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Quoted Micro 25 March 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

S-Ventures (SVEN) has agreed to sell its food and snacks business in return for shares in AIM-quoted RiverFort Global Opportunities worth £3.5m. That would leave S-Ventures as an investment company with shares in the acquirer. Sales for the 12 months to September 2023 were £17.4m, rising to the £21.6m in the 15 months to the end of 2023. Net debt was £7.1m at the end of September 2023. An additional £3m of loans have been agreed, including £1m from RiverFort Global Opportunities.

Marula Mining (MARU) has signed a long-term offtake agreement with Fujax UK for the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine in South Africa. This an agreement for 100% of production until the end of 2026, with a minimum of 50,000 tonnes at a grade of 6% lithium. There is an option for a further three years. A mining right has been received from the authorities for the plans to expand the stockpile reprocessing operations.

Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) improved like-for-like retail sales by 6.2%, although beer volumes fell 10.5% with own beer volumes down 16.7%. Overall, interim revenues grew 4% to £89m and underlying pre-tax profit was 10% ahead at £3.8m. The brewing division returned to profit. The interim dividend was 5% ahead at 4.2p/share. Beer volumes continue to decline, while the retail sales growth rate has slowed.

Gunsynd (GUN) shares rose 17.9% to 0.165p on the back of an institutional investor investing $1m ($750,000 in cash and $250,000 in support services) in the US spirits subsidiary of Rogue Baron (SHNJ), where it currently has a 17.45% stake. Rogue Baron has also raised £20,000 at 0.5p/share.

Aquis Stock Exchange owner Aquis Exchange (AQX) increased revenues from £19.9m to £23.7m, while pre-tax profit rose from £4.5m to £5.2m. The Aquis Stock Exchange revenues improved from £1.6m to £1.8m. The main growth came from technologies and data. Panmure Gordon forecasts 2024 pre-tax profit of £6.2m.

Macaulay Capital (MCAP) reported a fall in net assets from £1.44m to £1.36m at the end of 2023. There was an exit from the investment in Qualification Check which reduced the reported loss. There are seven portfolio companies. There is a pipeline of potential transactions.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) says that the capital spending optimisation programme has been completed at the Amapa iron ore project. Savings of $63.2m have been identified and production could be 5% higher at 5.5 Mtpa of iron ore concentrate.

Supernova Digital Assets (SOL) has completed the acquisition of Hyperslot PTE for £225,000 in shares at 0.15p each. Andrew Offit increased his shareholding from 14.1% to 15.2%.

Arsen Torosian has replaced David Carr as chief executive of Tap Global Group (TAP). He is the largest shareholder and was previously chief strategy director. Steven Borg will become finance director.

KR1 (KR1) has invested $600,000 in Moondance Labs, which is building Tanssi, which helps appchain deployment.

Substrate Artificial Intelligence (SAI) has signed up FINRA-registered California-based bank GT Securities to identify potential partners for its Subgen AI subsidiary, which has launched Serenity Star, an ecosystem for scaling generative AI. The company has raised Euro500,000 from a convertible bond issue.

Secured Property Developments (SPD) is changing its name to Mollyroe and it is adopting s new investment strategy focused on the technology sector. There will also be a 20-for-one share consolidation.

Steve Hutchinson has taken his Oscillate (MUSH) stake above 3%. TruSpine Technologies (TSP) chairman Geoffrey Miller has increased his shareholding to 7.24%, while Oberon Investments raised its stake to 12.6%.

Good Life Plus (GDLF) has appointed Tennyson Securities as corporate broker.

AIM

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac (MPAC) had a stronger second half and revenues improved from £98m to £114m, while pre-tax profit recovered from £3.5m to £7.1m. There was growth in parts and services revenues. The order book was worth £72.5m at the end of the year. The customer base is being broadened. There should be further recovery this year.

Educational software and services provider Tribal Group (TRB) is still hampered by its dispute with NTU, which is currently in mediation. The failed bid for the company also held back sales to potential clients. Even so, annualised recurring revenues grew 13% to £15.1m. Full year revenues moved from £83.6m to £85.8m, while pre-tax profit recovered from £3.7m to £10.7m.

