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Smart home products supplier Sandal (SAND) reported a decline in overall revenues from £3.75m to £3.62m for the year to May 2018, but this masks the 71% growth of the Energenie MiHome revenues to £1.01m. Sandal reduced its operating loss and there was nearly £51,000 in the bank, although net debt was £1.09m.. A small profit is forecast for 2018-19 with a small increase in net debt expected. Sandal may need additional cash to increase the marketing for the Energenie MiHome brand.
High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £500,000 at 0.8p a share, which was a 77% premium to the market price. Malcolm Burne and Professor Michael Cain have left the board and been replaced by Jens Zimmerman, who becomes non-executive chairman. The investment strategy will be widened from medicinal cannabis, because of a lack of opportunities, to technology. The company intends to acquire a 9.8% stake in Belgium-based artificial intelligence software developer Sentiance. The software enables companies to understand user behaviour. The data comes from smart devices. The technology is used in areas, such as insurance, health and car driving.
Asia Wealth Group Holdings Ltd (AWLP) improved its interim revenues from $1.15m to $1.24m. The pre-tax profit fell from $162,000 to $66,000. There was $1.4m in the bank at the end of August 2018.
Equatorial Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has published its 2017 figures and interims to June 2018. The full year loss was £294,000 and the interim loss increased from £117,000 to £162,000. There was £53,000 in the bank at the end of June 2018. The company is beginning to ship coal from its mine in Nigeria.
Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed KSA Group Ltd to liquidate the company.
Shen Chaohuli has sold his 18.3% stake in TechFinancials Inc (TECH) to Ou Qiao.
Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) has received a cash injection to keep it going, after unknown overdraft facilities were discovered. The cash balance in the recent accounts does not appear to exist. A placing has raised £15.7m at 50p a share. Chairman Luke Johnson is also providing loan facilities of up to £20m.
EKF Diagnostics (EKF) has revealed details of the spinning off of Renalytix AI on AIM. Renalytix AI is raising cash at 121p a share as part of the flotation, which should happen on 31 October. EKF will distribute its near-21 million shares in the company to its own shareholders, although it will subscribe for new shares. EKF shareholders will also get the chance to invest up to £3.5m in new shares.
Diversified Gas and Oil (DGOC) is making another major acquisition. The oil and gas producer is paying $183m for Core Appalachia, which is funded by cash and shares issued at 115p each. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.
Vertu Motors (VTU) has been hit by a lack of cars due to the newly installed testing procedures but it still has a strong balance sheet and it will make a significant full year profit. September registrations were the worst since 2011 and Vertu was not immune. That will hit the second half. There was an improved performance in the used car market to help offset the weaker new car sales in the first half. Pre-tax profit is expected to decline from £28.6m to £22.1m in the year to February 2019.
Marshall Motor Holdings (MMH) has reaffirmed that it is on course to make a full year pre-tax profit of £24.2m, down from £29.1m in 2017.
OnTheMarket (OTMP) has increased its spending on marketing and IT since floating on AIM and this has pushed it into loss. A full year loss of £14.7m is expected and there is not likely to be much of a reduction the following year. The online property platform has succeeded in doubling the estate agency offices using the service to more than 11,000 many of the additional offices are in a trial period and not paying to put their properties on the platform. The investment being made will only be justified if these offices start to pay fees. The IT investment will enable the company to offer more products and services and increase revenues that way as well.
Access Intelligence (ACC) is acquiring ResponseSource, which provides SaaS-based services to the PR and media sectors, for £5.5m. This company fits well with the group’s existing business. A ten-for-one share consolidation is planned.
Health monitoring equipment developer LiDCO Group (LID) is still going through the transition from a sales model to one based on regular income from hospitals. Interim recurring revenues increased by 11% but total revenues were 8% lower at £3.6m. Importantly, there should be enough cash in the bank to move the business towards profitability. That could happen in 2019-2020 but is more likely to be the following year.
Melissa Blau is stepping down as chief executive of Veltyco (VLTY) fewer than seven months after she was appointed. The shares price has fallen by three-fifths in the subsequent period.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosander (SOS) has raised £3m at 32p a share, which is more than double the flotation price of 15.1p a share. First half revenues were £1.84m.
Titon (TON) has firmed up its plan to move to AIM. The window components manufacturer expects to join AIM on 10 December.
Toople (TOOP) says trading in the first week of its new financial year is ahead of expectations. The statement remains, as ever, light on proper financials and indications of losses. Toople raised £2.2m at 0.3p a share, so it has enough cash for the time being.
In the first half of 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased media revenues by one-fifth and, along with growth in nursery and lodge revenues, this helped the racecourse operator to raise revenues by 5% to £7.33m even though two race days were lost to bad weather. Enough cash was generated to more than cover capital spending.
Block Commodities (BLCC) has signed a non-binding letter of intent with the Eelleet Network Corp, which intends to buy Block. There would be an all share recommended offer and the enlarged business would list on the Canadian Stock Exchange. Trading in Block shares has been suspended.
Ananda Developments (ANA) has obtained a £300,000 convertible loan facility with two directors, Charles Morgan and Melissa Sturgess. The annual interest rate is 10% and the conversion price is 0.75p a share. The manufacture of 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies’ vaporisers and consumable packs containing four hapac sachets of 0.25g medicinal cannabis has commenced in China. AfriAg Global (AFRI) has applied for a medicinal cannabis licence in the UK. Fellow cannabis investment company Sativa Investments (SATI) has set up a German wholesaling subsidiary and it will invest €80,000 for a 60% stake.
In the six months to June 2018, St Mark Homes (SMAP) increased revenues from £71,000 to £139,000 and it made a small loss excluding negative goodwill release. The interim dividend was unchanged at 5.5p a share. The NAV is £5.9m, including £754,000 in cash, which is equivalent to 134p a share. St Mark is trying to gain planning permission for the commercial development in Sutton High Street. Two other properties in London are being redeveloped and sales have commenced. A development in Wembley should start in 2019.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a profit in the first half of 2018, but that was due to a change in the fair value of the option to acquire 90% of Cedex. Revenues fell 48% to $3.78m and the underlying loss of the fintech software provider increased from $282,000 to $971,000. The blockchain operations made an initial contribution of $1.23m to revenues. The B2C operations have ceased in Europe and the company wants to sell its subsidiary with a FSA licence. Higher regulations have hampered the B2B technology customers.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) reported an increased interim loss of $9.43m due to higher finance costs. Admin costs were flat. The development of the Hellyer gold project in Tasmania is progressing well and the first sales of concentrate should happen before the end of this year. Work continues towards a move to a standard listing.
Less than one month after asking for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended Positive Healthcare (DOC) has appointed Eric Walls and Wayne Harrison of KSA to advise on a liquidation process. Irregularities were identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.
Eight Capital Partners (MORE) had cash of £773,000 at the end of June 2018. That was before the former Cogenpower acquired €111,100 worth of 8% corporate bonds 2020 in Italian financial services company Finance Partners Group. Other financial services and technology investments are being considered.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has been readmitted to NEX and AIM on 21 September, after it completed its migration from the Isle of Man to Bermuda.
