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Quoted Micro 18 July 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased interim revenues by 882% to £1.82m and this enabled a move from a loss of £383,000 to a pre-tax profit of £22,277. There are cash and deposits of £1.8m.

Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) has announced a proposed joint venture with AIM-quoted Powerhouse Energy (PHE) in Tipperary, Ireland. This will be a 50/50 joint venture and it will build a plant on a site leased by Trifol Resources. Negotiations concerning the site should be completed over the coming months. Electron Technologies BV has completed the first design phase for the company’s thermal processing system.

AQRU (AQRU) has launched ByBrix in partnership with Blimp Technologies Inc. This new business is involved in the crypto-mortgage market. Blimp has expertise in embedding blockchain technology in the real estate market.

Goodbody Health Inc (GDBY) intends to consolidate ten existing shares into one new share.

Reflexivity Research Ltd has increased its stake in KR1 (KR1) from 7.6% to 20.3%. This relates to a performance fee of £30.1m.

IPGL Ltd, which is associated with Chapel Down Group (CDGP) non-exec Samantha Wren, has acquired 250,000 shares in the wine maker at 19.2795p each. Cadence Minerals (KDNC) chief executive Kiran Morzaria bought 100,558 shares at 9.9p each. This takes his stake to 1.43 million shares. Invinity Energy Systems (IES) executive director Jonathan Marren has acquired 44,101 shares in the battery storage technology developer at 45.35p a share.

Oscillate (LON: MUSH) non-exec Narisha Ragoonanthun has stepped down from the board.

Lift Global Ventures (LFT) has appointed Optiva Securities as corporate adviser. The accounting reference date is changed from May to June.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (EO.P) had net assets of 283.05p a share at the end of June 2022.

AIM

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac Group (MPAC) warned that full year profit will be significantly below expectations. Interim revenues are better than last year, and the order book is higher. However, difficulties sourcing components and delays to the timing of orders have hampered progress. The longer lead times for components and inflationary pressures will continue for the rest of the year. There was cash of £14.5m at the end of 2021, which has enabled investment in inventories. The interims will be published on 8 September.

CMO Group (CMO) slumped to 35p after a profit warning, making it the worst AIM performer of the week. Last year’s placing price was at 132p. The online retailer of building products says revenues in the 27 weeks to June 2022 are 10% ahead, or 2% higher like-for-like. Full year guidance is that 2022 revenues will increase from £76.3m to at least £86m, but previously £95.5m was expected. The EBITDA estimate has been reduced from £5.55m to around last year’s level of £3.7m. Supply problems have increased costs and trading is getting tougher.

TransGlobe Energy Corporation (TGL) is merging with fully listed VAALCO Energy (EGY) to create an Africa-focused exploration and production company. VAALCO is offering 0.6727 of one share for each TransGlobe share. TransGlobe shareholders will own 45.5% of the enlarged group. The transaction is valued at $307m.

A positive first half trading statement from international payments services provider Cornerstone FS (CSFS) initially triggered a bounce back in the share price, but it fell back when the chief executive resigned.

Embedded computer boards supplier Concurrent Technologies (CNC) has received a new order from a global medical technology company. The initial order is worth $2.2m in the first year of product shipments and there should be orders for several years. This further diversifies the customer base away from defence, which was 70% of the revenues of £20.5m in 2021.

Angle (AGL) has raised £20m at 80p a share. The cash will be used to take full advantage of the recent FDA approval for the use of its Parsortix diagnostic technology in harvesting breast cancer cells for analysis. Discussions are ongoing with medtech and pharma companies. The pharma services operation will be expanded, and laboratory developed tests launched. The liquid biopsy market could be worth up to $100bn in the US.

A £3.75m fundraising at 0.5p a share by EQTEC (LON: EQT) was not well received by the market and the share price fell below the offer price. EQTEC raised more than the minimum of £3m that it was seeking. The cash will fund wase to energy projects, including a 9.9Mwe advanced gasification technology facility and 2MW anaerobic plant at Deeside. EQTEC has to invest £2.3m to gain a 32% stake in the company owning the project.

Ironveld (IRON) has raised £4m at 0.3p a share to finance the acquisition and refurbishment of Ferrochrome Furnaces Ltd and may raise up to £1m more. Directors’ loans and fees of £351,000 has been capitalised. Management has raised the cash because it is not certain that Grosvenor Resources will be able to complete the promised cash injection. Shareholder approval is required at a general meeting on 1 August.

Portmeirion (PMP) says interim revenues were 5% ahead at £45m, but it remains cautious about the full year. Shipping costs are reducing, although other costs have risen.

Gaming machine monitors and consoles supplier Quixant (QXT) has increased order intake by more than expected. Interim revenues are 46% ahead at $53.3m. The main growth is in the gaming sector, although the screens business grew by 21%.

Regional legal firm consolidator Knights Group Holdings (KGH) reported full year figures in line with expectations. Revenues were 22% higher at £125.6m, although earnings per share fell nearly 6% to 17.23p because more shares are in issue.

Plant-based polymers developer Itaconix (ITX) increased interim revenues by 124% to $3m. Revenues trebled from cleaning products using the company’s plant-based ingredients, but beauty and hygiene revenues declined due to lower order volumes. There was $900,000 of net cash at the end of June 2022.

MAIN MARKET

Property investor Town Centre Securities (TOWN) is selling its stake in YourParkingSpace app for up to £20.7m. The initial payment is £9.6m with a further £7.5m payable over the next two years. There could be up to £3.6m more payable depending on performance in the 14 months after acquisition. The book value of the stake was £1.47m. A loan of £1.95m will be repaid. A tender offer to acquire four million shares at 185p each has been launched. The tender is well below NAV. Tender forms have to be received by 8 August.

BATM (BVC) has secured a deal with CityFibre, which will pilot the Edgility platform with selected partners. This could lead to a national roll-out. CityFibre wants to increase its fibre coverage to 285 cities in the UK.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 21 March 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

AIM-quoted OptiBiotix Health (LON: OPTI) plans to float its ProBiotix Health subsidiary on the Aquis Stock Exchange and distribute 35%-37% of the shares to its shareholders. ProBiotix, which develops probiotics for treating cardiovascular disease, is expected to have a pre-money valuation of £22.5m and will join the market on 31 March. There are plans to raise £2.5m. OptiBiotix will retain just under 50% of ProBiotix. Peterhouse is corporate adviser.

Oberon Investments (OBE) says revenues will be at least £6.4m in the year to March 2022. Funds under management have grown to more than £1bn and that has been wholly organic growth. Oberon is launching an EIS fund and an IHT service.

