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Quoted Micro 11 October 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Ecotricity has failed in its takeover bid for Good Energy (GOOD). Ecotricity had a 25.1% stake and acceptances of the bid totalled 11.5% of God Energy. Acceptances did increase significantly in the last few days of the bid, but they are still well below the level required for the bid to succeed. The offer has lapsed.

National Milk Record (NMRP) reported flat full year revenues of £21.9m, while like-for-like growth was 3.5%. This was despite the cyber attack last year. Pre-tax profit improved from £929,000 to £1.65m with help from lower overheads and a higher contribution from a joint venture. Net debt was reduced to £1m by the end of June 2021. The dividend was increased from 1.25p a share to 1.5p a share. Genomics revenues should build up this year.

Quantum Exponential Group plans to join Aquis. The plan is to identify opportunities in the quantum technology sector. More than 175 start-ups have been identified. Notion Capital will be involved with any investments. This is another investment company being floated by David William – the most recent was standard listed Bay Capital (BAY).

NFT Investments (LSE: NFT) has made two new investments. The first is a C$100,000 investment in Big Whale Labs, a decentralised social network platform. The other investment is $1.4m in Sturdy Exchange, which is a subsidiary of Sturdy Agency. Sturdy Exchange is a marketplace to display, collect and trade NFTs created by artists and performers. So far, four investments have been made.

Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) is holding a general meeting on 26 October in order to gain shareholder permission to issue more shares.

Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) is acquiring Tokyo-based Vertex for $12m. The initial payment is $2.5m with $6.5m to follow in April 2023 and the last payment of $3m in April 2024. Vertex sells wellness products via home shopping channels in Japan.

BWA Group (BWAP) has won its case against JV Capital and has been awarded £74,169.

Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) is collaborating with Sedwell Ltd to develop a secure digital fastener for use in the global rail market. Sedwell has bolt load monitoring technology.

TechFinancials (TECH) has sold its CEDEX subsidiary. There is no initial payment. There could be cash received if the company is sold or raises $20m of new money.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Pacific Nickel has a JORC resource estimate for the Jejevo tenement in the Solomon Islands, where it has a 80% stake. Jejevo has a mineral resource of 14.42 million tonnes at 1l.29% nickel.

Trading in Harrogate Group (HGTE) shares has been suspended because its 2020-21 accounts have not been published.

Robert Hanson has bought a 0.36% stake in Oberon Investments (OBE) through a share purchase at 6.85p each. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has bought one million Oscillate (MUSH) shares at 2p each.

Michael Williams and Robert Porter-Smith have stepped down from the British Honey (BHC) board.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 488.21p a share at the end of September 2021.

AIM

Tortilla Mexican Grill (MEX) operates and franchises fast-casual Mexican restaurants offering California-inspired food. It raised £5m at 181p a share. The cash raised in the flotation, plus a new senior finance facility of up to £10m, will provide working capital and fund the UK roll out and development of franchise opportunities. Tortilla Mexican Grill has 52 restaurants in the UK, two of which are franchised with SSP – they are at Euston station and Gatwick airport. There are also ten franchised sites in the Middle East – the franchisee is Eathos. Six sites have opened this year. A new site costs between £350,000 and £425,000 to kit out.

Continuing operations of plastic products supplier Coral Products (CRU) increased revenues from £8.7m to £10.7m in the year to April 2021. Underlying profit jumped from £230,000 to £756,000. This could rise to £1m this year with the existing businesses. Once the Haydock site has been sold there should be cash of more than £7m.

Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) says its order book has grown by more than 30%. Net cash was more than £16m. The results will be announced on 25 January.

Elliott Bernerd of international property developer Chelsfield is taking a significant stake in AIM-quoted chartered surveyor and property adviser Fletcher King (FLK). He is investing £547,000 in new shares and buying existing shares so that his stake is 29.99%. He is buying the shares at 52.5p a share, which is a premium to the market price.

AMTE Power (AMTE) is on course to launch its first commercial battery cell product before the end of 2021. This is a product for the automotive market. There should also be news in the coming months about the site for the company’s UK Gigafactory.

CEPS (CEPS) has restructured its investment interests and the latest interims are the first with the ongoing businesses. Revenues increased by 65% to £9m and lower group overheads meant that operating profit before exceptionals improved from £357,000 to £855,000. Building services company Hickton increased its profit, as did Aford Awards. That offset a lower contribution from stretch fabric supplier Friedman’s.

Palm oil plantation operator Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) processed 12% more fresh fruit bunches in September 2021 than the year before, while the crude palm oil price was 76% higher than the same month last year. The new cashew plant should be up and running in October. Dekel is on course to be profitable this year.

MAIN MARKET

NMCN (NMCN) has appointed Grant Thornton as administrator. Galliford Try (GFRD) has acquired the company’s water sector businesses, which have annual revenues of £100m, for £1m in cash.

Reserve power generator Mast Energy Developments (MAST) has completed the acquisition of Rochdale Power. This is the third site in the portfolio of sites under development that will have a total capacity of 18.4 MW.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 2 August 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coinsilium (COIN) has moved to the Apex segment.

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 July 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Helium Ventures (LON: HEV) is a shell seeking to acquire a business in the upstream natural gas sector, with a focus on helium. It raised £765,000, after expenses, at 10p a share. This followed placings at 1p a share and 5p a share. The underlying value of Helium Ventures cash is 4.9p a share. The share price jumped to 16p (14p/18p) on the first day of trading. That values the company at £2.69m.

Virgata Services did not receive the requisite acceptances for its bid for Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) and the 10.2% of the share capital that accepted the offer are no longer bound by the acceptances.

KR1 (KR1) has made three new investments. There was a $100,000 investment in the iTrust seed round and it will receive iTrust tokens. A further $50,000 was invested in 625,000 Clover tokens. The largest of the investments was the $400,000 spent on nearly 20.7 million DIVER (Divergence) tokens.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has decided not to exercise its option to acquire 51% of the owner of the Nankoma mining project in Uganda because of its inability to carry out due diligence.

