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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%.
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%.
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.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Globe Capital (GCAP) has reported its 2020 and latest interim results and undergone board changes. Simon Grant-Rennick becomes executive chairman and Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi an executive director. They are advancing £100,000 via a convertible, which will convert at 0.04p a share following the upcoming AGM. More cash will be raised, and a new corporate strategy announced. There was £23,000 in the bank at the end of June 2021. There were net liabilities. Peterhouse has been appointed as corporate adviser.
Voyager Life (VOY) interim revenues were £59,000 and it remains loss making. There was £1.74m in cash at the middle of November 2021 and monthly overheads are below £50,000. The CBD products supplier is getting its products stocked in retailers and has opened its third store.
Helium Ventures (HEV) has made its maiden investment in Blue Star Helium, which has the Voyager prospect at Las Animas County Colorado. There are indications that it could have one of the highest helium concentrations in the US. A maiden well could be drilled in December.
Sativa Wellness Inc (SWEL) is offering a range of blood tests through 40 Superdrug sites.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) has completed the Specimen Hill drilling campaign. Initial results for Goldsmith’s Reef, which was mined 100 years ago, has had some positive drilling results and there are more results to come. This will help to secure a partner.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) is preparing to drill at Red Setter in Western Australia. Four high priority zones have been identified. Wishbone raised £126,000 at 14p a share.
EPE Special Opportunities Ltd (ESO) plans to issue up to 25 million zero dividend preference shares at 100p each.
Pioneer Media Holdings Inc (PNER) has raised C$1.1m at C$1 per unit (one share and one warrant exercisable at C$1.50). Investee company Leaf Mobile Inc is raising cash ahead of a proposed standard listing.
IamFire (FIRE) has an option to subscribe up to $4.5m into convertible loan notes of former Aquis company Boanerges. They convert into shares at 75p each.
Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) sold 4.58 million treasury shares at 10p each to raise £458,000.
Omni Egis (OMNI) is leaving Aquis on 24 November.
Scott Livingston has taken a 5.16% stake in Silverwood Brands (SLWD).
Acoustic and thermal insulation material manufacturer Autins Group (AUTG) has raised £3m at 20p a share, which was a significant discount to the market price. The cash will be used to develop the Neptune acoustic material manufacturing facilities and in product development for electric vehicles.
Steel structures supplier Billington (BILN) has been hit by short-term delays to contracts, which has knocked £3.5m off forecast 2021 revenues. That has led to a halving of the 2021 forecast pre-tax profit to £1.1m. The order book is still strong.
Microbiome-based products developer Optibiotix Health (OPTI) has sold 3.64 million shares in SkinBioTerapeutics (SBTX) at 55p each and raised £2m. Optibiotix still owns 20.7% of the company and that stake is valued at £18m.
Managed IT and networking services provider AdEPT Technology (ADT) increased interim revenues by one-fifth to £34.3m. Underlying pre-tax profit was 16% higher at £3.5m and earnings per share were 30% ahead at 13.2p due to a lower tax charge. Net debt was £31.2m at the end of September 2021, which was after spending £9m on acquiring Datrix.
Ilika (IKA) says that its Stereax and Goliath battery technologies remain on track. Commercial revenues from the smaller Stereax batteries should commence in 2022. Once lithium-ion equivalence is achieved Ilika will seek a partner for Goliath.
Health services provider Totally (TLY) had a strong interim period as insourcing and planned care revenues improved. Organic revenue growth was 14%, while the underlying pre-tax profit was £2.1m. There was £18.3m in cash at the end of September 2021, which provides plenty of fire power for making acquisitions in the out of hospital care sector. The urgent care business has been winning contracts and extensions to existing ones. Full year pre-tax profit could improve from £2.5m to £4.1m with more growth to come from the existing operations as demand returns to more normal levels.
Arden has updated its forecast for Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) due to shipping delays holding up the start of production at the cashew plant. Palm oil production and revenues continue to grow. This means that the company will not make a pre-tax profit in 2021, but it should still make a substantial 2022 profit.
Trakm8 (TRAK) has not done well in recent years but the latest statement from the telemetry equipment and services provider has sparked an upgrade. The company should breakeven this year and make a significant profit in 2022-23.
Technology-focused shell Red Capital (REDC) raised £4m at 10p a share and after expenses it has total cash of £725,000. The shares certainly jumped when trading commenced and closed at 25.5p. This is the latest vehicle floated by Marwyn Capital founder David Williams.