IT recruitment and consultancy Parity (PTY) remains on track for an improvement in pre-tax profit from £1.7m to £1.9m but cash generation is not as good as expected. Net debt is still expected to reduce from £1.6m to £900,000. The previously announced Primark managed services contract has started well, although another contract has been delayed. The consultancy business continues to contribute a growing proportion of profit.
Tlou Energy Ltd (TLOU) has agreed locations for pilot production at the Lesedi coal bed methane project in Botswana and the first well should be spudded in October.
N+1 Singer has upgraded its forecast for EKF Diagnostics (EKF) following the interim figures. There was a 5% decline in revenues to £20.4m, while underlying profit improved from £2.3m to £2.7m. Around £250,000 has been added to the profit, taking pre-tax profit to £7.7m. The launch of haemoglobin analyser DiaSpect following FDA approval will boost next year’s figures. The spin out of RenalytixAI continues and it will require a general meeting.
Audio products supplier Focusrite (TUNE) says full year revenues were in line with expectations of £75.4m, while cash of £22.8m is better than forecast. A pre-tax profit of £10.8m is forecast. There are concerns about US tariffs.
Tanfield (TAN) has warned that it may not get anything for its stake in Snorkel if the call option is exercised. Management has already said that it will write down the value of the investment to £19.1m ($25.3m), which already knocks 12p a share off NAV, but there is a disagreement about the interpretation of the original agreement.
Disappointing results from the Atopic Dermatitis study has led Realm Therapeutics (RLM) to appoint MTS Health Partners to advise on strategy alternatives. Realm is considered to be in an offer period. There was $21.3m in the bank at the end of August.
Short-term weakness in the oil palm price has held back the progress of plantations operator MP Evans (MPE) in the first half, but crude palm oil production is increasing in line with expectations (91,900 tons in the first half). That means that full year revenues are likely to be flat and pre-tax profit will be lower. Longer-term growth will come from increased production from more recently planted areas.
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) is coming up to its first year on AIM and the growth momentum continues.
Huadong Medicine Aesthetics has launched its recommended 32p a share cash bid for Sinclair Pharma (SPH) and that values the company at £166.6m.
There has been a lot of activity at Frontier IP (FIPP) in the past week. The AB Sugar head of innovation Matthew White is joining the company as head of commercialisation. Recycled building materials developer Alusid has raised £1.34m, including the conversion of a £348,000 loan from Frontier IP, which has a 35.6% stake. The Alusid investment had been valued at £700,000 and the latest fundraising values it at £1.73m. The cash will be used by Alusid to invest in its manufacturing facility, which should start production in 2020. The total cost will be £10m. A new company has been set up to develop new antibiotics. Frontier IP has a 10% stake in Amprologix, which has been spun out of the University of Plymouth. The first product is likely to be a cream that contains epidermicin, which can kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA.
There was a switch in the mix of revenues at job screening services provider ClearStar Inc (CLSU) in the first half as revenues increased by 11% to $9.9m. The growth has come from Medical Information Systems, which has lower margins and this means that the overall loss is reducing more slowly than expected. The cash outflow is small. Net cash is $1.2m.
Diurnal Group (DNL) is going along as expected with the launch of its Alkindi paediatric adrenal insufficiency treatment in Germany but the market has been unnerved by a negative comment from a German government research organisation. It pointed out that the performance of Alkindi was not compared with another treatment which has not been given regulatory approval. This does not appear likely to affect the relationship with the German regulatory authorities. There will be news from the European phase III trial for Chronocort before the end of the year.
Stockdale has initiated research on professional services group Christie Group (CTG) and expects a full year profit of £3.5m. It has already achieved an interim profit of £1.75m.
VR Education (VRE) still had £4.9m in the bank at the end of June 2018. Since then there have been improvements to the ENGAGE platform ahead of the full commercial launch before the end of the year. The full version of Titanic VR was launched in August and it is set to be launched on Playstation.
Energy supplier Yu Group (YU.) continues to grow rapidly and it is moving into the water sector. Interim revenues jumped from £20.8m to £35.8m, while underlying pre-tax profit moved ahead from £1.15m to £1.8m. Growth is coming from the larger corporate sector which has held back margins because they are via brokers. The interim dividend is one-fifth higher at 1.2p a share. There was £18.2m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
N4 Pharma (N4P) has undertaken a strategic review following the failure of the reformulation of sildenafil to achieve its key targets in its clinical trial. It would cost a lot and increase risk if the company undertook further reformulation of this generic. The generics division has been closed and the focus will be the Nuvec delivery system. Initial results from research should be available before the end of the year. There was £1.6m in the bank at the end of June 2018.
Books publisher Quarto Group (QRT) increased interim revenues from $50.2m to $56.2m and the underlying loss fell from $8.7m to $6.6m. Net debt was $73.2m at the end of June 2018. Management is talking to banks to extend the bank facility until August 2020. Costs are being reduced.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) intends to broaden its investment remit to include cannabis processing, as well as the energy and industrial sectors. Finance professional Alan Hume has joined the board of the standard list shell. He was previously an adviser to the company and until last year finance director of Zenith Energy (ZEN). Between 2010 and 2012 he was finance director of Xtract Energy (XTR).
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) has completed its feasibility report into the reopening of the Gubong gold mine and the joint venture with Southern Gold has started. Production of 10,000 ounces of gold is initially targeted.
Healthperm Resourcing Ltd (HPR) has won a contract from Medway NHS Foundation Trust to supply up to 400 nurses. New research from Edison Investment Research forecasts a 2018 loss of £2.3m for the healthcare staffing company, falling to £600,000 in 2019. Initial revenues were generated last year and they could reach £2.8m in 2019. As revenues grow margins should improve. Net debt could be more than £5m by the end of 2018. The company’s loan notes, which are being subscribed for in monthly tranches by the majority shareholder, are repayable at the end of 2019.
Barkby Group (BARK) joined NEX in June after reversing into former AIM company Sovereign Mines of Africa. The gastropubs operator generated revenues of £950,000 and an underlying pre-tax profit, before flotation costs, of £133,000 in the three months to July 2018. The Turf to Table branded outlets continue to outperform expectations. The company is debt free and ready to acquire additional properties.
Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has appointed an unnamed nominated adviser ahead of a prospective flotation on AIM in the next few months. Hybridan is already the company broker. SaaS-based cyber software provider Rizikon Assurance is making progress and other products are in development.
Halal food-based certification services provider DagangHalal (DGHL) increased its revenues from MYR4.64m to MYR6.46m in 2017. There was a cash outflow from operating activities of MYR9.44m and net cash was MYR11.6m at the end of 2018. The company has subsequently settled the dispute with its former chief executive with a payment of MYR500,000.
Blockchain ventures investor and adviser Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has entered into a strategic partnership with Universal Reward Protocol, which is developing a protocol so that retailers and shoppers can interact, for a €20m token sale. Coinsilium has also agreed an advisory partnership with Y Ventures subsidiary, Luminore 8.
Positive Healthcare (DOC) has asked for trading in the company’s 7% bonds 2021 to be suspended. Irregularities have been identified at the principal operating subsidiary and Positive is unable to publish its accounts or pay the next instalment of interest on the bonds.