Newbury Racecourse (NYR) has signed a media rights agreement with Arena Leisure covering all fixtures until the end of 2028. This replaces existing rights agreements expiring in 2023.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had an NAV of 582.13p a share at the end of June 2021.

AIM

Ilika (IKA) has raised £18m through a placing at 140p a share and a further £3m from a retail offer via PrimaryBid. An open offer could raise up to £3.7m. The share price was 200p before the fundraising. The cash will finance the development of Goliath battery pouch cells until they exceed the performance of lithium ion batteries and increase the capacity of the pre-pilot line.

Managed IT and networking services provider AdEPT Technology (ADT) will benefit from its earnings enhancing acquisition of Datrix in 2021-22. In the year to March 2021, revenues fell by 6% to £57.9m, while pre-tax profit fell from £7.7m to £6.2m. There was 9% growth in fourth quarter revenues. Management has taken advantage of the past year to restructure the business. . A three-year, £70m bank facility was agreed during March, so there is plenty of funding for other acquisitions.

CMO Group (CMO) is the largest online retailer of building materials in a market where pure online businesses still have a relatively small share. CMO raised £27.3m at 132p a share and existing shareholders raised £17.7m. Pro forma revenues, including Total Tiles which was acquired at the end of 2020, were £67m and pre-tax profit was £1.05m. The share price ended the week at 155.5p.

California-based LungLife AI (LLAI) is developing the LungLB lung cancer diagnostic test. The plan is to have a commercial test available in the US by 2023. It raised £17m at 176p a share and ended the week at 202.5p. LungLB is a blood-based test intended to identify cancerous and benign lung nodules that have been seen through a CT scan. Two-fifths of biopsies following the identification of nodules are not required and the test can stop them happening.

Saietta (SED) has raised nearly £32m, after expenses, at 120p a share to complete the development of its aerial flux motor technology and build a production facility for the motors. Liquid cooled aerial flux motor technology (AFT) has been developed for use with motorcycles and small vehicles. AFT motors are modular in design and highly efficient – reducing the need for additional batteries. There can be high or low voltage versions. The AFT 140 is the motor developed by Saietta. The share price was 121.5p at the end of the week.

Mercia Asset Management (MERC) made an underlying operating profit of £3.3m in the year to March 2021 and on top of that there were significant realised and unrealised gains. The NAV is 40p a share.

There were 97% of rents collected by Real Estate Investors (RLE) in the first half. Occupancy is lower at 83.4% because of the expected ends to certain tenancies, but management believes that the occupancy will recover by the end of the year as the space is rented out. NAV is expected to decline from 55.2p a share to 54.7p a share by the end of 2021.

Kinovo (KINO) is the new name for electrical and buildings services provider Bilby. In the year to March 2022, revenues declined from £65.4m to £60.2m and underlying pre-tax profit fell from £3.69m to £2.36m. The balance sheet is certainly stronger thanks to cash generated from operations. Net debt is down to £2.7m and combined with a recovering share price there may be chances to make acquisitions. There is a 0.5p a share dividend.

MAIN MARKET

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies (OCTP) has signed an agreement with Evotec that should increase the development speed for the OCT461201. It will help to prove the tolerability and safety of the compound.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) has signed a marketing agreement with Japan-based Hanwa, which will expand markets for flake and speciality graphite products to south east Asia. Hanwa is already a joint venture partner with Bacanora Lithium.

GC Hevron has proposed a reorganisation of Plaza Centres (PLAZ) and the board has decided to allow GC Hevron to conduct due diligence. The proposal will be put to bondholders on 13 July.

finnCap has downgraded its forecast for InnovaDerma (IDP). The forecast 2020-21 revenues have been cut by £700,000 to £10.2m, although better gross margins should mean that the loss will be similar to previously forecast. A small profit is still forecast for 2021-22.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 May 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

United Win Asia has invested £3.15m in Samarkand (SMK) at 115p a share, which is the same as the original placing price but well below the market price. United Win Asia is part of a logistics group and this fits well with Samarkand’s ecommerce platform.

Clarify Pharma plans to raise £5m at 3p a share, which would value the life sciences company at £10.5m. The focus is psychedelic-based substances that can be used to treat PTSD, Alzheimer’s and depression. Investments will be identified in the UK and Canada. The board is dominated by the same team, including Michael Edwards, that floated decentralised finance (DeFi) focused investment company Dispersion Holdings (DEFI) and NFT Investments (NFT), which is investing in a portfolio of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Michael Edwards is also chairman of Pioneer Media Inc. This is a company that has floated on the Canadian Stock Exchange and plans to gain a quote on Aquis. Pioneer is seeking investments in eSports and mobile gaming. The expected admission date is 25 May.

Pharma C Investments is an early-stage investor in the medical cannabis sector. The focus will be on markets that already have legislation and regulations. The plan is to raise £1m and the expected admission date is 26 May.

Greencare Capital (GRE) has appointed Richard Tonthat as chief executive. The cannabis-focused investment company recently made its first two investments after its original acquisition fell through. Richard Tonthat has worked at Grant Thornton and British American Tobacco, when it made a large cannabis acquisition in Canada.

ASX-listed Pacific Nickel has completed the acquisition of 80% of Kolosori Nickel and Gunsynd (GUN) has received 682,790 Pacific Nickel shares at 8 cents each for its stake. The current Pacific Nickel shareholding is 1.95 million shares. There will be deferred consideration if a mining lease is granted, and the mineral resource is confirmed. Gunsynd could receive a further 1.14 million shares if this is achieved.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) is acquiring corporate finance adviser Innovative Finance Srl for an initial €2.45m with a further €2.45m payable depending on performance over three years. Eight Capital Partners previously had an option to acquire a 60% stake. Concreta Srl will own 9.9% of Eight Capital Partners and chairman Dominic White will own 29.9% – he is also loaning the company €1.1m.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that a second batch of iron ore has been shipped from stockpiles at the Amapa project in Brazil. The cash will be used to pay creditors, including ex-employees. The remaining creditors need to be paid before Cadence acquires a 20% stake in Amapa. A further investment of $3.5m would take the stake to 27%.

R Oldfield has been buying shares in Shepherd Neame (SHEP). He bought 6,356 shares at 1032p each, a further 2,500 shares at 1038p each and 16,144 shares at 1035p each.