Natural food and snack products supplier S-Ventures (SVEN) has been making acquisitions since it floated. This means that the figures for the year to September 2021 are not a good indication of the group as it is currently made up. They show revenues of £1.53m and loss of £1m. Additional warehousing has been secured so that all the group’s requirements can be fulfilled by this site. Two centres have been closed.

National Milk Records (NMRP) has secured an exclusive licence for the exploitation of GenoCells technology in the US. The test can detect mastitis and is being piloted in the UK. The roll out of the test should start at the beginning of 2023.

SuperSeed Capital (WWW) says that SuperSeed Fund II raised £31m. There is a strong pipeline of investment opportunities.

Altona Rare Elements (ANR) is proceeding with phase 2 of the development of the Monte Muambe real earths project with resource drilling that will last for 12 months. This will produce a maiden mineral resource estimate and will cost £1.2m.

Semper Fortis Esports (SEMP) has set up a blockchain-based paly-to-earn gaming division called SMPR Guild. The subsidiary will buy in-game items in the form of NFTs, and active game players can access these items on a revenue share basis. Game-based token rewards are won during playing and they are split between the player and the company.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has completed the acquisition of a further 7% of Pedra Branca Alliance, which gives it a 27% interest in the Amapa iron ore project.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has raised £100,000 at 0.5p a share and for every two shares an investor receives a warrant exercisable at 1.5p. If these warrants are exercised, then another warrant will be issued that is exercisable at 3p a share.

Chris Akers has increased his stake in Quetzal Capital (QTZ) from 18.3% to 19.1%.

AIM

CleanTech Lithium (CTL) raised £5.6m at 30p a share when it joined AIM. The share price ended the week at 35.5p. The company has potential lithium projects in existing mining areas of Chile. This means that there is nearby infrastructure. CleanTech Lithium has an extraction process that is more environmentally friendly than alternatives. Owning 100% of each of the projects (there is currently an option over part of the Laguna Verde area) provides additional flexibility for financing. There should be updated resource figures during the summer and that will enable a pre-feasibility study to be conducted.

Ceramics and fragrance products manufacturer Portmeirion (PMP) returned to profit in 2021. Group revenues increased from £87.9m to £106m, while underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £1.4m to £7.2m. There was a rebound in revenues in South Korea. Total dividends were 13p a share. Long-term energy contracts have been secured to offset higher gas prices this year. Further profit improvement is expected this year. Healthcare had a strong year helped by Covid, but management believes that spending will

Recruitment firm Empresaria (EMR) bounced back in 2021 even though the aviation recruitment business remained in the doldrums. This shows the benefits of the wide spread of activities both in terms of sector and internationally. Revenues recovered from £54m to £59.5m, while underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £5.2m to £8.6m. This reflects the benefits of investment in group management and resources and there is more to come. Further roll out of IT will also help. Revenues and profit are well below the peak in 2018. The offshore recruitment services division is moving into the Philippines market. There has been a strong start to 2022.

Restore (REST) improved its pre-tax profit by 64% to £38.1m with demand for all parts of the business returning last year. Acquisitions did help the technology business to grow sharply but there was also 5% underlying organic growth for the group as a whole. There are spare bank facilities to fund more acquisitions this year as Restore moves towards its goal of £450m-£500m, which is double the 2021 level.

Packaging and automation equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) did better than expected in 2021. The 13% improvement in revenues to £94.3m was mainly down to the acquisition of Switchback. Pre-tax profit grew from £6.3m to £8.6m. net cash was maintained at £7.6m. The focus on the healthcare and food sectors has helped Mpac to prosper and the international spread of business is another positive. There is a 26% like-for-like increase in the order book, which was £78.4m at the end of the year.

Tracsis (TRCS) is paying £10.9m, plus up to £2.1m deferred, for rail technology software provider RailComm, which generates revenues of £4.6m. Tracsis had already won a remote condition monitoring equipment contract in the US and the focus will be gaining further contracts for this technology, as well as for software.

Energy efficiency as a service provider eEnergy Group (LSE: EAAS) increased interim revenues by 42% to £9.6m, partly due to energy management acquisitions. Energy efficiency revenues fell during the first half because the corresponding period included work that had moved into that period due to lockdowns. Solar is a sector where management is keen to expand exposure.

Gfinity (GFIN) is raising more cash to cover its losses, but they be near to coming to an end. The esports business is raising a further £2.7m at 1.25p a share, having regularly raised money since joining AIM in 2014. A loss is expected this year, but a reduction in admin costs should help Gfinity to make a profit in 2022-23.

Corporation Financiere Europeenne has increased its bid for CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) from 55p a share to 60p a share. This is still a significant discount to NAV and the bid has been rejected, but the bidder already owns 35.2% and has acceptances of 1.3% of the share capital. Castellain Capital has doubled its stake in CIP to 11.1%.

MAIN MARKET

New Energy One Acquisition Corporation (NEOA) is a cash shell seeking to acquire a business involved in the energy transition sector. It raised £175m at £10 a share. The only real asset is the cash raised in the flotation. The current share price is 989.5p.

Cash shell CYBA CYBA) has acquired its first cyber security business Narf Industries for $25.6m in cash and shares. Narf provides vulnerability research and security protocol design, as well as developing its own cyber security software. A placing raised £6m to help finance the purchase. The placing price of 2p was above the market price, but by the end of the week the price was 2.3p. CYBA may also acquire Polyswarm, although the exclusivity period has ended. CYBA director Steve Bassi is the principal shareholder of the Polyswarm businesses. The estimated cash balance is currently £2.79m. The company is licensing SRI International’s IP that is used in the Narf developed threat intelligence for grid recovery product. SRI will take a stake in CYBA.

Housebuilder One Heritage Group (OHG) has issued £1.5m worth of unsecured corporate bonds and has obtained a standard listing for them. The bond has an annual coupon of 8% and matures in March 2024. The cash will be used to repay loans outstanding from One Heritage SPC, which have an annual interest rate of 12%. There will be a £1.2m loan left that expires in August 2023.

Property investor Town Centre Securities (TOWN) improved underlying net assets to 305p a share, from 284p a share – a 2.4% increase in portfolio value plus help from share buy backs. Three property sales generated £22.5m in the six months to December 2021. There have been subsequent deals. The current loan to value is 47.7%. A 2.5p a share interim dividend is being paid.

Raven Russia (RAV) intends to sell its Russian property assets but retain outstanding loans. Trading in the shares has been suspended and the listing will be cancelled so that the option to sell the assets can be triggered.

