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Clean Invest Africa (CIA) raised £530,000 at 0.4p a share and joined the NEX Exchange Growth Market on 14 November. The founders subscribed for shares at 0.25p each during September and October. The expected admission price was 1p and the share price ended the week at 1.45p (1.3p/1.6p). That values the company at £2.26m. There is £512,000 in the bank after expenses of £63,800. Clean Invest Africa is focused on renewable and clean energy projects and technologies that will aid the development of Africa. Executive coach Rene Carayol has a 6.28% stake.
Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) reported an improvement in interim revenues from £44m to £48m but pre-tax profit was flat at £5.4m, excluding movements on interest rate swaps. The interim dividend is unchanged at 1.1p a share. Net debt rose to £60.9m due to hotel acquisitions and capital investment. Most of the growth in revenues has come from the hotels and inns businesses. Management says that it is aware of some weakening in its consumer markets.
Metal NRG (MNRG) lost £59,000 in the six months to August 2017 but there was still £273,000 in the bank. The focus is cobalt and investments have been made in Western Australia and Nevada. There are further potential investments in Australia and North America. Management plans to announce how it will increase its profile and the liquidity of its shares.
African Potash Ltd (AFPO) is raising £400,000 at 0.025p a share and the cash will finance the development of the African fertiliser trading business and an eVoucher payment system using blockchain.
Science in Sport (SIS) has secured £14m via a placing at 70p a share in order to expand geographically and in terms of sports. A further £1m could be raised through a one-for-32 open offer at the same share price. The cash will be used to expand the company’s online presence in the US and new product development. The US expansion will be predominantly via Amazon initially and this will require additional stock levels. The SIS.com ecommerce platform will also grow. A move into football will increase the addressable market. Losses are expected to continue for at least two more years.
Zoo Digital (ZOO) is already getting the initial benefits from its film and video dubbing service ZOOdubs. This has widened the scope of the business and helped interim revenues to grow by 63% to $12.7m. A full second half from ZOOdubs will help achieve full year revenues of $26m and that should move Zoo digital into profit in the year to March 2018 even though costs are being increased ahead of expansion in revenues. Localisation services are generating more than two-thirds of revenues with subtitling service ZOOsubs also growing its revenues. ZOOscripts is being developed to provide scripts and metadata that can be used by the other services.
Floorcoverings manufacturer Victoria (VCP) has agreed to acquire floor and wall ceramic tiles manufacturer Keraben Grupo for £246.5m. A placing is raising £180m at 783p a share.
Meat and dairy products supplier Zambeef (ZAM) achieved its downgraded forecast for last year but there has been a further downgrade for 2017-18. Revenues were 17% higher at $255.8m but profit slumped to £200,000. Sales are expected to be flat this year but a recovery in pre-tax profit to $4.2m is anticipated. Non-executive director Tim Pollock, who is investment director for food and agriculture at CDC Group, will take over as joint chief executive from Carl Irwin at the end of March.
President Energy (PPC) is beginning the workover programme of four wells on Puesto Flores, which will cost $2.2m. The payback should be less than 12 months, assuming an oil price of $55/barrel. This is one of the reasons behind the expected increase in forecasts sales from $20.6m in 2017 to $69.5m in 2018, which will enable a 2018 pre-tax profit of $10m.
SRT Marine Systems (SRT) expects a strong second half following a 10% rose interim revenues to £2.9m but a higher loss of £1.6m. That excludes a £1.5m impairment charge for a large Asian contract that has been delayed until 2018-19. finnCap expects the maritime awareness technology developer to report flat full year pre-profit of £1.5m but that requires £12m of revenues in the second half. That requires project milestones to be achieved.
AB Dynamics (ABDP) continued to grow its business at the same time as starting to move into new premises. In the year to August 2017, the automotive testing systems and measurement products supplier increased revenues by one-fifth to £24.6m. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £4.72m to £5.94m. The total dividend has been raised by 10% to 3.331p a share. Net cash was £9.6m.
Versarien (VRS) wanted to raise £1.2m via institutions and PrimaryBid.com at 18p a share and it ended up accepting £2.9m. Back in March, £1.5m was raised at 15p a share in the same way. The advanced materials company has announced a collaboration with a global consumer goods company on the development of the Nanene graphene nano-platelets in polymer structures. The first purchase order has been made.
GCM Resources (GCM) has completed the appointment of Northland as nominated adviser and joint broker. GCM wants to raise £2m via an offer at 34.4p a share through PrimaryBid. The cash will be used to provide further funding for the development of a mine mouth power plant proposal and for working capital.
Serabi Gold (SRB) has announced the conditional acquisition of Chapleau Resources Ltd for an initial $5m, with a further $5m payable in three months and the final $12m when first gold is produced from the Coringa project in Brazil or 24 months from the initial payment. Coringa is relatively near to Serabi’s existing producing gold mine at Palito. Running the two together should reduce the costs of production. The initial payment can come out of existing facilities. Serabi generated revenues of $36.2m and a cash inflow from operations of nearly $7m.