Etaireia (ETIP) has completed the sale of a property in Girvan for a loss of £12,000. The company acquired the property for 25 million shares and £35.000 in cash and has received £47,000 in cash plus £1,000 contribution to legal costs. The £35,000 cash consideration is yet to be paid.
PCG Entertainment (PCGE) had $1.4m in the bank at the end of March 2018. Since then, the settlement of an equity share agreement cost $156,000. Litigation with a former chief executive, which scuppered acquisition plans, has been completed with a settlement of $286,000. PCG is in talks with a potential gaming company acquisition.
Panther Metals (PALM) has completed its review of technical information on three exploration tenements in north west Ontario, where it holds an option to acquire. Several high grade gold veins and base metal occurrences have been identified. A detailed exploration programme is being designed.
Sinclair Pharma (SPH) has agreed a 32p a share cash offer from Huadong Medicine Co, but it is still subject to pre-conditions relating to the Chinese authorities.
Watkin Jones (WJG) has exchanged contracts for a 599 bed student accommodation site from Kelaty Propco. This project should be completed by September 2021. It has also secured another deal with Kelaty for a 300 residential apartment scheme in the same area, which will boost the build-to-rent pipeline.
One Media IP Group (OMIP) is planning to raise £2.9m via a share placing at 6p a share and up to £6m from a loan note issue to the Business Growth Fund. Lord Grade and Ivan Dunleavy have each invested £37,500 in new shares. The intellectual property owner intends to use the cash to acquire music publishing rights, artists recordings and songwriters’ rights.
Westmount Energy Ltd (WTE) has made a £810,000 investment in JHI Associates Inc, which is focused on exploration in the Guyana-Suriname basin, where it has a 40% carried interest in the Canje offshore block. This investment represents 56% of Westmount’s gross assets.
Otus Capital Management and Andrew Gibbs have nearly doubled their stake in Van Elle (VANL) to 10.2%. Mark Cutler joined the piling company as chief executive last month.
Polarean Imaging (POLX) has commenced the recruitment of patients for the phase III clinical trial in the US to demonstrate the non-inferiority of the company’s drug / device combination. The medical resonance imaging technology using hyperpolarised 129-xenon gas only has to show that it is as good as the current treatment. Eighty patients will be recruited. Some will be candidates for lung resection and others for lung removal. A pilot programme has helped to design the study, which could be finished before the end of 2019. Polarean has enough cash to make progress with the trial but will need more finance to reach completion.
Positive initial results from an oncology drug study have given the Midatech Pharma (MTPH) share price a boost. This is the first in-human study for MTD201 Q-Octreotide, a sustained-release treatment for carcinoid cancer and acromegaly. The study shows a safe, well-tolerated and effective sustained release of the drug.
Filtronic (FTC) has won a second order, worth $1.1m, for its MassiveMIMO technology, which helps mobile networks use their spectrum efficiently. It is still early days for the technology, but this is a positive sign and will offset the decline in older product ranges.
CCTV and security technology supplier Synectics (SNX) has secured a large contract with Serco, covering six custodial sites. This will help to underpin the current forecasts.
Altona Energy (AHR) has signed an exclusive licence for pyrolysis technology in Australia and China with GCAT. This will enable Altona to construct plants in the two countries and Altona will receive 95% of the net revenues generated by the technology when used in the treatment of waste.
Thor Mining (THR) says that metallurgical test work shows 78% copper recovery at the Kapunda copper project when using glycine as a leaching agent. Thor is earning up to 60% of Kapunda.
FIH Group (FIH) has traded well in the first five months of its financial year, thanks to a strong performance by arts logistics business Momart, which has opened a new facility. The Gosport ferry and Falkland Islands activities are trading in line with expectations. A small reduction on last year’s pre-tax profit of £3.2m is still anticipated.
Starcom (STAR) reported a 61% increase in interim revenues to $3.1m. There has also been a change in mix from lower margin to higher margin products. The security and tracking products developer is still losing money and is on course for a small, but much reduced, full year loss. The business is second half weighted so the outcome is heavily dependent on trading in the last few months of the year.
BATM (BVC) is set for a good second half. The biomedical and networking divisions have both been winning contracts and a significant amount of the benefits of these wins will come through in the second half. The most high profile contract win is the joint development deal with ARM. The first deal under this agreement is with FatPipe Networks, which develops technology for the optimisation and security of wide area networks. Longer-term, BATM’s SDN/NFV technology could be important in the development of driverless vehicles and other new technologies. BATM has net cash of nearly $17m.
Interim revenues at Ross Group (RGP) declined by 28% to £68,000 but it still managed to make a pre-tax profit of £10,000. The search continues for a suitable acquisition. Large shareholders have lent £6.07m to Ross.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) has won a contract with a reseller worth at least £3.5m over a three year period. Group gross margins are running at around 15%. That suggests a gross profit of £525,000 over the period of the contract, although the gross margin on this business could be higher. To put that in perspective, chief executive Andrew Hollingworth is entitled to a salary of £120,000, so this contract could cover his salary and some of the other directors’ salaries. Toople needs further wins to reach breakeven. The share price has more than trebled since the contract news, just in time for another share issue to raise cash to keep the business going.
Commercial property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) has launched an open offer of convertible notes and warrants to raise up to £4.85m. The conversion price is 25p a share, while the warrants are exercisable at 80p a share. The closing date is 22 January.There are already commitments for £3.01m. Additional cash is required to make more property purchases.
Good Energy (GOOD) chairman John Maltby has invested £100,000 in the renewable energy supplier. He acquired 58,000 shares at 173p a share.
In the six months to September 2017, Via Developments (VIA1) increased its operating income from £309,000 to £557,000 but still made a small loss. There were net liabilities at the end of the period.
Positive Healthcare (DOC) made a maiden profit of £64,000 on revenues of £4.67m in the six months to September 2017. The year end is being changed to March. The healthcare staffing business continues to control costs.
Technology company incubator Milamber Ventures (MLVP) reported an increase in interim loss from £196,000 to £263,000. Milamber has launched the Milamber Education Technology Fund and has completed the acquisition of healthcare training company Essential Learning. The education sector will be increasingly important to Milamber.
Hot Rocks Investments (HRIP) reported a decline in NAV from £901,000 to £853,000 in the year to September 2017. Hot Rocks has 14 investments in oil and gas, mining and pharma companies.
Stanley Gibbons (SGI) put out its interim results just before the end of the year, thereby avoiding suspension. In the six months to September 2017, revenues fell from £17.3m to £16.6m, while the loss fell from £6.36m to £3.09m. The stamps business continues to lose money and the profit from coins was lower.
Avanti Communications (AVN) was another company bringing out results just days before trading in shares would have been suspended. The satellite communications operator’s revenues fell from $82.8m to $56.6m. There was net debt of $562m at the end of September 2017, which was before the refinancing plans. David Williams will step down as chief executive after March.
Telit Communications (TCM) says that its main bank has granted a waiver for breach of covenants at the end of 2017.
Parallel Media has completed the acquisitions of Brick Live and Parallel Live for £10m and changed its name to Live Company Group (LVCG). The previous businesses have been sold. There was £1.26m raised at 30p a share and £2.03m of debt was capitalised.
