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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 13 July 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has sold its investment in builder’s merchant Merkko Group for double the original investment. The cash consideration for the redemption of the non-voting stake is £400,000. Capital for Colleagues has reinvested £150,000 for a 10% stake in Merkko. The rest of the cash can be reinvested in other companies.

Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) is forming a 50/50 Singapore joint venture with blockchain protocol company IOV Labs, which will finance the venture with a loan. IOV owns 6.94% of Coinsilium. A strategic review is commencing a strategic review because there will be a focus on the new joint venture.

In the second quarter, the Hellyer gold mine owned by NQ Minerals (NQMI) produced 1,223 ounces of gold, 229,947 ounces of silver, 8,762 tonnes of lead concentrate and 4,241 tonnes of zinc concentrate. More gold and lead were produced than in the previous quarter, but less silver and zinc. Investment in plant means production should increase in the third quarter. NQ has raised £917,000 at 6.5p a share and this will help to finance the reopening of the Beaconsfield gold mine in Tasmania.

Cannabis-based products supplier Sativa Group (SATI) achieved record trading in June. This includes sales of the company’s hand sanitiser.

Fellow cannabis-focused company Freyherr International Group (FRYR) is changing its year end to 30 June. The next results will be for 18 months to June 2020. Luka Freyer and Tomaz Frelih have stepped down from the board and Ervin Kovac has joined the board and becomes general manager of the Slovenian operations. The Ljubljana office has been closed as part of overhead reductions. The mortgage on the Koper facility has been extended and the interest rate reduced to 5% a year.

World High Life (LIFE) has issued 12.7 million shares at 9p each to pay director and adviser fees and 3.45 million shares at the same price in lieu of debt repayments. A further 7.18 million shares will be issued on conversion of £666,666 of debentures, plus interest of £46,393. CBD-brand Love Hemp has been awarded ISO certification.

Gunsynd (GUN) has raised £469,000 at 0.65p a share. Every three new shares come with a warrant exercisable at 1.3p a share. MiLOC Group (ML.P) is raising £1.1m at 28.5p a share through a placing with BWB International. Recently floated engineering consolidator Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised an additional £71,000 at 4.5p a share. The original placing was at 3p a share.

At the end of June 2020, EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 265.3p a share.

AIM

Management consultancy Elixirr International (ELIX) joined AIM last week. The share price has fallen from the placing level of 217p to 204.5p. The shares are trading on just over 13 times prospective 2020 earnings. The forecast dividend is 2.2p a share.

Seeing Machines (SEE) is set to be a beneficiary of legislation that will go to the Senate in the US that will make driver monitoring systems (DMS) compulsory in cars and trucks sold in the US from 2024. This is part of a more wide-ranging act relating to vehicle safety. There is similar legislation in Europe, although there will be delays in it coming into force due to COVID-19. That should not have too much of a negative effect on Seeing Machines.

Trading at Tracsis (TRCS) was not as badly affected by COVID-19 as it feared. There will be a £10m reduction in full year revenues to around £46m. The traffic and data services business has been hit by the lack of summer events. The rail software business has traded well and there is a pipeline of potential new contracts. There is still £16m in the bank even after paying an initial £12.5m for smart ticketing firm iBlocks.

DBAY Advisors has bought more shares in in Wynnstay Group (WYN) and the stake is 6.12%.

Energy procurement consultancy Inspired Energy (INSE) is raising up to £35m through a placing and two-for-43 open offer at 15p a share. The purchase of the 60% of Ignite Energy that Inspired does not won will cost £11m with contingent consideration of £19m payable in cash and shares. There are plans for further acquisitions.

e-therapeutics (ETX) has raised just over £11m from a share issue at 12p a share, including £750,000 raised via PrimaryBid. This was a 31% discount to the market price. The cash will be used to develop the company’s informatics platform and RNAi technology. Additional staff will be taken on.

Burford Capital (BUR) has filed a registration statement with the SEC ahead of a US listing. There are no plans for a share issue.

Genedrive (GDR) says that full year revenues were 31m and it had cash of £8.2m at the end of June 2020. The molecular diagnostics company says there are 31m in indicative orders for its COVID-19 test.

MAIN MARKET

Viaro Energy has bid 1850p a share for RockRose Energy (RRE) and acceptances have already reached 36.8%. The bid values RockRose at £247.6m. At the beginning of 2016, RockRose floated at 50p a share intending to acquire oil and gas assets.

Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) increased full year revenues by 39% to £1.5m and gross margins improved. The cash outflow from operations was £924,000 and there was £1m in cash at the end of March 2020. This year is important because there will be a full contribution from DMSL plus cost savings that could be more than £1m. Chief executive Andy Hollingworth bought 10.6 million shares at 0.0944p each. He owns 38.8 million shares.

Baskerville Capital (BASK) has increased its stake in Oberon Investments, the owner of fund manager MD Barnard, to 10.13% and expects to buy the company by the end of the third quarter. Oberon has acquired Hanson Asset Management, and this takes assets under management to more than £300m. Baskerville may move to the Aquis Stock Exchange after the deal is completed.

Packaging supplier Macfarlane (MACF) says interim revenues were 3% lower following a tough second quarter when revenues fell 7%. Macfarlane is confident that it will be profitable and cash generative this year. The board hopes to restart dividend payments when the outlook is more certain.

InnovaDerma (IDP) says online sales have replaced lost high street sales. Full year revenues were 2% higher at £13.2m, but profit will be lower due to higher online advertising costs and lower margin sales. Margins could recover this year.

Tex Holdings (TXH) says that the FCA has asked questions about its 2019 audited financial statements. Christian Ross has been appointed as finance director.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 17 February 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NEX and AIM-quoted Arbuthnot Banking Group (ARBB) says that there has been an increase in the level of confidence in its markets since the General Election. That was too late to have much effect on the 2019 results, but full year pre-tax profit will be at the upper end of expectations. Last year, customer loan balances rose by 31% and deposits by 22%.

Sativa Group (SATI) says that it welcomes the guidance from the Food Standards Agency on the safe use of CBD products and the timetable for novel food authorisation. Management points out that Sativa’s products do not include THC. Sativa expects to report 2019 gross profit slightly higher than expectations on lower than marginally lower than expected. Goodbody Wellness has piloted three retail stores, but they did not perform as well as expected. PhytoVista Laboratories has completed more than 3,000 tests on cannabis-based products. That includes Sativa’s own products and a new sports range is near launch. Medicinal cannabis-based development is focused on veterinary treatments.

EPE Special Opportunities (ESO) has increased its NAV by 55% to 317.2p a share following a strong performance by Whittard of Chelsea and a recovery in the share price of fully listed Luceco. Pharmacy2U continues to grow strongly. Last year, 2.3% of the shares in issue were bought back by the company. New investments are being sought for available funds.

Ethical housing investor Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) increased its NAV by 15% to 106p a share in the year to January 2020. Chief executive Joseph McTaggart bought 1,991 shares at 61.75p each.

Hellyer gold mine operator NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £210,000 at 7p a share.

Investment company Primorus Investments (PRIM) has benefitted from the sharp share price rise in Greatland Gold (GGP) and the stake is worth two-fifths of the company’s market value. The current profit is £1.25m. Investee company TruSpine is on course to float in London this year. The spine stabilisation devices developer has gained a new cornerstone investor. Primorus is debt free.

Trading in the shares of Altona Energy (ANR) has been suspended because it has not published its annual report for the year to June 2019. Cash needs to be raised to keep the company going and management says that shareholders will be invited to participate in a fundraising. The company says it expects to publish the report in the next two weeks and blames the delay on a change of auditor and a new accounting treatment for its exploration licences. Final terms for the acquisition of the previously announced new petroleum exploration licence application are being negotiated.

SG Recruitment Ltd (SGRL) majority shareholder and chief executive David Sumner has also taken on the role as chairman after the resignation of Alan Kitchin and Katie Hiess from the board.

AIM

Brickability (BRCK) has acquired McCann Roofing Products for £2.75m. Essex-based McCann imports roofing and building products from Europe and generated a 2019 pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £8.2m. This deal adds additional suppliers to the group and should be immediately earnings enhancing.

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas (NTOG) has convened the requisitioned general meeting on 3 March. Eridge Capital wants to remove Matt Lofgran and Ewen Ainsworth from the board and replace them with Andrew Morrison. Eridge was previously known as former AIM company New World Oil and Gas. Nostra Terra’s subsidiary has loans that have a key man clause which stipulate that Lofgran has to be president of the subsidiary unless it give consent or there will be a default.