PYX Resources Ltd (PYX) was already quoted on the NSX in Australia before joining the standard list. PYX is in a strong position as the second largest resources of zircon in the world with zircon prices increasing and demand remaining strong. It has two mineral sands projects in Central Kalimantan in Indonesia with one already in production. No new money was raised. Trading started at 94p a share and ended the week at 92.8p a share. There was solid trading in the shares all week.
Technology Minerals (TM1) was set up as investment company after Stranger Holdings (STPH) decided not to proceed with the acquisition of Technology Minerals and related assets. It has acquired these assets and is building a business that covers the battery cycle from exploration and mining to recycling. The main focus is on the Emperium project in Idaho, where £100,000 will be spent over up to 18 months. The company raised £1.5m at 2.25p a share and issued 786.2 million shares to acquire the assets. The share price opened at 2.6p and ended the first day at 3.25p. It ended the week at 3.5875p.
A general meeting has been requisitioned at East Imperial (EISB) by Andrew Regan of Corvus Capital. He wants to remove two directors and replace them with his picks. The board criticises the experience of his choices.
Chapel Down (CDGP) has announced Andrew Carter as successor to chief executive Frazer Thompson in September 2021.
National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its fourth quarter revenues by 7% to £5.72m. Milk recording revenues grew by 9%. The corresponding period did cover the initial lockdown. Milk prices are holding up at levels where dairy farmers will be profitable. The first phase of IT investment will be up and running later this year.
Boanerges Ltd (BNRG) has paid £25,000 for an option to invest £2m for a 14.3% stake in Fintech Digital Platforms, which owns property search internet portals.
Samarkand (SMK) has secured an extension to its distribution contract with skincare brand 111SKIN until the end of July 2023. Non-exec Keith Higgins has bought 21,739 shares at 146p a share.
Inqo Investments (INQO) had significant write-offs and bad debt provisions in the year to February 2021. This contributed to the more than doubled loss of R13.4m as revenues slumped from R24.4m to R4.2m. The total cash outflow was R14.7m and cash fell below R1m. Kuzuko Private Game Reserve will reopen in September. Uganda-based Four One Financial Services and Kenya-based South Lake Medical Centre both made higher interest payments to Inqo.
S-Ventures (SVEN) has taken a 50% stake in Vegan Punk Ventures and invested up to £100,000 in loans. The brand is PlantPunk and it has a range of ZeroBeef meat alternatives. Dave Ahern will be managing director and third-party investors will provide loans of up to £50,000.
Altona Rare Earths (ANR) had cash of £436,000 at the end of June 2021.
Helium Ventures (HEV) continues to trade at a premium to its 10p placing price. The share price is currently 32.5p (31p/34p). James Sheehan has increased his stake from 8,5% to 9.47%.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has sold its stake in Finance Partners Group for €2.15m and €1.57m of this has been received. The original cost was €1.9m. The investment focus will be fintech.
Vulcan Industries (VULC) has raised £223,000 at 1.46p a share and issued £48,000 worth of shares at 2p each.
Veni Vid Vici has changed its name to VVV Resources (VVV). Angelfish Investments has changed its name to Igraine (KING). DicovORE has changed its name to Oscillate (MUSH).
Trading in First Sentinel, which has changed its name to Omni Egis (OMNI) and NQ Minerals (NQMI) shares has been suspended ahead of publication of their respective accounts. Freyherr International (FRYR) has withdrawn from Aquis.
In 2020-21, NWF (NWF) did not manage to match the previous year’s profit performance of the fuels division, but the cold winter and home working meant that the performance was better than expected. Management is keen to make further acquisitions to broaden the geographic spread of the fuels business. Overall, group pre-tax profit was 10% lower at £11.9m. The efficiency improvement in the food warehousing division meant that its profit contribution was higher. The feeds division reported a lower profit but with milk prices over 30p per litre the outlook is positive for dairy feed.
Higher second half sales and improved efficiency helped Filtronic (FTC) maintain profitability at £200,000 even though full year revenues fell 9% to £15.6m. The telecoms and RF components and equipment supplier generated cash and net cash improved to £2.8m at the end of May 2021. 5G investment and moves into newer markets, such as space, provide a positive outlook for the future and profit should build from now on. Revenues are expected to grow by 16% this year and pre-tax profit of £500,000 is forecast.
