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AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Michael Williams has stepped down as chairman and chief executive of British Honey Company (BHC) and non-exec Philip Seers has also resigned. Robert Porter-Smith has rejoined the board and Alex Maurice becomes chief operating officer. This follows the general meeting requisition, and it is unclear what will happen with that.
Ecotricity has accelerated its 400p a share bid for rival renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) and it will close on 8 October.
St Mark Homes (SMAP) had net assets of 120p a share at the June 2021. Interim turnover was flat at £108,000 and the loss was reduced from £84,000 to £49,000. The residential development in Sutton will be marketed later this year.
Japanese whisky supplier Rogue Baron (SHNJ) generated revenues of $505,000 in the first half of 2021. There was a loss of $150,000 before flotation costs. Net cash is $139,000. A marketing push is planned for next year.
Rural Broadband Solutions (RBBS) has 2,650 monthly paying connections and expects 2,800 by the end of the year. Interim revenues were £395,000 and the loss was £401,000. Costs have increased due to the strengthening of management to boost the sales and marketing operations. Net cash was £341,000.
Western Selection (WESP) made a reduced loss in the year to June 2021 and no dividend is being paid. Net assets are £10m.
Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) is acquiring US-based sparkling water brand Big Swig for $2.5m, minus anticipated liabilities, in shares. This will increase the number of retailers the group deals with in the southern US.
KR1 (KR1) has participated in the Basilisk crowdloan and Kusama (KSM) parachain auction. It contributed 11,111.1 KSM to the crowdloan.
TruSpine Technologies (TSP) has raised £650,000 at 10p a share and Oberon Capital has been appointed as broker. An FDA 510k application for spinal stabilisation system Cervi-LOK should be lodged before the end of the year.
Rutherford Health (RUTH) has opened a community diagnostics hub in partnership with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust. There are up to five community hubs planned.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had net assets of 69.71p a share at the end of August 2021.
IamFire (FIRE) has raised £396,000 at 3p a share. It issued broker Peterhouse with 200,000 warrants at a strike price of 10p a share. John Taylor, a director of AIM and Aquis companies, and Sandy Barblett, who is a director of Rogue Baron, have joined the board. Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi is leaving the board.
Oscillate (MUSH) director Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi has bought one million shares at 2.072p each. He owns eight million shares. The sister of the chief executive of S-Ventures (SVEN) has sold 600,000 shares at 27p each.
Judges Scientific (JDG) is improving its order book and some of the benefits will show through in the second half. In the six months to June 2021, revenues increased from £37.4m to £43m – the 2019 figure was £40.2m. Underlying pre-tax profit improved from £6.4m to £8.5m, which is slightly higher than 2019 interim figure. To put this in perspective, there have been three acquisitions since the first half of 2019, but it does show a strong recovery.
SourceBio International (SBI) says that updated Covid-19-related travel requirements, that mean that inbound fully vaccinated people will not need PCR tests on days two and eight, will hamper progress in the fourth quarter. Testing volumes had been growing and they will fall back. So far this month, the figure is 14,000 per day.
IT recruitment and services provider Parity Group (PTY) has been increasing investment in its business but that has led to an interim loss. In the six months to June 2021, Parity revenues declined from £29.9m to £26m, which was also below the second half 2020 revenues. Revenues are continuing to decline. A small interim profit has become a small loss and the loss is set to increase in the second half. Parity has swung from net cash to net det of £1.1m, excluding lease liabilities, at the end of June 2021 and a further cash outflow is expected in the second half.
Pennant International (PEN) growing its software revenues and plans to increase its exposure to the rail sector in order to lessen dependence on aerospace and defence. The first half was tough. Revenues did improve from £6.26m to £7.43m, but Pennant remains loss making. There are more than £1m of annualised savings. The three-year order book is worth £26m and there is also a significant pipeline of potential projects for the technical training business.
Cyber security firm ECSC (ECSC) increased interim revenues by 15% to £3m and there was a small reduction in loss to £207,000. Utilisation levels of consultants are increasing, and the recurring managed detection and response revenues grew by 17%. A full year loss is expected.
