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Quoted Micro 20 November 2023

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Marula Mining (MARU) has completed the phase 1 drilling programme at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine. The 21 holes were finished ahead of schedule and assay results are awaited. Phase 2 drilling has started and 15 out of 21 holes have been completed. Financial forecasts for the planned open pit hard rock mining plan.

Valereum (VLRM) says that the Gibraltar Stock Exchange is surrendering its licence and closing its markets. Valereum still wants to acquire the Gibraltar Stock Exchange and holds a fixed charge over a 50% stake. The plan would be to apply for a new licence. Alan Gravitz has left the board.

Ananda Developments (ANA) subsidiary MRX Medical has signed a drug supply agreement with the University of Edinburgh and the Lothian Health Board. The MRX1 cannabidiol oil formulation will be used in a trial for the treatment of chemotherapy induced neuropathic pain.

Gunsynd (GUN) has paid the first tranche of £250,000 for a farm-in agreement with Metals One. Gunsynd will hold Finnaust Mining Northern. Gunsynd has sold 1.24 million shares in Charger Metals for £257,000. It retains 1.3 million shares.

Vinanz Ltd (BTC) has already spent some of the money raised at the beginning of November to acquire 171 bitcoin miners in North America. The plan is to buy a total of 250 bitcoin miners. Vinanz currently holds 9.1 bitcoin.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says its subsidiary has issued a request for consultations and negotiations to the Mexican government concerning the possible revocation of the mining concessions for the Sonora lithium project. These concessions are held by joint venture companies, where Cadence Minerals has 30% stakes.

Quantum Exponential (QBIT) has converted its £450,000 investment in Universal Quantum in exchange for 84 million shares at 5319.47p each. A one-for-1,000 share split will happen after the share issue. This means that the subsequent 84,000 shares will be 0.51% of buildable quantum computers developer Universal Quantum.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says initial mineralised results from the first half of the Cottesloe project in Western Australia. The company expects full results during next January.

Oberon Investments (OBE) has switched from the Access to Apex segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange.

SuperSeed Capital (WWW) has adjusted its NAV figure for the end of June 2023. It has been reduced from 1.184p/share to 1.121p/share.

Wheelsure Holdings has received potential financing and acquisition approaches, but nothing has been finalised and it is running short of cash. The shares have been suspended and the quotation cancelled on 15 November. Talks continue.

Tunch Kashif reduced his stake in ChallengerX (CXS) from 21.6% to 17.9%. Mark Horrocks has increased his shareholding in Lift Global Ventures (LFT) from 13.3% to 14.99%.

AIM

Hotel Chocolat (HOTC) is recommending a 375p/share bid from Mars, which values the chocolate company at £534m. Mars is keen to help Hotel Chocolat expand into new regions. The track record of the current management when it comes to international expansion has been mixed and it will help to have a larger company with greater resources backing the expansion. Shareholders can accept an alternative offer of one rollover share in the bid vehicle for each share. The value of these shares will be dependent on the performance of the business, and this would be taking a risk.

Verici Dx (VRCI) has entered into an exclusive licence agreement with Thermo Fisher for its pre-transplant prognostics. This will generate staged payments of $5m over the next 12 months, plus future royalties of per test. That means that Verici Dx will have enough cash until the end of 2024. Thermo Fisher has the commercial expertise to roll out the technology and it will further develop the product.

City Pub Group (CPC) is also the subject of an agreed bid. Young & Co’s Brewery (LON: YNGA) is offering 108.75p in cash and 0.032658 of an A share for each City Pub Group share, valuing it at 145p/share or £162m. The share price jumped 52.5% to 136.5p. Young’s has been seeking to grow its managed pubs business and believes it is rare to have the opportunity to acquire such an attractive portfolio of pubs. The deal will increase the number of pubs owned by 50 to 279. A significant amount of City Pub Group’s central overheads of £5.6m could be saved by the combined group and there could be other savings. Young’s shares rose 1.86% to 1095p.

AMTE Power (AMTE) has secured a short-term financing. The battery technology developer will receive £2.5m from a subscription by Pinnacle International Venture Capital at 1.7p/share and it is also providing a £200,000 convertible loan facility. A placing will raise a further £400,000 at 0.5p/share. A general meeting is required to approve the subscription.

Jarvis Securities (JIM) has confirmed it is not paying a fourth quarter dividend. The FCA is planning a further review into the company’s operations, including the approach to uninvested cash and interest retention. This report has to be delivered by the end of February 2024.The voluntary restrictions on the business are continuing and another review is required before they can be lifted. The reviews have cost more than £1.3m this year.

AFC Energy (AFC) is purchasing Octopus Hydrogen’s UK mobile hydrogen storage and distribution assets. These assets can be used to provide a hydrogen fuelling service for H-Power generator units rented by new partner Speedy Hydrogen Solutions and other future users of hydrogen powered equipment.

Celadon Pharmaceuticals (CEL) has secured a new sales contract with a European medicinal cannabis company that could generate up to £26m over a three-year period. The first delivery will be in the second half of 2024. The cannabis grower and drug developer will supply pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. There are other interested buyers.

Autonomous vehicles developer Aurrigo International (AURR) has launched a placing to raise at least £3.5m at 100p/share and there will also be a retail offer at the same price. Coventry-based Aurrigo International won the best newcomer title at the 2023 AIM awards, having floated AIM on 15 September 2022 at 48p/share. Aurrigo International had cash of £2.8m at the end of June 2023 after a £1.9m outflow from operations in the first half. There will be £1.5m spent on customer roll out and £400,000 for additional staff.

Chain and transmission equipment Renold (RNO) reported strong interims with revenues 8% ahead at £125.3m and pre-tax profit 55% higher at £11.3m. The revenues and margins of the transmission business have jumped as the new MoD contract builds up. The chain division also grew revenues and margins. Order intake has slowed, but that is at least partly down to there being more confidence in the supply chain.

Freight and parcel delivery company DX (DX.) is recommending a 47.5p/share bid from HIG European Capital Partners, which values the company at £315m. The shares have gone ex-dividend, and the final dividend of 1p/share will be paid on 7 December. That reduced the level of the bid.

DP Poland (DPP) says third quarter like-for-like sales in Poland were 14.1% higher and they were 34.8% ahead in October. The Croatian business is growing even faster. Singer believes the pizza retailer could move into profit in 2024.

Initial results from drilling at the Wedding Bell and Radium Mountain owned by Thor Energy (THR) confirm the potential of the US uranium projects. More than 50% of the 25-hole drill programme has been completed. The initial results come from downhole gamma logs and handheld pXRF devices to determine anomalous levels of uranium and these will be sent to laboratories for final analysis.

Blue Star Capital (BLU) investee company SatoshiPay has appointed Benchmark International to value the business and seek potential acquirers. Blue Star Capital owns 27.9% of SatoshiPay.

Saietta Group (SED) says that its 49.5% owned Indian joint venture has secured an order for complete eDrives from its main client for a second of its light commercial vehicles. The initial order is worth £106,000 over three months and the first full year of production could generate £12.7m. This is the first significant order for the new radial flux technology.

MAIN MARKET

Data integrity and banking integration software provider Gresham Technologies (GHT) is losing business with ANZ its biggest customer. The company will no longer provide sub-contracting services, but ANZ will still use its Clareti software. This was lower margin work, and the focus is on software.

J Smart (Contractors) (SMJ) reported a higher loss on contracting and did not have any disposal gains in its investment activities. That meant that pre-tax profit fell £8/19m to £105,000. There was an operating loss offset by interest income. A 2.27p/share dividend is payable on 29 January.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 13 November 2023

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Shares in wine maker Chapel Down Group (LON: CDGP) revealed firm plans to move to Aim, probably on 7 December. This could lead to an additional 10.8 million shares being issued, which would represent 6.5% dilution, to simplify the share structure. There will be no cash raised at the time of the move. The latest harvest was of 3,811 tonnes of grapes, which is 86% more than in 2022. This should be enough for 3.4 million bottles of wine, including a greater amount of sparkling wine.

