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NFT Investments (NFT) is a shell that intends to invest a portfolio of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). An NFT is a digital file with a unique and verified identity held on a digital ledger or blockchain. The tokens can be bought with cryptocurrency and resold. Ownership of NFTs can be tracked and they can be set up so that the original owner gets a cut of any subsequent sale. NFT Investments will apply to be a small registered UK AIFM. NFT Investments raised £35m at 5p a share and it has net assets of 3.7p a share. The shares ended the first day of trading at 4.95p (4.8p/5.1p) after a significant number of trades.
Apollon Formularies (APOL) has completed its reversal into AfriAg Global via an all share offer. The business holds medicinal cannabis licences in Jamaica. Interim regulations allow the export of medicinal cannabis. Medicinal cannabis oils are being sold and medically supervised treatments provided. Management intends to use £1.1m of the funds raised to finance research and development. The rest of the cash raised will go on developing product sales, operating costs and market research.
Good Energy (GOOD) increased revenues by 5% to £130.6m in 2020. Gross margins declined and higher bad debts and increased depreciation meant that underlying pre-tax profit was £400,000, down from £2.1m. Net debt was £34.6m at the end of 2020. Dividend payments will resume this year.
Gunsynd (GUN) had net assets of £4.94m at the end of January 2021. That was before the flotation of spirits company Rogue Baron (SHNJ), which has increased the value of the shareholding. There was £1m in the bank prior to the recent sale of part of the Rogue Baron stake.
KR1 (KR1) has invested $250,000 into Equilibrium in return for 595,238 EQ tokens.
Eastinco Mining (EM.P) is conducting test work on orebody samples. Discussions continue with Noble Group about an offtake agreement for tantalum and tine from the Musasa project. There is $325,000 in the bank.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) subsidiary CoalTech has signed development agreements to identify opportunities in China and Indonesia. It will own 20% CoalTech Far East and Daniel Lee the rest.
Love Hemp (LIFE) has increased the amount raised in the recent placing from £5m to £7m.
Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 12.3% to 14.1%. Sebastian Marr has taken a 3% stake in Rogue Baron (SHNJ).
AdEPT Technology (LON: ADT) has acquired Datrix for an initial £9m, with potential deferred consideration of up to £7m based on the growth of the business. The business provides cloud-based networking and cyber security services, and the two firms already work together. In the year to March 2021, Datrix is estimated to have generated revenues of £10.7m and pre-tax profit of £600,000. There should be £400,000 of annualised cost savings.
A £10m placing at 10p a share by Helium One Global (HE1) was oversubscribed. There was enough cash in the bank to drill three exploration wells at the 100%-owned Rukwa helium project in Tanzania in the next few months. The additional funds will enable the drilling rig to be retained for additional appraisal and more 3D seismic can be acquired.
Open Orphan (ORPH) is planning to demerge HVO-001, which is a small molecule, immunomodulator drug that could become a treatment for severe flu, and other non-core assets inherited from the merger with hVIVO. Shareholders will receive shares in the new vehicle which could be quoted on AIM.
Franchised lettings agency Belvoir (LSE: BLV) improved 2020 revenues from £19.3m to £21.7m, while pre-tax profit rose from £6.2m to £7.5m. Net debt was £3.7m at the end of 2020, although £4m has since been spent on the Nicholas Humphreys business. The property market remains buoyant.
Steel structures supplier Billington (LSE: BILN) still has a strong balance sheet with net cash of £13.9m. Last year, revenues slumped from £104.9m to £66m, while pre-tax profit dipped from £5.9m to £1.7m. The final dividend is 4.25p a share. There is a significant order book, but costs are increasing.
Gaming machine monitors and consoles supplier Quixant (QXT) returned to profit in the second half of 2020. Full year revenues fell from $92.3m to $63.8m, while pre-tax profit dipped from $10.7m to $1.3m. The Densitron displays business did well due to demand from medical and broadcast customers.
Iodine producer Iofina (IOF) says that quarterly production fell 17% to 108.2MT and the first half production is likely to be around 250MT. This is due to the cold weather and the lower than expected production is offset by higher iodine prices.
GYG (GYG) says that a German shipyard has gone into administration with more than £2m of invoices outstanding. This was announced after Harwood Capital said it is considering a bid for the superyacht painting and maintenance services provider of 92.5p a share.
For the first time since April 2017, Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) has published a trading statement at 7pm on a Friday rather than after 4.30pm.