InterQuest Group (ITQ) appears to have set in motion the first stage of plans to leave AIM. That is because it wants shareholder approval to allow it to issue additional shares equivalent to 75% of the issued share capital. The management behind the recent bid for the company own a majority of the shares but need the backing of 75% of the shares voted in order to cancel the quotation. By issuing additional shares InterQuest can dilute the stake of the shareholders that oppose the cancellation of the AIM quotation and management can get what it wants.
AdEPT Telecom (ADT) reported a 36% increase in interim revenues to £22.6m with managed services contributing more than two-thirds of the total. Pre-tax profit increased by 29% to £3.9m. The interim dividend was raised by 13% to 4.25p a share. Full year profit is expected to rise from £6.9m to £8.3m.
Boku Inc develops technology which enables people to pay for services via their mobile. The company is loss-making but it is highly operationally geared so after it covers its costs the profit should grow rapidly. At 59p a share, Boku will be valued at £125.9m. Existing shareholders will raise £30m and the company will raise £15m.
Belluscura has announced details of its plans to join its parent company Tekcapital (TEK) on AIM in early December. Tekcapital’s 47.5% stake in Belluscura will be diluted by a fundraising to generate between £7.5m and £10m. Belluscura has acquired non-core product lines from large medical device companies as well as new IP and technologies.
Keystone Law Group is the latest legal firm to come to AIM. A placing at 160p a share will raise £10m and value the company at £50m. The flotation is due to be completed on 27 November.
Beeks Financial Cloud Group is raising £7m at 50p a share, which values the company at £24.5m. The flotation date is 27 November. Beeks is a cloud-based provider of automated foreign exchange and futures trading.
Ten Lifestyle Group is a lifestyle and travel platform providing concierge services. Corporate clients provide Ten’s services to individual customers. It also expects to join AIM on 27 November.
Mirriad Advertising has developed native in-video advertising technology, which can insert branded advertising into existing content. Revenues are modest and Miriad is still heavily loss-making. IP Group currently owns 38.2%. The flotation is expected on 29 November.
Concepta (CPT) has confirmed a £600,000 order from China for its MyLotus product which provides measurements to help improve the chances of conception. On the back of this, Concepta raised £2m at 7p a share.
Amryt Pharma (AMYT) has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with El Seif in Saudi Arabia for its products.
Africa Oil Corp is subscribing for £8.46m worth of shares in Eco (Atlantic) Oil and Gas (ECO) and this will give it a 19.8% stake. The subscription price of 22.25p a share was at a 28% premium to the closing price on the previous day’s trading. The cash will be used to identify and acquire new oil and gas exploration assets.
MTI Wireless Edge (MWE) has won a $1m contract for military antennas. Along with previous contracts, the revenues will be recognised over the period until the end of 2019. There is potential for larger orders to come.
TLA Worldwide (TLA) reported its 2016 results at 7am on 15 November and the 2017 interims at 7.01am on the same day. That is much better than releasing the profit warning concerning the 2016 figures at 6.26pm on the last day of trading prior to Christmas 2016. Trading in the shares resumed at 2pm on 16 November after the 2016 accounts were posted. The 2017 loss was $9.26m. The interim loss was $3.86m and net debt was $25m with further contingent consideration of $12.2m. The share price slumped to 12p and then recovered to 14p.
Former chairman Michael Ellis has requisitioned a general meeting at Van Elle Holdings (VANL) so that he and his son-in-law Thomas Lindup can be returned to the board. Both men had left the board of the ground engineering services provider prior to its profit warning in March, which was five months after floating. Ellis also wants to remove chief executive Jon Fenton and senior independent director Robin Williams.
Utilitywise (UTW) has delayed publication of its results because of the requirements for further auditing.
Integumen (SKIN) has acquired the Stoer skincare range for men and its ecommerce platform. This brand complements the Visible Youth brand aimed at women. Integumen is issuing 12.6% of its enlarged share capital in payment for Stoer, which values it at £510,000 at a share price of 2.45p.
Interim revenues fell from £21.9m to £17m at Hornby (HRN) and the loss increased to £5.7m. Net debt was £4.7m at the end of September 2017. A £12m placing and open offer at 29.5p a share will provide cash for investment and to buy a 49% stake in the holding company of Oxford Diecast Ltd, which is controlled by Hornby chief executive Lyndon Davies.
Blue Prism Group (PRSM) has sparked another upgrade with its latest trading statement. The robotic process automation supplier has added more customers and has a 100% renewal rate so full year figures will be comfortably ahead of expectations but the loss will be in line with forecasts. The annual figures will be published on 25 January.
Fishing Republic (FISH) has been hit by increased competition in the fishing market, which has knocked profit margins. There was a decline in like-for-like store sales in October. That means that there will be a loss this year. This has led to the departure of the chief executive and other board members. Chris Griffin becomes acting chief executive and he will conduct a strategic review. His experience should be helpful with online sales, which continue to grow.
Angling Direct (ANG) has acquired North West Angling Centre and Tacklesaver for £450,000 in cash plus stock. They have annual revenues of £1.8m. That takes the number of stores to 20. Angling Direct has reassured the market that trading is in line with expectations.