Incanthera (INC) is presenting at the Shares and AJ Bell investor evening webinar on 19 May.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £70,000 at 1.5p a share. Vulcan subsidiary Orca Doors is gaining orders, which cover six months of capacity. Ananda Investments (ANA) has raised £15,000 from the exercising of warrants at 0.45p a share.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 495.69p a share at the end of April 2021.

AIM

Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) performed     In the year to February 2021, revenues fell from £3.1bn to £2.5bn, while underlying pre-tax profit improved from £23m to £24.6m. Net cash, excluding leases and vehicle stocking loans, was £1.4m at the end of February 2021. The net tangible asset value is 50.2p a share. At the beginning of May, CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) bought 1.55 million Vertu Motors shares at just over 40.3p each.

Business restructuring company Begbies Traynor (LSE: BEG) has acquired Midlands-based MAF Property, which is a finance broker. The deal could cost up to £11.75m, with £3m in cash and shares upfront and the rest depending on profit growth. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2022 has been raised from £16.5m to £17m.

Nightcap (NGHT) has raised £10m at 23p a share and strong demand meant that existing shareholders Raymond Blanc and David Moore sold part of their stakes. The original plan was to raise £4m.

e-Therapeutics (ETX) has raised £22.5m, including £920,000 via Primary Bid, at 24p a share. The cash will be used to expand the company’s drug discovery and development operations. There are plans to complete a first in human clinical study for one RNAi asset and advance two or three other RNAi therapeutic programmes through preclinical development.

Great Western Mining (GWMO) has completed an initial six-hole drilling programme at the Trafalgar Hill project in Nevada. All six holes intercepted intercepted the main shallow structure. In the next few weeks there will be further drilling and more analysis and news about these drilling results.

Gaming Realms (GMR) has extended its SLINGO agreement with Scientific Games. The four-year licensing deal includes the opportunity to launch SLINGO digital lottery games.

Trellus Health has the rights to technology that can be used to manage irritable bowel syndrome. It can reduce unplanned hospital visits by 85%. The US-based company expects to join AIM on 28 May.

STM (STM) has sold its Jersey trust and company services business for net cash of at least £1.4m. That reduces the 2021 profit forecast by £100,000 to £2.5m.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) says April crude palm oil production was lower against strong comparatives, but that was offset by higher prices. Arden still expects a move into profit this year – €600,000 is forecast.

MAIN MARKET

Medica Group (MGP) reported a one-fifth reduction in full year revenues to £36.8m. The lack of elective surgery meant that demand for teleradiology services was reduced. However, demand for emergency services slightly increased. There was an initial contribution from the Irish business bought last year. The 2020 underlying pre-tax profit fell from £11m to £4.74m. The US business was acquired this year and an Australian joint venture has been launched.

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LUCE) expects interim operating profit to double to £18m. Operating margins are being maintained even though costs of some components are increasing. Net debt should remain at around £18.3m.

Haysmacintyre and a partner have been reprimanded and fined for its audit of the Associated British Engineering (ASBE) accounts for 2017-18. This was not undertaken in the appropriate manner.

Cizzle Biotechnology (CIZ) has reversed into standard list shell Bould Opportunities. Cizzle is is developing a test that could make diagnosing lung cancer more accurate by preventing false positives. A placing raised £2.2m at 10p a share. Pro forma cash is £1.89m, which is slightly higher than the NAV. The cash will be used to make progress towards gaining CE marking for the biomarker test.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 12 April 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Virgata Services is making a 50p a share cash offer for Walls & Futures REIT (WAFR) and that is a 52% discount to net assets at the end of September 2020. It is a premium to the market price prior to the announcement, but management recommends shareholders take no action. The bid values Walls & Futures REIT at £1.9m. Six shareholders own more than 80% of the company. Roy Nominees holds 33.2% and Standard Life Trustee Co Ltd holds 22.9%. Virgata is owned by the family office of the Goetstouwers family, and it has a property portfolio worth €80m, plus stakes in developments in the Netherlands. All the interests are outside of the UK.

Love Hemp (LIFE) plans to move to the Main Market later this year and has raised £5m at 3.5p a share. The cash will finance a global market campaign for its CBD and hemp products.

Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) has raised C$3.6m from the first tranche of its private placement. Sativa is offering two and eight day quarantine tests for travellers returning to the UK.

Good Energy (GOOD) is appointing Nigel Pocklington as chief executive. He is the former chief commercial director at Moneysupermarket.com. He starts on 1 May. Good Energy is making a further £1m investment, via a convertible, in electric vehicle mapping services provider Zap-Map’s parent company Next Green Car. Good Energy already owns 50.1% of Next Green Car. Zap-Map covers more than 95% of the UK public electric vehicle charging points.

KR1 (KR1) has invested a further $150,000 in Moonbeam Network for 30,000 GLMR tokens, taking the total owned to 130,000 tokens.

On 6 April, Coinsilium (COIN) $3.13m of cryptocurrency and tokens, up from $1.98m two months earlier.

Gunsynd (GUN) says that investee company Low 6 is on course to float in the second quarter of 2021. The B2B pool betting firm has 122,000 users.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has signed a memorandum of understanding Exagogi for the development of opportunities in India for CoalTech. India has high stockpiles of coal fines waste, which CoalTech can clean-up.

A general meeting has been requisitioned by shareholders at Early Equity (EEQP).

Evrensel Capital Partners has not subscribed the £250,000 for shares in Truspine Technologies (TSP) that it promised last September. TruSpine has raised £35,000 at 10p a share, taking the total raised in the latest fundraising to £620,500.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has raised £634,000 following the exercise of warrants at 0.7p each. Tectonic has raised A$215,000 from selling part of its holding in VOX Royalty Corp.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a nav of 448.15p a share at the end of March 2021.

Chris Akers has reduced his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 17.2% to 12.3%.

Gowin New Energy (GWIN) has appointed Novum Securities as corporate adviser and trading in the shares has recommenced.

