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Rogue Baron (SHNJ) joined the Aquis Stock Exchange on Friday. The company is a spirits brand developer, and its focus is the Shinju Japanese whisky brand and specialist tequila Copa Imperial Tequila. The idea is to build these and other niche brands to the point where larger drinks companies will want to acquire the brand. There was £755,000 raised at 7p a share. The share price ended the first day of trading at 8p (7p/9p).
Gunsynd (GUN) has already more than trebled the value of its investment In Rogue Baron, which was worth more than £1.8m, including accrued convertible interest, at the time of flotation. Gunsynd holds a 28.5% stake. Chris Akers has increased his stake in Gunsynd from 5.36% to 6.19%.
Sativa Wellness (SWEL) has taken more than £1.1m of bookings for its Covid-19 testing clinic business. This has been achieved by the Bath clinic and a further clinic has opened, plus 13 in-pharmacy and two mobile clinics. There could be 30 clinics by the end of April, ready for the easing of lockdown.
KR1 (KR1) has invested $200,000 into Automata Network’s seed funding round.
IamFire (FIRE) made a loss of £162,000 in the six months to October 2020. During the period, investments were made in WeShop and Bio2pure.
Upper Thames Holdings (UPPT) has net liabilities of £83,000 at the end of 2020 and since then £516,000 has been raised. The board will seek approval to change the company’s name to Valereum Blockchain.
Quetzal Capital (WENP) is raising £3m at 4p a share and issuing enough warrants exercisable at 8p to raise a further £3m. This will help to fund a reverse takeover or investment. NQ Minerals (NQMI) has raised a further £255,000 at 7p a share. Bluebell Investment and Consulting has invested £25,000 in Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) at 13.5p a share, which represents a 4.9% stake. Altona Rare Earths (ANR) has raised a total of £800,000 at 6.5p a share from placings.
Western Selection (WESP) has increased its stake in Bilby (BILB) by 698,737 shares at an average share price of 35.11p each. This takes the stake to 12.2%.
All Star Minerals (ASMO) has appointed SP Angel as broker.
AMTE Power (AMTE) raised more than initially expected in the flotation and this should provide the cash required for investment in the battery cells development business. AMTE raised £11.3m at 175p a share. The share price jumped to 233.5p on the first day of dealings. The battery cells nearing commercialisation are aimed at the high-performance vehicles, oil and gas equipment and energy storage markets. There are currently 16 potential clients that products are being developed for.
Engineer Avingtrans (LON: AVG) is raising £35m from the sale of the Peter Brotherhood business that came with the £52.7m acquisition of Hayward Tyler in September 2017. Peter Brotherhood was estimated to be worth £9.3m of that cost. Borrowings will be paid off. Net cash is expected to be £22m at the end of May 2021.
Kape Technologies (KAPE) is acquiring Webselenese for $149.1m. This provides the group with a consumer platform for privacy and security content, which will generate information and data on consumer trends. In 2020, the acquired business generated revenues of $64.5m and EBITDA of $30.7m. In 2021, Kape is expected to increase earnings from 15.8p a share to 25.4p a share.
Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (CER) has won a Middle East contract worth £5m over five years. The implementation will take up to 18 months.
Getech (GTC) is raising up to £6.25m via a placing and open offer at 22p a share. The cash will be invested in developing hydrogen products and services.
Online merchandising technology provider Attraqt (ATQT) improved its full year revenues by 8% to £21m, helped by an initial contribution from AI firm Aleph. The loss was reduced from £4.4m to £2.6m. Annualised recurring revenues were £21.1m at the end of 2020. A £500,000 loss is forecast for 2021 before a move into profit in 2022.
Cloud-based PCI payment services provider PCI Pal (PCIP) is gaining momentum in the US. In the six months to December 2020, revenues rose by 56% to £3.2m. More of these revenues are coming via channel partners. Total annual contract revenues were 59% ahead at £8.3m. There should be enough cash in the bank to get the company to the point where it is generating cash.
Shoe Zone (SHOE) says that it does not expect to pay a dividend until at least 2025. The footwear retailer expects to continue to lose money this year. The stores are closed at the moment.ch
Online women’s fashion retailer Sosandar (SOS) has agreed to sell a specialist collection of its products through Marks and Spencer (MKS). This follows deals with Next and John Lewis.