Oracle Power (ORCP) and its partners have submitted plans to the Pakistan authorities for a 660MW power plant which would eventually become a 1,320MW plant. The coal for the power plant will come from Thar Block VI. If the regulator issues a letter of intent then the partners will have to submit an electricity tariff application and apply for a generation licence.
Film finance provider FFI Holdings (FFI) has acquired digital, post-editing machine rental business EPS-Cineworks for $9.54m. This business fits well with the Pivotal Post post-production business acquired earlier this year prior to flotation.
BOS Global Holdings (BOS) says that Innovation Corporation has asked for security to be provided against its convertible note. Innovation has converted £217,000 of convertibles at 16p a share. That left £1.06m available from the note. Former managing director Michael Travia, who has requisitioned a general meeting to change the BOS board, is associated with Innovation and they have a total stake of 18.9%. BOS admits that its cash position is tight.
Packaging supplier Macfarlane Group (MACF) says it expects full year expectations to be met as the momentum of the first half has continued into the second half. The distribution division increased revenues by 11% in the four months to October 2017 which more than offset a small dip in manufacturing sales. Manufacturing profit will be flat this year but distribution profit will be much higher.
Standard list shell Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has viewed potential acquisitions but has yet to find one that fits with its criteria. It is seeking an energy or industrial acquisition valued at between £5m and £30m. There was still £1.1m in cash at the end of October 2017 and the NAV was 4.23p a share.
Telecoms business Toople (TOOP) has more than 1,300 small business customers and it says that “monthly revenues have consistently exceeded £100,000” between June and October 2017. Toople has decided to end its relationship with a third party sales agency and bring sales in-house. The current customer acquisition cost is said to be “within the range previously announced of £40 to £91 per customer” and that is the same as 12 months ago. In the first half, admin expenses were £662,000. There was a £82,000 gross profit on sales of £655,000. Management has tried to keep costs down but revenues do not appear to be significantly higher in the second half based on the above statement. The first half cash outflow from operating activities was £552,000. This may have been reduced in the second half but the outflow is still likely to be significant. There was net debt of just over £300,000 at the end of March 2017 but since then £1.26m net from a fundraising in June. The share price is 1.18p, compared with the 2p fundraising price.
Simian Global (SMG) says that the exclusivity period for the acquisition of media and advertising company GVC Holdings has been extended to the end of March 2018. A further £50,000, on top of £200,000 already lent, will be provided to GVC at an interest rate of 15%.
This month marks the 22nd anniversary of the launch of NEX Exchange, although it was then originally called Ofex. A number of companies have gone on to bigger things, including Genus, which is in the FTSE250 index and accesso Technology, which is one of the top 50 companies on AIM. Further information can be found at http://www.hubinvest.com/AIMPDFOctober2017_97.pdf
MetalNRG (MNRG) has applied for two cobalt licences at Palomino and north Palomino in Western Australia but a rival has applied for the latter licence. There has also been interest from potential acquirers of this interest. A report has been received about the company’s US cobalt interests and this is being reviewed. A potential uranium project has been brought to the company and it is considering the opportunity.
Indigo Holdings (INGO) has invested £10,000 in 3sootjobs, a job search platform in Iran, giving it a 1.53% stake. Turquoise, which owns 32.1% of Indigo, and related parties, including Indigo directors, own around two-thirds of 3sootjobs.
Ecovista (EVTP) has bought a 80% stake in a company that owns a four bedroom property near Stanstead and it has paid £10,000 for an option on the next door property. The properties cover 1.72 acres.
Parcel delivery company DX (Group (DX.) is raising £24m from an issue of convertible loan notes. The conversion price will be 10p a share and the interest rate 8%. There is potential to issue a further £2m of loan notes. Lloyd Dunn has been appointed as chief executive but he is not on the board. Along with three directors, he is subscribing for £5.25m of loan notes.
Angle (AGL) has further positive indications of the effectiveness of its Parsortix liquid biopsy technology and it has also raised a further £2.8m, taking the total raised at 37.5p a share to £15m. Heinrich Heine University researchers has been able to able to continue to grow circulating tumour cells harvested using a Parsortix device.
Fashion retailer Quiz (QUIZ) performed strongly in the first half and online sales have increased to one-quarter of the total. This was before the launch of a website focused on Spain and there are plans for other international websites. The UK stores grew sales by 15%. Overall revenues were 35% ahead at £56.1m.
Orogen (ORE) is acquiring Thread 35 Ltd and changing its name to Sosandar (SOS), which is the acquisition’s online womenswear brand. The brand was launched on 19 September 2016 by the founders of fashion magazine Look and is aimed at the affluent professional woman. Orogen is paying £6.3m in cash and shares for the acquisition. Ten Orogen shares are being consolidated into one new share. A placing at 15.1p a share will raise £4.8m net to cover the cash portion of the acquisition cost.
Toilet tissue supplier Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL) expects to pay between£550,000 and £2.9m and because of its guilty plea the amount will be discounted by one-third. The figure will be announced early next year. Talks continue with major shareholders and the bank.
Wynnstay Group (WYN) has appointed administrators to Just for pets and 18 of the stores have been sold to PSR Ltd. The other seven have been closed. The loss-making pet products retailer had net assets of £2.2m.