Cosmetics supplier Warpaint London (W7L) has done well with the roll out in Tesco stores and next year there will be a further boost from a Boots roll out. Interim revenues rose from £13.5m to £18.4m even though there was a decision to reduce close out activity. Profit quadrupled to £1.6m and it was higher than the 2019 figure. The interim dividend is 2.5p a share. Sales in the eight months to August were £27m.
Steel structures supplier Billington (BILN) improved interim revenues by 15% to £37.7m and pre-tax profit was one-quarter higher at £763,000. Net cash was £12.1m at the end of June 2021. Structural steel operations were near to full capacity in the period, while the safety products business increased revenues by one-fifth.
Kettle controls and water appliances manufacturer Strix (KETL) produced record interim figures, even though new product launches were too late to make a difference. The new factory has opened in China with plenty of capacity to handle growth.
Employee benefits services and insurance provider Personal Group (PGH) is growing its SaaS-based business. The deal with Sage is also starting to generate more significant revenues following a free pilot stage. Group revenues fell because of the lack of face-face insurance sales, but there should be a recovery next year.
Maternity wear supplier Seraphine Group (BUMP) says that first quarter trading was strong, but it has been tougher in the second quarter because of supply issues. That means that first half profit will be lower. Full year profit should be at least in line with the 2020-21 figure.
Path Investments (PATH) has provided a loan facility of up to £600,000 to DG Innovate, which Path has conditionally agreed to acquire. DG Innovate is developing electric motor and energy storage technologies.
Serum Life Sciences is investing £50m in Oxford Biomedica (OXB) in return for a 3.9% stake. The cash will be invested in developing the company’s manufacturing facility.
NMCN (NMCN) plans to move from the premium to the standard list. This is part of Svella’s requirement to extend its commitment to subscribe for shares in NMCN. A circular is required to convene a general meeting that should be held by 1 November. Lloyds Bank has extended the company’s overdraft facility to 5 November.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Sport:80 has delayed its flotation because it has been tidying up its shareholder register. Fintech company Engage Technology is also seeking to float later in 2019 following new product launches. Engage raised £2.6m at £22 a share at the end of 2018, whereas the average buying price by Primorus was £20.03 a share. Investee company, AIM-quoted Greatland Gold (GGP) has published results from the second drilling campaign at Havieron in Western Australia. Every drill hole intersected mineralisation and they extend the overall mineralisation. Drilling will recommence in March. Primorus has raised cash by selling most of the stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) and Primorus was debt free at the end of 2018.
NEX has decided not to suspend trading in the shares of VI Mining (VIM) even though its corporate adviser Daniel Stewart is no longer a member of NEX. VI Mining had little or no notice of its adviser’s withdrawal. A new corporate adviser is being sought.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired apprenticeship training provider Astara Training for £16,666 in shares at 9p each. Milamber lost £179,000 in the third quarter and there was £30,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.
Panther Metals (PALM) has announced the initial results of exploration activity at the Bear Lake project in Ontario. There was gold in soil anomalies at four of the five areas tested. Four areas have quartz vein sample assays above 5g/t gold. Two samples had large grade samples. The next phase of exploration is being planned and could start in the second quarter of 2019.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has signed a deal that could enable it to earn a 70% interest in a joint venture that owns the Palha tantalum property in northern Brazil.
AIM (February 2019 AIM Journal available here)
DP Poland (DPP) is running short of cash and is more than doubling its share capital through a heavily discounted placing raising £5.3m at 6p a share, with the possibility of an additional £500,000. The Domino’s Pizza franchisee for Poland has found competition is getting tougher and growth has slowed. The cash is required to cover losses and open more outlets. Peter Shaw is stepping down as chief executive at the end of June, nearly a decade after founding the business.
Ticketing and queueing technology provider Accesso Technology (ACSO) is reviewing its investment priorities although it says that 2018 figures should be broadly in line with expectations. These will be published on 27 March. A deal fell through and this cost $1.7m. Tom Burnet is moving from executive chairman to a non-exec role. The share price is less than one-third of last year’s high. BlackRock has cut its stake below 5%.
Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has launched a placing and 0.318-for-one open offer to raise up to £4.75m at 3.85p a share on top of the £8m subscription by former AIM company China Medical System Holdings, which will licence products for the Chinese market. The clinical trial for cancer treatment MTD201 will cost up to £7m.
Duke Royalty (DUKE) is acquiring its UK rival Capital Step and this will double the size of the portfolio to eleven investments and diversify it in terms of sectors. There is an initial £10m cash payment and the assumption of debt of £11.65m. There is performance related consideration of up to £1.5m. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.
Visa has increased its bid for Earthport (EPO) from 30p a share to 37p a share, which beats the Mastercard offer of 33p a share. The latest bid values Earthport at £247m.
Taptica (TAP) has launched a recommended bid for RhythmOne (RTHM) and this will create one of the largest video advertising companies in the US. The offer is 28 Taptica shares for every 33 RhythmOne shares. Taptica shareholders will own 50.1% of the enlarged group. A $15m share buyback programme is planned after the merger. Ofer Druker will become chief executive.
Polemos (PLMO) has finalised the details of its reverse takeover of Digitalbox Publishing for £10m in shares and it is also acquiring the owner of the Daily Mash satirical news website for up to £1.2m in cash and shares. The model for the Entertainment Daily website will be used to improve the performance of the Daily Mash. A placing will raise £1.02m at 14p a share. The company will change its name to Digitalbox.
Hardide (HDD) is raising £3.6m at 1.5p a share so that it can move to new premises in the UK and invest in additional equipment. The surface coatings company is experiencing increasing demand from the oil and gas sector and there is potential for orders from aerospace companies. It will take two years to fully equip and move into the new facility. Hardide also intends to consolidate 40 shares into one new share.
finnCap has raised its forecasts for Tracsis (TRCS) following recent acquisitions. There is a 3% increase in earnings per share for this year and an 11% rise to 30.5p next year.
Stride Gaming (STR) has traded in line with previously downgraded expectations. Cost cutting continues to cover higher regulatory and tax costs. The online gaming operator will report a lower profit in 2018 and it is set to fall again in 2019. Net cash was £22.1m at the end of 2018.
Bowmark Capital has offered 110p a share for Tax Systems (TAX) and discussions continue. Tax Systems reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.
Victoria (VCP) has sold surplus land in Kidderminster for £2m. The land was in the books for £100,000 but it has obtained planning consent for housing.
Starcom (STAR) has renegotiated its agreement with Xplosive in South Africa, having originally announced it in October 2017. Xplosive has signed a 36-month agreement to pay a monthly fee for each of the Kylos units supplied for the monitoring of cattle. The fees are higher in the first six months and then reduce. The agreement should be worth $500,000.
Strix Group (KETL) has offered to acquire most of the assets of HaloSource (HAL) for $1.3m. Strix has provided working capital of $100,000. Due diligence is being carried out on the water filtration technology and if the deal goes through the cash will pay creditors, but there will be nothing for shareholders.
Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has announced that the Selva gas field in northern Italy has net 2P reserves of 13.3bcf and there are 2.26bcf attributable to Prospex, which has a 17% stake. Selva could start production in 2020 at a rate of up to 150,000 cubic metres/day.
Tau Capital (TAU) plans to raise cash via a placing through Peterhouse and then a capital distribution will be made to all shareholders. This will enable Tau to seek an acquisition. It has until 18 April to secure a deal or trading in the shares will be suspended. Armstrong Investments has increased its stake from 11.7% to 15.7%.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the SFX-01 clinical trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage is on course having completed recruitment and the primary endpoints should be available in the second quarter. Partners Investment Company has acquired at 3.15% stake.
Sports Direct International (SPD) made a £15m offer to buy Patisserie Valerie from the administrator, but this was not deemed enough. Even a higher selling price won’t provide anything for Patisserie Holdings shareholders.
Solicitor DWF plans to raise £75m via a March flotation an some of the cash will repay members’ capital contributions as well as invest in the business. Existing shareholders will also sell shares and partners’ remaining stakes will be locked up until April 2024.