Path Investments (PATH) has published the prospectus for the reverse takeover of DG Innovate, which is developing drive and battery technology. The initial consideration is £32.4m in shares at 0.6p each. There is conditional deferred consideration of up to £5.4m depending on the signing of additional customers. Path has raised £2.55m at 0.5p each and warrants exercised at 0.25p each to raise a further £2.08m.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 17 January 2022

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Failed bidder Ecotricity has requisitioned a general meeting at Good Energy (GOOD) in order to remove Will Whitehorn as a director and to stop the company selling generating assets without shareholder approval. The meeting will be held on 11 February. Ecotricity owns 25% of Good Energy. The sale of the generating assets is an important part of the company’s strategy. The cash would be used to reduce borrowings and invest in newer businesses, such as Zap-Map and other digital businesses.

Samarkand Group (SMK) has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with AIM-quoted Venture Life (VLG). The e-commerce technology platform will be the exclusive distributor of mouthwash Dentyl Dual Action and halitosis mouthwash Ultradex in China for an initial term of five years.

Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) has signed a letter of intent with RZZO, which is a regional municipal waste management company in Ostrow Wielkopolski in Poland. RZZO will provide a plot of land where a HUI waste plastic to hydrogen plant can be sited and also source the plastic waste. They will seek funding from the EU as well as Polish grants. The heat would be fed into a district heating system.

Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has identified 11 new pegmatite zones at its HCK joint venture in Rwanda. These are potential tantalum-niobium bearing zones. The sampling should be completed in February.

Apollon Formularies (APOL) has signed agreements with more than a dozen cannabis cultivators. They all have the appropriate licences. It has also set up the Apollon Kannabiz Cooperative to work with local Jamaican farmers.  Rod McIllree has been appointed as a non-exec director. He owns 29.1% of Apollon.

Western Selection (WESP) cut its stake in Northbridge Industrial Services (NBI) from 9.65% to 6.21%, while Harwood Capital has raised its stake to 16.9% to 20.4%. Western Selection raised £1.7m from the disposal.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had net assets of 510.95p a share at the end of 2021.

Sativa Wellness Group Inc is changing its name to Goodbody Health Inc (GBDY).

Dispersion Holdings has changed its name to AQRU (AQRU), which is aligned with the brand of its retail online platform for lending cryptocurrencies.

Rutherford Health (RUTH) will leave Aquis on 25 January.

AIM

Frontier IP (FIPP) says the increase in the value of tis stake in the Nasdaq-listed Exscientia will be an important component of the rise in NAV at the end of 2021. NAV was 69.8p a share at the end of June 2021. A small portion of the shareholding has been sold and further sales are likely. This cash can be ploughed back into Frontier IP and help with new investments.

Legal services provider Gateley (GTLY) reported organic growth of 23% in the six months to October 2021. That partly reflects the weak comparative figures as well as underlying growth. All four divisions grew revenues with only the property division having a small contribution from an acquisition. Utilisation levels improved from 79% to 84%. Underlying pre-tax profit increased from £7.5m to £8.5m. The interim dividend was one-fifth higher at 3p a share. Management is seeking acquisitions to add to organic growth. There is normally a second half weighting to the figures.

Strong trading at Metro Rod and Metro Plumb is the major factor behind the growth at Franchise Brands (FRAN) and the B2C franchise brands are recruiting more franchisees. Full year pre-tax profit is expected to increase from £4.8m to £6.4m. Net cash was £8.6m at the end of 2021.

Corporation Financeiere Europeenne acquired shares in CIP Merchant Capital (CIP) taking its stake to 31.8%. This has sparked a mandatory bid at 55p a share. This is a substantial discount to net assets of 87.6p a share. The plan is to save the costs of being a quoted company.

Cornerstone FS (CSFS) has come to an agreement with Robert Lee concerning the £100,000 convertible loan facility he had promised. Instead of being convertible at a fixed price of 61p a share the convertible could be converted at the average mid-market price of the shares for the five dealing days prior to the drawdown of the loan if this is lower. This will mean that it is much more dilutive unless there is a sharp rise in the share price. The international payments company says 2021 revenues should be £2.3m with more generated by direct sales.

Specialist IFA Frenkel Topping (FEN) is paying up to £10m for Cardinal Management, which provides patient support at hospitals following traumatic events. This provides access to potential clients at an early stage.

Heart disease risk assessment technology developer GENinCode (GENI) has filed a pre-submission for its Cardio inCode-SCORE test with the FDA in the US. This will provide information ahead of a future marketing application. The test combines genetic risk with clinical risk to assess an overall risk of heart problems for a patient.

Oil palm plantations operator Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) generated record figures in 2021. December crude palm oil production more than doubled and the total production for the year was 39,953 tonnes, up 17.5% on the previous year. Extraction rates are starting to improve. The average crude palm oil price was $868/tonne, which is 44% higher than in 2021. The crude palm oil price is currently more than $1,000/ tonne

Minds + Machines (MMX) decided to return the remaining cash to shareholders and cancel the AIM quotation. There will be 10.4p a share tender offer.

Vector Capital (VCAP) has increased its debt facilities by £5m to £35m. In 2021, the total loan book rose by 27% to £46.3m. This is ahead of expectations.

Capital equipment supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) says it traded in line with expectations in 2021. A pre-tax profit of £8.2m is forecast. The closing order book was £77m. The 2021 results will be published on 14 March.

Holders Technology (HDT) is paying a special dividend of 2p a share on 28 January in addition to a final dividend which will be announced with the 2021 figures. The interim dividend was 0.5p a share. This follows the disposal of some of the company’s PCB assets for around £1.7m.

Mosman Oil and Gas (MSMN) has dropped its plans for a 100-for-one share consolidation after negative feedback from shareholders.

MJ Hudson (MJH) has gained a multimillion contract to advise the ACCESS local government pension scheme over a seven-year period. This covers eleven local authority pension schemes. They have £35bn in pooled assets.

MAIN MARKET

Cash shell Electric Guitar (ELEG) joined the standard list on 11 January. It raised £1.2m at 3p a share and the share price has risen to 3.7p. The current NAV is 1.78p a share, which is effectively all cash. Electric Guitar is a shell seeking acquisitions in the digital advertising sector. There could be opportunities to consolidate smaller agencies. A suitable target will be run by management with a good record, be involved in growth areas, have good quality clients, an existing IT platform and be scalable. It should be near to cash generation. The company acquired would have an enterprise value of at least £5m.

East Star Resources (EST) has gained readmission to the standard list following the acquisition of Discovery Ventures Kazakhstan. A placing raised £3.1m at 5p a share.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum (COPL) has made a significant oil discovery in Wyoming. The discovery has between 1.5 billion and 1.9 billion barrels of oil in place.

PYX Resources Ltd (PYX) has begun sales of rutile from its Mandiri deposit in Indonesia with production of ilmenite and leucoxene starting later in the year.