A net gain on its investment portfolio enabled Legendary Investments (LEG) to report an interim pre-tax profit of £248,000. The gain was on the stake in business services software supplier Virtual Stock Holdings. There was a net cash outflow from operations of £28,000. The NAV was £5.22m at the end of September 2017.
Clear Leisure (CLP) is injecting its 4.53% stake in 3D mapping company Geosim Systems Ltd into a new subsidiary company that will also be launching a joint venture called Miner One to develop bitcoin mining blockchain data centre. Clear Leisure will invest €200,000, lent by Eufingest, a 10% plus shareholder in Clear Leisure, for 50% of the joint venture. The new subsidiary will be used to acquire other IT business and could eventually be spun-off in order to gain its own quotation.
Thor Mining (THR) has appointed exploration manager Richard Bradley to the board. The definitive feasibility study for the Molyhil tungsten/molybdenum project should be finalised in the first quarter of 2018. A mineral resource estimate is expected for the Kapunda copper project is due early in the year.
Clean water technology company HaloSource (HAL) says that the Chinese government has halted production facilities in the region that supplies its glass pitchers so fulfilment of orders for JiuBan will be delayed. This means that 2017 revenues will be up to $3m and the loss will be up to $5.5m. There should be revenues of at least $840,000 from JiuBan in 2018.
Alliance Pharma (APH) has completed the purchase of Vamousse from TyraTech Inc (TYR) for an initial $13m plus additional payments of up to $4.5m. The human head lice treatment has been developed by TyraTech and it has built up Vamousse as an international brand. The deal is earnings enhancing for Alliance and provides TyraTech with the cash to develop animal health products. TyraTech launched a tender offer of up to $8.5m. The tender offer price is 3p a share. Alliance will be able to distribute Vamousse through its existing European and international partners.
Kestrel Partners is building up a shareholding in STM Group (STM) and just before Christmas it took its stake to 3.72%.
Oil re-refiner HydroDec Group (HYR) has extended the repayment date of three facilities to the end of 2018 and one of them has been increased by £500,000. The facilities are provided by director Andrew Black.
Oracle Power (ORCP) has raised £621,000 at 2.3p a share and broker Brandon Hill has exercised warrants at 0.65p each, which raised £150,000.
Silence Therapeutics (SLN) has sold further shares in Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, taking the total sale proceeds to £17.2m ($23m). The total cost of the Arrowhead stake was £9.2m ($11.3m) and Silence still owns 472,509 shares.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) will invest $200,000 for a fully diluted 2% stake in Cedex Holdings, a Blockchain-based diamonds exchange. There is also an option to acquire a further 90%, fully diluted, stake at an exercise price of $40,000. These stakes could be diluted by other share issues.
Copper and gold producer Rambler Metals and Minerals (RMM) has amended its offtake agreement with Transamine Trading, which is making a $4m advanced payment in return for a right of first refusal on any offtake agreement for five years from January 2022. The advance payment plus interest is repayable over 18 months. The phase II expansion is nearly complete and this will extend the mine life by 20 years.
EQTEC (EQT) has completed the acquisition of Eqtec Iberia for £14m in shares just over five months after it was announced. The acquisition owns the EGT gasification technology. EQTEC also raised £1.6m at 0.65p a share.
China New Energy Ltd (CNEL) is holding general meeting on 17 January In order to gain permission to buy back up to 20% of the shares in issue. This could benefit the share price, which currently has a modest rating given the profitability of the business.
New Trend Lifestyle Group (NTLG) is selling its remaining China-focused business for £100 and concentrating on Singapore. The Feng Shui business continues to trade poorly and is seeking acquisitions in Asia.
Xeros Technology (XSG) has completed its £25m placing at 225p a share. The polymer technologies developer will use the cash to further develop cleaning, tanning and textile technologies.
Gresham House (GHE) is selling its Newton-le-Willows property for £2.1m. The completion of the sale of legacy assets will have raised more than £18m. Gresham House should qualify for IHT exemption.
Summit Therapeutics (SUMM) is acquiring Discuva, which is a developer of antibiotics using a bacterial genetics based platform. Summit is paying £5m in cash and £5m in shares for Discuva but no employees will be taken on. Summit will still have enough cash to last it until the end of 2018.
Aquatic Foods Group (AFG) has been unable to publish its accounts and it has lost its AIM quotation.
URU Metals Ltd (URU) had £1.84m in cash at the end of September 2017. The first drill results for the Zebediela nickel and copper project in South Africa have been published and the drill results for the most recent three holes are due in January. URU also has a 9.7% stake in AIM-quoted Management Resource Solutions (MRS).
Draper Esprit (GROW) has made a gain of £7.2m on its stake in Clavis Insights, having originally invested £8.1m in December 2016. This gain will add 3p a share to NAV. Clavis, which is an e-commerce data analyser, was acquired by Ascential for $119m.
Windar Photonics (WPHO) has received a new order from its Chinese distribution partner for five WindVision LiDAR systems. Windar has already delivered 50 systems.
World Trade Systems (WTS) has reached agreement with Germany-based Naturemed and related companies about the commercialisation of its personal hygiene and healthcare products and it will also help to obtain Chinese registration for them. WTS has signed a five year lease on a London office. Shares in WTS are still suspended.
Over the top video streaming business Falcon Media House (FAL) made initial revenues of £232,000 in the six months to September 2017. The interim loss was £2.71m. Since then, £3.4m has been raised from a convertible loan note issue.
Rockpool Acquisitions (ROC) still has nearly £385,000 in the bank. Negotiations are continuing concerning the possible acquisition of Greenview Gas Ltd.
Gowin New Energy Group Ltd (GWIN) is moving into the tea market, where its chief executive already has experience. Gowin intends to buy a 15% stake in a Cayman Islands-registered tea business and this new business will link up with experience of the industry that are based in Taiwan. The plan is to raise £5m from a preference share issue at 2p each, with an initial £2m raised, and use part of this cash as a loan to the new business. There will be a fixed annual preference dividend of 2%, while the loan will geerate 3% a year.
Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) raised £1m when it joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market. There was £843,000 in the bank at the end of March 2017 and since then £475,000 has been spent on a building in Stroud that is being rented to a supported housing operator. The private rented housing portfolio, which is properties in the Wimbledon area, is worth £2.15m and the group NAV is £2.98m, equivalent to just over 90p a share. The focus is supported housing and there are plans to raise more cash from a placing and open offer in order to fund more property purchases.
Lombard Capital (LCAP) is close to finalising a 7.5% 2020 unsecured loan note series 2 issue to raise between £500,000 and £3m. This will be invested so that it provides a fixed income and capital return.
An impairment charge against the book value of the Royston Hill property meant that Etaireia (ETIP) lost £622,000 last year. The company expects to complete the purchase of properties at the Whitehouse Office Park having secured bridging finance. The current portfolio of properties should generate enough income to make the company profitable.
Block Energy (BLOK) has raised £250,000 at 0.85p a share and this cash will be used to finance the proposed move to AIM. Block has also issued 70 million shares to complete the acquisition of the 90% working interest in the Satskhenisi production sharing agreement in Gerogia. This means that Iskander Energy owns 13.3% of Block.
Healthcare recruitment company Positive Healthcare (DOC) reported revenues of £7.8m and a loss of £276,000 between November 2015 and March 2017. The two majority-owned subsidiaries were included for nine months.