Roadside Real Estate (ROAD) shares soared 129% to 8p after it sold part of its stake in Cambridge Sleep Sciences to CGV Ventures 1 for £6m. The total stake cost £2.7m and Roadside Real Estate still owns 65%, having sold a 10% stake, so it still has to be consolidated. Management is considering selling the rest or demerging the company so that it can concentrate on its core property interests.

Digital media company XLMedia (XLM) is selling European and Canadian gaming assets to Gambling.com for an initial $37.5m with potential deferred consideration of $5m. Some of this cash may be paid out to shareholders. These assets generated 2023 revenues $21.4m and underlying EBITDA of $6.6m out of estimated group 2023 revenues of $50m and EBITDA of $12m. Pro forma net cash is likely to be around $35m, after taking account of deferred consideration of $4m payable for past acquisitions. Cavendish estimates that XL Media is worth £48m, including the cash.

Biodegradable and antimicrobial plastic additives developer Symphony Environmental Technologies (SYM) has raised £1.4m at 3.5p/share and will raise up to £500,000 more through a PrimaryBid retail offer. The issue price was well above the market price. Chief executive Michael Laurier is subscribing £105,000. Net debt was £740,000 at the end of February. The additional cash will fund the scale-up of the business and provide working capital during trials by potential customers.

Blue Star Capital (BLU) reported a slump in NAV from £11.4m to £5.33m at the end of 2023. That includes cash of £63,000. Writing down the valuations of Dynasty Media & Gaming and Sthaler were a large part of the decline in NAV. Another investee company, SatoshiPay, is undertaking a formal sales process. This stake is valued at £4.65m.

Live Company Group (LVCG) returned from suspension following the announcement of a planned refinancing and sale of majority interest in StartArt. Creditors are being settled in shares and a £1.77m convertible loan provided by the chairman, as well as converting some of his loan notes. A placing raised £352,000 at 1p/share. There could be more cash to come from strategic investors.

Digital payments business Boku (BOKU) increased 2023 revenues by 30% to $82.7m and they are expected to increase to $95m this year. The wallets business grew 153%, albeit from a lower base. The local payments network is being built up and will be a major factor in growth, especially as margins are better. The direct carrier billings business continues to grow and remains the main generator revenues for the time being. The company has more than $70m in cash.

Employee benefits and insurance provider Personal Group Holdings (PGH) reported slightly better 2023 figures than expected with revenues of £49.7m and pre-tax profit recovering to £5.9m. The dividend was raised from 10.6p/share to 11.7p/share. That is well covered by cash generation. Cash was £20.1m at the end of 2023. The insurance business did particularly well.

Three rail clients delaying orders has hit prospects for LPA Group (LPA) and it is unlikely to do any better than breakeven this year – a pre-tax profit of £800,000 was previously forecast on a 6% reduction in forecast revenues.

Light Science Technologies (LST) has received a grant worth £188,000 for a project involving the company’s SensorGROW technology.

Saturn Resources has increased its bid for Shanta Gold (SHG) to 14.85p/share, up from 13.5p/share, valuing the miner at £156.1m. Eligible shareholders will receive a dividend of 0.15p/share on 26 April.

Stem cell-based treatments developer ReNeuron (RENE) has failed to come to an agreement with creditors and the financial uncertain means that it has appointed administrators from Cork Gully. Negotiations continue with creditors and potential providers of finance.

MAIN MARKET

Higher losses from the ReZorce recyclable packaging business masked progress at foams manufacturer Zotefoams (ZTF), where pre-tax profit moved up from £12.5m to £13.1m on flat revenues. That included an operating loss of £4.36m, up from £1.89m, from the MuCell Extrusion division that includes ReZorce. The total dividend is 7.18p/share.