One Heritage Group (OHG) is acquiring Seaton House in Stockport for £675,000. This is an office building, and the plan would be to convert it into up to 30 apartments. The gross development value is £5.6m.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 September 2021

aquis stock exchangeAQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Rutherford Healthcare (RUTH) says a UK investor has agreed to acquire 19 million shares at 65p each. That will raise £12.35m. Rutherford is also issuing 64 million shares to acquire UAE-based Proton Partners International Health Care Investments, which owns the Gulf International Cancer Center in Abu Dhabi.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has made a new investment in Craft Prospect, a Glasgow-based satellite engineering business. There will be £800,000 invested in ordinary shares for a 11.3% stake. The cash will be used for recruitment and product development.

VSA Capital Group plans to join the Aquis Stock Exchange on 9 September. It was previously quoted on AIM, although it cancelled the quotation in April 2013. London-based VSA provides corporate finance and broking services and has an office in Shanghai. In the year to March 2021, the main subsidiary VSA Capital increased revenues from £2.14m to £2.98m and pre-tax profit jumped from £278,000 to £746,000. Group net assets were £4m at the end of March 2021.

Polygon Global Partners has increased its bid for Watchstone Group (WTG) to 38p a share, up from 34p a share, which values the company at £17.5m. Watchstone still believes the bid is too low. In the middle of August 2021, there was £14.1m in the bank and £1.8m in escrow. There are potential litigation claims on top of that.

KR1 (KR1) has participated in the Moonriver (MOVR) crowdloan and Kusama (KSM) parachain auction. KR1 contributed 5,000 KSM to the crowdloan auction. In return KR1 has received 19,666,35 MOVR and will receive a further 45,888.15 over 48 weeks. KR1 has already sold 15,643.19 MOVR in return for 5,162.25 KSM. KR1 also invested $500,000 in return for Exponent (XPN) tokens. Exponent is an open source platform.

In the year to December 2020, MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) increased revenues from HK$15.4m to $20.5m and it moved from loss to a profit of HK$6.22m. The healthcare company sharply reduced its distribution costs and other admin expenses. This reflected the termination of an endorsement agreement and a write-back of a previous over provision for fees.

First half revenues of Yooma Wellness Inc (YOOM) were $2.78m, with $2.18m generated in the second quarter. The interim loss was $5.5m.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has identified seven targets at the Cottesloe project in Western Australia.

Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has launched an issue of €25m 4.8% five-year bonds that will be listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange. They will help to refinance existing bonds.

Evrima (EVA) is raising £720,000 at 5p a share plus warrants to subscribe for shares at 10p each. This will finance investments in existing investee companies and new investments.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised a further £163,000 at 1.7003p a share.

AIM
Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac (MPAC) had a strong first half with a combination of acquisitive and organic growth in the Americas. Revenues were one-fifth higher at £44.2m, with organic growth of 2%. Pre-tax profit was 88% higher at £4.7m. Net cash was £10.3m at the end of June 2021. Healthcare and food have been the main markets for the company’s packaging and automation equipment, but a new contract has been signed to supply battery cell assembly equipment. The full year pre-tax profit forecast has been upgraded to £8.2m.

Bigblu Broadband (BBB) is returning £26m to shareholders following the recent disposal of Quickline. That will be 45p a share in cash via the issue of B shares by October. There should still be net cash of £1.7m at the ned of November 2021 with deferred consideration due next year. Interim revenues from continuing operations improved from £10.6m to £13.1m. Growth is coming from Australasia, but the Nordic region is expected to return to growth next year.

Mercia Asset Management (MERC) has made a £1.6m direct investment in Locate Bio, which had previously been backed by the manager’s funds. Locate Bio’s products help to accelerate the repair of bone and cartilage. The total of £10m raised by the company will be used to support trials of its technology.

Pennant International (PEN) says interim revenues improved by 17% thanks to a strong performance by the software division. The three-year contracted order book has fallen to £25m, but there are potential contracts in the pipeline. Pennant should return to profit this year.

Interim revenues have trebled to £820,000 at in-game digital advertising firm Bidstack (BIDS), but there is still a long way to go before it reaches profitability. Losses will continue in 2021 and 2022, although there is enough cash in the bank to cover these, following a £10.8m fundraising.

Trading at Manchester-based Northcoders (CODE) has been strong since the software training company joined AIM during the summer. Applications are 162% of 2019 levels and there is 90% revenue visibility for 2021. There are plans to open a new office in Birmingham.

Real-time financial data software provider Arcontech (ARC) reported flat full year revenues and pre-tax profit of £3m and £1.1m respectively. Even so, the dividend was raised by 10% to 2.75p a share.

Bangladesh Bank has approved the acquisition of a majority stake in Sanofi Bangladesh by Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP).

MAIN MARKET
Innovaderma (IDP) has completed its product portfolio review and medical device products have been classed as non-core. Packaging of core personal care products has been refreshed and they are available via Amazon. There are plans to use influencers to build sales.

Dealings have commenced in Caracal Gold (GCAT) following its acquisition of Kilmapesa gold mine. There are plans to increase production to 50,000 ounces of gold each year.

One Heritage Group (OHG) has become aware of financial issues with owned associate company One Heritage Maintenance, where it owns the equivalent of a 34% stake. The stake was valued at £285,000.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 11 January 2021

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Standard list shell Baskerville Capital (BASK) plans to switch its quotation to the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. This move will happen at the time of the reverse takeover of Oberon Investments, the owner of fund manager MD Barnard. The transfer to the Access segment is expected to happen on 5 February, although this depends on completion of the deal.

Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) increased its NAV to £3.96m at the end of September 2020. The Southfields property has been sold for £660,000, which was a small discount to the previous book value. The remaining residential property will be sold in the next few months. The company will then concentrate on specialist supported housing.

KR1 (KR1) has sold its remaining holding of FunFair tokens for an average price of 2.0207 cents each. That raised $1.28m, which is more than treble the cost.

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) expects the analysis of the aerial magnetic survey of the Red Setter project in Western Australia will be available before the end of the first quarter of 2021.

All Star Minerals (ASMO) continues to review opportunities in the mining sector in Africa. The deal is likely to be funded by a share issue, but more cash will be required.

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) non-executive director Nigel boardman has increased his shareholding from 5,020 shares to 11,348 shares. Shepherd Neame (SHEP) director JB Neame has sold 4,000 shares at 690p each and bought back 2,000 shares at 691.5p for an ISA.

Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £150,000 in share issues at 5p a share and 5.5p a share. TruSpine Technologies (TSP) is still waiting to receive £250,000 from Evrensel Capital Partners.

Peel Hunt has been approved as an AQSE corporate adviser.