Vinanz Ltd (BTC) raised £350,000 at 3p/share at a premium to the then market price. During the week the share price jumped 135% to 6.75p. The cash will be used to buy 250 bitcoin miners, which will triple the bitcoin mining capacity in North America. Vinanz hopes to have the new machines up and running by the end of the year. Vinanz should be able to generate bitcoin worth $1.2m each year.

Field Systems Design (FSD) increased turnover from £8.09m to £13.75m in the year to May 2023, while the mechanical and electrical contractor swung from a loss of £1.9m to a pre-tax profit of £287,000. This was despite the slow build up of water sector work, but this is set to change. Volumes should continue to grow. There was £2.26m in cash at the end of May 2023.

Daniel Thwaites (THW) interim revenues improved from £57.9m to £60.3m. The decline in pre-tax profit from £15.7m was down to a much lower gain on interest rate swaps, reduced gains on property disposals and a higher interest charge. The interim dividend has been raised from 0.75p/share to 0.85p/share. Pubs were hit by wetter weather in the summer, but there was a recovery in September, so volumes were only 1% lower. There was an improved performance from hotels and spas, with weddings demand returning to past levels.

Ananda Developments (ANA) says a subsidiary has lodged a patent application in the UK, which covers cannabinoid formulation based on MRX2 with additional THC. This would be the fifth patent.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has completed the acquisition of Grand Hotel Varna, which includes three hotels and a beach marina resort. There was €10.3m raised through a placing at €0.016/share, plus a further €10.8m from a loan note issue. Elea Capital will own 26.2%. Black Sea Property has also taken its stake in Littoral Invest, which owns other properties in Varna, to 99.4%.

IamFire (FIRE) investee company WeShop has secured a partnership with digital investment management company Spring IM, which means that 200,000 customers will be onboarded to Spring’s digital service. WeShop customers will be able to set up ISAs for no cost and put any shares they have earned in WeShop while shopping into the ISA.

Substrate Artificial (SAI.B) increased interim revenues from €1.25m to €1.8m, while the loss fell from €14.5m to €2.46m, mainly due to a €11.5m impairment charge in the previous period.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has arranged a bridging facility of £1m, which is repayable in six months. The interest rate is 2%/month. There are still plans to raise at least £2.5m.

Castlefield Investment Partners reduced its stake in Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) from 41.9% to just under 39%. Seven of the company’s directors acquired a total of 593,963 shares at 57.5p each.

Psych Capital (PSY) has completed the acquisition of Shortwave Pharma Inc, which is developing therapies to address eating disorders. Rivki Stern is joining as chief executive and Roy Kait is also joining the board as a non-exec. Chairman Joseph Colliver has left the board.

EPE Special Opportunities (EO.P) had net assets of 291.98p/share at the end of October 2023.

AIM

Naked Wines (WINE) chief executive Nick Devlin has stepped down from the board, although he will continue to head up the US business until the end of peak trading, and chairman Rowan Gormley will take an executive role until a successor is identified. Nick Devlin being in charge of the US as well as the group as a whole is identified as the major problem of the group. Trading in the US is weaker than expected and group revenues could fall by up to 16%, while operating profit will be between £2m and £6m, compared with previous guidance of £8m-£12m. Sales have fallen in all the main regional markets with the 11% decline in the UK the best performance. The share price slumped by 37% to 28.65p, which is just above the all-time low from earlier in the week.

Fully listed Luceco (LUCE) is investing £1.75m in energy as a service provider eEnergy Group (EAAS) at 5p/share, which was a premium to the market price. Luceco will have a 9.1% stake. Luceco has been supplying LED lighting to eEnergy Group and some of the cash will go to settling trading balances. The company will continue to spend the same amount on Luceco lighting products, subject to price and availability. eEnergy Group has received approaches for the energy management division and there are exclusive talks with a potential buyer, which could generate more than £30m. This would be reinvested in the energy services business.

Yet another upgrade following a trading statement by cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L). Current trading is better than expected and the company is selling through more retailers. The growth is across all regions. Full year sales should be at least £85m, up from £64m last year. Shore Capital raised its earnings forecast by 11% to 16p/share.

In the first quarter, Bangladesh-based Beximco Pharma (BXP) reported an 11% increase in pre-tax profit to BDT1.57bn with growth in domestic sales and exports. Inflationary pressure meant that gross margins were slightly lower. New production capacity is online and there is plenty of scope for growing sales without significant additional capital investment. This will make the business highly cash generative and it could be in a net cash position by 2026.

Time Finance (TIME) says trading is better than expected and Cavendish has upgraded its 2023-24 pre-tax profit forecast from £5m to £5.4m. That is equivalent to 4.4p/share. The smaller company finance provider increased its gross loan book to £180m. Arrears have remained flat.

Argentex (AGFX) admits that 2023 results will be 15% lower than expectations. This follows the departure of the chief executive and finance director. Revenues and EBITDA will be similar to 2022.

Myanmar Investments (MIL) is asking for shareholder approval to cancel trading on AIM. In 2019, the company took the decision to wind down its investment portfolio and political conditions in Myanmar are unfavourable, which is hampering realisations. There was $476,000 in the bank at the beginning of this week and management wants to conserve as much cash as possible. Leaving AIM will save $115,000/year.

Microsaic Systems (MSYS) has been unable to secure additional working capital and it plans to leave AIM as part of a cost cutting move, which is likely to mean that all staff will be made redundant. External contractors will be used to maintain production of mass spectrometer machines.

The CEPS (CEPS) share price has fallen because Chelverton Growth Trust plans to distribute its 26% shareholding to its own shareholders.

Specialist maintenance and compliance services provider Kinovo (KINO) increased revenues by 2% to £30.3m in the first half and gross margins improved. New regulations for electricals helped to boost higher margin demand. Canaccord Genuity maintains its full year pre-tax profit forecast at £5.8m.

MAIN MARKET

Stranger Holdings has completed the reverse takeover of a 70% interest in the Henkries uranium deposit and prospecting right in South Africa to form the renamed Neo Energy Markets (NEO). Dealings commenced on 9 November 2023 and a further £500,000 was raised at 1.25p each after the admission. Neo Energy Markets has a JORC compliant mineral resource at Henkries Central and Henkries North is 4.7m lbs U3O8 with a JORC compliant exploration target of 1.1-2m lbs at Henkries North. Less than 10% of the area has been fully explored. A 7,000-metre drilling programme is planned. The uranium mineralisation is hosted in shallow sediments, and it is generally within eight metres of the surface. That will keep the costs of mining down. If things go well the mine could be up and running in three years.

Shares in Critical Metals (CRTM) resumed trading after its annual report was published. The share price fell from 17p to 15p. Critical Metals has the funding to develop the Molulu project and a JORC compliant resource is expected to be published in the near future.

XP Power (XPP) raised £45.4m through a placing and offer at 1150p/share. Management has been trying to reduce costs to offset the lower revenues and capital spending cut back. Surplus stocks will be unwound, and the cost reductions could save up to £10m in 2024. There will be no dividends until the end of 2024.

Pineapple Power Corporation (PNPL) has agreed heads of terms for the acquisition of Ilios Hydrogen, which is a Canadian developer of hydrogen production plants.

Milton Capital (MII) continues to seek an acquisition with the focus on the energy sector. The standard list cash shell is assessing light to medium hydrocarbon exploration and natural hydrogen opportunities.

Standard list cash shell More Acquisitions (TMOR) says that it has the backing of 51.45% of the shareholders ahead of the requisitioned general meeting, which will still be held on 1 December.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 9 October 2023

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Trading in Silverwood Brands (SLWD) shares have been suspended. The company has mutually agreed with Lush that there can be another extension to 9 October for the timetable to serve its defence in the litigation concerning the acquisition of a stake in Lush. Tanith Dodge has resigned as a non-exec director.