Andrew Sparrow is replacing Malcolm Ball as chief executive of WMC Retail Partners (WELL). Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has appointed Rob Johnson, a former senior investment director at AIM-quoted Mercia Technologies, as chief operating officer.
Primorous Investments (PRIM) has made six investments in the past month and four of them are seeking to join AIM in 2018. Primorous has invested £400,000 in a £5.25m fundraising for software company Engage Technology Partners and £200,000 in online shopping and rewards firm WeShop. The other two potential AIM flotations are the investee companies Sport:80, where £100,000 was invested, and TruSpine Technologies, where £500,000 was invested to help TruSpine’s minimally invasive spine stabilisation devices to gain FDA clearance.
Doriemus (DOR) has filed a prospectus for an ASX listing. A 400-for-one share consolidation has been completed in advance of the listing. The new investing policy is focusing on oil and gas assets in Asia Pacific.
IT healthcare software and services provider EMIS (EMIS) reported a 1% increase in interim revenues to £79.2m even though the healthcare market is tough, particularly when it comes to hospital services. EMIS’s recurring revenues were 84% of the total. Profit was slightly lower. There could be a small fall in full year profit but the 10% increase in interim dividend to 12.9p a share indicates the strength of cash flow and the longer-term potential. Net cash was £10.5m at the end of June 2017. The newly created patient division is a growth area and the patient.info website is still being developed so that ecommerce revenues can be earned.
Digital TV software provider Mirada (MIRA) has secured a SaaS-based contract with ATN International and four of its cable networks in the Caribbean. In the past Mirada has been paid every time a viewer signs up for the service but this contract is based on recurring subscriber fees. There will still be an initial upfront payment for implementation services but the rest of the revenues will be generated on a monthly basis. Mirada is expected to release its 2016-17 annual report before the end of September so trading in the shares should not have to be suspended. Mirada will require additional working capital facilities and these are being negotiated.
MP Evans (MPE) is acquiring a 10,000 hectare estate in Indonesia for $108m, including the assumption of $20m of debt. This will be funded by the sale of the company’s minority stake in another estate. Infrastructure spending will cost a further $30m over five years. The estate is just starting to build up production and it will become more significant in a couple of years time. NAV is £11 a share and Peel Hunt expects this to rise by more than 5% a year as group production increases.
South America-focused gold miner Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) generated $9.7m from operations in the year to May 2017 thanks to lower operating costs and a higher gold price. There was net cash of $3m at the end of May 2017. Since the year end, Orosur has raised £3.2m at 14.7p a share and two new institutions invested in the placing. This will help to finance drilling at the Anza gold project in Colombia.
The administrator of Fairpoint Group (FRP) is selling off parts of the group but there is no chance that shareholders will get anything. Consumer claims business IVA Assurance is being sold for £450,000 plus cash balances on completion. Allixium, another consumer claims company, has been sold for £53,000. The original Debt Free Direct business has been sold to Aperture Debt Solutions for £1.34m but unlike the rest of the proceeds this cash will pay Debt Free Direct creditors rather than the creditors of the holding company. Legal subsidiary Simpson Millar has sold Simpson Millar Financial Services to its boss for £271,000 plus up to £250,000 over five years. This cash will go back into Simpson Millar.
Stockbroker Share (SHRE) will be paid £900,000 for work carried out relating to a potential partner that is not going ahead with a deal. Trading continues to be strong.
Pawnbroker and foreign currency services provider Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) says that its pre-tax profit will be higher than expected this year. This is thanks to strong foreign exchange trading results and a higher gold price.
Samuel Heath & Co (HSM) has appointed former Zeus Capital director Ross Andrews as a non-executive director.
Real Good Food (RGD) says that EBITDA will be half its previous, already downgraded, expectations at £1m. The company is in discussions with its bankers to change the conditions of its bank facility.
Educational services provider Wey Education (WEY) says revenues will increase from £1.5m to at least £2.4m and this will enable it to make a maiden pre-tax profit. There is still £909,000 in the bank. The figures for the year to August 2017 will be published in October. David Massie has taken his £33,000 annual salary in shares at 3.88p each.
Conroy Gold & Natural Resources (CGNR) has appointed Dr Karl Keegan and Brendan McMorrow as non-executive directors. Another general meeting has been requisitioned by Patrick O’Sullivan, who owns 28% of Conroy, and it will take place on 6 October. He had asked for assurances that new directors would not be appointed. The previous general meeting successfully removed six directors but Conroy said the proposed appointments of Patrick O’Sullivan, Paul Johnson and Gervaise Heddle did not comply with the company’s constitution and they are being proposed as directors again. A hearing will be held at the High Court in Dublin on 14 September and that could affect whether the three people are upheld as directors prior to the new general meeting. The plan is also to remove Professor Richard Conroy and Maureen Jones from the board.
Galileo Resources (GLR) has raised £1.09m at 2p a share to finance a joint venture with BMR Group (BMR) to develop the Star Zinc project in Lusaka, Zambia and also to finance exploration of the gold property in Nevada and the Glenover phosphate project in South Africa. Galileo had £1.1m in the bank at the end of March 2017. Galileo will lend $592,000 to BMR, which will be received once there is a settlement agreement with Bushbuck Resources for the acquisition of Star Zinc. This loan will eventually be swapped for 51% of the joint venture and $100,000 will be placed in escrow. Galileo can then increase that stake to 85% by funding $250,000 of work on the project.
Back office optimisation software provider eg solutions (EGS) has signed a five year master supply agreement that will be worth at least £8.12m. This will kick-in next year and increases the order book of recurring revenues to £22.9m. In the year to July 2017 revenues were at least £10.5m.
Cyber security software provider Defenx (DFX) has raised £1.25m from a convertible bond issue to add to the £1.74m raised from a share issue at 160p each. Defenx was trying to raise up to £2m via a bond auction carried out by UK Bond Network.
Robin Williams has taken over as chairman of FIH Group (FIH) and the company continues to seek acquisitions. There was £15.25m in the bank at the end of August 2017. Trading is expected to be flat this year with modest growth in the UK but quiet trading in the Falkland Islands with additional retail competition. The low oil price is too low to prompt development of oilfields around the islands.
Trading technology provider TechFinancials Inc (TECH) reported a dip in interim revenues from $9.86m to $6.97m mainly due to lower software licencing income. Pre-tax profit fell from $1.33m to $282,000. There was cash of $5.81m in bank at the end of June 2017.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) is beginning to reap the benefits from past investment and the second half should show even more progress. Revenues have started to grow even though the corresponding first half included more significant sales of older networking products. Overall group interim revenues were 10% ahead at $49.8m with both divisions increasing their revenues. There was a 17% increase in R&D spending to $4m. There was an interim loss but Shore Capital still believes that BATM can break even this year.
Ross Group (RGP) continues to seek an acquisition that would provide a more significant business for the company. In the six months to June 2017, revenues grew 51% to £93,000, while the pre-tax profit was one-fifth higher at £17,000. The balance sheet is weak with net debt of £6m but the major shareholder is supportive. That level of debt might put off some potential acquisition targets.