Coral Products (CRU) is repaying its £1.6m property mortgage out of the proceeds of its recent disposal. The £2.5m valuation of the Haydock site is expected to be increased in the next accounts. Coral has also repaid £500,000 of its CBIL loan with the other £433,333 likely to be paid before the year-end.
Business restructuring company Begbies Traynor (BEG) is acquiring of David Rubin & Partners for up to £25m. This takes the group’s market share to 12%. There is an initial £12m payable and the rest depends on performance over five years. Begbies raised £22m at 105.5p a share to help finance the deal, which should be immediately earnings enhancing.
Arden has upgraded its Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) forecasts due to higher crude palm oil and palm kernel oil prices. This means that Arden expects Dekel to be profitable in 2021.
Avation (AVAP) is raising £7.5m at 110p a share and this provides additional cash at a difficult time for the airline industry. NAV was previously 174p a share. Avation could continue to lose money for the next two years Net debt will still be more than $1bn.
Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) is entering into a deal to acquire Cindrigo Energy, which owns Cindrigo Ltd, the company where a previous offer lapsed. The business is a developer of renewable energy projects using Swedish expertise in waste-to-energy and biomass. The shareholders of the target company will own 96.5% of the enlarged business.
Kanabo (KNB) has signed a production and supply agreement with PharmaCann Polska for cartridges containing Kanabo’s medicinal cannabis formulations. The initial production capacity is up to 36,000 cartridges. FastForward Innovations (FFWD) has sold its stake in Kanabo for a profit of £140,000. FastForward has also sold its Cellular Goods (CBX) for a £54,000 gain.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has raised £26.8m at 200p a share and this cash will fund the purchase of a further stake in Pluto Digital Assets. The £7.3m investment in Pluto will maintain the Argo stake at 25%. AIM-quoted Pires Investments (PIRI) owns 6.4% of Pluto.
The Financial Reporting Council has started an investigation into the audit of motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) by Deloitte for 2017 and 2018.
Wheaton Precious Metals (WPM) is increasing its first quarterly dividend by 30% to 13 cents a share. The strategy is to pay 30% of average cash generated by operating activities in the previous four quarters.
Pharmaceuticals developer Nuformix (NFX) is raising £1.565m at 2p a share. This cash will finance preclinical studies for the NXP002 inhaled formulation for lung disease and further research and development of formulations. Nuformix is waiting to see whether Oxilio will option the NXP001 cancer treatment. This option expires on 24 March.
NEX / ISDX
Clinical decision support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) increased its interim revenues by 17% to £1.78m and it has moved into profit. DXS has moved from a loss of £39,000 to a pre-tax profit of £64,000. DXS has won the tender for London Partnership Procurement, which has 100 members and is expected to spend £1.5bn over the four year contract period, and a new version of its software has been launched. There was £361,000 in the bank at the end of October 2016.
Based on the latest fundraising price, the value of the Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) stake in nano payments company SatoshiPay Ltd has grown in value from €200,000, mostly invested one year ago, to €725,220. Fellow NEX-quoted company Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested just over €59,000 as part of the €1m fundraising giving it 1% of SatoshiPay. AIM-quoted Blue Star Capital (BLU) is investing a further €640,000 at €340 a share and it is raising £700,000 from a share placing at 0.15p a share in order to finance the investment. AIM-quoted FastForward Innovations Ltd (FFWD) is another investor in SatoshiPay and the value of its investment has, since the original investment in September 2015, increased by 212.5% to €500,140.
Early Equity (EEQP) has increased its NAV from £209,000 to £706,000 at the end of August 2016 mainly thanks to the £607,500 raised at 0.45p a share last year. The full year loss was slightly lower at £110,000. Early Equity invested £450,000 in a 32.1% stake in Yicom Global, a healthcare products supplier primarily focused on China. This business started trading in February 2015 and is already profitable with revenues building up each month. Early Equity has received a dividend of nearly £26,000.
Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas plans to raise up to £3m ahead of its admission to AIM. Eco is already quoted on TSX-Venture market but it believes that the London market will take more account of the prospects for its exploration interests. Eco has offshore exploration interests in Guyana and Namibia. The Orinduik block in Guyana, where Eco has a working interest of 37.1%, is near to the Liza discovery by ExxonMobil and Eco’s partner is Tullow Oil. Part of the cash raised will go towards funding seismic exploration of the block. This will help to identify where the exploration well should be drilled next year. There are applications for other blocks in Guyana. Eco has stakes in four blocks in Namibia but the initial focus is Cooper (32.5% working interest) where an economic impact assessment needs to be carried out before any drilling.