AIM

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac (MPAC) did better than expected last year although pre-tax profit is still likely to decline from £7.5m to £6.2m. net cash is £5m following the payment of £10m for Switchback last autumn. The order book is worth more than £55m, compared to 2020 revenues of £83m. The focus on healthcare and pharma has helped Mpac.

Judges Scientific (JDG) had a strong second half in 2020 and this has led WH Ireland to increase its 2020 pre-tax profit forecast from £12.1m to £13.5m. The 2021 figure has been maintained at £15.1m. Full year results will be announced on 23 March.

Fashion retailer Joules (JOUL) offset weak high street sales prior to Christmas with strong growth in online sales. Even so, continued uncertainty means that Peel Hunt has reduced its 2020-21 pre-tax profit forecast from £5.4m to £3.5m. Net cash is £13m.

Motor dealer Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) says trading the three months to November 2020 was ahead of the same period last year even though the market remains uncertain.

Wealth management firm Mattioli Woods (MTW) had more than £10bn of client assets by the end of November 2020. Gross discretionary assets under management are £2.9bn. Management is still seeking acquisition opportunities and there is £18m of cash in the bank.

Creo Medical (CREO) has received 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its MicroBlate soft tissue ablation devices. This broadens the range of products with approvals.

AssetCo (ASTO) has acquired a 2.9% stake in investment manager River and Mercantile at 186p a share. This cost £4.7m. There is still around £26m in cash available since the payment from Grant Thornton and after the tender offer to shareholders.

Avingtrans (AVG) is merging its two medical equipment businesses with Australia-based MRI technology developer Magnetica and it will own 59% of the enlarged business after also injecting A$600,000. A further £3.2m investment could increase the stake to 61.2%. The combined business is loss-making but the increased scale will help it to move towards profitability.

Telit Communications (TCM) has ended bid discussions with u-blox, although the potential bidder is still interested in making an offer. An all-share bid of 250p a share was indicated.

Tekmar (TGP) has secured a contract to design and manufacture subsea scour protection for a quay development project, which is worth more than £4m. That will be recognised in this financial year.

IntegraFin has decided not to bid for Nucleus Financial Group (NUC), which increased assets under administration by 8% to £17.4bn in the three months to December 2020. Inflows of funds increased, and outflows fell.

Eqtec (EQT) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Greece-based Nobilis Pro Energy, which will enable Eqtec to be involved in its partner’s pipeline of gasification projects opportunities in Thessalia and central Greece. A joint venture will be formalised.

MAIN MARKET

One Heritage Group (OHG) has acquired a site on Bank Street, Sheffield for £880,000. The final development cost is expected to be £2.9m and gross development value should be £3.6m. The residential developer says that its Burnley development will not be completed until later in the first quarter. Construction of the Waterloo Place development in Salford should commence in the second quarter.

Argo Blockchain (ARB) mined 96 Bitcoin during December. The increase in the bitcoin price means that these are valued at £1.63m. Argo holds 209 Bitcoin. The sharp rise in the share price has led to the exercising of warrants and options. This has raised £1.63m.

Tirupati Graphite (TGR) is on track to commission the Vatomina graphite project in the second quarter and build production to 6,000tpa. Tirupati raised £6m at 45p a share when it floated at the end of last year and the share price has risen to 83p.

Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) has completed its drilling programme at the Phalaborwa rare earths project under budget and the results are expected before the end of the first quarter.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) has raised £570,000 at 4p each and this should be enough cash to take the company into next year.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 7 September 2020

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 13 January 2020

NEX EXCHANGE

NQ Minerals (NQMI) says that in 2019 the Hellyer mine in Tasmania produced 24,980 tonnes of lead concentrate, 15,646 tonnes of zinc concentrate and 77,853 tonnes of pyrite concentrate. Metal recovery has improved with average lead recoveries of more than 50%. The focus will be on generating lead revenues. Additional high-grade underground resources have been acquired from Bass Metals, which was subleasing the area. The purchase includes 1.175 million tonnes of underground JORC resources.

Inqo Investments Ltd (INQO) is investing natural insecticide developer Kentegra Biotechnology. The Kenya-based company produces pyrethrum, a natural ingredient from the chrysanthemum flower for use in the home, agricultural and pharma markets. There is a shortage of supply of pyrethrum, which can only be produced in a limited number of places around the globe. There is a move away from synthetic versions of the ingredient.

Panther Metals (PALM) has completed its move to the standard list.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €4.79m via a placing at 1.1 cents a share. The cash will be used for property investments. Mamferay Holdings, which is owned by majority shareholder Phoenix Capital Holdings, is swapping €1.4m of debt for shares at the same price.

Equatorial Mining and Exploration has changed its name to Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM .P).

Wishbone Gold (WSBN) says that the 100p-for-one share consolidation will take effect on 21 January.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) reported a NAV of 273.9p a share for the end of 2019.

AIM

Packaging equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) says that the 2019 profit is going to be much better than expected. The pension deficit should be eliminated by 2024.

Ultrasound simulation equipment developer Intelligent Ultrasound (MED) expects its 2019 revenues to grow to between £5.7m and £5.9m. There will be a slightly higher loss due to higher development spending. There was £7.3m in the bank at the end of 2019. The agreement signed with FUJIFILM SonoSite Inc will help sales this year in the training market.

Shield Therapeutics (STX) has licenced its Ferracru/ Accrufer iron deficiency treatment to Beijing Aosaikang Pharmaceutical for an upfront payment of $11.4m. This means that there should be net cash of £7.5m at the end of 2020. A further $11.4m payment is due when the treatment gains approval in China, following a clinical trial funded by the licensee, possibly in 2023. There could be further milestone payments of up to $40m depending on sales. Ongoing royalties on sales will be 10% or 15%,

Biopesticide products developer Eden Research (EDEN) says that its three EU-registered active ingredients have been approved for use in organic farming. A one-year exclusive agreement with Corteva Agriscience, will give the company time to evaluate Eden’s Sustaine encapsulation technology for use with seeds. Coreva could be granted exclusive distribution rights in the EU, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine.

Accrol Group (ACRL) management believes it has turned the fortunes of the toilet paper manufacturer around. Even so, it still lost £3m in the six months to October 2019. Net debt was £24.8m and this could fall to £20m by the end of April.

Telecoms services provider Maintel (MAI) has warned that public sector contracts continue to be delayed. finnCap has cut its 2019 pre-tax profit forecast from £10.4m to £8.1m, while the 2020 estimate has been reduced by one-quarter to £8.8m.

Software company CloudBuy (CBUY) wants to leave AIM and it expects to save £100,000 a year in overheads. Lyn and Ronald Duncan subsequently sold 11.1 million shares at 0.414p each. The share price has fallen but it is still 0.6p.

