed up the first large customer for its 12 month group buyer plan. The subscription is paid upfront which is good for blur’s cash flow. The attraction is the potential cost savings by the customer, which is a law firm, and it could be followed by other large customers signing up for the package which provides access to 65,000 suppliers and covers up to $2m of purchases in a year. There is a higher subscription rate for annual purchases of more than $2m. By focusing on larger customers blur has been able to reduce costs and it has been jettisoning unprofitable small customers. Cash burn has been reduced in each of the past five quarters and 2017 will see the full benefits of the cost cutting. The costs in the fourth quarter of 2016 were 43% down on the fourth quarter of 2016. There was £2m in the bank at the end of 2016. This will not last long if the cash burn is not reduced further.
Monchhichi (MCC), formerly Mercom Capital, is raising £2.1m at 35p a share in order to finance the company’s new investing policy focused on technology, media and internet sectors. Each of the new shares comes with a warrant that is exercisable at 80p a share. Shares have been issued at 40p each to cover £200,000 of professional fees.
Crystal Amber Fund Ltd (CRS) has increased its stake in medical devices developer GI Dyamics Inc from 22.65% to 38.73%. Other shareholders in the developer of the EndoBarrier minimally invasive device for treating type 2 diabetes and obesity, include Johnson & Johnson. EndoBarrier is in use in Europe and other countries outside of the EU but an FDA trial was terminated. More than 3,500 patients have been treated through the placing of a temporary bypass sleeve in the intestine – equivalent to a gastric bypass–type treatment. Although GI is based in Boston, Massachusetts but it is quoted on the ASX. The share price has slumped since GI joined the ASX in 2011 and Crystal Amber believes that this is an opportunity to invest in a treatment for significant clinical need at a depressed valuation.
Pebble Beach Systems (PEB), or Vislink as it was known up until the beginning of February, has warned that its 2016 figures will be even worse than expected. The poor performance of the former Vislink hardware activities is not great surprise and the additional write-offs were obviously required given the price it was sold for. However, the remaining software business has also disappointed, although order levels have been good. That suggests a better 2017. Debt remains high and the £8m deferred payment due in mid-March is important if Pebble Beach is to have anything like a stable financial position. Kestrel still believes in the business and it has taken its stake to 14.4%.
React Energy has changed its name to EQTEC (EQT) following the issue of shares to EBIOSS Energy taking its stake to 51%. The share issue covers the €5.15m debt that was due from 50.02%-owned subsidiary Newry Biomass. The 5.53p issue price was a premium to the market price at the time the deal was announced but it subsequently rose above the issue price. Newry should be on course to produce electricity by March 2018. The main revenue generating asset is a wind turbine in County Cork.
Mattioli Woods (MTW) has acquired a 49% stake in profitable small company-focused fund manager Amati Global Investors for £3.33m in cash and shares and has an option, lasting two years from February 2019, to buy the other 51% for cash and shares. The wealth management and employee benefits business reported interim earnings per share nearly one-quarter higher at 11.7p and an interim dividend per share 22% higher at 4.7p. Net cash was £22.6m at the end of November 2016.
PowerHouse Energy Group (PHE) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Peel Environmental to develop and operate an energy from waste plant at Peel subsidiary Protos’ Chester facility. This would be PowerHouse’s first commercial project and Peel has a number of other potential sites if this is successful. The deal is a positive result of the previously announced joint development agreement with Waste2Tricity.
Former Hydro International boss Michael Jennings has taken over as interim chief executive of Autins Group (AUTG). Jennings has been appointed for six months following the departure of the previous chief executive of the acoustic and thermal insulation supplier. The strategy is to take Autins products into new sectors so that it is not so dependent on a limited number of automotive customers. Earlier in the month, a major customer reduced orders leading to a profit warning.
A slow build-up of occupancy levels at the new Holland Park site meant that hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) performed disappointingly last year. Even so, EBITDA increased from £600,000 to £2.2m.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has entered into an option to acquire kimberlite projects in South Africa. Botswana Diamonds has the option to acquire a 72% interest in the projects in return for £942,000 in cash and 100 million shares. This is payable in stages. An exclusivity and option fee of £122,000 is payable equally in cash and shares at 1.9p each. Then £215,000 has to be spent on exploration in 12 months to earn a 15% stake and then a further £215,000 in the next 12 months to take the stake to 40%. There is then nine days in which to issue 96.8 million shares and pay £300,000 of shareholder loans in order to reach 72%. The main asset is the Frishgewaagt project in Limpopo province and there are nine other prospecting rights.
Connemara Mining Company (CON) has confirmed the presence of lead, zinc and silver within a 2 metre wide bed at the former silver mine at Glentogher in Donegal but there are no signs of gold. Connemara Mining had previously found gold 8km away and the structural model will have to be revised. Teck has spent enough on exploration to take its stake in the Oldcastle block on the Cavan/Meath border to 65%. The latest drill hole has found trace mineralisation (zinc and lead).