Dermatological treatments developer Incanthera (INC) had £3,000 in the bank at the end of March 2023. There has been £32,000 raised since then. Commercial deal discussions continue. The technology continues to be enhanced.

Electric drivetrain technology developer Equipmake (EQIP) increased revenues from £3.7m to £5.1m in the year to May 2023. The cash outflow from operations was £9m and £1.2m was spent on capital investment. There is £7m in the bank.

Guanajuato Silver (GSVR) provided updated production guidance for its four silver mines. The focus will be on mining higher grade areas. The silver equivalent production will range from 3.4 million to 3.6 million in 2023.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is the best performer on the week following its interim results. Management says that there are potentially exciting prospects, but more funds will be required. Securing a partner for a CoalTech coal fines processing plant would involve a project worth more than $10m.

Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has sold a 1.1MWh vanadium flow battery to NARLabs in Taiwan. The flow battery will be installed in the company’s building.

Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) has sold Vitality CBD for $2m to Psilobrain Therapeutics, a Canadian biotech company. The cash is payable in three instalments over 210 days. The shares remain suspended. The company is still short of cash and it has no operating business.

Gunsynd (GUN) has a 0.66% stake in Pacific Nickel Mines, which has commenced the mining of saprolite nickel ore at the Kolosori nickel project in the Solomon Islands. The first shipment should be in November.

EDX Medical (EDX) has signed an agreement with Guardant Health to distribute its cancer genomic liquid biopsy tests in the UK and Nordic countries. EDX Medical made a £3.7m loss in the period to March 2023. The share price declined 12.5% to 2.625p.

Marulu Mining (MARU) says that assay results confirm high-grade copper at the Sasimo prospect at the Kinusi copper mine in Tanzania. The average copper grade was 2.68%. The target is estimated to be 10-15 million tonnes of copper. Drilling at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine in South Africa is nearing completion.

Tap Global Group (TAP) has reached an agreement to launch its cryptocurrency app in conjunction with Chicago-based Zero Hash, which has regulatory approvals. This service should launch in the fourth quarter.

Looking Glass Labs (NFTX) has consolidated 75 shares into one new shares.

Tunch Kashif has increased his stake in ChallengerX (CXS) to 21.6%.

AIM

Educational services provider Tribal Group (TRB) is recommending a 74p/share cash bid from Ellucian Company. The share price has not been at the bid level since September 2022, following disappointing interim figures. The bid values Tribal at £172m and it will create an international supplier of technology to education and public sectors.

A firm bid for online home moving services provider Smoove (SMV) was announced at the end of trading on Wednesday. The original approach was revealed in April. PEXA Group is offering 54p/share in cash, valuing Smoove at £30.8m. The share price has not been high for just over one year. The company joined AIM as ULS Technology on 28 July 2014, when it was valued at £25.9m at the placing price of 40p.

Inspiration Healthcare (IHC) interim figures should mark the bottom for the company and there should be a profit improvement in the second half. In the six months to July 2023, revenues were flat at £20.4m, but there was underlying growth excluding the medical device that is still awaiting UK approval. Pre-tax profit nearly halved to £700,000. The interim dividend is unchanged at 0.205p/share. A full year pre-tax profit of £2.4m, up from £2m the previous year, is forecast.

Telematics company Quartix Technologies (QTX) admitted that revenues and gross margins would be lower than expected. Progress in the UK and US has been disappointing, and these markets will be focused on. Quartix has acquired Konetik, which provides the technology for its Evolve product, for €2.5m, with up to €1.4m more payable depending on the sale of Evolve licences. Around 50,000 tracking systems will have to be replaced in France when 2G networks are switched off and this could cost Quartix £4.1m over three years. EBITDA could be £1.1mm lower than forecast this year and £2.4m lower next year. The dividend may be reduced.

Neometals (NMT) says that the new lithium recovery process has led to more than 93% lithium recovery from batteries in the form of lithium fluoride. This should reduce operating costs and capital investment. The proposed offtake agreement with Jiuxing Titanium Minerals for the Barrambie titanium project in Australia was not agreed and other partners are being considered. Cavendish values Neometals at 140p/share.

Horizonte Minerals (HZM) is changing the design of the Araguia nickel project in Brazil, which will increase capital investment and delay production until the third quarter of 2024. Management is in talks about additional financing. A review of operating costs should be completed by the end of the year.

Resources projects developer Oracle Power (ORCP) is raising £350,000 at 0.035p/share with one warrant exercisable at 0.07p attached to every two shares. A capital reorganisation to reduce the nominal value of the shares to 0.001p is required, or the new shares could not be issued. The cash will be spent on the company’s green hydrogen project in Pakistan, which will have a 400MW capacity.

Autonomous vehicle developer Aurrigo International (AURR) has signed a deal with International Airlines Group to deploy its vehicles at a major UK airport. A small number of vehicles should be deployed in early 2025.

The latest budget from the Trinidad and Tobago government should ensure than Trinity Exploration and Production (TRIN) will not pay any supplemental petroleum tax in 2024. The threshold price for offshore assets has been raised by 50% to $75/barrel, while the sustainability incentive has been raised from 20% to 25% to encourage investment. There will be a review of the capital expenditure write-off regime.

Secure payments technology developer PCI-Pal (PCIP) is seeking maximum recovery of costs from the company that filed the UK patent dispute that was resolved in PCI-Pal’s favour last week. In the first quarter of the new financial year, 57 new contracts have been signed. However, Cavendish has reduced its expectations for growth in 2023-24 revenues from 34% to 28% following the latest guidance from the company. PCI-Pal is still expected to move into profit this year, but it is a more modest £100,000.

MAIN MARKET

S and U (SUS) reported a small improvement in pre-tax profit from £20.9m to £21.4m. The profit from the Advantage Finance car finance business with the main improvement coming from Aspen Bridging, which provides property finance. The interim dividend is maintained at 35p/share.

XP Power (LON: XPP) says weaker demand has hit customer orders for power products have hit third quarter revenues. Dividends are being temporarily halted and the previously announced second quarter dividend will not be paid. Analysts had been expecting a flat 2023 pre-tax profit of around £38m, but expectations have been cut to £32m. Net debt had been expected to fall this year, but it had risen to £163m by the end of September and it will be even higher at the end of the year.

Rival bids for Pendragon (LON: PDG) have pushed Lithia Motors to increase its offer for the motor dealer business from £250m to £367m. That is equivalent to 24.5p/share and in this deal shareholders will retain majority ownership of the Pinewood dealer management software. The total value of the deal and retained interest is estimated at 35.4p/share. Hedin Mobility is no longer considering a bid.

Packaging manufacturer and distributor Macfarlane Group (MACF) has acquired B&D 2010 Group for up to £3.85m in cash, depending on performance. The bid target produces protective packaging, and the customer base is in defence, space and aerospace.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 12 December 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Shell company Greencare Capital (GRE) is changing its investment strategy and name to MaxRS Ventures. Instead of seeking a cannabis-related acquisition, the company will try to identify opportunities that are undervalued or would benefit from being consolidated with other companies in its market. These would be technology type businesses and initially life sciences, crypto technology, impact investing and retail companies will be prioritised. The share price fell 12.3% to 25p. That valuation is still much higher than the interim net assets.

Lift Global Ventures (LFT) is asking shareholders to expand its investing strategy to include the energy sector. If this is approved, Tim Daniel and Paul Gazzard will resign as directors and they will be replaced Sandy Barblett and Roy Kelly.

Lekoil Ltd (LEK) is ending legal proceedings with Lekoil Nigeria and Olalekan Akinyanmi and it will surrender its shares in Lekoil Nigeria, which will in turn surrender its Lekoil Ltd shares. Lekoil Ltd is also waiving repayment of existing loans and lending $51.9 to Lekoil Oil and Gas Investments, which will take on certain loans granted to Lekoil Nigeria. Lekoil Ltd will change its name to Fenikso Ltd and a revised strategy will be considered. There should be some cash left after paying creditors.