Promotional products software supplier Altitude Group (ALT) has signed a strategic alliance with the Advertising Speciality Institute, which will use its software platform.

Surface Transforms (SCE) expects more contract announcements with OEMs this year. In the seven months to December 2019, revenues were £1.45m, nearly treble the same period in the previous year, but lower than expected due to delays. The new financial year end is March. There was £768,000 in the bank at the end of 2019 and a further £425,000 has already been received.

Asimilar Group (ASLR) has raised £6.8m at 40p each. This will be received in two tranches. Formerly known as YOLO, the company will invest the cash big data, machine learning, telematics and internet of things businesses.

MAIN MARKET

Avation (AVAP) has started a strategic review, which could include the sale of the aircraft leasing business. Avation has 49 aircraft with an average fleet age of 3.7 years. It has also purchased a spare engine that can be leased.

InnovaDerma (IDP) grew interim revenues by 28% to £5m. This represents a slowdown in growth in the later part of the period and is slightly lower than expected. Skinny Tan was responsible for most of the growth. The second half will benefit from the launch of new skincare products in Superdrug.

Pembridge Resources (PERE) says its Minto Explorations business has received a $5.4m payment for copper concentrate produced during December. The Minto mine produced 2,247dmt of copper concentrate in the fourth quarter 2019.

BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) says that its molecular diagnostics business Ador Diagnostics has received its first commercial order from an Italian customer for meningitis testing.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 22 July 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £3.4m in the first half of 2019. The interim dividend has been raised from 15p a share to 16p a share. The recent residential mortgage portfolio acquisition was after the end of June. The strategy is to diversify the business and asset-based lending and specialist finance are being built up. Savings platform Arbuthnot Direct has recently been launched. The core private banking operations of Arbuthnot Latham are still growing, though. The shareholding in Secure Trust Bank has been sold down to below 10%, which means it is no longer consolidated. The change from associate led to a write down and NAV declined to £13.21 a share.

VI Mining (VIM) has so far paid $9.1m in cash to the vendors of the Minaspampa and Rosario projects in Peru. There is still $42.2m outstanding 18 months after the acquisition agreement was signed. Majority shareholder Sumner Group Holdings is raising money from a security token offering, which could be completed in the autumn. Some of the proceeds will be used to replace existing facilities and help to pay outstanding acquisition considering, pending renegotiation of the deal. Chief executive David Sumner has provided a $10m term loan, plus a £39m facility of which $3m has been drawn down. There is $1.2m outstanding on the Tassili Jewellery LLC loan facility.

AfriAg Global (AFRI) has completed its acquisition of a 2.325% stake in cannabis company Apollon Formularies. The Jamaican subsidiary has produced its first licensed medical cannabis oils for commercial sale on the island.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has published a prospectus for its move to a standard listing on 23 July. It has raised £193,000 at 0.3p a share.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its CoalTech subsidiary has signed a joint venture agreement with Creon Capital covering Russia and nearby countries. CoalTech is negotiating with other potential partners to set up operations in Europe, Indonesia and the US.

Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says its mining subsidiary has received approval for the R and D tax incentive scheme in Australia for 2018-19. A claim is being prepared.

Share trading has recommenced in Ganapati (GANP) after it published results for the year to January 2019. There was a cash outflow from operations of £23.8m. Since January, two new games have been generated each month.

AIM

Focusrite (TUNE) has acquired Germany-based studio monitor loudspeakers supplier Pro Audio for £16.2m in cash and it will still have £12m left in the bank. Pro Audio supplies ADAM branded products and made a pre-tax profit of €1m. This is an earnings enhancing acquisition. The businesses will operate separately but work together to develop cross-selling benefits.

Swallowfield (SWL) is selling its manufacturing business to the much larger US manufacturer Knowlton Development Corporation for £35m in order to concentrate on its portfolio of personal care and beauty brands. This should leave net cash of £23m in Swallowfield and this will be used to acquire more brands. The company is changing its name to Brand Architekts Group.

Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) grew all its main operations. Acquisitions helped revenues to increase by one-fifth to £103.5m in the year to April 2019, but there was still organic growth of 9.5%. Pre-tax profit improved from £15.4m to £18.1m. The dividend was raised from 7p a share to 8p a share. Corporate business grew more modestly than other parts of the business, but this was impressive given market conditions for corporate deals. A profit of £21m is forecast for this year.

Victoria (VCP) has raised €330m via an issue of 5.25% senior secured notes 2024. This offer was three times subscribed. The floorcoverings manufacturer is using the money to refinance existing debt and will have £80m of cash after the issue.

Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) is trading significantly ahead of expectations. Equity Development has increased its 2019 operating profit forecast from £4.6m to £5.5m.

Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) has completed a co-investment agreement with a Hong Kong-based family office for the investment in Japanese resort business Infinity Capital Group. The family office will pay Adamas $1m of the $2m already drawn by Infinity and the other $2m will be provided 50/50 by the two parties. The facility has a coupon of 17.5% per annum. This deal provides cash to invest in other opportunities. Adamas took advantage of a dip in the share price to buy back £30,400worth of shares at 38p each.

Velocys (VLS) has raised £7m at 3p a share on the back of news that Shell and British Airways will co-fund the development of the Immingham biorefinery project. The cash will be used for further technology development and to progress the Mississippi biorefinery project.

Block Energy (BLOE) has completed the increase from a 71.5% to 100% of its working interest in the West Rustavi field in Georgia. The cash and shares payment means tha Georgia Oil and Gas has increased its stake in Block to 7.7%. Miton has cut its stake from 9.17% to 4.73%.

Mortice (MORT) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and is offering shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 12p each. A lack of liquidity and a weak share price making it difficult to finance acquisitions are the main reasons for leaving AIM.

Albert Technologies Ltd (ALB) also wants to leave AIM, but it is not offering an exit for shareholders. It believes it can attract investors, but they would prefer to invest in an unquoted company.  

Science Group (SAG) has been buying more shares in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at the bid price of 35p each and it has built up a 39.9% stake. It also has 3.1% acceptances for its bid.

Mirada (MIRA) has integrated Netflix into its set-top box platform and this will make its technology even more attractive to broadcasters.

Bangladesh has brought in a law that all listed companies have to pay at least 30% of post-tax profit, or an extra 10% tax charge will be levied. Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is assessing the legislation and will consider how best to manage cash.

Novacyt (NCYT) has sold its loss-making clinical labs business for £400,000 and it will concentrate on diagnostics businesses Primerdesign and Lab21. The first instalment of £100,000 has been paid and £100,000 more is due in September, but the rest will be paid in three equal instalments on the first, second and third anniversaries of the deal.