The latest trading statement from Belvoir (BLV) confirms a strong first half with revenues growing by two-fifths, due to buoyant house sales. The steadier lettings income has grown by 13% – 10% organically, which is much faster than the market.
Maestrano (MNO) has secured a five-month proof of concept contract with Network Rail for HS1, the high speed line that goes to the channel tunnel. This will monitor overhead lines, vegetation, track and passing clearances. HS1 is the same specification as European tracks so it could provide a way into the European market.
Microbiome-based products developer Optibiotix Health (OPTI) generated a 44% increase in interim revenues to £1.07m with LP LDL probiotic cholesterol-reducing products and Slimbiome products accounting for most of the revenues.
Seeing Machines (SEE) 2020-21 revenues were 2% ahead of expectations at A$47.3m. There was $47.7m in the bank at the end of June.
Xpediator (XPD) has formed a strategic partnership with e-commerce fulfilment company Synergy Retail Support and is providing space at its Braintree warehouse.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) generated July revenues of £5.6m, up from £4.36m in June, even though the average bitcoin price fell. A Nasdaq listing is being considered.
Challenger Acquisitions has changed its name to Cindrigo Holdings (CINH) following the completion of the acquisition of the renewable energy products business.
Kanabo (KNB) has a stake in medical cannabis cultivation company Hellenic Dynamics, which is being acquired by AIM-quoted UK SPAC (SPC) for £45.2m in shares at a minimum price of 0.472p a share. The £750,000 investment in Hellenic will be converted into shares at a minimum 30% discount to the prospective. UK SPAC intends to move to the standard list.
Starcrest Education (OBOR) has signed heads of terms to acquire 80% of National Training Company. Starcrest is not going ahead with the acquisition of The London School of Science and Technology and costs of £1.2m have been written off. There was £700,000 in cash left at the end of June 2021.
BWA Group (BWAP) is still seeking a reverse takeover target. Trading in the shares has recommenced after a potential reverse takeover, where talks started 12 months ago, fell through. A settlement has been agreed with the potential target which will lead to a cash inflow of £76,311 for BWA. This will be recognised in the year to April 2016. The NAV was £526,000 at the end of October 2015. At 0.45p (0.3p/0.6p), BWA is valued at £505,000.
Goldcrest Resources (GCRP) has terminated its option agreement over the Zamsa exploration licence in Ghana. The focus is gold projects in southern Ghana. At 0.06p (0.05p/0.07p), Goldcrest is valued at £1.3m. Gavin Burnell has resigned as chairman, while Callum Baxter has moved to non-executive director.
Property investment company Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) is already starting to use the cash raised in the recent fundraising and it has raised a further £850,000 from the sale of Princegate House in Doncaster. Princegate House was purchased in 2013 for £694,000 and Ace is retaining the car park. Ace has bought two industrial estates in Plymouth and two residential properties in London – one of which has been bought from a director. The industrial estates cost £3.5m and generate annual rents of £205,000. The two residential properties cost a total of £4.2m – partly payable in shares at 3p each. At 4p (3.5p/4.5p), Ace is valued at £38.8m. The heavily discounted open offer price was 1p a share.
Western Selection (WSE) has increased its stake in AIM-quoted Bilby following its recent placing that raised £5m at 118p a share to help finance two acquisitions for its gas and building services business working for social housing and local authorities. Western Selection invested a further £545,000 and owns 5.9% of Bilby. At 47.5p (45p/50p), the investment company is valued at £8.5m. There was one deal last week at 45p a share.
Sports Direct International has taken a 6% interest in Goals Soccer Centres (GOAL). Sports Direct already owns nearly 1% of the five-a-side football pitches operator but it has added a contract for difference over more than 5% of the share capital.
OptiBiotix (OPTI) continues to sign deals for its technology based on the human microbiome. The latest is with health and nutrition company Royal DSM. This is a joint development agreement to develop new products using the OptiBiotic platform. A study shows that the company’s cholesterol-reducing product has reduced cholesterol levels by an average of 7.2% in the study group. Commercial discussions with potential partners are ongoing. There was £2m in the bank at the end of November 2015 and since then £2.5m has been raised. This gives OptiBiotix, whose monthly cash outflow is relatively modest but rising, an excellent financial base from which to pursue other deals while it awaits revenues from the first commercial product.