Dermatology and oncology treatments developer Incanthera (INC) is continuing discussions with potential partners for its skincare formulations. There was a £267,000 cash outflow from operating activities in the six months to September 2022. There is £28,000 left in the bank.

Investment company Gunsynd (GUN) net assets fell from £6.3m to £3.85m at the end of July 2022. There was a £1.95m reduction in the value of investments and the rest relates to the costs of running the company.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised £155,000 at 0.5p a share – every two shares come with a warrant exercisable at 1.5p. The share price fell 15.4% to 0.275p. Clean Invest Africa is running short of cash. Subsidiary Coaltech is finding that lead times to securing sales and deals have been longer than expected. Certain creditors owed £2.5m have agreed to subordinate that debt to other trade creditors.

Guanajuato Silver Company Ltd (GSVR) secured a $5m credit facility with Ocean Partners, which already provides a $5m facility. There will be a consolidated offtake agreement with Ocean Partners for 24 months to the end of December 2024.

BWA Group (BWAP) had £6,709 in the bank at then end of November 2022. Additional funding is still be sought. St Georges Eco-Mining Corp is seeking to convert a proportion of its loan into shares. The convertible relates to an acquisition that is subject to legal action.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has completed drilling within budget at the Mozambique Monte Muambe rare earths project. This will enable a maiden mineral resource estimate in the first quarter of 2023.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has published a general cannabis research round-up, including a pilot study that indicates that a cannabis-based spray can help alleviate cancer pain.  Ananda points to research that suggests that an individual’s genetics could predict the effects of cannabis.

AIM

Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) has announced the proposed acquisition of Helston Garages Group Ltd for £117m. This deal will be significantly earnings enhancing. Helston Garages is based in the south west of England and it has 28 outlets. This takes the group into Volvo and Ferrari for the first time. Zeus has increased its 2023-24 earnings per share forecast by 18.7% and by 24.7% for the following year when £3.2m of cost savings should be achieved.

Ashtead Technology (AT.) is buying subsea mechanical services provider Hiretech for £20m in cash. This has boosted 2023 earnings forecasts by 13%. Hiretech is already a supplier to Ashtead Technology.

Fund manager Mercia Asset Management (MERC) has acquired Frontier Development Capital for up to £9.5m. This enhances its business lending activities and brings £415m of funds under management. NAV was 46.8p a share at the end of September 2022.

Crestchic (LOAD) is recommending a 401p a share cash bid from Aggreko, which values the loadbank manufacturer and renter at £122m.

Audio equipment supplier Focusrite (LON: TUNE) edged up full year revenues thanks to positive currency movements, which was impressive given the Covid lockdown boost to demand in the previous year, but underlying pre-tax profit fell from £40.7m to £33.8m. Higher costs put pressure on margins. Asia Pacific was a particularly strong market last year. The total dividend was higher than expected at 6.1p a share. There was a positive start to the new financial year, although Focusrite will do well to maintain its profit this year.

International payments provider Equals (EQLS) says full year results will be better than expected. Canaccord Genuity has increased its 2022 pre-tax profit forecast from £10.3m to £10.8m. Last week, Equals acquired open banking platform Roqqett for up to £2.25m, subject to regulatory approval by the FCA.

Trident Royalties (TRR) is selling a portfolio of pre-production gold royalties, including Spring Hill, to Franco-Nevada for up to $15.8m – $1.25m is not payable until the Rebecca gold project goes into production. The royalties were bought for $6.5m. This leaves Trident Royalties with pro forma cash of $35m. A debt restructuring will reduce the interest charge by up to 2% and extend the facility by one year to the end of 2025.

Virtual reality and life sciences software provider Oxford Metrics (OMG) edged up revenues from £27.6m to £28.8m in the year to September 2022, but pre-tax profit decreased from £4m to £2.6m. The order book is worth £24m. The sale of Yotta left Oxford Metrics with £67.7m in cash. There is caution about acquisitions because price expectations are too high. Even so, pre-tax profit is set to rebound to £5.9m this year.

An initial contribution from Custom Power helped Solid State (SOLI) to increased interim pre-tax profit by three-fifths to £5.2m and the full year pre-tax profit could be £10.5m. There was strong growth from the components and systems divisions. There is high demand for the power products.

Automotive interiors supplier CT Automotive (CTA) has been hit by further supply chain disruption and production of new orders started later than anticipated, which has delayed profit recognition. A full year loss of $11m is forecast. A new facility has opened in Mexico, but it was later than expected. Net debt is $11.6m.

Mergers adviser K3 Capital (K3C) has received a 350p a share bid proposal from Sun European Partners.

Cote d’Ivoire-based Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) continues to benefit from high crude palm oil prices, which is near to its highs in the local market. Crude palm oil extraction rates improved to 20.9% in November 2022, although production fell by more than two-fifths to 1,535 tonnes.

MAIN MARKET

Medicinal cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics reversed into former AIM-quoted shell UK Spac in an all share deal. Hellenic Dynamics (HELD) also raised £750,000 at 0.3p each. Hellenic Dynamics intends to operate a 195,506 square metres facility in northern Greece for the cultivation, production and export of THC-dominant strains of dried medicinal cannabis flowers and extracted oils of strains of medicinal cannabis flowers. The company has an installation/ construction licence. The company still has to obtain an operations licence in Greece so that it can sell the cannabis flowers and extract that it will produce.

Major shareholder MS Galleon has put forward three votes for the forthcoming AGM of tiles retailer Topps Tiles (TPT) through a requisition notice. It wants to remove chairman Darren Shapland and have Lidia Wolfinger and Michael Bartusiak appointed as non-executive directors. The Topps Tiles board recommends voting against the resolutions. MS Galleon holds 29.9% of Topps Tiles and it owns Cersanit, which is a major European tiles producer that wants to become a more significant supplier to Topps Tiles.

Finance provider S&U (SUS) says lending volumes have continued to be strong since the end of July. Write-downs remain relatively low and higher interest charges are offset by increased revenues. Pre-tax profit is set to decline this year, but it should still be more than £40m and total dividends could be 134.9p a share.

BATM (BVC) says a delay to a diagnostics contract will reduce the expected 2022 revenues. Shore Capital has reduced its forecast from $147m to $120m. That reduces pre-tax profit to $1.8m with a recovery to $17.4m forecast for 2023.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures (BMV) has raised £230,000 at 2p a share and this will fund the application for the temporary mountain use permits, which should be received in early 2023. There are negotiations with a streaming fund for the capital required to develop the high grade Kochang gold and silver mine in South Korea

A major 10-year contract announced by Carclo (CAR) for components for diagnostic units has been cancelled. This was expected to generate revenues of up to £15m each year. Carclo is in discussions concerning a commercial settlement, because tooling contracts have been delivered.

Full year revenues of Mears (MER) should reach £950m and pre-tax profit should be £33.5m. Net cash is likely to be more than £55m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 3 January 2022

aquis stock exchangeAQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Valereum Blockchain (VLRM) is planning to acquire trust management and funds administration company Juno Group. The Gibraltar-based company will cost £850,000 in cash and shares.

Chana Greenberg is no longer chief executive of Pharma C Investments (PCIL) and Tony Shilito will be acting chief executive.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) reported a 6% decline in NAV to 96p a share at the end of September 2021. The unsuccessful bid by Virgata Services cost £169,000 and that was most of the decline in net assets.

Spinal stabilisation technology developer Truspine Technologies (TSP) says that the FDA has requested further testing for the Cervi-LOK. The interim loss increased from £448,000 to £483,000. Net cash was £277,000 at the end of September 2021.