AIM

Minds + Machines (LSE: MMX) is selling its business and assets to GoDaddy for $120m (£87m) and this is equivalent to 8.8p a share, after transaction costs. ICANN needs to provide approval for the transfer of the top level domains. The company will become a shell.

Mobile phone and technology recycler and reseller musicMagpie could have an enterprise value of between £180m and £220m when it plans to join AIM later in April. The company buys and resells smartphones, computers, CDs, DVDs, books and other products that might have ended up in landfill. The market for pre-owned technology and media is estimated to be growing at 10% a year. In the year to November 2020, revenues were £153.4m and EBITDA was £13.9m.

Demand remains strong from the rail sector for software and consultancy services from Tracsis (TRCS), although the data and events businesses had a tougher time. Interim profit declined in the first half. finnCap forecasts a recovery in full year pre-tax profit from £8.3m to £9.1m, before a much larger increase in 2021-22 assuming trading is nearer to past levels. The Williams rail review is due to be published and this could provide additional opportunities for Tracsis.

International payment services provider Equals (EQLS) increased business revenues in 2020, but a slump in consumer revenues due to the lack of travel. Total revenues were 4% ahead at £29m and Equals made a small profit. In the first quarter of 2021, revenues were flat at £8m and again this masks business growth, plus the comparatives were strong in this period. Canaccord Genuity has upgraded its 2021 pre-tax profit forecast from £3.8m to £4.2m.

FIH Group (FIH) lost money in the UK last year, but this was more than offset by profits in the Falklands. The art distribution and Portsmouth Ferry operations were hit by Covid-19 lockdowns.

Oil palm plantation operator Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) produced 71,500MT in the first quarter. Crude palm oil sales were 27% higher at 13,921MT and average realised prices are one-fifth higher. Dekel is on course to make a pre-tax profit in 2021.

Arena Events (ARE) has been successful in its bid for the business and assets of Aztec Schaffer. Arena will pay $3.35m for a 50% stake in a new joint venture owner of the assets and there will be a debt financing package of $18.25m.

MAIN MARKET

Sales of new and used cars by Lookers (LOOK) fell by 10% last year. However, it appears to have gained market share in new cars. Peel Hunt has increased its 2021 pre-tax profit forecast by £11m to £34.8m.

Stranger Holdings (STHP) has signed heads of terms to acquire Technology Minerals, which itself is involved in acquisitions of businesses producing battery raw materials and recycling batteries. These include Recyclus Group, which Stranger has previously considered buying. League of Angels founder Barney Battles has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Caerus Mineral Resources (CMRS) is acquiring PR Ploutonic Resources. This includes the Troulli, Kokkinapetra and St Nicholas copper and gold licences. Caerus is paying £750,000 in shares.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) says March revenues were at a record level of £6.57m. This reflects the installation of additional equipment and a higher bitcoin price.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) achieved record graphite production in the first quarter of 2021. Work continues on increasing capacity at the Sahamamy project in Madagascar.

Anemoi International (AMOI) has raised £240,000 at 4p per depositary interest.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 29 March 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

New Apex segment entry Samarkand (SMK) has got off to a strong start. At one point, shares were changing hands at 142p, against the placing price of 115p, but they ended the week at 123.5p (120p/127p). There was £15.4m raised after expenses. The company has developed e-commerce software technology known as Nomad. There are a number of modules and these can be used by clients to sell their products in China. There are 105 special cross-border e-commerce zones in China. This market is expected to reach £138bn in 2021. Samarkand also sells its own brands in China and some of the money raised will be used to buy other brands.

Incanthera (INC) has raised £1.14m at 12p a share. This will provide enough cash until the middle of 2022. There are discussions ongoing with two potential partners for the Sol skin cancer prevention product.

Imperial X (IMPP) has announced its intention to gain a standard listing and raise up to £1.5m. The company will change its name to Cloudbreak Discovery.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has secured a £40m investment from Equitix Investment Management. In return the freehold of the South Wales centre will be transferred and there will be other security. There will be an initial investment of £25m with the rest paid in three equal instalments. The cash will be used for investing in infrastructure. The current debt of £18.6m will be repaid.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) generated flat operating income of £72.5m, while there was a £1.1m loss. Management is optimistic about a strong rebound if the government continues with its current roadmap out of lockdown. There is a growing demand for lending.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had NAV of 57.97p a share at the end of February 2021. That is before the sale of the investment in Anthesis for £1.15m. That leaves the company with £2.64m in cash.

In the first 18 days of March Bin 1301, a bar in Washington DC where Rogue Baron (SHNJ) has a stake, generated sales of $35,330, nearly double the same time the previous year. That is despite Covid restrictions.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has appointed A and S International as a distributor of lubrication and bioremediation products.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had an NAV of 437.63p a share at the end of January 2021, which was a 38% increase on the year before thanks to the strong performance of the Luceco (LUCE) share price. EPE is considering raising more cash through a loan note issue. That would provide further cash for investment.

Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has secured a memorandum of understanding for the acquisition of a rare earths mining project in Mozambique. The plaln is to buy 70% of the Monte Muambe rare earths project, via an earn-in.

First Sentinel has resigned as corporate adviser to Block Commodities (BLCC) after less than one month in the position. Block has entered into an option in partnership with Century Cobalt Corporation to acquire two million seeds, which can be used to produce medicinal grade cannabis. Block would have to issue more than 142.8 million shares at 0.07p each if the option is taken up.

Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (WENP) from 15.2% to 17.2%.

Upper Thames Holdings has changed its name to Valereum Blockchain (VLRM).

S-Ventures (SVEN) has applied for an OTCQB quotation in the US.

AIM

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says that Chronocourt, also known as Efmody could gain approval in the EU by the summer and that could enable a commercial launch in some European markets in the third quarter. Chronocourt/Efmody is a modified release hydrocortisone used to treat adult and adolescent patients with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, which is caused by a block in cortisol production. Potential sales are greater than for Alkindi, which is aimed at children.

A potential management buyout for Cambria Automobiles (LON: CAMB) at 80p a share would value the motor dealer at £80m. This is a premium of more than one-fifth to the previous market price.