Acquisitions helped hostels operator Safestay (SSTY) to more than double its revenues to £4m in 2015 but there was organic growth in that figure. The Elephant & Castle hostel continues to improve its performance. This year there will be 12 month contributions from the Edinburgh and Holland Park sites. NAV is 48p a share.
Stephen Roberts has resigned from the board of China-focused investment company Grand Group Investment (GIPO). Roberts stated: “It has been a great pleasure working with my fellow Board members Jay Newman and Mark Hemmann, and I wish them and Grand success in the future.” The other members of the Grand Group board were Mr Yang Xiao, Mr Zhou Jiang, Mr Li Chuang and Ms Gu Yingying, although Ms Gu Yingying subsequently resigned.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (BMV) finally joined the standard list on 13 April. The flotation was originally foreshadowed at the end of 2015 and it raised £1.49m (after expenses) at 5.75p a share. The Philippines-focused firm has interests in a potential gold mine and copper concentrate trading. The share price ended the week at 4.63p. The prospectus is available at www.bluebird.com.ph.
Tex Holdings (TXH) reported flat revenues of £36m for 2015 but pre-tax profit improved from £1.18m to £1.49m. This was mainly due to a strong performance from the engineering division. NAV was £9.44m at the end of the year. Net debt was £2.9m. A special dividend of 15p a share was paid last November. Excluding that, the total dividend was increased from 6p a share to 7p a share. This year has started strongly overall, although the plastics business is sluggish.
Brewer Adnams (ADB) improved its 2015 profit on flat turnover of £65.7m. Costs were reduced and pre-tax profit improved from £3.89m to £4.07m, after a steady contribution of £625,000 from property disposals. A £7m investment will help to improve the brewery. The Suffolk-based company has reduced its pension liability from £11.5m to £3.2m and that has helped NAV jump from £21.2m to £30.1m. The B share dividend has been increased from 136p a share to 144p a share. There were a number of trades last week at prices ranging from 9,800p to 10,200p a share. In total, 189 shares were traded.
Employee-owned business finance provider Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) has raised £1.15m from a share subscription at59p each. This will provide cash for further investments. The directors’ bought 338,983 shares. Offshoots of Alliance Trust have taken stakes that total 10.5% of the company. The most recent share transaction was done at 63p a share. At 60.5p a share, Capital for Colleagues is valued at £5.8m.
Imperial Minerals (IMPP) is still looking for a suitable acquisition in the resources sector. There are plans to widen the investment policy. The main investment is nearly 69 million shares in AIM-quoted North River Resources and there is also an option to invest in a South American gold project and a loan of $150,000 was made to Symerton Holdings which currently owns the rights. A lack of progress means that this investment has been written down. Cash and financial assets have fallen from £327,000 to £58,000 over six months but Imperial has raised £50,000 at 0.5p a share since then.
Transport optimisation services and software provider Tracsis (TRCS) made good progress in the first half of its financial year but it will do much better in the second half. Higher contributions from acquisitions Ontrac and SEP, which is second half weighted, underpin the full year expectations. In the six months to January 2016, revenues increased 19% to £14.3m, organic growth was 7%, with adjusted pre-tax profit flat at £3.2m, excluding the Australian business sold in the period. Sales of remote condition monitoring equipment remain flat because of a lack of demand from framework agreements. There is potential in the US but this will not contribute significantly in the short-term. The interim dividend was raised by one-quarter to 0.5p a share but that will not put much of a dent in the cash pile of £8m. That cash figure was reduced due to acquisition spending. Full year profit is expected to rise from £5.6m to £6.8m.
Medical technology and treatments developer Hutchison China Meditech Ltd (HCM) as raised $101m from an offering of ADSs ahead of its listing on Nasdaq. An ADS is the equivalent of one-half of one ordinary share and they were issued at $13.50 each. Trading commenced on 17 March. The Hutchison Healthcare Holdings stake has been diluted to 60.8%.
Bilby (BILB) has made two add-on acquisitions for its gas and building services business for social housing and local authorities. DCB, which will cost up to £4m, provides refurbishment, maintenance and disabled adaptation services in south east England. Spokemead Maintenance provides electrical and repair services and will cost up to £8.7m. A placing raised £5m at 118p a share.