British Honey (BHC) decided not to go ahead with the extended collaboration agreement with List Distillery in Florida. The focus is the UK market.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) lost $297,000 in 2020 and $158,000 in the first half of 2021, even though there were initial revenues of $29,000. Management is working on the first transaction for the securitisation platform.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) reported a small increase in interim revenues from £18,000 to £24,000. The interim loss increased from £378,000 to £724,000. There was £1.89m at the end of September 2021.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has entered into a binding settlement agreement with the bank creditors of the former owner of the Amapa iron ore project in Brazil. The joint venture in which Cadence has a 20% stake is undertaking pre-feasibility studies.

BWA Group (BWAP) has commenced legal action against St-Georges Eco-Mining Corp relating to the proposed acquisition of Kings of the North Corp. There have been 80.8 million shares issued in settlement of the outstanding convertible loan note liabilities of £404,000.

AIM

Shares in Atome Energy (ATOM) started trading on 30 December following the £6m fundraising at 80p a share. The share price ended the year at 83p. Leeds-based Atome Energy has been spun out of AIM-quoted President Energy (PPC) with its shareholders being distributed one share in Atome Energy for every 169 President Energy shares, while the oil and gas company retains part of its stake. There were some tiny share deals in early trading with smaller investors selling the stakes they received. The strategy is to develop projects that use renewable energy to produce ammonia, which can then in some cases be converted into hydrogen. Ammonia is mainly used in fertiliser, but it can also be used as a fuel. The first projects are in Iceland and Paraguay.

CCTV technology installer UniVision Energy Ltd (UVEL) improved interim revenues from £4.06m to £4.98m, with a bigger increase in HK dollars, even though maintenance income declined. However, pre-tax profit fell from £394,000 to £142,000. That was due to a £634,000 impairment loss.

Vela Technologies (VELA) had net assets of £8.06m at the end of September 2021, including £2.52m in cash. There are plans for a 50-for-one share consolidation. The investing strategy is being revised, but it remains broadly similar.

Catalyst Media (CMX) reported a £1.6m loss in the year to June 2021. The main asset is a 20.54% stake in Sports Information Services, and this is equity accounted. NAV is 52.3p a share. No dividend is declared.

Trading in Savannah Energy (SAVE) shares recommenced following the publication of the document for the acquisition of assets in Chad and Cameroon from Exxon and Petronas. Savannha Energy raised £48.7m at 19.35p a share to help finance the acquisitions.

Inspirit Energy Holdings (INSP) still has no revenues. The waste heat recovery system is still being developed with partners. There was £561,000 in the bank at the end of June 2021.

United Oil and Gas (UOG) announced that it made a commercial discovery with the Al Jahraa-13 development well in the Abu Sennan licence, onshore Egypt. Following testing the well will be brought onstream. United has a 22% working interest in the licence.

MAIN MARKET

Creightons (CRL) did not have a repeat of the £11.5m of one-off hygiene sales in the six months to September 2021, but the decline in revenues was limited to £2.37m leaving interim revenues of £30m. There was an initial contribution of £790,000 from acquisitions. Underlying pre-tax profit fell from £2.9m to £2.49m. Net debt is £7.5m at the end of September 2021. The interim dividend is maintained at 0.15p a share.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 27 December 2021

aquis stock exchangeAQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

All Things Considered Group (ATC) is a music artist management and services provider that branched out into live streaming events due to Covid-19. There was £4.13m raised at 153p a share, and the share price rose to 155p, valuing the company at £15m. In the six months to June 2021, revenues jumped from a sharply reduced figure of £1.39m to £5.04m, including £3.31m from live streamed events. ATC is loss making. The cash and valuation of the stake in livestreaming company Driift appear to provide an underpinning for the valuation, but there is a significant amount of accruals relating to unpaid performing rights fees on live streaming.

ChallengerX (CXS) was used as a holding company to acquire SportsX prior to joining the Access segment of Aquis. The core business is providing marketing services to rugby and football clubs. Smaller clubs need ways of generating additional income, so the services should be attractive to them. ChallengerX will earn income through revenue sharing agreements and by retaining a 10% to 30% reserve position in any club’s social tokens, that it will help the clubs to issue. ChallengerX raised £752,000 at 2p a share. The bid/offer spread at the end of the first day was 2p/3p and the mid-price was still 2.5p on Christmas Eve.

Fellow Aquis company Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) had invested £216,000 in SportsX in May, which was its first investment after flotation, and then swapped this stake for shares in ChallengerX that were worth £1.25m at the subscription price.

Good Energy (GOOD) says that November trading was in line with expectations. Domestic price tariffs were raised at the beginning of November, and this offset the lack of win generation during the month. Power prices continue to rise, though, and wind generation remains low, which means that 2021 profit will be £3m lower than expectations. Good Energy requires more cash for working capital because of the higher prices.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) intends to leave Aquis. A general meeting will be held on 11 January and if the shareholders are in agreement, then the company will cancel the quotation on 25 January. Rutherford Health has found it difficult to raise additional cash and does not want the distraction of being quoted.

CBD products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) has acquired Cannafull, a manufacturer of CBD skincare products, including under its own Ascend Skincare brand. Voyager Life paid the liquidator of the company £9,000 for the brands and assets.

Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) is paying a 20p a share dividend to shareholders on the register on 31 December.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) had £542,000 in the bank at the end of June 2021, although there are also borrowings of £322,000. The operating cash outflow was £210,000 with a further £401,000 spent on exploration during the year. The subsequent sale of Kazera Global shares raised more cash. A $275,000 tax refund relating to the Specimen Hill gold project is due to be received.

IamFire (FIRE) is subscribing £2m for WeShop Holdings Ltd convertibles and has the option to invest a further £2.5m. The conversion price is 75p a share and the shares trade on JP Jenkins. The social media retail platform will be fully launched in the first quarter of 2022.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) has sold its property in Preston for £2.075m. The total cost of the property was nearer £3m.

Love Hemp Group (LIFE) has allotted 65 million shares at 1.5p each in final deferred consideration for Love Hemp Ltd. Chief executive Tony Calamita has an 8.87% stake. A Love Hemp virtual store has been set up with Deliveroo.

Trading in Igraine (KING) shares recommence after its full year and interim figures were published. This period pre-dates the move into medical technology investment.

AIM

CT Automotive (CTA) is a supplier of interior components to the automotive sector and it already has a strong relationship with Nissan. The top three customers account for two-thirds of revenues. CT Automotive raised £33.6m at 147p a share and this will go towards reducing debt. The shares ended the week at 160p. Electronic component shortages have hit the second half of 2021, after a strong first half’s trading. Trading will be disrupted well into 2022.

Libertine Holdings (LIB) raised £9m at 20p a share to finance the opportunity to become an important part of the move towards vehicles being able to use cleaner fuels via its own powertrain technology can extend the range of battery-powered electric trucks. Large commercial vehicles are the main market, but there are other uses for the technology. The cash will be used to take on more commercial and development people, as fund further development of technology and facilities. The share price jumped to 37.5p by the end of the week.

York-based Aptamer Group provides contract research services with longer-term potential for royalties and licence revenues when the client uses the reagents in commercial applications. Three-quarters of the top 20 global pharma companies are clients. Raising £10.8m at 117p enables it to scale up its operations. In the 15 months to June 2021, Aptamer Group revenues were £1.6m and the loss was £2.91m. The share price ended the week at 136p.

Surveying and Corridor.ai analysis platform operator Cordel (CRDL) has won a 6.5 year contract with Network Rail that starts at the beginning of 2022. This is worth £500,000 a year and covers storing and processing of gauge and clearance information for the whole network.

Delivered ready meals company Parsley Box (LSE: MEAL) says that trading improved at the end of the year and supply problems are easing. Net cash is £2.2m, but significant cash outflows mean more money is required, possibly as much as £6m. A large discount to the market price may be required to raise that much.

Deepmatter Group (DMTR) managed to secure £2.55m of funding ahead of the Christmas break. It was at a heavily discounted 0.1p a share. Existing shareholders are being given the chance to invest at the same price via a one-for-3.7 open offer that could raise up to £250,000. The digital chemistry data company is still in discussions with South Korea-based drug discovery company Standigm Inc, but the deal will not be done this year, so 2021 revenues will be lower than the company’s previous expectations.

Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ) has taken a 19.9% stake in TSX Venture Exchange Libero Copper and Gold Corporation for $4.9m. This is the first step in the diversification outside of Azerbaijan. Libero has the option to acquire copper exploration properties in Colombia, Argentina and Canada.

Redx Pharma (REDX) will receive a $9m milestone payment following the start of a phase 1 trial of AZD5055, a porcupine inhibitor targeting fibrotic diseases. There are up to $360m of additional payments depending on successful development.

Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Alteration Earth will not be joining the standard list until 2022. The prospectus has been submitted for a second reading by the UKLA. Primorus invested £350,000 for five million shares in the shell. Primorus is electing to take Bushveld Minerals (BMN) shares in return for its Mustang Energy loan notes, because of ongoing litigation.

Lekoil Ltd (LEK) has formally rejected the 1.9p a share bid from Lekoil Nigeria. It points out that the offer does not take account of the potential cancelation of $350m of intercompany debt.

MAIN MARKET

Great Southern Copper (GSCU) has options over potential copper gold projects in northern Chile and news of a new left wing president in Chile hit the early trading in the shares on the standard list. Great Southern Copper raised £3.52m at 5p a share and ended the first day at 4.55p before recovering to 4.9p at the end of the week. The assets under option are the San Lorenzo copper gold project northeast of coastal town La Serena in northern Chile and the Especularita copper gold project, which is south of the other project. Initial exploration should help the company to understand the prospects in the two areas before spending a more significant amount of money.

House broker finncap still expects personal care products supplier Innovaderma (IDP) to make a small profit on the back of a recovery in revenues in the year to June 2022. Cash should be maintained at £2.3m.

Cash shell Hawkwing (HNG) wanted share trading to recommence after the proposed acquisition of ecommerce aggregator Internet Fusion Group. The FCA says that the £13.7m loan to Internet Fusion Group is a transaction under the definition of a reverse takeover so trading cannot recommence. Hawkwing is trying to unwind the loan.

Andrew Hore

 

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Adnams (ADB) says that trading has improved since 17 May with strong demand for hotel accommodation. Interim revenues were flat at £20.5m, while the loss dipped from £3.87m to £3.34m. Net bank debt was £13.4m at the end of June 2021.

GP software provider DXS International (DXSP) increased its full year revenues from £3.28m to £3.61m, while pre-tax profit improved from £239,000 to £254,000 even though the amortisation charge was significantly higher. There was £1.24m of cash generated from operations, although that is less than the £1.5m of capitalised research and development spending.

Good Energy (GOOD) continues to reject the 340p a share bid by Ecotricity because it undervalues the company. Management believes that the company can grow significantly as an independent entity. They also point out that Ecotricity is loss-making.

Oscillate (MUSH) has made a pre-IPO investment in Psych Capital, which would be one of first quoted psychedelic healthcare companies. Oscillate has acquired a 10.4% stake for £300,000. The Oscillate finance director is also finance director of Psych Capital. Richard and Charlotte Edwards have increased their stake in Oscillate from 5.94% to 8.31%. Oscillate has a 24.6% stake in Igraine (KING) which says that the report on the ARCADIA trial – relating to a potential treatment for people with diabetes suffering from Covid-19 – will be published by Excalibur Medicines on 6 September. Igraine has a 2% stake in Excalibur Medicines and also a co-investment agreement.

Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) is making the first of its promised acquisitions. It is paying up to £10.2m in cash and shares for Birmingham-based Vitality CBD, which sells its products through Boots, Tesco and Asda. Revenues were £1.6m in the first half of 2021.

Clarify Pharma (PSYC) has also made its first acquisition since joining Aquis. It has contributed $700,000 to a fundraising by Beckley Psytech. This gives Clarify a 0.26% stake. Beckley is developing psychedelic compounds to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) has invested $200,000 in Blimp Technologies Inc, which has a platform that rewards homebuyers and sellers for contributing value to a tokenised network established by Home Network Foundation. Dispersion has made a second investment in Defi Yield Technologies Inc. The C$800,000 investment follows an initial investment of C$200,000, which was at a lower share price. This takes the shareholding to 2.24 million shares.

Watchstone Group (WTG) reduced its underlying admin expenses but there was still a £2.31m cash outflow in the first half of 2021. NAV was £15.4m at the end of June 2021. Watchstone has £14.1m in the bank and £1.8m more in escrow. The focus is on continuing litigation.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) had a £528,000 outflow from operating activities in 2020. There was £52,000 of cash at the end of 2020.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) reduced its loss from £1.81m to £856,000 in the year to March 2021. SulNOx intends to move to AIM.

Coinsilium (COIN) has invested £300,000 in shares in financial services firm Greengage Global and is subscribing for up to £200,000 in convertible loan notes.

Evrima (EVA) has completed its investment in Eastport Ventures Inc, which is planning a flotation.

Abdelatif Lachab has increased his stake in Helium Ventures (HEV) from 5.94% to 6.23%.

AIM

Floorcoverings distributor Likewise (LIKE) switched from The International Stock Exchange to AIM last week and raised £10m at 25p a share. The cash raised will provide working capital for growth and cash for acquisitions. There will also be investment in further distribution centres, including a larger site in Manchester. Likewise chief executive Tony Brewer joined Headlam in 1991 and became chief executive in 2000. He left the company in 2016. The plan is to be a national distributor with revenues of more than £200m and an operating margin of more than 5% are targeted. Trading has been ahead of budget in the first half of 2021. Daily revenues exceeded £250,000 in each of May and June. The share price has risen to 31p.

Interim figures from plastic packaging manufacturer Robinson (RBN) led to a sharp downgrading of the 2021 pre-tax profit forecast. Raw material prices have soared, and volumes have not grown as fast as expected. Interim revenues were 19% higher at £21.2m – there was modest like-for-like growth excluding the Schela acquisition. A slump in gross margins meant that the business fell into loss. An interim dividend of 2.5p a share has been announced.

Piling contractor Van Elle (VANL) lost money last year, but it should return to profit this year.  In the year to April 2021, revenues were flat at £84.4m, which was a good outcome because revenues were sharply lower in the first quarter due to lockdown. The underlying loss was one-third higher at £1.2m. The cold winter also held back progress. Van Elle plans to pay a dividend next year if trading goes to plan.

SkinBioTerapeutics (SBTX) had more cash than expected at the year end and it has set the price for its AxisBiotix-Ps food supplement. In the UK, the psoriasis treatment will cost £1.50 per sachet, which is higher than expected. There was £4.6m in the bank at the end of June, compared with expectations of £3.4m.

Intelligent Ultrasound (IUG) AI technology has yet to make a significant contribution to revenues. GE is offering ScanNav Assist as an option on its SWIFT ultrasound machine, but first half revenues were minimal because of Covid-19 restrictions holding back marketing. Even so, interim revenues increased by 36% to £3.6m due to higher sales of training simulators. That growth is continuing and AI revenues will build up over the longer-term.

MTI Wireless Edge (LON: MWE) has continued to grow its profit and demand is improving for its antennas with new contracts from space and naval customers. In the first half of 2021, revenues improved from $19.6m to $21.3m, while pre-tax profit rose from $1.83m to $2.05m.

Engineer Tricorn (TCN) has appointed administrators because it is running out of money and the board is trying to sell the trading operations. Trading in the shares has been suspended and Arden has resigned as nominated adviser.

DBAY Advisors has decided not to bid for credit hire and legal services firm Anexo (ANX). Trading has been ahead of expectations at Anexo.