Property investor Town Centre Securities (LSE: TOWN) managed to edge up its net tangible asset value to 286p/share at the end of 2023, due to the 150p/share tender offer last year. There was a 4% decline in property values. Loan to value has risen to 50.3%. The interim dividend is maintained at 2.5p/share.

TheWorks.co.uk (WRKS) is moving from the Main Market to AIM. The plan is to gain shareholder approval to move on 3 May. This should help to reduce costs.

Esken Ltd (ESKN) has appointed administrators from AlixPartners because its restructuring plan was no longer commercially viable. The restructuring of London Southend Airport will continue.

First Tin (1SN) says regional exploration confirmed upside potential at Pound Flat and Battery Hill prospects in the Taronga tin project.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 15 January 2024

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Electric motors and drivetrains developer Equipmake Holdings (EQIP) has won an extension of its contract from sightseeing tours operator Big Bus Tours, and it has doubled in size to cover 20 buses. The contract is worth £3.5m. The buses will be delivered by the end of the third quarter of 2024. Full year revenues are expected to be £13.4m, although Equipmake will still be loss making. The share price slipped 8.57% to 8p, but it has risen by one-fifth over the past year.

Silverwood Brands (SLWD), whose shares are suspended at 30p. has come to a conditional settlement with the vendors of the 19.8% Lush stake, which was never transferred to the company by Lush. The deal was cancelled. The vendors are paying £300,000 to Silverwood Brands to cover deal costs.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) had 14 investments in the quarter to November 2023 and the NAV was £15.1m or 81.67p/share, down from 81.99p/share at the end of August.

Tyndall Investment Management increased its stake in skin treatments developer Incanthera (INC) from 6.85% to 11.8%.

Tony Wilson has increased his stake in Oscillate (MUSH) from 3% to 3.66%, while Rikki Devlin has taken a 3.04% shareholding.

Bitcoin mining company Vinanz Ltd (BTC) says that the SEC in the US has approved Bitcoin ETFs, which will provide investors with a way to access cryptocurrency. This should be positive for Vinanz. David Lenigas has bought 80,000 shares at an average share price of 9.2p.

NFT Investments (NFT) is changing its name to Phoenix Digital Assets. The share price rose 18.5% to 3.2p. NAV is 4.67p/share.

EDX Medical Group (EDX) sent shareholders a letter that stated it is pursuing nine different projects for point of care and laboratory testing services. The reverse takeover of TECC Capital means that there has been selling by legacy shareholders holding back the share price, but it has started to rally rising 17.2% % to 8.5p.

AQRU (AQRU) is changing its name to Supernova Digital Assets and it is focusing on becoming a value provider for the Solara ecosystem. Net assets are 0.297p/share, including crypto assets of 0.166p/share.

Kasei Holdings (KASH) non-exec director Bryan Coyne has acquired 125,000 shares at an average price of 8.14p each.

Valereum (VLRM) says that the general meeting to approve the acquisition of GSX Group will be held on 30 January and there will be a shareholder update meeting the next day. Nick Cowan has joined the board as chief executive, as has former AIM and Plus Markets boss Simon Brickles. Gary Cottle has also joined as a non-exec.

EPE Special Opportunities (EO.P) had net assets of 301.9p/share at the end of 2023.

PanGenomic Health (NARA) has entered into a non-binding letter of intent with Crescita Capital for a $5m drawdown facility. This will last three years and can be used for working capital and acquisitions. The facility involves the issue of shares at a discount to the market price at the time of issue. There will be a $300,000 commitment fee payable in cash or shares.

Tony Wilson has increased his stake in Oscillate (MUSH) from 3% to 3.66%, while Rikki Devlin has taken a 3.04% shareholding.

AIM

The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) has made an agreed bid for rival franchised lettings company Belvoir (BLV). The agreed offer of 0.806377 TPFG shares for each Belvoir share values Belvoir at 277.4p/share based on a TPFG share price of 344p, but it has subsequently fallen to 307.5p valuing Belvoir at 248p/share. TPFG shareholders will own 51.75% of the enlarged group.