Drug discovery platform developer e-Therapeutics (ETX) has overhauled its board and raised £1.6m at 3p a share. Former Silence Therapeutics boss Ali Mortazavi becomes executive chairman. Ian Ross is stepping down to concentrate his role at Silence Therapeutics. Chief executive Ray Barlow and finance director Steve Medlicott are also leaving. An additional independent non-executive director will be appointed.

Gemfields Group Ltd (GEM) joined AIM last Friday. The share price ended the day at 11.7p.

Bidstack (BIDS) expects to have generated £150,000 from programmatic advertising for video games. That is much lower than previously hoped because it is taking much longer to get advertising agencies to take in-game advertising seriously. There was cash of £3.14m at the end of 2019 following a loss of £5.3m. There was £6m in the bank at the end of June 2019. First half revenues will still be small.

Knights Group Holdings (KGH) has acquired Nottingham law firm Fraser Brown Solicitors for up to £8.28m in cash and shares. This follows the purchase of Croftons Solicitors, which is based in Manchester, for up to £2.8m. A new revolving credit facility of £40m has been agreed and it lasts until June 2023.

Octopus Investments has cut its stake in Staffware (STAF) from 13.2% to 0.53%. Gresham House Asset Management increased its stake from 6.7% to 10.6%.

Filta Holdings (FLTA) says it should make an EBITDA of £3.2m in 2019. Cost savings and investment software will help the fryer management services provider to produce a much better performance in 2020.

Keystone Law (KEYS) has traded in line with expectations. Pre-tax profit is forecast to increase from £5.1m to £5.7m.

Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) says that the FDA has accepted the new drug application for Akindi Sprinkle as a treatment for infants and children. Approval could be gained by the autumn and it will be the only licenced treatment specifically for children. There was cash of £4.6m at the end of 2019.

MAIN MARKET

Automotive information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) is recommending a 700p a share bid from Infopro Digital, valuing the company at £114.5m. The two companies fit well together and will have greater scale.

Finance provider S and U (SUS) says that its figures for the year to January 2020 will be in line with expectations and trading has been getting better in the past few weeks. The used car market has held up well even though the new car market is week. This is why second hand car finance provider Advance should produce another record performance in 2020-21. Property bridging finance provider Aspen has made the progress hoped because of delays in repayments and the loan book is lower than expected, but it is still a young business. A 2019-20 pre-tax profit of £35.5m is expected to increase to £39m this year. The latest total dividend will be raised by around 5% to 124p a share.

JLEN Environmental Assets (JLEN) is raising cash from the placing of up to 49.7 million shares. This will fund a pipeline of investments. The bookbuild will close on 26 February.

Ultimate Products (UPGS) says that sales growth is easing this year with first half revenues 3% ahead at £67.7m. There is also uncertainty about the supply of products from China. Even so, Shore is maintaining its full year pre-tax forecast of £8.77m, a small increase on last year. That could change.

Zenith Energy (ZEN) is widening the geographic scope of its activities by negotiating to acquire an oil production licence in West Africa. Zenith has raised £135,000 through a share issue at 1.5p a share. It has also entered into an equity sharing agreement with a consortium of institutional investors. The nominal amount raised is £810,000, but the ultimate amount will depend on the share price when each tranche is paid over the next 12 months. The benchmark price is NOK0.2231/share, equivalent to around 1.85p. The share price is 1.43p, so the first instalment is likely to be below the notional level if there is no share price recovery.

BATM Communications (BVC) has gained a $1.3m order from a Middle East-based poultry firm for its agri-waste treatment system.

Fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) says market conditions are more challenging and there has been a slow start to the fourth quarter, which is normally the strongest. Margins have fallen and profit will be at the lower end of the range of forecasts. The Coronavirus has led to the extended closure of Chinese sites, but this is a small percentage of production.

Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that production at its plants is on hold or preparing to gradual resume production because of the effects of the Coronavirus. The hotel business has been hit by a sharp reduction in occupancy rates.

Avation (AVAP) has made firm orders for two ATR 72-600 aircraft that will be leased to US-Bangla, the largest private airline in Bangladesh.

Predator Oil and Gas (PRD) is raising £3.56m at 4p a share. This will finance the drilling of the Moulouya well in Morocco and provide cash for further investment in Trinidad.

Andrew Hore

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