MAIN MARKET 

Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has received a commitment to invest up to £1.4m from a single investor conditional on the deal to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research. The investment will be for a maximum of 4.99% of the enlarged share capital, although if there is any of the £1.4m left it could be invested in a convertible loan note. The investment underpins the expected acquisition-related fundraising and a fee of 10% of the investment is payable.

General meeting resolutions to wind-up Avocet Mining (AVM) were withdrawn at its general meeting. This comes after discussions with shareholders. There is a few weeks cash left in the business and any potential transaction would have to come with finance to cover the costs of an acquisition process.

Dukemount Capital (DKE) has commenced construction of 17 specially developed apartments and retail space on its West Derby property.

OTHER MARKETS 

Fashion On Screen has listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, which has European Growth Market status by the HMRC. This means that there is no stamp duty. The company had previously considered a listing on the Nasdaq First North market in Copenhagen. Fashion On Screen has raised more than £3m prior to its listing. A film based on the kidnapping of racing driver Juan Fangio in Cuba in 1958 could start before the end of the year (for more about the background to the story listen to https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055fjfx).

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore Quoted Micro 17 June 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

Renewable energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) says that holding back on operating expenditure has offset the downturn in demand due to warmer weather. Profit will be weighted to the first half. Good is investing in electric vehicle platform Zap-Map.

Brewer Daniel Thwaites (THW) reported a more than halved pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £4.5m. Turnover improved from £92.2m to £96.9m and the profit decline was mainly due to a non-cash swing from gain to loss on swaps and a pension adjustment. Operating profit was flat at £12.9m. The Inns business improved its profit and individual pubs are making a higher profit contribution, but hotels profit declined. The total dividend was maintained at 3.36p a share. Net debt was £69.7m at the end of March 2019, while NAV was £180.7m. The pension liability has fallen from £34.9m to £24.8m.

KR1 (KR1) has sold 70,079 tokens in the Cosmos Network for $361,000. The average cost of the tokens was $0.10 each and they were sold for $5.14 each. KR1 has also generate a further 7,008 tokens from staking activities and these were sold for $6.93 each.

There was a sharp rise in the share price of TechFinancials Inc (TECH) but much of this gain was lost by the end of the week. There does not appear to be a reason for the rise. Full year results should be published this week. There will be an operating loss. There was $1.1m in the bank at the end of May 2019. The company is still waiting for approval from the Seychelles authorities for the €100,000 disposal of MarketFinancials. There will be write-downs of the value of diamond trading blockchain developer CEDEX and MarketFinancials.

EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) had a NAV of 272.02p a share at the end of May 2019. The company intends to start buying back shares and these purchases could exceed 25% of the average daily volume of ordinary shares.

Shareholders have approved the plan of Oyster Oil and Gas to distribute the shares of its main subsidiary to settle indebtedness and certain creditors. These include Gunsynd (GUN) although the exact shareholding has yet to be announced. Production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti are owned by the subsidiary. Gunsynd has raised £500,000 at 0.037p a share.

Trading in Via Developments (VIA1) debentures has recommenced following the publication of figures for 18 months to September 2018. The company has net liabilities of £329,000 with long-term debt of £5.68m offset by cash of £91,000. A subsidiary is securing debt and equity for a project that will generate management fees fir Via, but that won’t happen until September.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) is holding a general meeting on 3 July in order to gain shareholder approval for the acquisition of the 97.5% of Coal Tech and its related business that it does not own for £27.2m in shares at 2.75p each. CoalTech transforms discarded coal into coal pellets.

Lombard Odier sold 1.65 million shares in Chapel Down Group (CDGP) at 75p a share, reducing its stake to 11.5%. Chief executive Frazer Thompson exercised 2.39 million options at 12.5p a share and finance director Richard Woodhouse exercised 200,000 options at 10p a share and all these shares were sold at 75p each.

AIM 

Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) has received another bid approach. Previous potential bidder Science Group (SAG) has built up a 28.3% stake in Frontier so it is in a strong position. It says that it does not intend to sell the shares to another bidder and could block any move to cancel the AIM quotation.

Park Group (PARK) increased investment in the business last year and this knocked underlying pre-tax profit progress which was flat at £12.5m, before asset write-downs. The dividend was increased by 5% to 3.2p a share. There was a smaller contribution from Christmas savings, but growth from corporate promotions and incentives offset that. Increasingly, business is card-based. There was £36.9m of the company’s own cash at the end of March 2019. There will be a dip in profit this year due to higher overheads and profit growth should resume in 2020-21. Chief executive Ian O’Doherty has bought 30,000 shares at 69.5p each.

Stanley Gibbons (SGB) has resolved claims against former management at antique dealer Mallett and this will result in a cash inflow of £850,000 over 12 months.

Safestyle (SSTY) has acquired the freehold of a 161 bed hostel in Pisa for €3.25m. This takes the company’s portfolio to 14 hostels, including the Paris site that is under construction.

Last year was about OnTheMarket (OTMP) building up the number of agencies on its property portal and increasing the number of homebuyers looking at the properties advertised. The rival to Rightmove and Zoopla needs to convert these agencies into fee payers and that process has just started. OnTheMarket will continue to be loss-making this year with higher marketing spending likely to offset higher revenues. Cash is expected to fall from £15.7m to £6.6m at the end of January 2019.

NWF (NWF) did better than expected in the year to May 2019. The feeds business was slightly behind the previous year, but new business helped the food warehouse business to significantly improve its performance and fuels did better than expected despite the milder winter, although behind the previous year. The results will be published on 30 July.

Industrial equipment distributor HC Slingsby (SLNG) says that pressure on margin means that operating profit in the four months to April 2019 is lower, even though revenues are slightly higher. Uncertainty over Brexit is affecting levels of demand in the first half of 2019. Net debt was £1.3m at the end of May 2019.

The actuarial deficit on the Molins UK Pension Fund has been cut from £69.9m to £35.2m over a three-year period. Mpac (MPAC) believes the deficit should be eliminated by July 2024. That is based on maintained payments into the scheme.

Filta (FLTA) says that its figures will be more skewed towards the second half. This is partly down to the integration of the Watbio grease management business. There has been growth in the FiltaSeal business and the North American FiltaFry fryer management franchise business.

Avingtrans (AVG) has acquired the Booth Industries specialist door manufacturing business from the administrator of Redhall (RHL) for £1.8m in cash. Booth made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 last year.

MAIN MARKET 

Full year results from fasteners supplier Trifast (TRI) were slightly better than expected. Revenues were 6% ahead at £209m, while re-tax profit was a similar percentage higher at £23.5m. The dividend was increased by 10% to 4.25p a share. Trading remains tough.