Mast Energy Developments (MAST) intends to develop a portfolio of reserve power assets. The first projects should be up and running this year. AIM-quoted, Africa-focused power projects developer Kibo Energy (KIBO) set up Mast Energy to buy and develop flexible power plants that will supply the reserve power market in the UK. A placing raised £5.54m at 12.5p a share when Mast joined the standard list on 14 April. Kibo still owns 55.4% of Mast.
NMCN (NMCN) has agreed a new £8.9m facility with Reflex Bridging Ltd. This is secured on property developments. The overdraft has been extended by Lloyds Bank.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has secured a strategic partnership with albis-elcon, which will jointly offer the company’s network function virtualisation technology NFVTime.
Valiant Investments (VALP) has raised a further £52,500 at 0.1p a share and its 84.7%-owned subsidiary Flamethrower has acquired FootballTipsFC.com for £40,000. Subscriptions generate £50,000 a year in revenues for the website which provides football betting tips.
Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) reported a lower loss in the year to February 2017. Revenues improved from $1.2m to $1.53m, while the loss reduced from $150,000 to $110,000. The main business, Meyer Asset Management, made an improved contribution. The auditor has highlighted that no impairment assessment has been made on the investment in Ray Alliance. There is still $869,000 in the bank, following the acquisition of an investment property for $388,000. Management is assessing acquisitions in the fintech sector.
Block Energy (BLOK) has acquired a producing oil field in Georgia. The 90% working interest in the Satskhenisi production sharing agreement will be acquired for 70 million shares (14.35% of Block), which will be owned by Iksander . The field is near the Norio field where Block already has an interest. The permit runs until 2025 with a potential five year extension. Operating costs are up to $25/barrel and the current production from three wells is 10 barrels a day. The sale price is Brent minus $9/barrel. Block will retain 75% of revenues until more than $10m of capital costs are recovered. The purchase includes $500,000 worth of equipment, which can be used in other fields where Block has an interest.
Via Developments (VIA1) has raised a further £100,000 from a placing of 7% debenture stock 2020. Via has completed the Canal Street development in Manchester and the realised gross development value is £2.28m.
Hellenic Capital (HECP) has acquired an office premises in Leeds for £200,000. This was after the latest interims to June 2017. This is part of the new investing strategy. Net assets fell from £81,000 to £59,000 at the end of June 2017, including cash of £28,000.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has invested an additional £150,000 in portfolio company Computer Application Services. Capital for Colleagues initially invested £150,000 in the Edinburgh-based software company at the beginning of 2016 and the latest investment will double the number of A shares it owns to 300,000.
Ecovista (EVTP) has raised £350,000 at 0.035p a share. This takes the stake owned by Hubwise to 12.45% and Elite CAM Balanced Discretionary Fund to 9.34%
Asset management performance software provider StatPro (SOG) reported a 23% rise in interim revenues to £21.6m, while underlying earnings per share improved from 1.1p to 1.8p. The interim dividend is unchanged at 0.85p a share. There was an initial two month contribution from the UBS Delta business and the annualised recurring revenues are running at £53.2m, which is before the latest three year contract in Australia. The acquired technology will be integrated with StatPro Revolution.
Telecoms infrastructure equipment supplier Filtronic (FTC) reported a jump in full year revenues from £13.6m to £35.4m thanks to a large order for antennas. There was a swing from a £7m loss to a £2.2m profit. The balance sheet is strong with net cash of £2.6m. Future investment in 5G telecoms infrastructure augurs well for Filtronic. Hargreave Hale has increased its stake from £6.16% to 11.3%.
Real Good Food (RGD) says that its forecast for the year to March 2017 was wrong because two anticipated claims have not materialised and it had incorrectly capitalised certain costs. This will knock £2m off expected profit. This revelation comes a few weeks after Downing invested £2.75m at 35p a share and the share price has subsequently slumped to 20.75p. Payments to Pieter Totte and Peter Salter over a three year period were not separately disclosed. Salter has left the Real Good Food board but Totte continues to survive as executive chairman.
Fairpoint Group (FRP) says it intends to appoint an administrator because of the cost of the lease on its head office costing £1m a year for four years. The IVA and related businesses are still being sold.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) has acquired IT services provider Atomwide, which provides services to schools and local authorities, for an initial £12m. This adds 4% to this year’s earnings and 9% to next year’s. It was partly funded by £7.3m convertible loan from Business Growth Fund, which is convertible at 393p a share.