Capital equipment supplier Mpac (MPAC) had a strong second half in 2023 and there was a record order intake during the year. Margins improved in the second half and full year pre-tax profit was £6.9m, up from £3.5m in 2022. The higher second half margins should continue in 2024, enabling a further improvement in profit.

NWF (NWF) has signed a 15-year lease on a third food distribution warehouse in Newcastle-under-Lyme. This will add 52,000 pallets to capacity. The site should be open in the autumn after capital expenditure of £8.5m. This site could add £1.2m to pre-tax profit in 2025-26.

Another positive trading statement from payments services provider Cornerstone FS (CSFS) has led to an upgrade of December’s previous upgrade. A maiden pre-tax profit of £800,000 on doubled revenues of £9.6m is forecast for 2023. Revenues per customer increased by around two-thirds to more than £10,000. The company moved from net debt to net cash.

AdvancedAdvT (ADVT) switched from the standard list to AIM on 10 January. Last year, five businesses were acquired from Capita and one of these is being sold. The remaining companies operate in business solutions and human capital management.

Online builders’ merchant CMO Group (CMO) had a tough fourth quarter. Online traffic rates declined, but conversion rates improved. Overall orders were flat. Home improvement and DIY spending is declining. The overall repair, maintenance and improvement sector is still relatively strong, but it weakened in the second half of 2023. Market share has grown, and costs have been cut. Liberum has increased its 2023 pre-tax loss forecast from £800,000 to £1.2m and forecasts a 2024 loss.

Consultancy Elixirr International (ELIX) confirmed 2023 results are in line with expectations and it will pay two dividends each year. Pre-tax profit is expected to improve from £19.3m to £23.9m. The shares will go ex-dividend for the 5.3p/share interim on 19 January.

Plant monitoring technology developer Light Science Technologies (LST) published a positive 2023 trading statement. Cost savings have helped to halve the pre-tax loss of £1.3m on revenues rising from £8.2m to £9.3m. Contract electronic manufacturing remains the largest sales contributor, although controlled environment agriculture products are growing in importance.

Touch sensors manufacturer Zytronic (ZYT) reports a 30% decline in full year revenues to £8.6m and it fell back into loss. Gross margins were hit by higher raw material costs and product mix. Sales continue to decline this year. There are signs that there could be improvement in the second half. Net cash is £4.7m.

Palm oil producer Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) says 2023 revenues were at record levels, but there are problems with ramping up the cashew operation. Investment is required to replace parts of the machinery used in cashew production. Production should improve in the second quarter. The 2024 pre-tax profit forecast has been cut from €1.5m to €600,000.

Mercantile Ports and Logistics (MPL) says some trading activity was deferred last December. Cavendish reduced its 2023 revenues forecast from £6.9m to £5.4m. Coal import to the Karanja port were lower because of destocking. The loss will be higher. Management hopes to replace the current debt facilities with a new facility with lower interest charges. Buying by directors did not help the share price. Non-exec John Fitzgerald acquired 624,419 shares at 1.5725p each and Dmitri Tsvetkov bought 617,360 shares at 1.62p each.

Oriole Resources (ORR) has confirmed receipt of the payment of $450,000 related to the earn-in agreement with BCM International for the Bibemi gold exploration project in Cameroon. BCM will spend $4m on exploration to earn 50% of the project. Drilling should resume in the first quarter.

Semiconductors designer EnSilica (ENSI) has released a range of Post-Quantum Cryptography accelerators. These are cryptographic algorithms that can withstand cyber-attacks from quantum computers.

MAIN MARKET

Tertre Rouge Assets (TRA) has entered into a purchase agreement for a 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV for £2.8m, which means that there are purchase agreements for six cars valued at £32m. Formal marketing of a fundraising has commenced, and the issue price should be 105p. Approval of the prospectus by the FCA is still awaited.

Kelso Group Holdings (KLSO) plans to raise up to £1.88m at 3p/share. The cash will be used for further investments in UK listed companies. Previous fundraisings were at 2p/share and 2.5p/share.