Despite the problems of its foreign exchange activities, Earthport (EPO) managed to make progress with its core payments business, where transaction volumes were more than 70% higher. Higher admin expenses meant that the underlying interim operating loss rose from £2.26m to £6.68m as revenues rose from £9m to £10.6m. Non-core operations have been curtailed and the core growth is faster. However, since then a loss of up to £5m has been identified at forex firm Baydonhill. Earthport intends to focus on lower risk business in this area. There was £24.2m in the bank at the end of 2015.
Keywords Studios (KWS) has acquired the support division of French games producer Ankama SAS. This is effectively a four year outsourcing deal with Keywords taking over the Philippines operations, which will be expanded by adding additional clients. The 2015 figures will be published on 5 April.
Human biome related treatments developer OptioBiotix (OPTI) has signed a second contract for its SweetBiotix healthy sugars with the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid. The first programme started last September is designed to create low calorie sugars using bacterial strains and the second will incorporate natural sweeteners to create functional food products. Obesity is a major problem and the proposed sugar tax will help to boost demand for healthier sweeteners. Figures for the year to November 2015 will be published on 14 April.
Avation (AVAP) has announced the delivery of the fourth FLYBE ATR72 aircraft. The passenger aircraft leasing company has leased the plane for six years with an option to extend. Last month, a new Airbus A321-200 was delivered to Thomas Cook on a 12 year lease. Earlier in March, Avation bought 1.1 million units of Avation Capital 7.5% guaranteed notes 2020 at 91p each, while executive director Roderick Mahoney acquired 200,000 units at 91p each.
Ace Liberty & Stone (ALSP) has launched an open offer at a large discount to the market price. Ace wants to raise up to £3.5m via a one-for-two open offer at 1p a share. The open offer is not underwritten and the minimum subscription level for it to go ahead is £2m before expenses. Shareholders can apply for more than their entitlement. The mid price is currently 3p (2p/4p), having fallen from 3.75p prior to the open offer announcement. There had been a number of trades during January at around 3.75p a share. Prior to the open offer, Ace raised just over £1m at 3p a share. Management says that the cash will enable Ace to buy properties in a higher price bracket and continue to build the portfolio. The latest acceptance date is 22 February.
DXS International (DXSP) reported a 31 % increase in revenues for the first half but the IT supplier to healthcare professionals reported a similar loss. In the six months to October 2015, revenues grew from £1.16m to £1.52m, while the underlying loss was £11,000. That reflects a rise in admin expenses in order to comply with NHS conditions of service. Management says that DXS is generating cash. Annualised revenues are running at £3.4m and DXS is supplying 37 client commissioning groups and is set to win more. There was£308,000 in the bank at the end of October 2015. At 13p (12.5p/13.5p) a share, DXS is valued at £4.3m.
Blockchain technology company investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) says that its investee company SatoshiPay, which has developed technology that enables online payments of a few pence per transaction, has undergone a beta launch of the platform for web publishers. Coinsillium owns 14.5% of SatoshiPay, having invested a total of €200,000. At 7.5p (6p/9p) a share, Coinsillium is valued at £5.4m.
Carduus Housing (CHPD) has raised a further £1m from an issue of 6.5% unsecured bonds due in 2020 and this takes the total in issue to £3.5m. Carduus is focused on the affordable residential housing sector and it will initially invest in Scotland in areas where rental demand is greater than supply. The purchase of a portfolio of 15 properties was announced last December.
Immupharma (IMM) has raised £8.3m at 26p a share. However, £3.76m of this cash is subject to a sharing agreement with Lanstead Capital. This appears to effectively be the same as what used to be called an equity swap, so just how much cash the company receives, whether it is more or less than the £3.76m figure, will be dependent on the performance of the share price. The benchmark share price of the agreement is 34.6667p, which is significantly higher than the placing price and the market price. The cash will be paid in 18 instalments but if the share price at the time of the transaction is not as high as 34.6667p then Immupharma will receive less than one-eighteenth of the £3.76m figure. If the share price is higher then the company will receive more. The cash will finance the phase III trial for Lupozur, the potential lupus treatment.
Imperial Innovations (IVO) is raising an additional £100m for investment in new and existing investee companies and it manged to raise the cash at a premium to the market price. The 425p a share placing price was a 8% premium to the market price and a 39% premium to the last reported NAV. The placing was backed by existing shareholders Woodford, Invesco, Lansdowne and Imperial College. Imperial Innovations is estimated to have had cash of around£90m before the placing.