Strategic Minerals (SML) moved into profit in 2016 thanks to strong sales of magnetite from the Cobre mine in New Mexico and it has enough cash to push ahead with the development of its other interests. Strategic Minerals has the rights to sell the magnetite which is a by-product of the mining. The rights to sell the stockpile of magnetite are coming up for renewal. They could be renewed for a further 12 months or even possibly for a number of years, which would provide more certainty about future revenues. Last year, there was a 24% increase in sales, taking revenues to $1.55m. The company has also received a $400,000 compensation settlement from the rail provider to the mine. This cash will go towards exercising the option to take a 50% stake in the Redmoor tin/tungsten project in Cornwall. The cash will fund the 2017 drilling programme for the joint venture. Strategic Minerals is also interested in the CARE nickel project in Australia.
Vislink (VLK) is still selling its hardware division to xG Technology Inc (XGTI) but surprise, surprise Vislink is not getting the full disposal proceeds of $16m upfront. This means that Vislink shareholders have to shoulder the costs of another general meeting to agree to the revised disposal already having agreed to the original terms at a previous general meeting on 9 January. Vislink is still likely to receive $16m for the business but only $6.5m of this is payable initially. On completion, secured loan notes of $9.5m will be issued and should be redeemed within 45 days. Vislink also retains the right to cash received from an outstanding debt up to a maximum of $2m. It is not clear if there is any chance of the debt being paid. The xG share price has bounced back since Christmas and a ten-for-one consolidation means that the share price complies with regulatory requirements for the Nasdaq Capital Market. The loss-making company raised $10m gross at the end of 2016.
Global Energy Development Ltd (GED) proposes to acquire subsea surface vessel businesses and change its name to Nautilus Marine Services. The deal covers 11 offshore subsea service vessels and one barge vessel, which provide services in the Gulf of Mexico. A convertible loan note issue is planned to raise $10.5m – the coupon is 8% and the conversion price 50p a share. The current share price is 16.25p. The loan note cash, plus the issue of two other loan notes valued at $6.1m and $15m and convertible at 160p a share and 225p a share respectively, will finance one transaction and the other transaction will be financed by forgiving $8m out of $12m of existing loan notes. Issued by the seller
Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) has bought lightning protection and earthing systems installer Nimbus for £1m. This business made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 in 2015. Premier says that last year’s trading was in line with expectations.
First Property Group (FPO) has won a new investment mandate from three colleges in Oxford and Cambridge totalling £14.5m. A new fund has been set up called Fprop UK Special Opportunities LP and First Property is investing £725,000. Including debt, the fund can invest £30m. Fees will be dependent on the value of the properties under management. At the end of 2016, First Property had invested 95% of the funds it manages for the Shipbuilding Industries Pension Scheme.
Gold miner Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) reported a first half profit of $3.7m and generated cash of $7m from operations. The commencement of underground production from San Gregorio west in November will boosted the second half. Cash operating costs were $914/ounce but this figure should fall below $900/ounce for the full year. There was $5.4m in the bank at the end of November despite the heavy capital expenditure in the period. There will be more drilling at the Anza gold project in Colombia in order to define the potential mineralisation and provide a maiden resource figure.
Independent Oil & Gas (IOG) plans to acquire a gas pipeline in the southern North Sea. This unused pipeline, which has a capacity of 300,000mmcfd, could be used to transport gas from the Blythe hub and Vulcan satellite fields. There will be a lot of technical work required to get the pipeline up and running. Drilling at the Skipper field indicates that the oil is heavy making it difficult to produce.
SQS Software Quality Systems (SQS) continues to increase its higher margin managed services business and 2016 profit was in line with expectations despite the negative effect of currency movements (SQS reports in €). Net debt was €12m at the end of 2016. Significant new business continues to be won.
Arria NLG (NLG) has left AIM although it has not finalised its admission to ASX and the New Zealand Stock Exchange. Arria hopes to complete a $25m fundraise in the first quarter of 2017.