GetBusy (GETB) joined AIM last week and the share price rose to 34.5p. Cloud-based document management software provider GetBusy was spun out of ASX-listed software company Reckon and raised £3m from a rights issue. The two existing software products, SmartVault and Virtual Cabinet, generated revenues of £8m in 2016 – 82% of which is recurring – up from £6.8m the previous year. Accounting firms generate the majority of revenues and GetBusy is trying to expand in other sectors. Next generation software SCIM is being developed in order to make it easier for businesses to interact with customers and become more organised and productive.
Botswana Diamonds (BOD) has raised £543,000 at 1.25p a share and warrants have been exercised at 0.85p a share raising a further £265,000. The cash will finance exploration in Botswana and to assess an inferred resource for Frischgewaagt.
Ascent Resources (AST) has installed the infrastructure at the Petisovci project in Slovenia to enable the gas to be exported.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) says that 51%-owned DragonFinancials is paying a dividend of $2m and TechFinancials will receive £1.02m. The payment date is 20 August.
Kestrel Partners has slashed its stake in home improvement products supplier entu (UK) (ENTU) from 21.1% to 7.33%. This investment appears a rare mistake for Kestrel which has a good record of building up stakes in technology businesses. Kestrel was still building up its entu stake in the first quarter of this year. The entu share price is around its all-time low so Kestrel will have made a significant loss on this investment. Meanwhile, entu is trying to secure a refinancing but this is likely to mean that the existing shareholders will be left with little in terms of value. The group continues to lose money.
Thor Mining (THR) is acquiring an interest in Kapunda copper deposit in South Australia. Thor is investing up to A$1.8m in convertible loan notes in a company earning a 75% stake in Kapunda. The initial investment is A$200,000. Conversion of the loan notes could give Thor up to 60% of this company. Due diligence on the US lithium assets has gone well and additional mineralisation has been identified. Director Paul Johnson acquired 500,000 Thor shares at 085p each.
A disposal deal for the interiors division of Stanley Gibbons (SGI) has fallen through because the buyer could not come up with the money. There is a termination fee payable and Stanley Gibbons believes that there are other buyers.
MayAir Group (MAYA) has won a $13.6m order to supply filtration and clean room equipment to a Chinese LCD panel manufacturer and most of the revenue will be recognised in 2017.
Empyrean Energy (EME) has raised £1m at 8.5p a share. Drilling has commenced on the Dempsey 1-15 onshore well in California.
Billington Holdings (BILN) says that its structural steel business has won two contracts worth £14m. One is for a London university and the other is for a distribution warehouse in south west England and some of the work will carry over into 2018.
Diesel engines and parts supplier Associated British Engineering (ABSE) reported a higher loss in 2016-17 and there was also a sharp drop in NAV. The weak oil and gas market continues to hold back the group and revenues fell from £1.77m to £1.04m. The loss increased from £621,000 to £962,000, after a large increase in pension costs. The total cash outflow was just over £1mm similar to the previous year. Cash and financial assets total £968,000. There is a 2.3% stake in AIM-quoted SalvaRx. The initial stake was taken when the company was 3legs Resources. The NAV fell from 73p a share to 50p a share. This is despite a decrease in the pension deficit from £1.93m to £1.38m. There are £3.1m of trading losses and £8.5m of capital losses available but there is no deferred tax asset in the balance sheet.
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.
Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported record results for the year to June 2016. Revenues increased by 1% to £139.9m, while underlying pre-tax profit was 11% higher at £10.3m. The growth in revenues and profit came from the managed pubs business. The brewing division reported a lower profit due to the loss of the Kingfisher brewing contract and higher costs of the water treatment plant. The final dividend is 3% higher at 22.05p a share, making a total for the year of 27.5p a share.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) is starting to build up its revenues from products created in partnership with a number of UK universities. Distributors are being appointed for the cyber risk product Rizikon which is based on research by City University. In the six months to June 2016, revenues were £164,000 – eight times the previous twelve months. The loss was £403,000. There was £668,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016, which is slightly more than the cash outflow in the first half. Boss Tom Ilube was on the panel for the cyber security seminar held at ICAP’s headquarters last Wednesday.
Blockchain businesses investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) reported revenues of £196,000 and a loss of £270,000, including an impairment charge of £120,000, in the first half of 2016. There was nearly £164,000 in the bank at the end of June 2016. There are investments valued at £1.67m in the balance sheet.