Standard list shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) has signed non-binding heads of terms with Irish sustainable utility company Alchemy Utilities. This acquisition would be a reverse takeover. Alchemy is involved in waste to gas production, renewable energy and using waste energy to remove salt from water to produce drinking water (www.alchemyutilities.ie). Trading in the shares was suspended at 1.38p.
Standard list shell Derriston Capital (DERR) had £2.2m left in the bank at the end of June 2017. Derriston has changed its investing strategy from a focus on medtech to technology and high growth sectors.
Positive Healthcare (DOC) has made its initial acquisitions since floating its 7% secured bonds on the ISDX Growth Market. Positive bought 75% of each of two healthcare recruitment businesses, Capital Care and Fine Locums, for a total of £1.57m. Positive Healthcare chairman Gary Ashworth has loaned the company £570,000 to help fund the acquisitions. The two companies made total profits of £360,000 on revenues of £6.19m in the past financial year.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) is broadening its investing policy to include financial services, engineering, construction, renewable energy and technology, as well as natural resources. At the end of 2015, All Star’s main asset was a stake of 5.52 million shares in NQ Minerals (NQMI) valued at £704,000. All Star’s NAV was £385,000 at the end of 2015,compared with net liabilities of £199,000 at the end of 2014. All Star has extended the maturity date of its various convertible loan notes into 2017. All these convertibles have an interest charge of 20% a year and the conversion price is 0.14p a share. Additional shares have been issued at the conversion price o cover the recent interest payments for these convertibles.
Diversified Oil & Gas (DOIL) has completed the acquisition of 2,400 oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania from Seneca Resources and further acquisitions are likely in the rest of this year. This means that Diversified has more than 7,500 oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. They produce 23,000 mcf of gas and more than 500 barrels of oil each day. Diversified has raised a further £16,200, which takes the number of bonds in issue to 9.47 million.
TSX Venture Exchange-quoted Knowlton Capital’s shareholders have voted in favour of the reverse takeover of Leni Gas Cuba (CUBA). The British Virgin Islands High Court still has to approve the deal. The combined business will be called LGC Capital Ltd. (QBA) and its investments include a 15.8% stake in MEO Australia Ltd. Oil and gas explorer MEO has an interest in the onshore Block 9 production sharing contract in north Cuba and the first of three identified oil plays has an estimated prospective recoverable resource of 395 million barrels of light oil.
The Inland Homes (INL) share price has been hit by the leave vote in the EU referendum because of concerns about property prices. This appears overdone because management says that fundamentals are still strong. Inland has announced the purchase of the former Tesco head office in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. Inland is buying the 13 acres with a 50/50 joint venture partner. Inland will inject £5m into the joint venture.
LXB Retail Properties (LXB) has decided not to sell the properties it had previously announced would provide a £4m gain on book value. It did not appear that the negotiations could be concluded satisfactorily. Shareholders voted in February to sell off properties and return cash to shareholders. The post-Brexit vote has hit the commercial property market so it may be more difficult to realise the valuations that management had hoped they could achieve.
Specialist services provider Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) is acquiring UK Dry Risers and UK Dry Risers Maintenance, which install and maintain dry and wet riser systems, for a maximum of £5.1m. The total initial payment is £3m. The two businesses made a pre-tax profit of £1.1m last year.
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) says that its European like-for-like sales increased by 191% in the week after the EU referendum compared with a 120% increase in the week starting 13 June. Exchange rates have become more favourable and management has responded by adjusting Its prices to make them more attractive.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has started the financial year strongly and the new joint ventures are helping the B2C business perform much better this year. There was $3.9m in the bank at the end of June and this should increase to $4.5m by the end of the year. House broker Northland expects revenues to hit $20m this year and it is expected to move back into profit ($800,000). The dividend is likely to be reinstated.
Newmark Security (NWT) has warned that this year’s profit will be lower than for 2015-16 because trading conditions have become more difficult. The full 2015-16 figures will be published in August. New sales offices for the access control division are yet to generate meaningful revenues. Revenues for the workforce management software have been delayed. The asset protection business will have to replace revenues from the Post Office contract, which will not generate as much this year.
Arria NLG (NLG) is moving ahead with plans to float on the New Zealand, where the primary listing will be, and Australian Stock Exchanges and as part of this move the natural language generation company will switch from AIM to the standard list in London, where depositary interests will be traded. Cash will be raised as part of the flotations on the additional markets. Existing shareholders will receive one new Arria NLG Group share for each existing share and one warrant, with an exercise price of approximately 53p a share, for every ten existing shares.
Maxit Capital is subscribing / or procuring subscribers for $20m worth of shares in SolGold (SOLG), which will equate to up to 19.99% of the miner. The issue price has yet to be decided but SolGold says that it expects the price to be at a premium to the market price, which at the time was just over 3p – although it has risen to 4.28p. The subscription is expected to close in early October after due diligence and approvals are received. Maxit will also receive a success fee of 6% of the funds raised plus warrant equivalent to 6% of the shares placed – 50% exercisable at 14p a share and 50% at 28p a share. The cash will be invested in the Cascabel copper gold project in Ecuador.
Tanzania-focused oil and gas explorer Aminex (AEX) is raising up to £19.5m at 1.3p a share – £16.9m from a placing and the rest via a one-for-ten open offer. Zubair Corporation will subscribe £12.8m in this fundraising. The cash will enable Aminex to finance further development of its oil and gas licences while seeking partners for these licences.
ZimNRG (ZIMO) is changing its investment policy and its name to MetalNRG. The new policy is to invest in natural resources businesses with no particular focus on any area. AIM-quoted Metal Tiger (MTR) has taken a 28.3% stake via a £50,000 investment at 0.2682p a share. That is a large discount to the market price of 1.25p (1p/1.5p), although it is similar to NAV at the end of August 2015. The par value of the shares has to be reduced before the new shares can be issued. Loeb Aron has become corporate adviser. Christopher Latilla-Campbell will be appointed as chairman and Paul Johnson of Metal Tiger as a non-executive.
Care housing and health properties developer Ashley House (ASH) joined the Social Impact segment of ISDX on 10 February but it is retaining its AIM quotation. Ashley House (ASH) moved from ISDX (Plus-quoted) in January 2007. At that time £4m was raised at 150p a share, which valued the company at £40.6m. In the six months to October 2015, revenues jumped from £5.6m to £10.6m and went from a loss to a small profit. Net debt was £2.6m at the end of October 2015. The company has £10.7m of tax losses. At 9.5p (9p/10p) a share, Ashley House is valued at £5.5m.
New Haven Trust has sold 3.2 million shares in Coinsilium (COIN) at 3.5p a share. Coinsilium floated at 10p a share and the shares are trading at 5p (5p/6p). New Haven had 3.53 million shares prior to the recent fundraising. There had previously been share issues at 8p a share and prior to that at 0.01p a share. So, New Haven could still have made a large profit on its shareholding. Just over 3.2 million shares were subsequently traded at 3.9p a share. There is no news about who bought these shares.
Healthcare recruitment business Positive Healthcare (DOC) has secured a further £1.08m of funding through an issue of 7% bonds 2021. This takes the value in issue to £1.33m. The company had previously stated that £2m of bonds had been issued but it turned out that it did not receive the subscriptions for all these bonds.