Standard list cash shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) has raised a further £110,000 at 1p a share. Trading in the shares commenced on 13 January, following a £848,000 (£675,000 after costs) placing at 1p a share. The initial 50 million shares were issued at 0.1p each. The current share price is 1.25p (1p/1.5p). There is no guidance concerning a specific sector focus for any acquisition. The two directors are also directors of Plutus PowerGen and standard list shell Papillion Holdings. They were also directors of former AIM company BioProgress.
Hair and skin care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) says that its first half revenues are more than 80% ahead at £3m. The revenues have been boosted by UK sales of skin tan brand Skinny Tan, which tans and reduces the visibility of cellulite.
Property investor Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has had a busy week of acquisitions and disposals. Shildon House in Gateshead has been acquired for £1.825m, while Hume House in Leeds is being sold for £3.55m – a profit of £1.88m – although the deal is not expected to complete until the end of this year. Ace has bought out the 62% shareholder in Radcliff Property, the company that owned Telephone House which was sold in October, for £1.235m. Ace has already received £2.8m from the Telephone House sale but there is a dilapidations claim on a former tenant and Ace will now get 100% of any settlement. In the six months to October 2015, revenues jumped from £404,000 to £990,000, while pre-tax profit increased from £282,000 to £514,000. There was a £252,000 cash inflow from operations and net debt was £2.64m at the end of October. Of course, this is before the latest deals and some others that have been announced since October. NAV was £13.8m and the property portfolio, valued at £20.1m, generates more than £2.26m of annual rental income. Hybridan has been appointed as broker. At 3.75p (3.5p/4p) a share, Ace is valued at £21.9m.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP), which develops locking nut devices for railway tracks, reported a sharply reduced loss in the year to August 2015. Revenues improved from £144,000 to £240,000 and combined with lower admin expenses this helped the loss decline from £406,000 to £228,000. House broker Daniel Stewart forecasts more than doubled revenues and near break even this year.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYPD) reported a higher profit in the year to October 2015. Revenues edged up from £3.07m to £3.13m, while pre-tax profit moved from £124,000 to £134,000. There was £1.15m in the bank. Hydro has already announced an unchanged total dividend of 18p a share, although it is not fully covered by earnings. At 750p (725p/775p) a share, Hydro is valued at £4.5m. Second half trading improved after a weak first half. Staff costs are rising this year.
Investing company Globe Capital Ltd (GCAP) raised £100,000 at 0.105p a share and there is a warrant exercisable at 0.0025p each attached to each placing share. Globe had £11,000 left in the bank at the end of June 2015 and there had been a cash outflow of £188,000. The chief executive has resigned and this could mark a change in focus. Globe had been focused on investing in debt and equity of businesses but failed to find a suitable investment. New director and 3.3% shareholder David Barnett has a background in the fashion industry. Globe was previously known as Ford Eagle Ltd and when it changed its name in June 2013 it raised £207,000 via an open offer at 1p a share and it was capitalised at nearly £250,000 at the open offer price. Later that year, £199,000 was raised at 0.4p a share. At 0.625p a share, Globe is valued at £1.2m, although the bid offer spread is 0.25p/1p and there are no reported trades on the ISDX website suggesting that this is not necessarily fully reflective of the business particularly as the placing is at such a discount to the bid price.
AfriAg (AFRI) has decided to leave AIM and concentrate on its ISDX quotation and it says this could save up to £40,000 a year. Trading via ISDX has been increasing since this quotation was obtained. If shareholders agree AfriAg will leave AIM on 24 February. Although the strategy will stay the same AfriAg has hinted that it is assessing strategic options.
Vertu Motors (VTU) has bought three Honda dealerships from fully listed rival Lookers for £2m. Vertu has 12 Honda dealerships and this makes it the largest Honda car retailer in Europe and it also operates two motorcycle dealerships. All three sites adjoin existing dealership areas and they broke even last year. Vertu says that the acquisition will be earnings enhancing in its first full year.
Cathexis has increased its offer for Interior Services Group (ISG) from 143p a share to 171p a share. This bid is open until 17 February and will not be extended unless there is a rival bid. There were acceptances for the previous bid equal to 1.7% of the ISG share capital. Cathexis has taken its own stake above 30% so this is a mandatory bid.