OptiBiotix (OPTI) has raised an additional £1m at 78p a share from Seneca Partners, which has increased its stake to 7.13%. This follows the £1.5m raised at 75p a share at the end of 2015. The cash will help OptiBiotix to invest in the various products and opportunities that it is developing through its microbiome expertise and technology.
TechFinancials Inc (TECH) has entered into a B2C joint venture with Hong Kong-registered developer of online businesses, IBID Holdings. The 51/49 joint venture will operate a B2C binary options brand. TechFinancials will provide the trading platform and other intangible assets for its 51% stake and IBID will inject $300,000 in cash and provide working capital until the joint venture is making a net profit of at least $100,000 a month for three months in a row. It will take three months to integrate the platform into IBID’s systems. This follows a previous joint venture with Optionfortune late last year. The expected improvement in pre-tax profit from £303,000 to £663,000 in 2016 has not been adjusted for the latest joint venture.
Technology-focused investment company MXC Capital Ltd (MXCP) is proposing to launch a tender offer for one in every 142 shares at 3.6p each– slightly higher than the market price at the time of the announcement. Shareholders can tender more than their entitlement but they may be scaled back. Up to £800,000 will be paid back to shareholders. The closing date for the tender is 19 February and it has to be agreed by shareholders at a general meeting. The strategy is to distribute up to one-fifth of realised gains from its portfolio. At the end of August 2015, MXC had £28.4m in cash and in the subsequent months it has invested £22.5m in AIM-quoted companies Castleton Technology, Castle Street Investments, Pinnacle Technology and ECV, as well as unquoted big data analytics company Sagacity Solutions Ltd.
Quarto Group (QRT) has acquired The Harvard Common Press, which publishes cooking and childcare books. This deal will add hundreds of titles, built up over four decades, to Quarto’s back catalogue.
Live Charting with Zak Mir and Brand CEO Alan Green – TipTV. Discussing FTSE100, Nasdaq, Pantheon Resources (PANR), Optibiotix (OPTI), Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) and other stocks.
Blockchain technology companies investor Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) has made two investments since it joined ISDX. Coinsilium has invested $50,000 (paid in Bitcoin) for the equivalent of a 1% stake in RSK Labs Ltd, and co-investment partners have invested the same amount. RKS developed Rootstock, a platform that is a sidechain of the Bitcoin blockchain. This technology enables transactions that can be set up to complete autonomously when pre-set conditions are met. Rootstock should be launched in the middle of 2016. RSK raised a total of $350,000 and the company’s valuation is $5m. Coinsilium has also increased its stake in Fuzo Ltd, which has developed a SIM card technology focused on adults that do not have a bank account. A $29,000 investment has taken Coinsilium’s stake in Fuzo to 13.6% – the total investment is $300,000. The valuation after the latest investment is $3m, which values the stake at $408,000. The Coinsilium share price has fallen back from the 10p flotation price. At 8p (6.5p/9.5p) a share, Coinsilium is valued at £5.7m. There were 15 trades during last week, which makes Coinsilium one of the more regularly traded ISDX companies.
Cyber security products developer Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS) has joined up with MHA MacIntyre Hudson to co-market Crossword’s Rizikon cyber risk analysis tool to the accountant’s small and medium-sized clients. Rizikon was developed at City University and it is Crossword’s first product. At 175p (150p/200p) a share, Crossword is valued at £4.2m.
Business incubator Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired a 10% stake in White Cobalt, which develops technology platforms to help businesses to be more efficient and cope with growth. Milamber issued 166,667 of its own shares at 18p each in payment for the stake. This makes Steve Stovold, who founded White Cobalt in 2011, the fifth largest shareholder in Milamber with 4.7%. Powwownow founders Paul Lees and Andrew Pearce have each bought 50,000 shares in Milamber at 18p each. This cash will be used in a joint venture between their new business Thortful and Milamber. At 13p (12p/14p) a share, Milamber is valued at £455,000.
David Grierson has joined the board of investment company Lombard Capital (LCAP). He has been working in the timber and contracting sectors for four decades. Mark Jackson and Graham Jones have both left the board. At 6p (5p/7p) a share, Lombard is valued at £136,000.
Human microbiome-based products developer OptiBiotix Health (OPTI) has signed an agreement with KSF Acquisition UK, which will finance the assessment of the benefits of OptiBiotix’s SlimBiome weight management products when it used alongside SlimFast products. SlimBiome affects appetite, metabolism and energy harvest which fits with the SlimFast meal replacement products. Kainos Capital acquired SlimFast from Unilever in July 2014 and KSF is its UK offshoot with rights to the SlimFast brand in UK, Ireland and Germany.