Crop enhancement products supplier Plant Impact (PIM) increased its full year revenues by 17% to £8.5m even though sales in Brazil were disappointing. Higher research and development spending meant that there was a £3m loss. There was £7.2m in the bank at the end of July 2017. Plant Impact is moving into new geographic markets as well as building share in its existing markets.
Motor dealer Vertu Motors (VTU) intends to use some of its cash to buy back up to £3m worth of shares. There was net cash of £20.8m at the end of August 2017. Interim revenues were flat at £1.45bn buy underlying pre-tax profit was 7% higher at £20.9m.
Patrick O’Sullivan, who failed to gain a board seat at Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (CGNR), has reduced his stake in the Irish gold explorer to three million shares (24.6%). Conroy was awarded costs of the court proceedings made by Patrick O’Sullivan and the level is still to be assessed. Conroy has decided to cancel its quotation on the Dublin-based Enterprise Securities Market on 6 November. Conroy will still be quoted on AIM so shareholder approval is not required. Andrea Gonella currently owns less than 3% of Conroy, having owned more than 6% in July. Conroy has raised €240,000 via a €0.30 a share placing and a further €167,000 was raised from warrants taken up by directors Professor Richard Conroy and Maureen Jones.
Digital Barriers (DGB) has decided to sell its video business for up to £27.5m. It will concentrate on its Thruvision people screening business.
InterQuest Group (ITQ) has appointed Allenby as its nominated adviser and Peterhouse as its broker so trading in the shares has recommenced. Chisbridge Ltd ended up with 58.3% of InterQuest after its bid. It still wants to ditch the AIM quotation and it can buy shares in the market in order to increase the stake.
Patient monitoring device developer LiDCO (LID) has gained its first long-term high use programme contract with a US customer but that did not contribute in the first half. In the six months to July 2017, revenues were 4% higher at £3.9m and the loss was £1m. That was due to higher sales and marketing costs without the benefits of higher sales yet showing through.
1Spatial (SPA) has sold its non-core assets so that it can focus on geospatial data. There is particular potential in the US market. Although interim revenues were flat at £12.1m but a greater proportion were from the geospatial business. The operating loss was reduced from £1.9m to £1.2m and the cash outflow in the period was minimal. Claire Milverton has been confirmed as chief executive.
Two graphene-related companies are raising cash. Applied Graphene (AGM) has raised £9m at 36p a share and existing shareholders are being given the chance to subscribe for up to £1m via a one-for-eight open offer. There was £4.7m in the bank at the end of July 2017. The cash is being used to finance joint development activity for the strategic ink programme, which uses 2D inkjet printing to deliver graphene-based inks. Other potential uses are also being explored. Haydale Graphene Industries (HAYD) is raising £10m via a placing and offer at 120p a share, which was a 32% discount to the market price. Haydale recently changed broker to Arden. The cash will be used to provide working capital for existing orders and to develop new uses for graphene, including cookware.
SaaS-based accounting software supplier FreeAgent Holdings (FREE) says that it generated interim revenues of £4.6m, compared with £3.6m. There was a smaller first half loss and had net cash of £3.4m at the end of September 2017.
Top level domain names owner and distributor Minds + Machines (MMX) has received approval from the authorities in China to sell .law, .work, .beer and the Chinese equivalent of .shopping. Four more extensions are going through the approvals progress. So far, revenues from China for .vip have been a significant contributor to group revenues.
A consortium led by former chief executive Peter Earl is in early discussions with Rurelec (RUR) about a bid that could be backed by Rurelec’s joint venture Patagonia Energy Ltd.
An application to enable Redx Pharma (REDX) to get back control of its main subsidiary will be heard on 26 October. If approved, the subsidiary will come out of administration and the suspension of trading in Redx shares could be lifted.
Realm Therapeutics (RLM) has completed the £19.3m placing at 29p a unit (one unit is one share and a warrant for 0.4 of a share). The warrants provide an opportunity to subscribe for a share at 58p each. The initial focus of the cash will be the treatments PR022 for atopic dermatitis and PR013 for allergic conjunctivitis. There are also plans for a phase II trial for the PR023 treatment for acne vulgaris.
PipeHawk (PIP) has sold its 28.4% stake in south east England-based survey practice SUMO Ltd to its own executive chairman Gordon Watt for £197,499. That is the equivalent of the investment in loss-making SUMO and is more than its value in the books.
Dr Cliff Holloway has been appointed as chief executive of Scancell Holdings (SCLP) and he will push forward the immunotherapy platforms being developed by the company. His predecessor Dr Richard Goodfellow is remaining on the board. Scancell had £2.67m in the bank at the end of April 2017, which was less than the cash outflow in the previous 12 months.
Ashanti Gold Corp says that the Anumso gold project, where Goldplat (GDP) is earning up to 75% through a $3m investment in exploration, has broader and new mineralised zones. Soil sampling has produced good results and suggests high gold recovery rates.
Former AIM company Zenith Hygiene has agreed a cash bid from BCPE Diamond UK. The deal values Zenith at £100m, based on its enterprise value, although the final amount depends on performance.