Standard list shell Sivota (SIV) has identified a potential acquisition that operates a technology platform in the travel sector, subject to due diligence and other conditions. The plan is to acquire up to 51% of the company for $15m. Sivota will raise £2.5m to provide the target with a convertible loan for working capital.

Quantum dots developer Nanoco (NANO) has signed a joint development agreement with STMicroelectronics. This two-year programme will optimise a second generation sensing material. This will boost non-licence fee income in 2024 and sales of test materials in 2024 and 2025.

Andrew Hore

Quoted Micro 11 September 2023

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Ormonde Mining (ORM) has switched from AIM to the Access segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange. Ormonde Mining owns 36.2% of gold and copper explorer. TRU Precious Metals Corp and 20% of battery metals explorer Peak Nickel.

SulNOx Group (SNOX) increased revenues from £34,000 to £203,000 in 2022-23, while the loss was slightly lower at £1.91m. The net cash outflow was £1.2m. Note 3 of the accounts points out the financial position, but management believes that sales will come through to generate cash to fund the business after a reduction in costs. If not, a share issue will be the alternative way of obtaining the cash required. Stephen Bamford and Constantine Logothetis have increased their stakes to 8% and 22.5% respectively.

Aquis Stock Exchange owner Aquis Exchange (AQX) has appointed Investec as nominated adviser and joint broker alongside Canaccord Genuity. It replaces Liberum. The company, which is also quoted on AIM, will report interims on 21 September.

Ananda Developments (ANA) has issued £600,000 of convertibles at 100p each. Two existing shareholders have invested a total of £300,000 and Charles Morgan has converted £300,000 of debt. Unsecured debt will fall to £709,000 and Charles Morgan has agreed not to task for repayment until the end of January 2025. The interest rate is 15% and the conversion price is the lower of a 20% discount to the share price of the next capital raising of at least £1m of 0.4p/share, with a minimum of 0.2p/share. The loans will automatically be converted on 30 November 2025 or earlier.

Pharma C investments (PCIL) will hold the requisitioned general meeting on 27 September. The proposals are to remove Gavin Hilary Sathianathan and appoint Paul Ryan and Noel Lyons to the board.

Investment company Macaulay Capital (MCAP) has seven investments in its portfolio. The NAV dipped from £1.44m to £1.33m at the end of June 2023. There is £368,000.

Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has received the second tranche of the disposal proceeds of investee company The Homebuilding Centre, which provides homebuilding advice. Successful trading means that the second tranche is £108,000 rather than the expected £50,000.

Cannabis-based products supplier Voyager Life (VOY) improved revenues from £178,000 to £284,000. There was cash of £990,000.

AIM

Controlled environmental agriculture technology developer Light Science Technologies (LST) is acquiring Tomtech for £500,000 with an initial cash payment of £75,000. Tomtech, which supplies and installs monitoring and control systems for greenhouses, has £284,000 in cash and there could be additional cash payments if it is above £185,000 on completion. This deal is immediately earnings enhancing – Tomtech reported a pre-tax profit of £79,000 on revenues of £680,000. There is a complementary product range and cross selling opportunities to Tomtech’s 160 customers.

AMTE Power (AMTE) is raising £2.1m at 1.7p/share at 1.7p/share, plus an additional retail offer to raise £250,000. The share price slumped 78.4% to 2.05p. The battery technology developer is raising the cash to keep going until the proposed cash injection of £2.5m is completed. Due diligence by the potential investor could continue until the end of October and it believes that it can introduce potential offtake customers to AMTE.

Molecular Energies (MEN) plans to sell its Argentinian oil and gas business for up to $40m to its chairman Peter Levine. Argentina is economically and politically volatile and exchange controls mean that the business is hampered. There is a lack of investor interest and there are capital investment requirements that need to be funded. There will be an initial payment of $2m plus repayment of $13m of debt. The rest of the purchase price is based on up to 20% of net free cash flow over the next five years. The Paraguay oil and gas assets and other operations are not included in the sale.