Digital healthcare company Cambridge Cognition (COG) substantially reduced its loss in 2020 and is on course to move into profit this year. Revenues increased and expenses were reduced. There is a strong order book. There was £3m in the bank at the end of 2020. Voice-based service NeuroVocalix is set to be launched this year.

Cyber security firm ECSC (ECSC) grew recurring revenues by 22% to £2.4m last year. Even so, total revenues fell 4% to £5.7m due to a tough second quarter. The loss fell from £639,000 to £153,000. Net cash is £1.1m. There has been a good start to the new year with a clutch of contract wins.

STM Group (STM) has sold its trust and company services business for £2.45m plus net assets at completion of around £570,000. This has been non-core for some time. This will reduce short-term earnings – although there could be some cost savings – but the company can focus on pension administration and life assurance.

Judges Scientific (JDG) continued its record of increasing the ongoing dividend with a 10% increase to 55p a share. Pre-tax profit fell from £17m to £13.7m in 2020 and it could recover to £16m this year.

MJ Hudson (MJH) managed organic revenue growth of 3.6% in the first half, even though there was a lack of new fund launches. Cross-selling is paying off. The North American operations are more significant following recent acquisitions. Further acquisitions will help to increase the scale of the business.

Chariot Oil and Gas (CHAR) is acquiring AEMP, an African renewable energy developer, for up to $2m. There are discussions with mine operators that require 500MW of electricity.

MAIN MARKET

Foams manufacturer Zotefoams (ZTF) almost maintained its pre-tax profit last year thanks to strong sales to the footwear sector. Revenues were 2% ahead at £82.7m, but pre-tax profit was 5% lower at £8.3m. The final dividend is 4.27p a share. The new factory in Poland has started production and capital investment should be lower this year. Net debt was £35.6m at the end of 2020 and this figure should fall this year. This year pre-tax profit should improve to £9.3m.

LED lighting and wiring accessories supplier Luceco (LSE: LUCE) more than doubled 2020 pre-tax profit from £15.8m to £34m, even though revenues barely increased. Margins improved significantly, but there is still potential to improve LED operating margins. A strong second half offset the more difficult first half. The dividend is 6.2p a share. Net debt has fallen to £18.3m.

Oxilio has decided to exercise its option with drug developer Nuformix (NFX) to licence NXP001 for oncology indications. A licence agreement is being worked on. Once completed it will trigger a second upfront payment. Future royalties for any commercial treatments are capped at £2m a year.

Books publisher Quarto Group Inc (QRT) reported a dip in revenues from $135.8m to $126.9m, while adjusted pre-tax profit improved from $5.1m to $7.9m. Capitalised development costs were reduced from $23.8m to $20.3m, although the amortisation charge was higher at $28.6m. Strong cash flow combined with a share issue helped reduce net debt from $50.5m to $19.7m.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) is moving into the flexible power sector. A 50%-owned joint venture called HKSB will develop two 11KV gas peaking facilities that will produce 10MW for a total cost of £6.25m. The plan is to secure 15-year, CPI-linked contracts for each site.

Residential property developer One Heritage Group (OHG) had net assets of 9.25p a share at the end of 2020. There was an interim loss.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 8 February 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Clinical IT developer DXS International (DXSP) is encouraged by the initial results from pilots of the ExpertCare system designed to analyse the electronic records of people with hypertension. DXS is awaiting NHS accreditation.

World High Life (LIFE) has appointed Tony Calamita as chief executive. He is a founder of Love Hemp, whose vendors will receive deferred consideration of £2m in shares at 1.5p each. Calamita will hold a 13.5% stake. The company has raised £467,000 at 1p a share.

Juliet Davenport is stepping down as chief executive of Good Energy (GOOD) but will continue as a non-executive. Good Energy company Zap-Map has signed up ESB Energy to its Zap-Pay electric vehicle charging payment service.

Capital For Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its investment in civil engineering materials distributor Civils Store for £1m, which represents a profit of 150% on a £400,000 investment. The initial £500,000 will be received on 15 February and the rest by the end of July.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) increased its NAV by 38% to 437.63p a share during the year to January 2021. EPE raised £10m from the sale of LED lighting company Luceco (LUCE) shares and retains a 24.9% stake.

Belvedere Leisure (BELV) reported a loss of £499,000 for the year to June 2020. There were the costs of the flotation of the corporate bonds.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) has approval to treat patients at its North West cancer centre. The first patients should be treated in 2022.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has been promoted to the Apex segment of the AQSE Growth Market.

Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has appointed Novum Securities as its corporate adviser.

AIM

A higher interim profit contribution from fuels partly offset lower contributions from the rest of the NWF (NWF) businesses. Group revenues fell from £348.9m to £309.4m, while underlying pre-tax profit declined from £3m to £2.5m. The main decline was in food distribution where volatile demand hampered profitability. The cold weather will boost demand for heating oil in the second half.

Document management services provider IDOX (IDOX) improved revenues from £65.5m to £68m and pre-tax profit from £7.7m to £10.5m. There is further potential to improve margins. The order book at the end of October was £15.9m. Having sorted out the business, management is considering returning to the acquisition trail.

Mattioli Woods (MTW) is paying up to £2.34m for wealth management adviser Montagu. There are £80m of assets under advice.

STM Group (STM) expects to report a £2m pre-tax profit on revenues of £24m in 2020. There was net cash of £15.5m. Therese Neish is stepping down as finance director.

BlueRock Diamonds (LON: BRD) has revealed a significantly increased resource at the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa. There was a 49% increase in resource to 10.4 million net tonnes and a 53% increase in net carats to 516,200. The overall grade has edged up to 5 carats per tonne. There was 19% of the resource upgraded to indicated resources. BlueRock plans to mine one million tonnes per annum.

Strong first half trading at parcel and freight delivery company DX (DX.) has prompted finnCap to increase its forecast pre-tax profit for the year to June 2021 by £2m to £8.7m. The business continues to recover with profitability building up in the freight division.

Open Orphan (ORPH) has opened a new challenge study quarantine facility across the road from its existing centre in east London, which is already booked up for this year. This adds a further 19 beds.