Residential property developer Via Developments (VIA1) has issued a further £1m of 7% debentures 2020. This takes the total issued to £4.5m.
London Nusantara Plantations (LNPP) has identified potential oil palm estates investments in east Malaysia. The company has acquired an 11% stake in 404 hectares of land to use for oil palm cultivation. There is nearly £162,000 in the bank. Acquisitions will be funded by a mix of debt and equity.
Incubator company Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has become involved with 15 companies and one of these, Knowledge Motion, has signed a seven figure deal with Pearson. Milamber has the rights to 5% of Knowledge Motion. There was £289 in the bank at the end of March 2016 and the NAV was £291,000. Since then, a further £45,000 has been raised. Service and success fees plus grant-related revenues mean that this years revenues should be much higher than the £70,000 reported in the year to March 2016.
White Fox Ventures Inc is subscribing for $2.35m of shares in Australian minerals explorer NQ Minerals (NQMI) in seven tranches over six months. The issue price is 11.1 cents (8.4p). White Fox has already subscribed for $150,000 worth of shares. White Fox (www.whitefoxventures.com) is an OTXQB-traded company and this is the first of a number of strategic investments planned by the company. The company is also seeking acquisitions and its current activity is educating people how to make money.
Electricity and gas supplier Yu Group (YU.) could reach profitability in the second half of 2016. Even before it moved into profit Yu is paying a maiden dividend of 0.75p. A growing dividend is planned. Yu is still building up its revenues and they were £5.1m in the first half of 2016 but higher operating expenses meant that there was an underlying interim loss. Yu could become highly cash generative. It is expected to end 2016 with cash of £6.6m and this could rise to £10.3m a year later.
Bond International Software (BDI) has recommended the increase Constellation Software bid of 115.5p a share, which is near to the 116p-118p a share the company expects to distribute to shareholders if it were wound up. The bid provides a certain outcome whereas there is a risk that the total distributions could be lower. However, if there is a majority vote at the upcoming general meeting to agree to the sale of the remaining businesses the offer will lapse. That would mean that the proposed acquirer would have to be paid up to £350,000 due to the deal falling through.
Sinclair Pharma (SPH) was undergone significant changes in the past year but it has still to enjoy the benefits of some of these. It does have cash of £24.4m following the disposal of non-core activities in order to concentrate on aesthetic treatments. Sales are growing internationally but the taking over of distribution in Brazil and the US distribution deal for Silhouette InstaLift will make more significant contributions in a year or two. The latter will require a lot of investment in the coming year or so but it should help Sinclair to move into profit in 2018.
Structural steel supplier Billington Holdings (BILN) is continuing its recovery and the acquisition of Shafton Steel Services, which is based five miles away from the head office, enables Billington to increase its capacity. In the six months to June 2016, revenues improved from £24.5m to £27m, while pre-tax profit edged ahead from £1.7m to £1.74m after redundancy costs. The pre-tax profit margin is back above 6% but there is still more potential for recovery. Strong cash flow meant that cash more than doubled to £6.24m. There will be some additional capital investment required to increase capacity. The order book continues to grow.
Mobile payments processor MiPay (MPAY) is being used to process an increasing number of transactions, although interim revenues were affected by a change in terms with a large customer. The good news is that although revenues were 7% ahead at £1.6m, gross profit was one-third higher. Combining that with lower overheads means that the operating loss was reduced by three-quarters to £250,000. Clients are attracted by MiPay’s ability to reduce the risk of fraud. There should be £3m of net cash at the end of 2016. MiPay could make a small profit in 2017.
Fund manager Miton Group (MGR) increased its funds under management to £2.54bn by the end of June and that was despite an outflow from the CF Miton UK Value Opportunities Fund. The figure has risen further to £2.71bn since then. In the six months to June 2016, pre-tax profit recovered from £800,000 to £3.1m. Net cash was £18.4m at the end of August 2016.
Mortice Ltd (MORT) says that its UK facilities management business has been appointed to a £60m framework contract with London Universities. The contract for cleaning and associated services is for a three year period. Those companies on the framework will be invited to bid for individual contracts. Mortice’s subsidiary is the only company that has been appointed to all three parts of the framework.
Fishing tackle and consumables retailer Fishing Republic (FISH) grew its first half revenues by one-third to £2.5m. This was via a combination of organic growth and new store openings, although these newere sites are still building up trade. Online sales were weaker as management moved the focus away from third party sites to its own branded website. That will help margins in the medium-term. Underlying pre-tax profit edged up from £149,000 to £157,000. Two more stores will open in the second half. Investment in new stores will hold back this year’s profit whih is expected to rise from £305,000 in 2015 to £404,000. Earnings per share will decline because of the recent share issue but that cash is being put to work and the benefits should show through next year.