Savannah Resources (SAV) says that initial metallurgical results suggest that there should by 90% plus recoveries at the Oman copper gold project.
BATM Advanced Communications Ltd (BVC) is paying £580,000 to buy Zer Laboratories, the largest private diagnostics laboratory in Israel. Zer’s expertise fits well with BATM’s move into non-invasive pre-natal tests. In 2015, Zer made a profit of $27,000 on revenues of $2.4m. There are potential deferred payments dependent on sales increases.
PRE-IPO / OTHER TRADING FACILITIES
Integumen, which bought the Innovenn healthcare product development business of Venn Life Sciences (VENN), is raising £2.16m ahead of a flotation. EIS relief is available for this investment. The offer equates to 23.6% of the enlarged share capital. Integumen has made three other acquisitions and its interests include skincare, wound care and oral care. It also includes the Labskin product developed by AIM-quoted Evocutis before it was sold to Venn. The offer is available via the Crowd for Angels crowdfunding site (www.crowdforangels.com/integumen)
Former GXG-quoted company US Oil & Gas is trying to raise up to £2.18m via a ten-for-63 open offer at 27p a share. A placing has already raised £470,000 at the same price. Revised resource estimates in the area of the Eblana#1 well in Nevada show a 20% recovery factor suggesting a low case of 57 million recoverable barrels of oil and a best case of 207 million recoverable barrels of oil.
Business incubator Milamber Ventures (MLVP) is acquiring The League of Angels, an angel network set up by Barney Battles, a Milamber director. There is a subsidiary called The China 68 Club that offers access to Chinese family offices. The business made a small profit last year and since April it has referred work to Milamber worth £200,000. Milamber is paying £150,000 in shares at 15p each. Battles will own 21.6% of Milamber. In the six months to September 2016, Milamber increased its revenues from £34,000 to £224,000, while the loss rose from £54,000 to £196,000.
Residential property developer Via Developments (VIA1) has found buyers for all eight apartments in its Canal Street development in Manchester and non-refundable deposits of £375,000 have been received. The apartments should be completed in the second quarter of 2017. The gross development value of the project is £2.2m. Revised plans have been submitted for the Plymouth Grove development in Manchester and planning applications for the Napier Street site in Luton, the place in the UK where house prices have been strongest over the past year, should be determined in the next few months.
African Potash (AFPO) has revised its bridge loan agreement with Katrina Clayton, the wife of the company‘s finance director. This agreement provided finance of £150,000 and this will be increased to £900,000, in return for a fee of £7,500, because it failed to raise additional cash through share issues. If the shares cease to be traded on ISDX/NEX or a regulated market then African Potash will be in default. The lender can also appoint a director to the company. There was a $2m cash outflow from operating activities in the year to June 2016, plus $873,000 of capital investment. There were limited revenues from fertiliser trading. Net debt was $706,000 at the end of June 2016.
Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) had £5,000 left in the bank at the end of September 2016. There was a cash outflow of £91,000 over the previous nine months, while £100,000 was raised from issuing shares. The only investment is a 25% stake in online menswear retailer Sterling Craig.
It is not just TLA Worldwide (TLA) that has used the Christmas and New Year period to put out bad news, although none was quite as blatant and late in the day as TLA. Legal and debt management services provider Fairpoint (FRP) used the period between Christmas and New Year to report the departure of chief executive Chris Moat, although he will continue to assist in the closure of the debt management business. The share price has fallen by two-thirds since its profit warning on 9 December. Hargreave Hale has been trimming its stake from above 14% to 12.2%. 1Spatial (SPA) has parted company with its chief executive Marcus Hanke. This follows the disposal of the Avisen and Storage Fusion businesses. 1Spatial had warned that contracts were going to fall into 2017 and therefore it will make a 2016 loss.
Intercede (IGP) is raising around £5m from the issue of £4.5m of convertible loan notes and a £500,000 subscription at 57p a share – although this requires shareholder approval – compared with a market price of 57.5p. The identity and digital security services provider is not generating enough cash to make the required investment in its products and a move into the consumer market. Full year revenues will be less than the £11m reported for 2015-16. Interim revenues halved to £2.8m and the pre-tax loss soared from £432,000 to £3.67m. The cash pile fell from £5.29m to £1.38m in the six months to September 2016 so most of this cash has probably already gone. The convertibles last for five years and have an annual interest charge of 8%. The conversion price is just over 68.8p a share.
B2B gaming services provider Nektan (NKTN) has raised £2.275m at 27.5p a share and is offering shareholders the chance to subscribe for £500,000 at the same share price. That was a 15% discount to the market price but it has since fallen to 27p – compared with the November 2014 flotation price of 236p. In the year to June 2016, revenues jumped from £528,000 to £5.78m but the loss still increased from £8.12m to £10.5m. The cash outflow, before a rise in trade payables, was £6.18m. Conversion of loans means that Nektan’s stake in US business ReSpin has been raised from 50% to 85%.