Software supplier GetBusy (GETB) made a slightly lower underlying loss in the first half as it continues to invest in sales and product development. Annual recurring revenues grew 14% to £20.1m. and there is £1.7m in the bank. finnCap maintains its expectation of a small 2023 loss.

Satellite communications equipment supplier Global Invacom (GINV) is seeking shareholder approval to leave AIM and maintain the listing on the Mainboard of the Singapore stock market. There is a lack of liquidity on AIM, and this makes it difficult to raise cash. There is also the cost and management time taken up with being on AIM and another market. A subsidiary signed a multi-year contract with Eutelsat Communications. The July 2014 placing price was 19.75p. The shares have been trading below that price for more than eight years.

Video editing technology developer Blackbird (BIRD) reported a 36% dip in interim revenues to £985,000 after the loss of a contract with A+E and additional development fees in the previous period. The cash outflow was £1.92m, but there is still £8.18m in the bank. Even so, investors want to see progress with the new product for creators and other new business to replace what has been lost.

Capital equipment supplier 600 Group (SIXH) has reconvened its AGM for 29 September. However, the audit for the accounts for the year to March 2023 will not be completed by the end of September. Trading in the shares will be suspended on 2 October. Trading conditions continue to be difficult and there will be a further interim loss. That will lead to impairment adjustments in the 2022-23 accounts. Debt facilities expire at the end of November 2023. Peter Gyllenhammar increased his stake from 9.88% to 10.2%.

Capital equipment manufacturer Mpac (MPAC) increased interim revenues by 4% to £52.8m and pre-tax recovered from £1.1m to £1.9m. Order intake soared in the period. Services generated one-third of revenues in the first half, but the mix will change as recent order wins are satisfied in the second quarter. The order book has risen 15% to £77.5m since the end of 2022 and includes higher margin healthcare machinery. This helps to underpin forecasts of a better second half. The battery cell assembly plant business remains a significant longer-term opportunity. Net cash is £2.2m. Shore forecasts a near doubling of underlying pre-tax profit to £6.9m in 2023.

Builders’ merchant Lords Group Trading (LORD) is outperforming its rivals. But trading is getting tougher because of higher interest rates and lower construction activity. Interim revenues improved 4% to £222.6m, helped by acquisitions, but pre-tax profit fell from £8.4m to £7.7m. The interim dividend is maintained at 0.67p/share. Cenkos has reduced its 2023 pre-tax profit forecast from £17.8m to £13.2m.

Infrastructure India (IIP) announced the conditional sale of the 99.99% stake in transportation company Distribution Logistics Infrastructure to Pristine Malwa Logistics Park, which is part of logistics group Pristine. The consideration will be $10m in cash and 33% of Pristine Malwa the purchaser. There are conditions that are required to be satisfied before the deal can go ahead and it will be subject to adjustment. The transaction could close before the end of the year. Infrastructure India is expected to exit the investment within three years. At the end of September 2022, net liabilities were £85.7m. It is difficult to assess how much of the Infrastructure India borrowings will go with the disposal.

STM Group (LON: STM) has reached agreement with PSF Capital GP II over a 67p a share cash bid for the pensions and financial services provider. The bidder is securing a new credit facility to fund the bid. Originally, it was stated the offer could be as high as 70p/share, but the share price shows that investors were not counting on it being that high. This is conditional on STM boss Alan Kentish acquiring the UK SIPP business and those related to the Master Trust.

Property bridging loans provider Vector Capital (VCAP) reported a decline in interim revenues and profit. The loan book has fallen from £53.2m to £48.8m over six months as management is cautious about new lending. The bad provision has been raised by £167,000 to £367,000, but it is still relatively low. Pre-tax profit fell 18% to £1.3m, partly due to the higher provision.

MAIN MARKET

Round Hill Music Royalty Fund (RHMP) is being acquired by Alchemy Copyrights for $1.15/share, which values the company at $468.8m. That was a premium of 67% to the previous market price. Shareholders will still receive the quarterly dividend of 1.125 cents/share and a special dividend of 0.5 cents/share.

Andrew Hore

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

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