Compliance and energy saving services provider Sureserve (SUR) has doubled its dividend to 1p a share. Less traffic on the road during the original lockdown helped to improve efficiency and margins. Shore has increased its 2020-21 pre-tax profit forecast by 16% from £9.4m to £11.9m.

Lexington Gold (LEX) has received environmental approvals for drilling at the JKL project in the US. Drilling should commence later in February. Pure Ice Ltd has increased its stake from 14.3% to 15.1%.

Advanced surface coatings provider Hardide (HDD) has raised £790,000 at 30.9p a share and secured a CBILS loan of £250,000. This will boost the cash position while the company waits for delayed work to come through.

Seeing Machines (SEE) says interim revenues will improve by 15% to A$18.1m. The driver safety systems developer’s annualised recurring revenues are A$15.5m.

Real-time software provider Checkit (CKT) has acquired its US distributor Tutela Monitoring Systems for £850,000.

Lok’nStore (LOK) acquired its Chichester self-storage site has been acquired for £4.2m, with the cash outflow offset by the £1.5m disposal of the Wolverhampton freehold and £1.7m sale of the vacant Southampton site – around £300,000 lower than book value. Contracts have been exchanged for a new site in Staines. Self-storage has proved to be resilient during Covid-19 lockdowns. Occupancy rates are rising, and prices have been stable at Lok’nStore.

Filtronic (FTC) made a small first half loss but the outlook for the full year is better. New defence contracts and increasing 5G-related demand will help the second half and the defence orders are at higher margins. Full year revenues are set to fall but pre-tax profit could treble to £300,000. Capex requirements are low so the business should be cash generative.

Bacanora Lithium (BCN) has raised £48.1m from a placing and retail offer at 45p a share. Ganfeng has also subscribed for £24m worth of shares. This will finance the development of the Sonora lithium project. It will pay for the 50% share of the cost of bringing stage one into production.

Evgen Pharma (EVG) has launched a placing and open offer to raise up to £11m at 8p a share. This will fund preclinical work on metastatic breast cancer and two other potential treatments, including glioma where there could be a clinical trial. The cash should last until the middle of 2023.

MAIN MARKET

Thalassa Holdings (THAL) is making a £2.5m investment in London Medical Laboratory. Thalassa will lend the company £2.5m to finance the opening of a phlebotomy clinic and increase capacity at existing facilities. The loan would be converted into shares if London Medical Laboratory floats on AIM. Thalassa also has warrants to subscribe for an 8% stake in the fully diluted share capital.

French Connection (FCCN) says Spotlight Brands and Go Global Retail are potential bidders for the clothing retailer.

Personal products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) has rebuffed an all-share offer from Creighton (CRL) although the potential bidder is still interested in making an offer and has sent a letter to InnovaDerma. This suggests an offer of two share for every three InnovaDerma shares, which is equivalent to around 44p a share.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) says full year revenues were at least $180m, which is 45% ahead of the previous year. The diagnostics business is the main impetus behind the growth.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) has taken a 25% stake in Pluto Digital Assets. This cost £1m at 3p a share and there are also warrants exercisable at 6p a share. Pluto is a crypto venture capital and technology company.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 23 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Daniel Thwaites (THW) had a strong eleven months in the year to March 2020, but the final month was unsurprisingly poor for the brewer and pubs operator. Full year revenues edged up from £96.9m to £98.1m, while pre-tax profit fell from £4.5m to £3.6m. Net debt was reduced from £69.7m to £65.4m, helped by property disposals. No dividends are planned in the near future.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has taken advantage of the strong Luceco (LUCE) share price and sold four million shares for total proceeds of £10m. EPE still owns a 24.9% stake.

KR1 (KR1) has participated in token generation by four platforms. There was a follow-on participation in a Plasm Network distribution event, while KR1 has also received tokens from ChainX, Edgeware and Phala Network. The Phala Network tokens have been sold for nearly $124,000.

BWA (BWAP) has given St George’s Eco-Mining Corp until 27 November to repurchase the company’s investment in Kings of the North Corp.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says that the first hole drilled at the Specimen Hill prospect in Queensland has signs of gold bearing mineralisation. A second hole is underway.

Evrima (EVA) and partner Power Metal Resources (POW) have published a drilling update for the Molopo Farms complex in Botswana. The first hole has been completed at the nickel sulphide and platinum project. This confirmed that it is a feeder zone. Samples will be tested. There is a four-hole drilling programme.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) owns 30% of mining and exploration leases that form part of the Yangibana rare earth deposit. Drilling has confirmed that recent drilling results show an economic mineralised corridor 8km long.

Gledhow Investments (GDH) has taken a 4.82% stake in IamFire (FIRE).

NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised £835,000 at 5.5p a share, which is below the 7p a share that a UK institutional investor paid last month. Early Equity (EEQP) raised £105,000 at 0.5p a share.

AIM

Trackwise Designs (TWD) is raising a further £11m at 200p in order to finance a new Improved Harness Technology (IHT) manufacturing site to quadruple capacity. That is a large discount to the market price of 320p. A further £1m could be raised via an open offer. Back in March, there was a £5.87m fundraising at 80p a share.  That was at the time of the purchase of Stevenage Circuits for up to £2.457m. The rest of that cash was earmarked for capacity expansion. The subsequent orders received by Trackwise mean that further investment in capacity is required. The funding dilutes short-term earnings per share.

Agricultural supplies group Wynnstay (WYN) had a strong end to its financial year, particularly September and October. Feed sales were better than expected. There will be one-off costs for closing three sites. Shore Capital has upgraded its underlying pre-tax profit forecast from £6.7m to £8.1m. The dividend is likely to be maintained at 14p a share.

Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings (IDH) has broken its record and published interim figures at 6.22pm on Friday. Revenues fell by 27% and the company made a bigger loss.

Staffline (STAF) is selling its apprenticeships business to Babington Business College for a nominal fee. The business was losing money in the first half of 2020, although it was a lower loss than the year before. Staffline will concentrate on recruitment and adult skills training.