Aquila Services (AQSG) has acquired education and sports consultancy Oaks Consultancy for up to £1.7m in cash and shares. In the year to March 2019, Oaks made a pre-tax profit of £254,000 on revenues of £909,000.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) is converting $2.89m of loans into 121.5 million shares. Management made most of the loans and chief executive Colin Patterson will end up with 19.1% of Bluebird. Bluebird is debt-free.

Standard list shell Safe Harbour Holdings (SHH) lost £2.3m in 2018 due to overheads and due diligence costs. There is still £26.9m in the bank.

Andrew Hore

Andrew Hore – Quoted Micro 6 May 2019

NEX EXCHANGE

In 2018, Newbury Racecourse (NYR) increased revenues by 8% to £19.3m. This was despite lower race course attendances because of two abandoned days of racing. Underlying pre-tax profit jumped from £188,000 to £568,000. The NAV was £50.7m at the end of 2018. There was a further £3.25m payment from David Wilson Homes, which helped to finance capital investment.

MetalNRG (MNRG) has entered into heads of terms with AIM-quoted Mkango Resources so that it can earn up to 75% of the Thambi licence in Southern Malawi. The licence allows exploration for uranium, tantalum and niobium. MetalNRG has to spend $500,000 in the first 12 months and then a further $700,000 in the next 12 months. A further $800,000 has to be spent in the third year to earn the full 75%. The Kyrgyz Republic has banned uranium exploration and mining and the farm-in agreement for the Kamushanovskoye uranium deposit has been suspended.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) had a NAV of £554,000 at the end of 2018. There is £584,000 in cash on the balance sheet.

High Growth Capital (HASH) has raised £4.99m after expenses via a placing at 1.75p a share with Mirador FZE, which also has warrants to subscribe for 300 million shares at 2.5p each until the end of 2019. If the High Growth Capital share price closes above 4p for five consecutive days, the warrants have to exercised or they will lapse. Mirador has a 14.2% stake. Mike Power has been appointed as a non-executive director.

Sativa Investments (SATI) has opened the first Goodbody and Blunt centre in Bath. The centre will sell cannabidiol products and have a café area.

V22 (V22O) is asking shareholders to approve the cancellation of the NEX quotation 31 May, after nearly 13 years on the market. The art investor and studio space provider plans to sell assets and distribute the cash to shareholders. A matched bargains quotation via JP Jenkins is planned for six months after leaving NEX.

Trading in Valiant Investments (VALP) shares has been suspended because it has not produced its annual report.

Queros Capital Partners (BFD) has raised £205,000 in the past two weeks from the issue of 8% unsecured bonds 2025.

The shortlist for the NEX share of the year at the Small Cap Awards 2019 has been announced. The companies are National Milk Records (NMR), Sativa Investments (SATI), NQ Minerals (NQMI), Chapel Down (CDGP), DXS International (DXSP) and Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) ,which is also on the shortlist for impact company of the year.

AIM     

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac Group (MPAC) is acquiring Lambert Automation for an initial £15m. UK-based Lambert provides automation equipment to the medical and healthcare markets. Revenues and profit have been declining, but there was an order intake of £24.5m in 2018 and that should help revenues to recover. Revenues were £17.9m in 2018. There is potential earn out consideration of up to £2.5m. Mpac’s own trading is in line with expectations.

Park Group (PARK) says that trading was better than expected in the second half of its financial year, but there were additional costs and the effects of accounting changes. Edison has reduced its 2018-19 pre-tax profit by 3% to £12.5m. Additional costs next year mean that the profit forecast has been cut from £14.3m to £11.7m.

Tracsis (TRCS) has acquired timetable optimisation software developer Bellvedi for an initial £4m with up to £7.9m more payable over four years depending on performance. Bellvedi made a pre-tax profit of £700,000 on revenues of £1.6m last year. Acquiring the ATTUne software means that less needs to spend on the development of existing Tracsis software. The deal adds 2% to this year’s earnings per share, moving it to 27.3p. Next year’s is enhanced by 7% to 32.3p.

Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) has published a fourth positive trading update in a year. This prompted finnCap to increase its earnings forecast from 15.4p a share to 18.6p a share. The previous upgrade was in January. The switch to a predominantly online model is paying off. Any upgrades to the forecasts for the year to April 2020 will happen after the 2018-19 figures are published on 20 June.

Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) says that the PQ Grass allergy phase III study will start a year later than expected. It should commence by June 2020. This follows an end of phase II study meeting with the FDA. This means that this year and next year the reported loss will be lower because of deferred spending on the study.

Eight Peaks Group (8PG) plans to cancel its AIM quotation because of limited liquidity. This will save £80,000 a year.

Trading in the shares of property investor Safeland (SAF) will end on 10 May.

MAIN MARKET 

Motor dealer Pendragon (PDG) is selling two Jaguar Land Rover dealerships in California. This is expected to generate around £60m of cash, although £6.9m of profit contribution before central costs will be lost. However, Jaguar Land Rover has right of first refusal.

Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has appointed Novum as broker and it has committed to invest £300,000 in convertible loan notes. The planned purchase of a 50% stake in used car market focused fintech company Pace Cloud.

Ross Group (RGP) has reported its 2018 results, but these are before the completion of the Archipelago Aquaculture which happened early in 2019. Revenues fell from £335,000 to £60,000 and a profit of £57,000 was turned into a loss of £250,000. That is partly down to costs relating to the acquisition of Archipelago Aquaculture.

Thalassa (THAL) received acceptances of 18.5% of the share capital in its bid for Local Shopping REIT (LSR) and this offer has lapsed. Thalassa owned or had acceptances of 39.3%.

Standard list shell Bermerle (BERM) went to a 50% premium on the first day of trading. However, the bid/offer spread of 1p/2p means that investors could only sell at the 1p a share placing price. The company is seeking a pharma acquisition. The areas that Bermele is assessing include diabetes, cancer and mental health. It is also looking at personalised medicine.

Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) had £920,000 in the bank at the end of 2018. Fellow shell daVictus (DVT) had £355,000 in the bank at the end of 2018 and it has agreed to buy the rights to a restaurant concept from Typical Dutch NV for £100,000. The Havana Rolled Cigar Music Café concept has been developed at a site in Aruba. Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has also secured a possible acquisition in the form of Kanabo Research, which is a medicinal cannabis oil company. Kanabo is developing over the counter products and has distribution rights to a vaporiser. Spinnaker had £1.04m in the bank at the end of 2018.

Trading in the shares of Tex Holdings (TXH) and Avocet Mining (AVM) has been suspended because they have not published 2018 accounts.

Andrew Hore

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