Online business and marketing platform operator blur (BLUR) reported a decreased cash burn in the fourth quarter partly due to lower development spending. The quarterly cash burn more than halved to $1.5m. More of the projects put on the site are being taken up and completed, while the move towards larger customers is paying off. Revenues are estimated to have been $2.7m in 2015, while the underlying loss is around $10m. That loss is expected halve next year and the rate of cash burn will slow further and net cash is forecast to fall from £6.3m to £2.2m.
Learning Technologies Group (LTG) has expanded its US e-learning interests through the $26m acquisition of Nashville-based Rustici Software. The business is international and it is involved in a wide number of sectors. In 2015, revenues were $6.6m, mainly recurring, and EBITDA was $2.7m. Up to $11m more may become payable depending on performance. Watershed Systems Inc has been split from the rest of the business with LTG taking a 30% stake and the former Rustici owners will own the rest. Watershed is developing a new learning analytics platform that will gather and analyse learning data and LTG is injecting $3m for its stake.
Specialist IFA Frenkel Topping (FEN) says that 2015 figures are broadly in line with expectations with assets under management of £666m at the end of the year. House broker Shore has been updating its forecasts and it has reduced the 2016 figures but increased the 2017 ones. This is because 2016 is a transitional year as assets under management are moved to come under its own management. This still requires final FCA approval. A profit of £1.74m is forecast for 2016, rising to £3.28m in 2017.
IP-focused investment company FastForward Innovations Ltd (FFWD) has raised £5.6m from a placing at 15p a share – a premium to the then market price although it was as high as 18.25p earlier in the month. The share price ended the week at 15.25p. The shares issued are just under one-quarter of the enlarged share capital. The previous placing raised £3.17m at 8p a share. The latest placing follows the appointment of board director Lorne Abony as chief executive and he invested more than £800,000 taking his stake to 19.7%. He stood down from the boards of two investee companies – Vested Finance Inc and Vemo Education Inc – and he will not be involved in future investment decisions relating to them. There are seven investments in the portfolio. Abony has been the boss of two other AIM-quoted (and TSX-listed) companies that were based in Canada – Fun Technologies and Mood Media Corporation.
Tissue Regenix (TRX) has signed a joint venture with GTM-V to form a tissue bank in Rostock, Germany and management believes that this model can be used to expand internationally. Tissue Regenix has invested €250,000 in cash in the joint venture, which has been granted licences for human dCELL . Regulatory submissions for EU approval are being prepared and the first human tissue treatment products based on the dCELL decellularisation technology could be launched in Germany next year.
Call centre and outsourced customer services provider IBEX Global Solutions (IBEX) says that it has won two new clients in financial services and consumer electronics and it has opened a new operation in Nicaragua. There are plans for an additional site in the next few months. Focusing on higher margin business means that the interim figures will be in line with expectations and the second half will benefit from the new customers. The interims will be published on 24 February. House broker Cenkos forecasts 2015-16 earnings equivalent to 14.3p a share, which puts the shares on eight times prospective earnings.
A strong final quarter meant that publisher Quarto Group (QRT) beat 2015 expectations. A better than expected contribution from the Ivy Press acquisition and the strong performance of adult colouring books were behind the improved trading. A profit of around $13.5m is anticipated. Net debt was $59.7m at the end of 2015 – Northland had forecast $60.7m. A profit of around $15m is expected for 2016. At 217.5p a share, Quarto is trading on little more than six times prospective earnings.
Interim figures from automotive manuals and information publisher Haynes Publishing (HYNS) show an improvement in profit in what is the weaker half of the year. In the six months to November 2015, revenues were 3% ahead at £12.2m, while pre-tax profit increased from £55,000 to £295,000. However, capitalised development spending, net of amortisation, increased from £48,000 to £464,000. Net debt was ££475,000 at the end of November 2015. Haynes continues to review its structure and costs. US and Australian revenues were much lower and this was made up for by higher European revenues. There was growth in UK manual sales but against a weak comparative period but the focus is developing the digital platform. Digital revenues were more than one-quarter of the interim total. An unchanged interim dividend of 3.5p a share was announced. A full year profit of £2.47m is forecast. James Bunkum has joined the board as chief financial officer designate and he takes over the role in May.
Standard list investment company Highlands Natural Resources (HNR) has published its prospectus for the acquisition of 75% of patents and know how rights for DT Ultravert and it has raised £765,000 at 12p a share. The cash will cover the costs of field trials for the technology that are part of a potential licence agreement with Schlumberger.