Bion (BION) is establishing a biogas consortium with three other companies in Malaysia. The plan is to formalise the partnership so that a special purpose vehicle that would be 55%-owned by Bion will own and operate biogas assets of Bion and Green Lagoon Technology. The new venture would be the largest owner of biogas plants in Malaysia. Shareholders will have to approve the deal if it goes ahead. Bion will work with the other two companies to develop waste-to-energy projects.

Trading is ahead of expectations at Somero Enterprises (SOM) and this should enable a significant supplementary dividend for 2020. The concrete levelling equipment supplier is expected to end the year with net cash of $26m.

Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) has completed the acquisition of the stake in the Cote d’Ivoire cashew nut processing project that takes its shareholding to 52%. October palm oil production was 1,818 metric tonnes and 1,843 metric tonnes was sold. The average price improved to €636/tonne.

Mirada (MIRA) has integrated Disney+ into its Iris platform for Televisa’s izzi pay TV platform in Mexico.

Invinity Energy Systems (IES) has gained a contract to deliver a 0.5MWh vanadium flow battery system to a site in California. This should generate £480,000in 2021. There is also an order for two smaller battery modules.

Three potential bidders are assessing offers for Telit Communications (TCM) and the latest is u-blox, which is considering an all-share offer worth 250p a share. DBAY Advisors and Lantronix are the other potential bidders.

MAIN MARKET

Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) says that trading in the four months to October 2020 is ahead of the same period in 2019. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to be similar to last year at around £14m. It was previously expected to be more than 10% lower. Arden forecasts a total 2020 dividend of 2.4p a share.

Emmerson (EML) has completed the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the Khemisset potash project in northern Morocco.

Petra Diamonds (PDL) has an agreement in principle for a restructuring that involves the raising of money from a loan note issue and the remainder of the loan notes will be converted into shares equivalent to 91% of the enlarged share capital.

Thalassa (THAL) has invested £300,000 in foreign exchange and international payments firm Cornerstone FS for a 3.65% stake. This follows a £3m investment in 8% convertible loan notes in payment systems company Tappit Technologies.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 16 November 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Robert Labrum is executive chairman of Primorus Investments (PRIM) following the resignation of Jeremy Taylor Firth and fellow director Alastair Clayton. Primorus is undertaking a strategic review of the business, following the sale of its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP). Other investments include TruSpine Technologies (TSP). Primorus does not have any debt and it has decided not to go ahead with a share buy back.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) had a net asset value of 345.7p a share at the end of August 2020. Since then, the investment company has made a $2.5m investment in a segregated account of Prelude Structured Alternative Masters Fund, which invests in distressed credit opportunities.

Youth training services provider Harrogate Group joined the Aquis Stock Exchange on 9 November. The current share price is 3p (2p/4p).

Gunsynd (GUN) is raising £1.13m at 1p a share. This cash will be used to make further investments.

Evrima (EVA) has exercised its option agreement to increase its stake in KKME from 2.4% to 19.6%. This cost £138,000 and this was paid in the form of 2.3 million shares plus the award of 2.3 million warrants at an exercise price of 12 pa share, lasting three years. KKME’s main project is Molopo Farms Complex, which could be a nickel sulphide project. There is an earn-in agreement with AIM-quoted Power Metals (POW) and four holes have been drilled.

KR1 (KR1) has earned 40,270.1 tokens in Kusama, which is described as an incentivised canary network for the Polkadot blockchain project. This stake did not cost anything.

Lombard Capital (LCAP) says progress with the development of a recycling business has been held back by the suspension of trading in the shares. The main asset is a freehold waste recycling site. There was £3,630 in cash in the bank on 30 June 2020. There are net liabilities of £100,000.

Sumner Group Mining has left the Aquis Stock Exchange.

AIM

Digital brand protection services provider Brandshield is reversing into Two Shield Investments (TSI) in an all share deal that values the 80% not already owned by Two Shields at £13.2m. A placing will raise £3.2m at 20p a share, following a 200-for-one share consolidation. Brandshield has developed technology that can be used to protect the brands of clients and get illegal sites and information taken down. Revenues of $1.51m in the first half of 2020 were nearly as much as for the whole of 2019. Two Shields has mining investments that could provide further funds for the core business in the future.

Insolvency litigation finance provider Manolete Partners (MANO) generated cash before new investments in the six months to September 2020. One major case has extended payment term s so there was a working capital outflow during the period. After the announcement of the interims another case was completed, and this will realise £2.8m in cash out of the total settlement of £7.5m. That will be paid over a two year period. Net debt was £5.4m and there are additional facilities that can be sued to finance additional cases.

Zoo Digital (ZOO) generated additional revenues from localisation services on past films and TV programmes in the first half, while production of new programming was delayed by the problems relating to Covid-19. Back catalogue work and higher dubbing revenues more than offset the reduction subtitling revenues. Interim revenues were 15% ahead at $16.4m. Forecasts have been upgraded and a $1.4m pre-tax profit is expected for the full year.

Three directors in Anexo (ANX) are selling a combined 29% of the credit hire and legal services firm to institutional investor DBAY at 150p a share, which is a premium to the market price. DBAY has the finance to provide backing to Anexo in order to expand its business.

Healthcare services provider Totally (TLY) moved into profit in the first half even though revenues were hit by the lack of elective surgeries in the period. Revenues increased by 9% to £54.1m, helped by a full contribution from urgent care business Greenbrook. Net cash is £12.3m and there is an unchanged interim dividend of 0.25p a share. Activity levels have been improving although there is still uncertainty due to lockdowns and restrictions around the UK and Ireland.

One Media IP (OMIP) increased revenues by 14% to £4m on the back of the strong music streaming market in the recent financial year. A 2019-20 pre-tax profit of £600,000 is forecast. That is slightly better than forecast. There is £6.7m in cash and there should be news of acquisitions and partnerships with artists over the coming months. The TCAT anti-piracy software service will be managed as a separate business. Dr Ed Vernon will head up the new Belfast-based venture and take a 8% stake.

MAIN MARKET

OTAQ (OTAQ) is acquiring the assets of ROS Technology for up to £300,000. ROS is a developer of electronic and mechanical products in sectors including aquaculture and offshore. The former owner Dr Peter Robinson was the designer of OTAQ’s SealFence product. He is an important addition to the development team. ROS made a pre-tax profit on full year revenues of £312,000.