Management has tabled a cut price bid for printing services provider Tangent Communications (TNG) but marketing communications services provider Writtle Holdings has suggested that it may top the offer. The 2.25p a share bid values Tangent at £6.69m and it is 64% higher than the previous closing price. The bid is well below the net asset value of £31.6m at the end of August 2015. Even if you take the view that management has overpaid for its businesses then the NAV excluding goodwill is £6.79m. Tangent is profitable but the profit has been declining. However, Writtle’s indicative offer of no less than 2.75p a share, which is still a large discount to NAV. Writtle is run by the ex-management of former AIM company CA Coutts. Between 2005 and 2010 Graeme Harris was a director of Tangent Communications. Before that he was finance director of CA Coutts and since 2011 he has been a director of Writtle.
DP Poland (DPP), the Domino’s Pizza master franchise holder for Poland, has achieved 13 consecutive quarters of double digit like-for-like growth in system sales. There are 24 stores in five Polish cities – 16 managed and eight sub-franchised. The stores are making a positive EBITDA but the group is still loss-making. Pro forma cash was £8.8m at the end of June 2015, so even with large cash outflows over the coming year there should be plenty of cash left at the end of 2016. However, the group will still be loss-making so the cash will decline as more is invested in new stores.
Real Good Food (RGD) has acquired Chantilly Patisserie for £1.75m and it will become a division of the Haydens business. Devon-based Chantilly makes frozen desserts for caterers and pubs and this could provide an opportunity for Haydens to expand its own customer base, which is focused on retailers.
Asset management performance software provider StatPro (SOG) is injecting its StatPro Portfolio Control (SPC) compliance software contracts into South Africa-based InfoVest Consulting in return for a 51% stake. This is a part of the software suite that has not migrated to the cloud. StatPro will consolidate the full revenues of this investment from 2016 so pre-tax profit will look better but there will be a minority adjustment after tax. The 2015 results are due to be published on 9 March.
Lok’nStore (LOK) says that like-for-like self-storage revenues were 5.4% ahead in the first half. Higher prices and improving occupancy rates are behind this growth. Newer sites at Reading, Maidenhead and Aldershot are performing strongly. The document storage business is improving its performance.
Herencia Resources (HER) has sent out the circular for the disposal of its Picachos project to a Chilean company. Herencia will receive $2m for 70% of the project, after six months $600,000 is payable for 7.5% and after a further nine months a final $2.5m is payable to take the stake to 100%. The company that holds the project has a book value of £1.36m. Due diligence is being undertaken. Herencia will concentrate on the Paguanta and Guamanga projects in Chile and the cash will finance their development. The general meeting will be held on 26 February.
Specialist electronics distributor and manufacturer Acal (ACL) is trading in line with expectations so revenues growth should be nearly 10% to £297m in the year to March 2016 – organic growth will be around 2%. Profit is expected to rise from £11.8m to £14.4m. A small bolt-on acquisition, custom transformers manufacturer Plitron, will not make much contribution in this financial year. Plitron increases Acal’s exposure to North America and the medical sector.
Oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) is selling a 3.825% interest in the Kiliwani North development licence to AIM-quoted Solo Oil (SOLO) for $2.16m. Solo will then hold a 10% stake and Aminex will own 51.75% and be the operator.
Latest AIM Journal available here.
Goldcrest Resources (GCRP) has secured the acquisition of Taoudeni Resources, which owns the Asheba gold project that is situated at the southern end of the Ashanti gold belt in Ghana. Goldcrest’s non-executive chairman Gavin Burnell is also a shareholder in Taoudeni, which has a non-JORC compliant resource of 176,000 ounces at 1.8g/t. Goldcrest has already conditionally acquired the nearby Akoko gold project, which has a JORC resource of 92,800 ounces at 1.9g/t. The company will seek to generate a JORC-based resource for the combined project. Goldcrest will issue 599.2 million shares for the initial consideration with deferred consideration of 617.7 million and 102.3 million warrants exercisable at 0.05p a share and lasting ten years. ISDX-quoted Hot Rocks Investments will receive 193.5 million of the initial consideration shares, taking its stake to 14.6%, plus 43.2 million of the warrants and is due to receive 320.8 million of the deferred consideration shares. AIM-quoted Sunrise Resources receives 116.6 million shares and 9.8 million warrants. Niall Tomlinson and Dr Ryan Long will join the Goldcrest board. At 0.06p (0.05p/0.07p) a share, Goldcrest is currently valued at £900,000.
A newly formed subsidiary of FT8 (GFT) has taken a 40% stake in BIPS Technologies in exchange for rights to use technology developed by FT8 to make payments and disbursements of employee benefits for healthcare providers and insurers and in this case specifically for the voluntary benefits market in the US. FT8 has also agreed to cover banking fees associated with the administration of a Supplemental Insurance Funds Transfer Program. BIPS will hold the contractual rights to this fund which will service the clients of Homeland HealthCare Inc. A minimum employee enrolment of 75,000 is projected by the end of 2016 and it is projected that it could reach a minimum of 350,000 by the end of 2018. Gross revenue per employee signed up should be just over $1/month. FT8 will not have to provide any additional finance for BIPS. At 0.65p (0.6p/0.7p) a share, FT8 is valued at £4.8m.
Blockchain technology companies investor Coinsilium Group (COIN) has invested an additional $50,000 in data management blockchain company Factom Inc. This takes the total invested to $200,000, which equates to 2% of the diluted share capital of Factom. The Coinsilium share price has recovered to 8p (6.5p/9.5p).
Ecovista (EVTP) is raising a further £252,000 at 0.06p a share. The current share price is 0.075p (0.07p/0.08p). Ecovista is also seeking shareholder approval at its AGM so that any breach of the directors duties caused by previously issuing more shares than they were allowed to will be waived.
Trading in the bonds of recruitment company Positive Healthcare (DOC) has been suspended because £1.75m of the £2m that the company claimed it had raised has not been received. The bond register needs to be rectified and then Positive Healthcare can try to issue more bonds.
Via Developments (VIA1) has raised an additional £206,000 (£204,000 after expenses) from a further issue of 7% debenture stock 2020. This takes the debentures in issue to £1.76m. Via joined ISDX on 5 November having issued £530,000 7% debenture stock 2020. The Manchester-based residential property development funder wants to raise up to £3.5m.
Empyrean Energy (EME) is selling its 3% interest in the Sugarloaf AMI development in Texas to Carrier Energy Partners II for $61.5m and this should enable a cash distribution to shareholders. If oil prices average more than $55/barrel this year then more could be payable – up to a maximum of $10m. Empyrean expects to pay $3.6m in tax plus $5.2m for outstanding bills owed to the Sugarloaf operator Marathon Oil and it will repay its debt facility of $21.6m. This will leave Empyrean with a 58.1% working interest in the Eagle Pool development project in California, a 7.5% working interest in two producing wells in Sugarloaf block A and a 10% working interest in Riverbend project in Texas. New opportunities will be sought.
Colin Porter is stepping down as chief executive of STM Group (STM) in order to take up a position in the US. He has a 12 month notice period so there is plenty of time to find a replacement. This led to a sharp drop in the share price even though it was confirmed that trading is in line with expectations for a 2015 profit of £2.7m. Alan Kentish will become interim chief executive.