Cash shell J2 Acquisition Ltd (JTWO) commenced trading on the standard list on 10 October, having raised $1.25bn. The shell is seeking a company with a strong market share and proven track record. If an acquisition is not made within two years, shareholder approval will be required for a further 12 months of operation.
Levrett (LVRT) has completed the acquisition of Nuformix Ltd for £12m in shares at 4p each and it has changed its name to Nuformix. A further £2.3m has been raised at 4p a share. Trading will recommence on 16 September.
Sealand Capital Galaxy (SCGL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with AIM-quoted MySQUAR (MYSQ) that will enable the two companies to distribute each other’s mobile games.
Monchhichi (MCC) still intends to follow Pembridge Resources (PERE) from AIM to the standard list but the move has been delayed until mid-November. This will follow shareholder approval for the €10m investment in artificial intelligence, machine learning and behavioural data science company Sentiance and the approval of the prospectus by the UKLA. Sentiance lost more than €2m on revenues of €1.4m in 2016.
WideCells Group (WDC) plans to launch its CellPlan insurance for stem cell treatment in Spain before the end of the year. A partner has been secured for the expansion of stem cell services in the Middle East, north Africa and Asia Pacific. White Apex General Trading will be exclusive strategic partner for three years.
Good Energy (GOOD) received applications for £16.7m of the corporate bonds on offer. The maximum application level was £20m. The energy supplier will issue the bonds on 30 June. At the company’s AGM, Martin Edwards was not re-elected as a non-executive director and four special resolutions, three relating to pre-emption rights and one about calling a general meeting at 14 days notice, were not passed. Edwards has been a director of Good Energy since its formation and has expertise in renewable energy generation. It is unclear whether the length of his time on the board was held against him by institutions or whether there was another reason for him being removed from the board. He was chairman of the remuneration committee.
South Africa-based social impact investment company Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) says that occupancy rates of its core investment Kazuko Lodge are improving and it moved into profit last year. The weakness of the Rand has helped to boost tourist demand and room rates. In the year to February 2017, Inqo revenues increased from R10.7m to R17m and a loss of R4.72m was turned into a pre-tax profit of R10.3m, thanks to a rise in other income from R867,000 to R14m. Net cash was R2.3m at the end of February 2017. This year, the first revenues from Bee Sweet Honey and retirement savings scheme provider Four One Financial Services are anticipated.
Housebuilder St Mark Homes (SMAP) is paying an interim dividend of 5.5p a share. The shares go ex-dividend on 6 July.
Phoenix UK has bought out a rival shareholder in Hornby (HRN) and this has triggered a mandatory bid at the purchase price of 32.375p a share. This purchase took Phoenix’s stake in Hornby to 55.2%. The bid values Hornby at £27.4m. Neither Hornby’s management nor Phoenix wants to lose the AIM quotation. The bid closes on 14 July.
Wynnstay (WYN) reported flat interim pre-tax profit of £4.07m prior to the goodwill write-down on the Just for Pets retail business. Pet retailing is a competitive market and it is consolidation. Just for Pets is relatively small and it loss has masked an improvement in the core agricultural division and the Wynnstay Sores retail business. A recovery in the milk price means that farmers are back in profit and are spending more money on feed. Net debt was £8.28m at the end of April 2017, which is higher than last time because of the rise in commodity prices. The interim dividend was increased by 5% to 4.2p a share. The full year profit is forecast to decline from £7.4m to £7.1m.
NWF (NWF) also benefited from a recovery in feed demand in the second half of the year to May 2017, although there was a decline in the year as a whole. The food and fuel distribution businesses both made improved contribution. The full year figures will be published on 1 August.
South America-focused gold miner Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) says that operating costs were between $800 and $900/ounce last year. In the year to May 2017, Orosur produced 35,371 ounces of gold, which is at the lower end of the expected range. There was net cash of $2.9m at the end of May 2017 even though a new underground mine has been developed. Orosur plans to commence a drilling programme in Colombia, while the deadline for a decision by Asset Chile on whether to back phase II of the Anillo project has been extended to the end of 2017, although Orosur can talk to other potential backers.
Timber importer James Latham (LTHM) reported better than expected full year figures. In the year to March 2017, revenues were 7% ahead at £199m and gross margins improved. Earnings per share were 4% higher at 55.8p and the total dividend is 15.35p a share, up from 14.3p a share. Net cash was more than £16m. Revenues were 3% higher in the first two months of the current financial year.
InterQuest Group (ITQ) continues to advise against acceptance of the bid from Chisbridge, which is a management backed takeover vehicle. Acceptances of the 42p a share cash bid have been received from shareholders owning 2.85% of InterQuest, which is added to the 40.5% of the share capital that already backed the bid. The offer has been extended to 13 July.
European Wealth Group (EWG) is raising £6.14m at 12.8p a share and could raise up to £3.07m more via an open offer to existing shareholders. The cash will be used to pay off debt and deferred consideration.