Talent management technology and services provider NetDimensions (NETD) remains on track to move into profit next year. Higher margin licence sales rose during the first half but overall interim revenues were slightly lower at $10.5m. Recurring revenues are more than two-thirds of total revenues. Full year revenues of $26.6m and a loss of $400,000 is forecast. In 2017, a profit of $1.2m is expected on revenues of $31.5m.
Coins investor Avarae Global Coins (AVR) plans to ditch its AIM quotation and it is offering to buy back 16.16 million shares at 11.5p each. It plans to buy back the same number of shares after it leaves AIM. High quality coin prices are plateauing and a small loss was made in the year to March 2016. There is no dividend. There was a cash balance of £570,000 at the end of March and the NAV was 14.6p a share.
Project management services provider Styles & Wood (STY) is paying an initial £2m in cash and shares for Keysource, which will boost the group’s expertise in projects for critical facilities and data centres. The deal will be earnings enhancing next year. In the six months to June 2016, Styles & Wood improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £200,000 to £500,000, although the business is second half weighted so the full year outcome will be much higher.
AIM-quoted Kibo Mining (KIBO) is reversing the Imweru and Lubando gold projects into standard list shell Opera Investments (OPRA). Kibo will receive 61 million shares in Opera at a notional price of 6p each for the Tanzania-based projects. Imeru could be producing gold in 18 months. An AIM admission document is expected to be published before the end of November and at least £1.2m will be raised at 6p a share. The Opera share price has slumped from 10p to 4.38p since it floated in April 2015. Two previous acquisitions have fallen through. It will be interesting to see whether Opera will change its name to Katoro Gold Mining.
Blockchain technology investor Coinsilium (COIN) has raised £1.15m of the £1.5m it is seeking via crowdfunding site Seedrs.com. Coinsilium has also raised additional cash via a placing ahead of a potential flotation on ISDX. There are still 39 days to go for the crowdfunding. Coinsilium already has a portfolio of eleven investments. Blockchain technology groups digital transactions into blocks that can be accessed easily and provides a permanent record of transfers of assets. This means that transactions can be verified and reconciled without the need for a centralised third party.
Property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has completed the sale of the remaining units of Telephone House in Sheffield. The property is owned by a 38%-owned associate but it was consolidated in the Ace figures. The latest disposal proceeds were £4m taking the amount raised from the site to £8.1m. Ace will receive £2.2m, which includes a profit of £456,000. This can be reinvested in other properties. The strategy is to acquire properties with short-term tenancies with government or other blue chip tenants. These are properties that can be converted into residential or student accommodation, or other new uses. Once planning is approved then Ace will probably sell them on to developers, although it could choose to develop some sites itself. Dr Abdel-Karim El-Rousstom has bought 2 million shares and Hikmat El-Rousstom 2.91 million shares at 2.75p each. That raised £135,000 for Ace and takes their stakes to 18.7% and 2% respectively.
Online secondary school operator and consultancy Wey Education (WEYP) wants to raise £1.75m as part of a move to AIM on 7 December. The cash will be used to grow the business. At 4.5p (4p/5p) a share, Wey is currently valued at £2m.
GP software provider DXS International (DXSP) says that its revenues have increased by 42% in the five months to September 2015. Annualised revenues are £3.2m. The interims will be published in the middle of December. At 13p (12.5p/13.5p) a share, DXS is valued at £4.3m.
Green Chemicals (GNCP), which is developing cleaner and safer consumer and cleaning products, has decided to withdraw from the ISDX Growth market. The share price slumped from 22.5p to 4.5p on the news. There was one trade during the week at 2p a share. The board is asking shareholders to vote for the withdrawal in order to save £35,000 a year and in the hope that an investor in unquoted companies can be attracted. News will be published on the website (www.greenchemicalsplc.com) and broker Keith Bayley Rogers will provide a matched bargains service for the shares. Earlier this month, IP Group provided a loan facility of up to £1.5m to Green Chemicals. This can be converted into shares. IP Group along with two other associates has a total interest of 29.5%.
Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) has raised a further £1m (£990,000 after expenses) through the issue of 8.5% unsecured bonds 2020. This means that there will be £3.2m of unsecured bonds in issue. There should be more than £3m in total to invest in developing the company’s oil and gas assets in Ohio and West Virginia.