Energy storage technology developer RedT Energy (RED) is raising £3.5m at 6.75p a share – a huge discount to the market price. The share price was just over 10.5p a share a few days before the placing was announced but it fell to 8.38p a share after the announcement – although that is still relatively high compared to the share price in the past three years. House broker finnCap has edged down its target price from 14.5p to 14p. RedT has received an initial $2m from the sale of its US biogas interests so it will have a cash pile to finance the commercialisation of its battery technology.
Big data services provider Fusionex International (FXI) reported revenue growth of 33% to RM70m last year. In the year to September 2015, pre-tax profit rose from RM19.5 to RM24.9m, while earnings per share were 28% higher at RM0.58 (9.4p). There has been criticism of cash generation levels and this led to a slump in the share price. Fusionex says that since September RM23.4m (£3.8m) of the year-end receivables of RM28.5m (£4.6m) has been collected.
Nasstar (NASA) says trading is in line with expectations following a strong second half, helped by the acquisition of VESK. The cloud-based services supplier has renewed the contract with its largest client – there had been some client losses earlier in the year. Net debt of £5.3m at the end of 2015 is slightly lower than expected.
Worldview Capital Management says that it is considering a cash offer for Petroceltic International (PCI). Worldview already owns 29.6% of the Irish oil and gas company, which launched a strategic review before Christmas. Advances have been received for some of Petroceltic’s remaining assets. Petroceltic has received a further waiver of repayments under its senior debt facility until 29 January so that it can continue with its strategic review. The debt facility amounted to $217.8m before Christmas.
Portfolio analytics software supplier StatPro (SOG) has paid an initial $10m for Investor Analytics, a US business that provides cloud-based risk analytics for hedge funds and asset managers. Up to $6m more could be payable depending on winning new contracts. The business has annualised recurring revenues of $4.85m (£3.3m) – out of total revenues of $5m – and should be earnings enhancing in 2016 following integration and annual cost savings of £700,000 – at a cost of up to £1m.
Tissue Regenix (TRX) says that DermaPure, which is used to treat wounds due to diabetes, has generated more than $1m in sales and it is available for reimbursement in 31 states of the US. Tissue Regenix has recruited 20 people for the OrthoPure XM clinical trial designed to gain a CE mark in Europe. OrthoPure XM is designed to repair damaged menisci, which is a condition that could lead to the onset of osteo-arthritis. The patients will be monitored for six months as part of the final information required for the CE mark submission later this year. Consort Medical boss Jonathan Glenn has been appointed a non-executive and Tissue Regenix will benefit from his medical devices expertise.
Condor Gold (CNR) has ended the strategic review it announced last September and it is no longer deemed to be in an offer period. The share price slumped by two-thirds over the period which meant that Condor was valued at $5/resource ounce so a realistic bid is unlikely at the moment. The average NPV of the La India project in Nicaragua is $196m. There are 1,544,000 ounces of inferred and indicated contained gold resources in total. Average annual gold production of 165,000 ounces is anticipated for the first five years and cash costs of production should be less than $700/ounce.
Investment company Highway Capital (HWC) has appointed the chief executive of the Bucharest Stock Exchange as its new chairman. Ludwik Sobolewski was previously the boss of the Warsaw Stock Exchange. This follows the appointment of Dariusz Zych and Jacek Ślotała as directors in November. This suggests an eastern European focus to investments. Dominic Wheatley has stepped down as chairman but remains on the board. The other director, Maciej Szytko, has loaned £120,000 to Highway on top of a previous £30,000 loan. The loan lasts five years, from July 2015, and is convertible at 10p a share. Szytko already has a 29.99% shareholding. At the time of the loan the share price was 16p, while the current share price is 14.5p. Highway moved from a premium listing to the more lightly regulated standard listing in 2013.
Cash shell Falcon Acquisitions Ltd (FAL) has gone to a 70% premium following its flotation on the standard list on 18 January. An initial placing raised £1.6m at 10p, which capitalised the company at £2.04m, and the shares ended the week at 17p. This is based on just over one million shares traded during the week. There is a secondary fundraising that may raise up to £2m at a share price to be set between 10p and 30p. There was already £265,000 in the bank before the flotation so there is cash of £1.65m after costs of £220,000, compared with a market value of £3.47m. The focus is acquiring businesses involved in online, mobile and video broadcasting. Any target is likely to be worth up to £30m.
Healthcare recruitment business Positive Healthcare (DOC) has raised £2m from a bond issue that was admitted to trading on ISDX on 5 January. The focus of the core Positive Mental Health business is providing doctors and nurses that are specialists in mental health. Positive Mental Health, which has been operating since February 2014 and was acquired from Recruitment Capital Partners, generated revenues of £601,000 and a pre-tax profit of £28,000 in the first half of 2015. The directors include Garry Ashworth, who is executive chairman of InterQuest. The strategy is to build up a group of recruitment businesses offering a full range of services to the NHS and the healthcare sector. The money raised from the bond could finance one or two add-on acquisitions.
Mining investment company Imperial Minerals (IMPP) has raised £50,000 at 0.5p a share and the newly issued shares account for 34.5% of the enlarged share capital. There was £46,000 at the end of June 2015 plus £282,000 of financial assets available for sale. James Hamilton has been appointed as a non-executive director and he owns 18.1% of Imperial. Frank Moxon has resigned from the board.
MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has signed a distribution agreement with a distributor of traditional Chinese medicine skincare products in Taiwan. The minimum order level of MiLOC’s TCM PLUS skincare products for the first 12 months is HK$20m.
Business aviation services provider Gama Aviation (GMAA) is acquiring Jersey-based Aviation Beauport for £2.6m in cash and one million shares – a total payment of £5.325m. In 2015, Beauport is estimated to have generated revenues of £6m and EBITDA of at least £725,000. This deal should be earnings enhancing this year. Beauport offers aircraft charter, maintenance and handling services, as well as managing four aircraft. Gama is keen to be involved in the Jersey market, where aircraft traffic appears set to increase. A new £10m bank facility has been secured from RBS.
Digital music streaming business 7digital (7DIG) plans to acquire French rival Snowite, which will help to update the group’s digital platform without additional cash costs. 7Digital is paying 7.32 million shares for Snowite and taking on debt of around £1.3m. The deal should add £1.2m of annual revenues, of which £864,000 is recurring. There should be £500,000 of annual cost savings next year. Snowite is in French bankruptcy protection so the completion of the acquisition depends on negotiations with the French courts but this should happen by the end of March.
Myanmar-focused social media business MySQUAR (MYSQ) has increased its number of users to more than two million, up from 775,000 at the end of May. The original target was to double the number of users by the end of 2015. MySQUAR needs to focus on generating revenues from these users and the MyPAY mobile payment operation is the first step. There is also a cross-promotion agreement with telecoms provider Ooredoo.
Electronics designer and distributor Acal (ACL) is paying £17m in cash and shares for custom cabling and connectors designer Contour. This more than doubles Acal’s business in this area and is expected to lead to a 4% earnings upgrade for the year to March 2017. There is a deferred payment of £1m due in April 2019 and contingent payments of up to £6m depending on performance. The deal is part of Acal’s strategy of increasing its exposure to higher margin operations.