Two former AIM-quoted companies are coming together to join the standard list. Daniel Stewart Securities, which is closing its broking business, is making an offer for Atlantic Carbon, which was previously known as Atlantic Coal, where Adam Wilson, who has had connections with Daniel Stewart, is executive chairman. Singapore-based backer Epsilon Investments refused to put more money into the broker and that is why it is closing. Epsilon holds a majority stake in Hyde Park Holdings, which owns broker Novum Securities. Last October, SeeThruEquity research suggested that Atlantic had an equity value of $86.8m and $68m of debt. In 2017, Atlantic was the largest producer of anthracite in the US with a market share of one-third based on 1.18 million tonnes produced. Atlantic is expected to have moved into profit in 2018, although it did generate cash from operations in 2017. The owners of more than 50% of Atlantic shares have agreed to accept the bid of 1.5587 shares for each Atlantic share.
Thalassa Holdings (THAL) is offering 14.64p a share in cash and 0.26 of a share for each share in The Local Shopping REIT. Thalassa already owns 25.5% of the bid target, which is valued at 32.8p a share. The bid is an alternative to the winding up of The Local Shopping REIT.
Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is no longer acquiring blockchain technology developer Chorum Group because of political uncertainty affecting the UK equity markets. Former Avanti Communications boss David Williams is the director of Chorum. Blockchain Worldwide has more than £1m in the bank and is also looking at other technology sectors for acquisitions.
Drilling of the Colter appraisal well in Dorset has commenced and United Oil and Gas (UOG) has a 10% interest. The drilling should take three weeks. The Selva gas field in Italy has net 2P reserves of 2.7bcf attributable to United, which has a 20% stake. Selva could start production in 2020. United intends to move to AIM.
Oil and gas producer Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £607,000 in Canada and the UK at C$0.05 a share and 3p a share respectively.
Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) has confirmed that its figures for the year to January 2019 will be in line with expectations. The Aspen property bridging loan business had a loan book of £18m at the end of January 2019. Cautious lending criteria means that new business has slowed in recent months and this has led to a 5% 2019-20 earnings downgrade to 230.1p a share.
BATM (BVC) has won a $3.2m cyber security contract and this takes contracted revenues from this government customer to more than $10m. The latest contract will be delivered this year.
Chesterfield Resources (CHF) is expanding its exploration programme in Cyprus. Initial drilling in an area near historic mining has shown gold, copper and zinc mineralisation. Chesterfield is also applying for licences to extend its licence area.
Dev Clever (DEV) has launched pay per play multi-player, virtual reality game Vanguard: Fight for Rudiarius in Harlow shopping centre. The game will be rolled out to other UK sites.
Bluebird Merchant (BMV) has applied for a grant to help finance drilling at the Kochang project in South Korea and there should be news by the end of the month. There has also been a permit application to develop Kochang.
Dixons Carphone plc DC claims that its international businesses had a “terrific” Xmas but as is so often the sad story of late, the UK lagged far behind. In the 10 weeks to the 6th January, the star of the show was Greece with a like for like sales rise of 23%, followed by the Nordics with 11%. The UK and Ireland came last with a 3% rise compared to 6% for the company as whole. Looking forward management asserts that it is keeping its antenna twitching.
Computacenter CCC describes 2017 as a year of great progress and it is now anticipated that adjusted pre tax results will be ahead of the Boards expectations, which have already been upgraded on a number of occasions during the year.Group revenue rose by 12% on a constant currency basis but the UK produced the best quarter 4 growth seen for a number of years, with a rise of 16% just ahead of the Germans with 15% and France with 13%.
Aveva AVV is ahead of revenue expectations for the time of the year, having put in a strong performance for the nine months to the 31st December. Improving growth trends seen in the first half of the year have continued into the third quarter with Asia putting in a particularly strong performance and similar improvements have through into January.
AnimalCare Group ANCR Revenue for the year to 31st December was slightly ahead of expectations with a revenue rise of 9.5%, 10.9% on a like for like basis. The integration with Ecuphar which was acquired in July is going well.
Strix Group KETL maintained its clear market leading position during 2017 with a global volume share of some 39%. Results for the year to 31st December are expected to be in line but particularly strong cash flow should produce a significantly improved net debt performance.