Tracking and security equipment developer Starcom (STAR) has raised £650,000 at 1.5p a share, with each share coming with one-fifth of a warrant exercisable at 2.5p a share for up to 12 months. Some of the cash will be used to pay $246,000 to YA II, which will reduce the drawn down convertible loan facility from $330,000 to $110,000. YA II has agreed to a conversion price for the rest of the facility of 2.5p a share up until the end of 2017.
Redx Pharma (REDX) has a chance of securing the funds it requires in order to come out of administration. Discussions are still at an early stage. It is unclear whether this will involve changes to management, given that the current management believed that it could string along Liverpool City Council and put off repayment of its loan. Redx has gained UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency approval for oral cancer treatment RXC004. This provides permission for a phase Ib/IIa study for gastric, biliary and pancreatic cancer patients.
Clontarf Energy (CLON) is in talks to secure further projects and additional finance. Clontarf was recently awarded block 18, offshore Equatorial Guinea.
Myanmar International Ltd (MIL) raised a total of $7.3m via PrimaryBid.com and institutions, having initially wanted to raise between $3m and $5m. The Myanmar-focused investment company offered shares at $1.18 each – a 9.2% discount to the market price. Myanmar has achieved a broadening of its shareholder base. The enhanced proceeds are still expected to be invested within six months.
Digital media content business Brave Bison Group (BBSN) has appointed Claire Hungate, a former chief operating officer of ex-AIM TV production company Shed Media, as chief executive but she does not join the company until September. Brave Bison says that it does not believe a merger with fellow AIM company Zinc Media is in its interests.
Water treatment company HaloSource (HAL) has finally completed a £1.8m fundraising at 1.5p a share. The cash will provide working capital to help expand the drinking water business and develop the lead removal technology. The cash will fund the group into 2018. The new shares are more than one-third of the enlarged share capital. The completion of the conditional fundraising was announced on 21 April. There is no mention in the latest announcement of the investor that had tried to gain Chinese government approval to invest.
Gold producer and explorer Shanta Gold (SHG) raised £11m at 6p a share as part of a refinancing that also includes a new $50m debt facility to replace the existing $40m facility. Shanta is acquiring TSX Venture Exchange-quoted Helio Gold, which has gold exploration assets near to Shanta’s own licences, for $5.6m in shares. Shanta will be able to finance the commercial underground production phase at its New Luika gold mine.
Thor Mining (THR) has raised£460,000 at 0.9p a share and there is one warrant with each new share which is exercisable at 1.8p a share. Thor has agreed to acquire 25% of US Lithium, which has interests in Arizona and New Mexico, from Pembridge Resources for £59,000 and £30,000 will be provided to cover operating costs. There is an option to acquire the other 75% for 52.8 million shares at a deemed price of 0.9p each. Thor has completed a 50 hole drilling programme on the Dundas gold project in Western Australia. The results should come through in a few weeks.
First, the good news from TLA Worldwide (TLA). Management is obviously trying to suggest that it does not have contempt for investors by releasing a profit warning at 7am – its advisers must be doing something right. This is certainly a big improvement on publishing a profit warning at 6.26pm on 23 December 2016. TLA still thinks that it will be able to report its 2016 figures and post its accounts on 30 June. However, the trade receivables write-off is going to be higher than the previous guesstimate of $1.5m-$2.5m. The write-off is expected to be $3.2m and on top of that the negative effect of the accounting corrections on EBITDA is likely to be $3.6m, up from $2m previously. That will leave 2016 EBITDA at $4.8m. The interest charge will take up the majority of that figure. It is not just that, though. The original 2015 profit will be reduced by $1.9m. Net debt was $21.8m at the end of 2016 but a large chunk of the receivables that should have helped to reduce that figure are not going to come in. There is no dividend – unsurprisingly. The finance director has left, although he will be providing assistance for three months.
Superyacht painting and maintenance services provider GYG (GYG) is raising £6.9m at 100p a share prior to joining AIM on 5 July. GYG is valued at £46.6m at the placing price and the plan is to pay an annual dividend equivalent to 6.4% of the placing price, although it will be 3.2% for 2017. Last year, GYG generated revenues of €54.6m and made EBITDA of €6.7m.
China-focused healthcare investor Cathay International Holdings (CTI) says that it will receive just over $4m in dividends from 50.56%-owned subsidiary Lansens Pharmaceutical. The dividend will be paid on 4 August. Lansens’ subsidiaries have received insurance payments totalling $2.58m. Two directors were not re-elected at Cathay’s AGM because, although they received the majority of votes, they did not receive the majority of independent votes. Further re-election resolutions will be proposed in the next four months and they will only need a majority to be passed.
Falcon Media House (FAL) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tata Communications to collaborate on an over the top service for brands and content rights holders, using Falcon’s Q-Flow technology.
SMALL CAP AWARDS 2017 WINNERS
Company of the Year
Musical instruments retailer Gear4Music has gone from strength to strength since joining AIM in June 2015. The share price has risen by 600% in the past year. In May, £4.2m was raised at 690p a share.
The musical instruments market remains fragmented but Gear4Music is becoming one of the main players in Europe and it is opening distribution facilities in Europe as well as expanding its UK base. The investment required is holding back short-term profit growth and, in fact, pre-tax profit is expected to dip this year from £2.7m to £2.4m before rising to £3.3m in 2018-19.