Auctus Growth (AUCT) has agreed the acquisition of HeiQ Materials AG, which is a materials innovation company focusing on the apparel, medical and home textile markets, for £119.6m via a share issue at 112p a share post one-for-three share consolidation. A placing and subscription will raise £20m at the same price, while the vendors of the business will sell £40m of the shares they are issued. The company’s name will be changed to HeiQ.

Matomy Media (MTMY) has agreed to merge with Global Auto Max in an all share deal. Global Auto Max imports vehicles made by Toyota, Jeep, Chrysler, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, VW, Volvo and Ford. Turnover was ILS355m.

Conduit Holdings plans to join the standard list in December. An offer could raise up to $1.1bn in order to finance the newly established reinsurance underwriting business. The focus is property, casualty and speciality insurance. There are no legacy losses to hamper the business.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Daniel Thwaites (THW) had net debt of £65.4m at the end of March 2020 and this increased to £71.8m at the end of June following the closure of the company’s pubs and hotels. There is £12m of headroom in the current facilities but management is considering increasing the borrowing facilities. The sites were reopened on 4 July or shortly after. There has been steady growth in sales.

Altona Energy (ANR) has signed heads of agreement to acquire up to 75% of the Chambre rare earth project in southern Malawi. There is a backlog of exploration licence applications following recent elections. The trading suspension will end when new funds are raised. A funding will be launched via investment platform www.NRPrivateMarket.com once an exploration licence is granted in Malawi or heads of agreements are signed for another deal.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) has received a requisition from two shareholders (James Redman Jr and Sungold Escrow Nominees Ltd) for a general meeting. They own more than 5% of the company. A date for the general meeting has to be announced within three weeks.

European Lithium (EUR) has appointed Kimon Gkomozias to the board as part of its strategic agreement with EV technology metals project developer Talaxis. He will help European Lithium obtain funding. A placing is planned to raise $2m at 4.5 cents a share.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has obtained agreement in principle for the bank creditor settlement relating to the Amapa iron ore project.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has made a £1.9m investment in Atlantic Credit Opportunities Fund (ACOF), a distressed credit fund. EPE’s investment advisor Epic Private Equity intends to acquire a controlling stake in Atlantic Capital Management, which manages ACOF.

Forbes Ventures (FOR) has set up Forbes Ventures Cell 1 Ltd to acquire UK-issued litigation funding loans. The rights to these loans will be assigned to and securitised by Malta-based Forbes Ventures CC1, which is planning to raise money via a bond issue. A Forbes subsidiary will receive a fee of 2% of the funds raised.

World High Life (LIFE) is assessing investment targets in the medicinal cannabis sector. This includes areas such as synthetic cannabinoids.  

Trading in the shares of Sativa Group (SATI) has been suspended while Stillcanna awaits the approval of the Canadian Stock Exchange for the takeover of Sativa. The enlarged group plans to gain readmission to the Acquis Stock Exchange as Sativa Wellness Group Inc.  

Alfred Henry Corporate Finance has been appointed as Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) corporate adviser.

Sumner Group Health Ltd (SGRL) has confirmed its withdrawal from the market on 8 September.

AIM

Capital equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) has continued to secure orders even with the disruption caused by COVID-19. Interim revenues fell by one-fifth to £36.6m, but services revenues continue to grow. Underlying pre-tax profit fell from £4.5m to £2.5m. The order book is worth £45.4m. Net cash was £22.5m at the end of June 2020. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to fall from £7.5m to £5.2m.

CyanConnode (CYAN) was hit by delays to contracts in the 15 months to March 2020, but it appears to have a strong base for the current financial year. The smart meter technology developer is still losing money, but it has shown that it can manage its cash effectively by gaining advance payments on orders. Net cash was £1.2m at the end of March 2020.

Mattress supplier eve Sleep (EVE) says current trading is ahead of expectations and the full year loss is expected to be slightly lower than previously. Net cash of £5m is forecast for the end of 2020.

Cake Box (CBOX) has made a strong start to the new financial year. The franchised retailer of egg-free cakes is even offering a special dividend of 3.2p a share. Equity Development forecasts a rise in earnings per share from 7.8p a share to 9p a share in the year to March 2021.

7Digital (7DIG) has raised £6m at 2.25p a share, having sought a minimum of £5m. The streaming technology developer will be able to take advantage of opportunities in areas such as home fitness and social media.

Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music (G4M) has continued its sales momentum in the new financial year. There will be an interim trading statement on 22 October.

Driver monitoring systems developer Seeing Machines (SEE) has unveiled a new product strategy. This involves a focus on a chip whose performance is optimised by a neural processing unit called Occula. It will be made easier for automotive clients to integrate this technology. There are also plans to licence the Occula technology.

Nostra Tera Oil and Gas (NTOG) is acquiring a 100% working interest in the Caballos Creek oil field in Texas, which has an economic life of between 16 and 32 years. The cost is $425,000 and there should be a two-year payback. There are proved reserves of 92,100 (69,300 net) barrels of oil equivalent. Current production is 30 (22 net of royalties) barrels of oil per day, which increases Nostra Terra’s production by 25%.

Matthew Freud increased his stake in Reach4Entertainment (R4E) to 19.99% before trading on AIM ended.

Omega Diagnostics (ODX) has CE-marked Mologic’s lateral flow antibody test for COVID-19, which picks up infection at an earlier stage than most tests.  

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) has in-licensed the virus-like particle vaccine technology from Saiba and DeepVax for use in solid tumours, atopic dermatitis, asthma and psoriasis. This broadens the scope of the group, but it continues to focus on allergy treatments.

MAIN MARKET

Consumer products supplier Creightons (CRL) increased full year revenues by 9% to £47.8m, while an improved profit margin meant that pre-tax profit increased from £2.87m to £3.55m. A final dividend of 0.5p a share is proposed.  

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has signed heads of agreement to acquire gold assets in Africa. It plans to acquire 100% of Kilmapesa in Kenya and 70% of the Kakamoeka gold project in Congo Brazzaville. They could provide near-term gold production.  

Andrew Hore

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