MAIN MARKET

Trading in standard list shell Pineapple Power Corp (PNPL) shares has been suspended following the announcement of the reverse takeover of BVP Investments and its sustainability-focused investment portfolio.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) has completed the reverse takeover of Atomic Oil and Gas. This adds producing assets. Oil production is expected to continue to increase. Other potential asset acquisitions are being assessed.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) is acquiring Suni Resources SA, which has a portfolio of graphite interests in Mozambique. They include the Montepuez graphite project which is already under construction. The acquisition will cost £6.6m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 16 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) has a dual quotation on the Canadian Securities Exchange and obtaining the Aquis quotation is part of the stated strategy to become the largest CBD business in the world. Acquisitions have been made this year and at least three more are lined up. Prior to joining Aquis, Yooma raised £7.46m at 52.32p a share. As well as the cash raised in the placing, there is an option granted to a strategic investor to subscribe £5m for 9.56 million shares. Administrative delays relating to the investor mean that the share issue has not been completed yet. Yooma Wellness says that annualised 2021 sales could be $32m if it makes the expected acquisitions.

Ecotricity has posted its offer document for Good Energy (GOOD), which continues to reject the approach.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is in discussions with a potential investor. A fundraising could be secured within weeks. There are also discussions concerning a joint venture. CIA has been hit by Covid-19 measures in South Africa.

Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) has made an additional investment in connected gaming platform developer Paidia eSports Inc and a new £200,000 investment in Streaks Gaming. Pioneer will own 40% of Paidia. London-based Streaks operates a conversational gaming platform. Users are matched with a personalised digital conversational partner generated by AI. Pioneer will own 16.1% of Streaks.

Sativa Wellness Group Inc (SWEL) increased revenues by 828% in the second quarter of 2021. Revenues in the six months to June 2021, revenues jumped from £733,000 to £4.86m, while the loss reduced from £2.37m to £1.27m. The business is being restructured into three divisions: Goodbody Botanicals, Phytovista and Goodbody Wellness.

Construction of the DJT Plants medical cannabis growing facility started on 4 July. Ananda Investments (ANA) continues to make progress with the purchase of the 50% of DJT it does not own.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) is partnering with genomic and theranostic company OncoDNA, which will enable its patients to obtain genomic testing that can help to secure the most appropriate cancer treatment.

Administrators have been appointed to NQ Minerals (NQMI).

Chris Akers has increased his stake in Oscillate (MUSH) from 3.1% to 9%. Thomas Grant Nominees owns 9.95%. Robert Johnson has a 3% stake in TECC Capital (TEC).

AIM

Drug developer BiVictriX Therapeutics (BVX) has a low capital cost model which outsources the main operations. It has a lead asset called BVX001, which is targeting adult leukaemia. BVX001 has already indicated an anti-tumour effect in animal models. No adverse effects were observed. The £7.5m raised at 20p a share will accelerate the optimisation of BVX001, so it reaches pre-clinical milestones. The share price ended the week at 23.5p.

Marlowe (MRL) has decided not to bid for Restore (RST), which has acquired PRM Green Technologies, which is an IT recycling business. This acquisition will be immediately earnings enhancing.

Crestchic revenues increased by 44% in the first half of 2021 and Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) group revenues are 22% ahead at £19.6m. The 2021 pre-tax profit forecast was increased from £2.1m to £2.5m.

Self-storage sites operator Lok’nStore (LOK) is increasing occupancy rates and adding new sites. Self-storage revenues increased by 21% over the year to July 2021, which is well ahead of forecasts. The first half growth rate was 11%. Over the 12-month period, occupancy rates have increased from 69.6% to 85.8%.

Oil and gas producer Southern Energy Corp (SOUC) concentrates on areas with proven low-cost producing assets, with the current focus in Mississippi. The strategy is to grow production through acquisitions. Alberta-based Southern Energy plans to increase production to 25,000 barrels of oil per day over the next two year. This will require larger acquisitions than in the past. No cash was raised, and the shares will continue to be traded on the TSX Venture Exchange. The share price opened at 6.5p on the first day and stayed at that level until the end of the second day when it fell to 5p (4p/6p) and that price was maintained.

Science Group (SAG) has made a bid approach for TP Group (TPG). Science group has acquired a 10.2% stake in TPG, with the shares being acquired for 5p each.

Best of the Best (BOTB) says that there has been a 15% decline average weekly sales of competition entries. finnCap has cut its earnings forecast from 142.4p a share to 53.3p a share. There should still be £12m in cash at the end of April 2022.

Venture Life Group (VLG) says interim revenues were lower this year because of the lack of hand sanitiser sales and lower sales of Dentyl in China. Sales of other products grew. Forecasts have been updated for recent acquisitions. Share issues mean that earnings are expected to be flat at 2.5p a share. The full benefits of the acquisitions will come through in 2022 when earnings are expected to be 4.6p a share.

Verditek (VDTK) has raised £353,000 from its Crowd for Angels bond offering.

MAIN MARKET

Foams manufacturer Zotefoams (ZTF) improved its interim pre-tax profit by 49% to £4m even though it was reduced by currency movements. Footwear generates one-third of revenues. The new manufacturing site in Poland has opened.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated revenues of £31.1m from mining 883 bitcoin in the first half of 2021. Although revenues are improving, there will be higher than expected tax and finance charges this year. finnCap has reduced its 2021 earnings estimate from 7.6p a share to 5.6p a share.

Plaza Centers NV (PLAZ) has received a revised proposal from GC Hevron Capital. The company’s assets would be transferred to a trustee of managed for the benefit of bondholders. Hevron would be issued shares equivalent to 74.99% of the enlarged share capital. There will be a NIS 2 million payment to cover creditors. Hevron will then inject a new business, which is part of its investment portfolio, into the shell. The target is a nutritional food technology company.

Danakali (DNK) is cancelling its standard listing on 24 September and retaining its ASX listing.

Mast Energy Developments (MAST) has acquired Pyebridge Power, which owns a 9MW gas-powered standby generation facility, for £2.5m in cash. The site could generate EBITDA of £488,000 a year.

Hawkwing (HNG) is raising £16.5m through the issue of 8% convertible loan notes. They are convertible at 6p a share. The cash will be loaned to ecommerce aggregator Internet Fusion Group to finance two acquisitions – an outdoor lifestyle brand and an online fashion accessories retailer. Hawkwing plans to acquire Internet Fusion for an enterprise value of £115m through an issue of shares at 6p each. Trading in Hawkwing shares remains suspended.

Path Investments (PATH) has agreed to acquire DG Innovate for £32m in shares at 0.6p each. DG is developing electric motor technologies and energy storage systems. There is enhanced drive technology, which is being used to develop lightweight and cost-effective electric motors, and enhanced battery technology, which is developing fully-recyclable, sodium-ion batteries offering greater energy density than current technologies.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 9 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Chapel Down (CDGP) has announced Andrew Carter as successor to chief executive Frazer Thompson in September 2021.

National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its fourth quarter revenues by 7% to £5.72m. Milk recording revenues grew by 9%. The corresponding period did cover the initial lockdown. Milk prices are holding up at levels where dairy farmers will be profitable. The first phase of IT investment will be up and running later this year.

Boanerges Ltd (BNRG) has paid £25,000 for an option to invest £2m for a 14.3% stake in Fintech Digital Platforms, which owns property search internet portals.

Samarkand (SMK) has secured an extension to its distribution contract with skincare brand 111SKIN until the end of July 2023. Non-exec Keith Higgins has bought 21,739 shares at 146p a share.

Inqo Investments (INQO) had significant write-offs and bad debt provisions in the year to February 2021. This contributed to the more than doubled loss of R13.4m as revenues slumped from R24.4m to R4.2m. The total cash outflow was R14.7m and cash fell below R1m. Kuzuko Private Game Reserve will reopen in September. Uganda-based Four One Financial Services and Kenya-based South Lake Medical Centre both made higher interest payments to Inqo.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has taken a 50% stake in Vegan Punk Ventures and invested up to £100,000 in loans. The brand is PlantPunk and it has a range of ZeroBeef meat alternatives. Dave Ahern will be managing director and third-party investors will provide loans of up to £50,000.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) had cash of £436,000 at the end of June 2021.