IPO of the Year
Accrol Group Holdings (ACRL)
Tissue manufacturer Accrol had just celebrated its first anniversary on AIM when it was given this award. Accrol floated at 100p a share on 10 June 2016 and the share price has risen to 159.5p. Full year figures will be announced on 10 July.
Accrol is a leading supplier of tissue products to the discount sector and it has opened a new factory in Leyland, Lancashire. This investment takes annual production capacity to 143,000 tonnes. A ten-year lease has been secured on a 368,000 square foot warehouse in west Lancashire and this will become the central distribution facility. The warehouse management and logistics have been outsourced.
NEX Exchange Company of the Year
Chapel Down Group (CDGP)
English wines producer Chapel Down has been quoted on NEX and it forerunners for more than 14 years. Revenues have grown from £1.47m in the year to September 2002 to £10.2m in 2016. The Tenterden-based business made a small loss when it floated. Continuing operations moved from an underlying pre-tax profit of £156,000 in 2015 to £340,000 in 2016. Frosts have hit production this year but the outcome for wine production is still uncertain.
The company has developed brewing business Curious Drinks, which has separately raised money to build a new brewery but Chapel Down still effectively controls the business. The new Ashford brewery will be open in mid-2018 and this will free up space for further wine making at Tenterden.
Impact Company of the Year
African agricultural and forestry business Obtala is set to start to commercialise its operations this year. Up until now revenues have been modest but they are set to jump to £11.9m in 2017, trebling to £36.9m in 2018, which should be high enough to allow Obtala to make a profit in 2018. Hardman estimates that the Mozambique forestry assets could generate EBITDA of more than £25m in 2021. There are also plans to build up the orchard and horticultural business in Tanzania.
In May, Obtala acquired profitable sawn timber trader WoodBois International for $14.8m (£11.4m). The Copenhagen-based business sources timber from across Africa and sells it around the world. WoodBois has been short of capital to finance growth and it fits well with Obtala’s existing timber and forestry operations.
Executive Director of the Year
Nick Jarmany, Quixant (QTX)
Telematics technology provider Quartix is highly cash generative enabling it to finance growth in the UK, France and the US and pay increasing dividends. Chief executive Nick Jarmany founded Quixant in 2005 having spent more than two decades at Densitron Technologies. He guided the business to an AIM quotation in 2013.
The UK remains the dominant region for revenues but France and the US are growing strongly from low bases. Last year, US revenues more than doubled, from £256,000 to £677,000, but the loss was even higher than that because of the investment in sales and marketing and support services to enable growth over the next five years.
Transaction of the Year
Keywords Studios (KWS)
Outsourced video games services provider Keywords Studios has made numerous earnings enhancing acquisitions since it joined AIM but this award is for the purchase of Synthesis for up to €18m, which is one of eight purchases in 2016. This deal meant that Keywords became the global leader in localisation and voice-over recording for video games and added additional studios in Germany, France and Taiwan.
Keywords is expected to maintain a net cash position at the end of 2017 but this will depend on the level of acquisitions activity. There is a €35m bank facility that is not fully utilised and that could be used for further acquisitions.
Analyst of the Year
Andrew Blain, Cenkos Securities
Journalist of the Year
Jamie Nimmo, Evening Standard
Adviser of the Year
Fund Manager of the Year
Paul Mumford, Cavendish Asset Management
Malcolm Diamond (Trifast/Flowtech Fluidpower)
London and south east England residential property developer St Mark Homes (SMAP) says it will in the immediate future focus on homes for sale for less than £600,000, because this is the London help to buy limit. In 2016, revenues fell from £3.1m to £1.34m but the unchanged contribution from joint ventures and a release of negative goodwill of £150,000 – a non-cash item – meant that pre-tax profit improved from £549,000 to £652,000. There is still negative goodwill of £137,000 on the balance sheet which is likely to boost a future financial year. A lower tax charge helped earnings per share to rise from 14.8p to 16.6p. Total dividends were 11% higher at 5p a share. There was a cash outflow from operations in the period. The NAV is £5.8m, following a share issue that raised £690,000 net of costs via an open offer to existing shareholders. That is 131p a share. Finance director Sean Ryan acquired 4,912 shares at an average price of 94p each.
Markets operator WMC Retail Partners (WELL) benefitted from an increased valuation of its Luton market but trading was down on the previous year. In 2016, revenues dipped from £4.31m to £4.23m, including £100,000 of consultancy revenues, and a pre-tax profit of £13,000 was turned into a £58,000 loss. WMC is on course to reopen its Cornish site under the name Cornucopia in July.
Property developer Formation Group (FRM) moved back into profit at the interim stage based on continuing operations. Revenues doubled from £10.2m to £20.2m, while an operating loss of £84,000 was turned into a profit of £48,000. The corresponding period also included a £1.08m write-back of loans secured on past properties. There was £1.58m in the bank at the end of February 2017. The NAV was £10.4m.
Block Energy (BLOK) says that Schlumberger has completed the acquisition of three production sharIng contracts in the Republic of Georgia that are near to Bock’s own interests. This indicates the interest in the region. Roger McMechan has been appointed as technical manager for Block’s interests.