It has not just been bad news between Christmas and New Year. Windar Photonics (WPHO) has revealed a number of new orders for its LiDAR wind sensors for use on wind turbines. An Indian power producer and the Indian National Institute of Wind Energy have ordered sensors, with the power producer ordering an initial five units with an option for a further 35 units. On top of this there are orders for seven units from Canada – a repeat order – and South Korea – the first order in that country. Windar has already said that its 2016 revenues will be between €1.5m and €2m – slightly below expectations. Before Christmas, Windar raised £491,000 at 94p a share. The share price has since fallen back to 77p.
Commercial property investor Summit Germany Ltd (SMTG) is paying a third interim dividend of 1.02 cents a share – the same as the previous quarterly dividend. The ex-dividend date is 5 January and forms to receive the dividend in pence need to be completed by 4 January. The exchange rate for the previous quarterly dividend was 0.8815p to one Euro, so the current exchange rate suggests that the sterling equivalent will be lower in this quarter. Summit has sold an empty office building in Hamburg for €14m.
Facilities management and security services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) is generating more than three-quarters of its revenues from repeat business. In the six months to September 2016, revenues were 79% ahead at $91.1m. Much of that growth comes from a full contribution from the UK operations but the Indian business grew 22% and still accounts for 63% of revenues. Underlying pre-tax profit has jumped from $300,000 to $2/6m. Net debt was $14.6m but since then £2.3m has been raised at 75p a share. Trading continues to be strong.
Kodal Minerals (KOD) says that the latest samples at the Bougouni lithium project show high grade lithium mineralization of up to 2.03% lithium oxide. A total of 18 holes have been drilled and the results of analysis are expected by the end of January.
Stanley Gibbons (SGB) lost £6.18m in the first half, compared with a £1.11m profit in the comparative period after revenues slumped from £29.4m to £20.2m. Net debt was £16.5m at the end of September 2016. The US-based ecommerce business has been closed after an investment of £10m. A new coin joint venture has been set up by Baldwin with coin auctioneer St James’s, following a number of management departures.
Redcentric (RCN) has issued options to finance director Peter Brotherton and chief operating officer Mo Siddiqi. Brotherton has 161,905 options at nil cost and Siddiqi has 257,143 options at no cost, while Siddiqi has 250,000 at 84p each. These options are dependent on diluted earnings per share growth between March 2016 and March 2019. The compound annual growth rate required is not specified but the figures for the year to March 2016 have already been restated downwards. Siddiqi also has 250,000 options at 84p each that have no performance criteria. The current share price is 91p.
Grapheme NanoChem (GRPH) has gained its first commercial order for PlatDrill synthetic-based drilling mud in China. The initial order of 4,000 barrels of PlatDrill will be used for two shale gas wells in south west China and will generate revenues of $360,000. There could be more than 300 wells drilled in China each year over a five year period.
Mobile financial services provider Vipera (VIP) is increasing its stake in Codd & Date, which deploys Vipera’s technology services with customers, from 51% to 80.7%. In fact, the part of the business that focuses on Vipera’s Motif software will be split out and become a wholly-owned business. The enlarged group will move into larger premises in Milan More Info. Vipera is issuing 21.4 million shares and six million warrants exercisable at 5p each to pay for the additional stake.
CPP Group (CPP) is paying SSP £2.5m for terminating the contract to build an IT platform.
Fire and emergency services resource manager AssetCo (ASTO) is still attempting to renew its main contract in Abu Dhabi, which was due for renewal on 17 November. The contract will continue on existing terms until the new one is agreed. There should be further news concerning a one year extension at the end of January. Trading is in line with expectations.
Positive news from Providence Resources (PANR) concerning its VOBM4 well. Drilling of the Wilcox sandstone suggests that there is a potentially highly productive hydrocarbon zone at shallower depths.
Igas Energy (IGAS) is still trying to negotiate a capital restructuring and a strategic investor is interested in injecting funds into the business. There is around $32m left in the bank but net debt is significant enough for IGas to be on the verge of breaking its leverage covenant.
Circle Oil (COP) has lost its AIM quotation because trading in the shares had been suspended for six months and management says that the shares are unlikely to have any value. The International Finance Corporation and associates have waived debt repayments and deferred interest payments until 26 January.
Derriston Capital (DERR) joined the standard list on 29 September. Medical products and devices are the proposed areas where an acquisition is likely to come from. Derriston (www.derristoncapital.co.uk), whose investors include Nigel Wray, former Domino’s Pizza boss Stephen Hemsley and Primary Health Properties boss Harry Hyman, raised £2.275m at 10p a share to go with the £56,000 previously raised. Derriston was valued at £2.5m when it floated. The standard list shell more than doubled in value in the first couple of days of trading but ended the week at 17.5p.