Curtis Banks (CBP) will become the second largest SIPP provider following the acquisition of Suffolk Life from Legal & General for £45m. The enlarged group will have 65,000 SIPPs with assets of £18bn under administration. Suffolk Life made a profit of £1.3m in 2014 and there should be synergy benefits from the combination. A placing at 320p a share has raised £27m. The deal enhances 2016 earnings from 14.9p to 15.8p.
Management Resources Solutions (MRS) plans to acquire civil construction equipment and services provider Bachmann Plant Hire Pty for up to A$13.4m and the acquisition will more than double group revenues. There is an initial payment of A$8.2m in cash and the taking on of finance debt, while the rest is dependent on performance in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Bachmann provides earthworks equipment and operators in Queensland, Australia. There is a fleet of more than 200 vehicles and revenues were A$21.7m and pre-tax profit A$2m in the year to June 2015. MRS already supplies technical and strategic services to the oil and gas, construction and resources sectors. Project management activity has offset a decline in consulting work. This deal is a reverse takeover and the shareholder meeting is on 28 January.
Financial software and consulting services provider First Derivatives (FDP) has acquired Kx consultancy QuntumKDB for up to £2.2m, with £500,000 of this depending on the achievement of targets in the first 12 months. This deal will be earnings enhancing in the first full year. Quantum made a profit of £300,000 in the year to September 2015. First Derivatives has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Utilismart, which is expected to use Kx software for smart grid applications.
Interactive gaming operator Netplay TV (NPT) has extended its agreement with ITV for three years until 2019. Jackpot 247 has been on ITV since 2010 and Netplay will combine this TV exposure with its developing mobile platforms. Talks about the purchase of Sportech’s pools business have ended and NetPlay is not involved in the bidding process.
The UK National Screening Committee (NSC) is recommending that the IONA non-invasive test developed by Premaitha Health (NIPT) should be offered by the NHS to high risk pregnant women as part of the foetal anomaly screening programme. This will reduce the need for invasive testing.
Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) is paying £10.8m for a Land Rover franchise in Welwyn Garden City – Cambria has Jaguar and Aston Martin franchises nearby. In 2015, the franchise generated a pre-tax profit of £2.5m on revenues of £54m and it will be immediately earnings enhancing. A Jaguar franchise in Exeter is being sold for £1.3m and the Aston Martin franchise on the site will be closed. These businesses generated £500,000 profit in 2015. This leaves Cambria with 44 franchises and 17 brands. Cambria says that its first half trading is well ahead of the same period last year.
Ramblers Metals & Minerals (RMM) has completed the all share acquisition of Thundermin Resources. This means that Rambler owns 100% of the Little Deer and Whales Back copper projects. These have previously been mined and still include copper mineralisation. The infrastructure at the Ming mine could be used if the mines are brought back into production.
Standard list shell RockRose Energy (RRE), which is headed by former Igas boss Andrew Austin, floated on 13 January and the shares ended the first week at 51.5p. RockRose raised £4.4m at 50p a share, having previously raised £600,000, but the costs of the flotation were £833,000. The company is capitalised at £5m at the placing price – so the net cash covers 83% of the valuation. The focus is UK onshore and offshore oil and gas assets which are in production and have significant reserves. The cash will help to finance the costs of due diligence and acquiring suitable assets.
Cash shell Falcon Acquisitions Ltd (FAL) will join the standard list on 18 January. A placing raised £1.6m at 10p, which capitalises the company at £2.04m, and there is a secondary fundraising may raise up to £2m at a share price to be set between 10p and 30p. There was already £265,000 in the bank before the flotation so there is cash of £1.65m after costs of £220,000. The focus is acquiring businesses involved in online, mobile and video broadcasting. Any target is likely to be worth up to £30m. The board includes directors from previous standard list shell Challenger Acquisitions.
Africa-focused oil and gas company Aminex (AEX) has secured a gas sales agreement with Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation for the Kilwani North gas field, where Aminex has a 55.575% interest. Solo Oil has until the end of January to take up an option to buy an additional 6.5% stake in the field from Aminex, which would take its stake to 12.675%. A pre-determined level of production will be purchased each year and an invoice will be issued each month. The initial gas price is $3.07/mcf and there will be an annual indexation of the gas price.