Investment company Early Equity (EEQP) increased its interim loss from £46,000 to £67,000. The NAV fell from £770,000 to £639,000 at the end of February 2017. The value of investments in BWA Group and Alpha Prospects declined and the investment in Devilfish Poker was written off, although it is hoped that there could eventually some value to the shareholding. Yicom Global, a healthcare products supplier primarily focused on China, has been increasing its number of sales agents and sales.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that nano-payments company SatoshiPay has linked up with PayPal so that 200 million users could potentially use its service. Coinsilium has a 12.1% stake in SatoshiPay.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has paid £75,000 for a 15% in Essential Learning, which provides apprenticeship training. The UK Apprenticeship Levy is expected to generate £2.8bn to be invested in training. In the nine months to April 2016, revenues were £616,000 and lost nearly £30,000. Share placings at 16p a share and 20p a share raised a total of £75,000.
Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) has raised £500,000 at 1p a share and it hopes to raise a further £50,000. Management says that the economic climate has delayed sales of its Tracksure rail safety components and Wheelsure is short of cash to develop the business. The cash is needed for marketing, product development and patent protection. There are trials of products in process. Wheelsure is focusing on generating more sales from existing customers while targeting longer-term sales from new customers.
Karoo Energy (KEP) has raised £465,000 at 3p a share. These investors will receive a warrant exercisable at 6p a share for each share they subscribed for. The warrants last for 36 months. The cash will be used for shale gas exploration in Botswana.
A strong end to the financial year means that Bilby (BILB) expects to report EBITDA of at least £3.6m, compared with a forecast of £3m. The building services provider says that demand was strong at the end of the financial year with some work starting earlier than expected. There is a cash balance of £2.5m. The figures for the year to March 2017 will be reported before the end of June.
Mortice (MORT) has sparked another profit forecast upgrade following a trading statement. House broker finnCap has increased its 2016-17 pre-tax profit forecast from $4.3m to $5m and next year’s forecast has been raised from $6.2m to $7m. Revenues are better than expected and costs have been kept under control. Net debt was $13.6m at the end of March 2017. The facilities management and security divisions both generated much higher revenues.
Gemfields (GEM) has received an unsolicited bid from 47.1% shareholder Pallinghurst Resources. The offer is not generous. Pallinghurst is offering 1.91 of its shares for each Gemfields share. That is equivalent to 38.5p a share or a total value of £211.5m.
Veltyco Group (VLTY) did even better than expected in 2016. Revenues were 7% ahead of forecast at €6.1m. Underlying pre-tax profit was €1.74m and Northland forecasts a 2017 profit of €4.27m, helped by recent acquisitions. The online gaming marketing business has started 2017 strongly.
RNA therapeutics developer Silence Therapeutics (SLN) has gained a European Patent Office grant for its chemical modification technology and expects to use this patent to generate revenues from specific medicines that are already undergoing clinical trials.
A recovery in oil and gas demand has helped Hardide (HDD) in the first half. Revenues increased by 59% to £1.51m. The underlying operating loss fell from £1.02m to £720,000. Production is building up at the new US facility. Sales are yet to come through from the approvals already given by Airbus Group. A $100,000 order has been received from General Electric.
LightwaveRF (LWRF) reported a slightly reduced interim loss on revenues that grew from £804,000 to £1.17m. The loss fell from £384,000 to £333,000. The home automation business has developed technology and it needs to generate higher sales in order to move into profit. A partnership with Google in the voice control area has propelled the share price upwards.
ImmuPharma (IMM) says that the latest clinical trial results show that Lupuzor, a potential treatment for Lupus, has a robust safety profile. The phase III trial of 200 patients has been going on for 52 weeks and the full results should be available in the first quarter of 2018.
Tiso Blackstar Group SE (TBGR) is selling its 22.9% stake in industrial holding company KTH back to the company. The payment of around £86m will be paid over 19 months with £7m due before the end of 2017 and the rest by the end of 2018. Tiso Blackstar will repay its debt of £23m and a special dividend of £2.3m. The rest of the cash will be reinvested in media investments. There are plans to move the listing in South Africa from AltX to the Main Market. The company is also moving its registered office from Malta to the UK.
Management has announced a potential bid for recruitment company InterQuest Group (ITQ) but the independent directors are not impressed. Chisbridge Ltd is offering 42- a share. The two independent directors say the offer undervalues the company.
Brave Bison (BBSN) has approached Zinc Media (ZIN) and merger discussions are underway. Herald Investments has stakes in both companies.
Edenville Energy (EDL), which operates the Rukwa coal project in Tanzania, has signed a letter of intent to supply 1,000t of coal/month and this could increase to 7,000t/month. This should hopefully be followed by a formal coal supply agreement so that deliveries can start in July.
Tissue Regenix (TRX) is in talks to acquire US-based regenerative medicine company CellRight Technologies.
Flying Brands Ltd (FBDU) says that the prospectus relating to the acquisition of kidney stone analysis company Stone Checker Software has been approved by the authorities. A placing has raised £550,000 at 3p a share.