Structural steels supplier Billington Holdings (BILN) is adding additional capacity through the £4.85m acquisition of property and assets five miles away from the company’s Barnsley facility, which is operating at record levels. The purchase will be funded by a £2.5m mortgage and from the company’s cash pile. Capacity will be increased over a two year period as the acquired facilities are adapted to optimise production. The site has long-term tenants which generate annual rents of £400,000. Assuming the deal goes through it should add £200,000 to profit in 2016 before the benefits of the additional capacity show through.
Inland Homes (INL) has sold a major part of the former RAF Stanbridge site to Catalyst Housing Association for £14m. Inland has retained a 0.5 acre retail site pre-let to a major food retailer and another small parcel of land. The disposal will help to underpin the 2015-16 profit expectations of £16m. Inland has invested £1m in a 25% stake in housebuilder Troy Homes. Inland will also be providing a further £2m to Troy in loan notes. Troy is run by former Banner Homes boss Richard Werth. Inland has also secured a £20m revolving credit facility with Barclays, which matures in October 2019. There is scope for a further £10m to be added to the facility.
Property lettings and sales business franchisor Belvoir Lettings (BLV) says that its franchisees have made acquisitions in Southampton and Brighton, which will add network revenues of £250,000. This means that they should add £30,000 to Belvoir’s franchise revenues, plus additional interest income of £10,000 a year from the loans. Belvoir has loaned £118,500 to help finance these acquisitions. In Southampton, lettings and estate agency Langford Charles has been bought, while in Brighton a property portfolio was acquired.
Fifty Four Four Ltd, which is owned by YCO director Charles Birkett, has increased its stake in former AIM company YCO to 71% following its 1p a share bid, which valued the superyacht services provider at £485,000. Fifty Four Four already owned 50.4% prior to the bid but it does not have a high enough stake to compulsorily purchase the rest of the shares. YCO was trading at 7.25p a share prior to the announcement of its intention to leave AIM in May 2012 – it left in July 2012 and re-registered as a private company in 2014. Net cash was £2.46m at the end of 2011 following the disposal of a fuel business.
Specialist Fund Market-listed Marwyn Value Investors Ltd (MVI) has raised £50m at 220p a share with the founders Mark Watts and James Corsellis investing an additional £2m in total. The cash raised will go into the Master Fund, whose portfolio includes BCA Marketplace, Zegona Communications, Gloo Networks and Le Chameau Holdings SAS. There will be a special dividend of 2p a share paid in January and from then on the dividend will be quarterly. Last year’s dividend was 8.255p a share and this will be the minimum total payment in 2016 – not including the January dividend. The disposal of the Entertainment One stake will provide cash to distribute to shareholders. There could also be special dividends following any disposals from the portfolio. In October, Marwyn paid 24.6p a share to investors. Marwyn is trading at a 16% discount to estimated NAV of 256.3p a share.
Dr Qu Li has been appointed as a non-executive director of cash shell Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) and she will be seeking an acquisition in the area of logistics and/or technology. LCP Consulting (http://www.lcpconsulting.com/) has been taken on to identify an acquisition. LCP has been researching city logistics, including the use of electric vehicles in order to improve air quality. Annual costs are around £70,000 and there was £247,000 in the bank at the end of October. Since then, a further £100,000 has been raised via the issue of convertible loan notes, taking the total issued to £369,800. The new loan notes are convertible at 1.5p a share.
Aminex (AEX) has signed a disposal and farm out agreement for its Tanzania oil and gas assets with AIM-quoted Bowleven. The deal will raise cash of $8.5m and Aminex will receive $5m of shares in Bowleven, which it will have to retain for at least nine months. Bowleven is buying a 25% stake in the Kiliwani North development licence and earning a 50% gross interest in the Ruvuma PSA. Aminex will have a net carry of $10m on Ruvuma activity. Aminex is also entitled to a bonus of $500,000 in cash when drilling is completed on the Ntorya-2 well and $4m in cash or shares when Ruvuma has been in production for at least 30 days. Current partner Solo Oil is entitled to 25% of the net carry and 25% of the bonus for Ruvuma. Aminex will be able to reduce its debt but it remains as operator of the assets with 30.575% in Kilwani North – Solo can purchase a further 6.5% stake from Aminex – and 37.5% of Ruvuma. The deal has to be approved by Aminex shareholders and by Solo.
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