Helium Ventures (HEV) continues to trade at a premium to its 10p placing price. The share price is currently 32.5p (31p/34p). James Sheehan has increased his stake from 8,5% to 9.47%.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has sold its stake in Finance Partners Group for €2.15m and €1.57m of this has been received. The original cost was €1.9m. The investment focus will be fintech.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £223,000 at 1.46p a share and issued £48,000 worth of shares at 2p each.

Veni Vid Vici has changed its name to VVV Resources (VVV). Angelfish Investments has changed its name to Igraine (KING). DicovORE has changed its name to Oscillate (MUSH).

Trading in First Sentinel, which has changed its name to Omni Egis (OMNI) and NQ Minerals (NQMI) shares has been suspended ahead of publication of their respective accounts. Freyherr International (FRYR) has withdrawn from Aquis.

AIM

In 2020-21, NWF (NWF) did not manage to match the previous year’s profit performance of the fuels division, but the cold winter and home working meant that the performance was better than expected. Management is keen to make further acquisitions to broaden the geographic spread of the fuels business. Overall, group pre-tax profit was 10% lower at £11.9m. The efficiency improvement in the food warehousing division meant that its profit contribution was higher. The feeds division reported a lower profit but with milk prices over 30p per litre the outlook is positive for dairy feed.

Higher second half sales and improved efficiency helped Filtronic (FTC) maintain profitability at £200,000 even though full year revenues fell 9% to £15.6m. The telecoms and RF components and equipment supplier generated cash and net cash improved to £2.8m at the end of May 2021. 5G investment and moves into newer markets, such as space, provide a positive outlook for the future and profit should build from now on. Revenues are expected to grow by 16% this year and pre-tax profit of £500,000 is forecast.

The latest trading statement from Belvoir (BLV) confirms a strong first half with revenues growing by two-fifths, due to buoyant house sales. The steadier lettings income has grown by 13% – 10% organically, which is much faster than the market.

Maestrano (MNO) has secured a five-month proof of concept contract with Network Rail for HS1, the high speed line that goes to the channel tunnel. This will monitor overhead lines, vegetation, track and passing clearances. HS1 is the same specification as European tracks so it could provide a way into the European market.

Microbiome-based products developer Optibiotix Health (OPTI) generated a 44% increase in interim revenues to £1.07m with LP LDL probiotic cholesterol-reducing products and Slimbiome products accounting for most of the revenues.

Seeing Machines (SEE) 2020-21 revenues were 2% ahead of expectations at A$47.3m. There was $47.7m in the bank at the end of June.

Xpediator (XPD) has formed a strategic partnership with e-commerce fulfilment company Synergy Retail Support and is providing space at its Braintree warehouse.

MAIN MARKET

Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated July revenues of £5.6m, up from £4.36m in June, even though the average bitcoin price fell. A Nasdaq listing is being considered.

Challenger Acquisitions has changed its name to Cindrigo Holdings (CINH) following the completion of the acquisition of the renewable energy products business.

Kanabo (KNB) has a stake in medical cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics, which is being acquired by AIM-quoted UK SPAC (SPC) for £45.2m in shares at a minimum price of 0.472p a share. The £750,000 investment in Hellenic will be converted into shares at a minimum 30% discount to the prospective. UK SPAC intends to move to the standard list.

Starcrest Education (OBOR) has signed heads of terms to acquire 80% of National Training Company. Starcrest is not going ahead with the acquisition of The London School of Science and Technology and costs of £1.2m have been written off. There was £700,000 in cash left at the end of June 2021.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 2 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) says trading has picked up since 12 April and was even better from 17 May. Beer volumes are good, but the company lost money in the year to June 2021. Between 12 April and 26 June managed pub revenues were 84% of the same time in 2019, while tenanted pubs achieved 77% of the volume in 2019. Tenanted pubs return to paying normal rent on 2 August. Net debt is £89.8m.

Brands owner and ecommerce technology platform operator Samarkand (SMK) increased its revenues by 201% in the year to March 2021, but that was flattered by one-off personal protective equipment revenues. Since the year end a Tokyo office has been opened. The latest technology, Nomad Checkout is being piloted.

Oberon Investments (OBE) more than trebled its revenues to £3.8m in the year to March 2021. Assets under administration increased by 340% to more than £550m and more investment management firms were acquired after the year end. The broking operation has already started to win clients and has raised £30m since June 2020. There were record first quarter revenues. Chris Akers has taken a 3.58% stake.

CBD and hemp products supplier Love Hemp (LIFE) has increased its full year revenues by 60% to £4.31m, although second half revenues were lower than those in the first half, which benefitted from large orders by Boots and Holland and Barrett. This year online revenues are expected to increase significantly.

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has requested that trading of the shares on Aquis should cease. There are problems with the company’s 2020 accounts. Begbies Traynor has been appointed to advise on restructuring, but the board is unsure whether the company can continue trading.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $100,000 in the Redstone project, which will be changed for tokens at a later date. Redstone is a cross-chain data oracle technology that provides fast access to data and historic audit trail. A further $269,892 was invested in Interlay for 1,224 series seed shares.

S-Ventures (SVEN) has acquired plant-based nutrition products supplier Pulsin for £2m in cash, £2m in loan notes and 15.18 million shares. The issue of three million of the shares is deferred and dependent on sales in 2021. Pulsin has net debt of £1.2m and generated sales of 37.05m in the year to April 2021. S-Ventures already owns Ohso Chocolate and snacks firm We Love Purely.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has invested £22.5m for a majority stake in a company that owns homeware brands, including Kilner, Viners, Typhoon and Ravenhead. In 2020, revenues were £35.6m.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) had net cash of £8.8m at the end of July 2021. It has also invested £910,000 in decentralised finance investments.

Black Sea Property (BSP) is selling a property in Cyprus for €1.06m, compared with a valuation of €830,000.

Coinsilium (COIN) has moved to the Apex segment.

AIM

Big Technologies (BIG) provides remote and personal monitoring services, predominantly to the criminal justice market, and the technology has been developed over more than a decade. The company raised £14.7m after expenses at 200p a share. There was also £185.6m raised by existing shareholders, which sold around one-third of the shares in issue. In three days of trading the share price soared to 355p, which values the company at £1bn. Revenues increased from £19.3m in 2019 to £29.6m in 2020 thanks to new contracts and additional revenues from existing customers. Pre-tax profit jumped from £5.53m to £12.7m.

Tracsis (TRCS) has won a multi-year contract for its RailHub planning software. The deal is worth several million pounds, and this will make an initial high margin contribution to the financial year to July 2021. It sparked a £1m uplift in the 2021 profit forecast to £10.5m.

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) has doubled interim revenues, helped by the Hunters acquisition early this year. Organic growth was 35%.

Hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) had a tough 2020 and has just published its 2020 figures. It achieved 38% occupancy in its hostels when they were open. The loss was £10m. NAV is £28.5m. Leasehold sales have helped to reduce bank debt to £18m in July 2021. There are 16 hostels currently trading and the other two are set to reopen.

Seed Innovations (SEED) has a 5.1% stake in Canadian Stock Exchange listed CDD and health products supplier Yooma Wellness Inc, which is joining Aquis on 10 August.

MAIN MARKET

Spinnaker Acquisitions (SPAQ) is a new cash shell that has been brought to the market by the same team that floated Spinnaker Opportunities, which eventually acquired cannabis products supplier Kanabo (KNB). It raised £2.08m at 10p a share. The share price has risen to 12.5p, but there is a wide spread of 10p/15p. Spinnaker is seeking to acquire a business in the sustainability and energy transition services markets.

Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) outperformed the market in the first half of 2021 with a like-for-like increase in vehicle sales of 45%. The interim profit will be around £50m, which is one-fifth higher than previous expectations.

Andrew Hore

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