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AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) remains profitable and loan balances have increased by 3% to £1.6bn. Deposit balances are 14% higher at £2.23bn. Assets under management are 4% ahead.
Wine maker Chapel Down (CDGP) has produced a better quality harvest than 2018 and yields are better than expected. More wine can be released for sale next year.
A general meeting has been requisitioned at SulNOx Group (SNOX) by three shareholders. They want to remove the entire board and appoint four new directors.
KR1 (KR1) has generated just over $1m from the sale of tokens in the Polkadot project at $5.12 each. That is a small proportion of the stake and KR1 still owns more than 3.5 million tokens.
NQ Minerals (NQMI) continues to increase production at the Hellyer mine. In the third quarter lead concentrate production was 11,865 tonnes and zinc concentrate production was 4,585 tonnes. Production rates are still increasing.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) reported a reduction in interim revenues from $6.56m to $3.64m. There was a $224,000 outflow from operations.
Altona Energy (ANR) has extended its fundraising until 11 November. The plan is to raise up to £500,000 at 6.5p a share.
Trading has been suspended in the shares of medicinal cannabis company Freyherr International (FRYR) because trading has been difficult, and the auditing of last year’s accounts has not been completed.
VI Mining (VIM) is asking shareholders to approve of the withdrawal from the Aquis Stock Exchange.
Eastinco Mining (EM.P) has published full year and interim figures. The company remains loss-making. There was £173,000 in the bank at the end of June 2020.
TechFinancials (TECH) is stopping the development of its Footies ticketing technology because of the uncertainty surrounding events. It has also ended its investment in Cedex due to lack of cash. All B2B brokerage technology activities will end at the beginning of November. New opportunities are being assessed.
Synairgen (SNG) is raising up to £87m via a placing and open offer at 175p a share. This will finance a phase III trial for SNG001 for the treatment of Covid-19. That will start before the end of the year. Results are expected in the middle of next year. Synairgen will also invest in scaling up its manufacturing.
More good news from Touchstone Exploration (TXP) which has made another significant gas discovery in Trinidad. The Chinook-1 discovery is the third in a row. This means that Touchstone should be highly cash generative next year enabling it to fund more exploration.
LiDCO (LID) had already outlined its interim figures in a trading statement so the move into profit thanks to high monitor sales to the NHS was not a surprise. There is likely to be a second half loss, but the heart monitoring equipment supplier will still be profitable for the full year. There have been delays in winning hup recurring revenue contracts, but these revenues have reached an annual rate of £3m. There was £3.1m in the bank at the end of July 2020.
BlueRock Diamonds (BRD) increased production in the third quarter from 3,973 carats one year ago to 5,577 carats. Sales were much lower at 3,803 carats because there was one sale during the quarter. The average price realised has fallen from $432/carat to $330/carat. That was expected due to the change in mix of stones with only one high value stone sold during the period. An updated resource estimate is expected in the near future. BlueRock is hosting a shareholder conference call at 7pm on 22 October. Anyone wanting to participate should go to www.facebook.com/valuethemarkets or www.twitter.com/valuethemarkets.
SkinBioTherapeutics (SBTX) is raising money to accelerate the progress of AxisBiotix, which is involved in the development of food supplements for psoriasis treatment. This could be generating revenues in the year to June 2022. A placing at 16p a share raised £4m with up to £500,000 to come from an open offer at the same price. Some cash will be available to fund development of other microbiome-related products. This cash should last until the end of 2022.
Billing and customer relationship management software provider Cerillion (LSE:CER) says that its year-end order book is at a record level and the full year figures will be slightly better than expected.
ThinkSmart (TSL) is returning A$6.5m of cash to shareholders. There will be a 4.575 cents a share capital reduction and a 1.525 cents a share unfranked dividend. ThinkSmart has around £10m in the bank. The current exchange rate is 55p for each A$1. The distribution is worth £3.6m, so around one-third of the available cash.
Seeing Machines (SEE) is increasing its potential market by developing its driver monitoring system into vehicle occupant monitoring system. This is an additional revenue opportunity of A$350m.
Angling Direct (ANG) managed to stay profitable in the first half as online sales helped to offset the closure of retail sites in the period. The fishing products retailer has a strong balance sheet and shop sales bounced back after reopening. A pre-tax profit of £400,000 is forecast for the full year, rising to £1.5m next year.
Netcall (NET) is acquiring robotic process automation technology company Automagica in order to enhance its contact centre products. Automagica has its own technology. Netcall’s full year revenues increased from £22.9m to £25.1m, while pre-tax profit increased from £1.3m to £1.8m. Margins are improving.
Motor dealer Lookers (LOOK) says third quarter trading was better than expected. New and used car volumes increased by 13.6% compared with the same period the previous year. Lookers has outperformed the market. Aftersales revenues were also higher. Net debt was £22.5m at the end of September 2020.
Electronic products supplier DiscoverIE (DSCV) says that first half sales fell by 6%, but orders were ahead of sales in September. A dividend will be announced with the interims in November.
Construction and infrastructure firm nmcn (NMCN) has reviewed major contracts and this will lead to a loss this year. The main problem has been water contracts and some of the charges may relate to other periods. This follows the departure of the chief executive and finance director.
Nanoco (NANO) has a cash outflow to £300,000 a month. There is net cash of £5.2m and that should last until July 2022. The non-cadmium quantum dots technology developer lost £4.9m in the year to July 2020.
AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE
Kent-based brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has been profitable since the beginning of July when pubs were allowed to reopen. However, like-for-like sales were lower, particularly in city centres. Own brand beer volumes fell by 2%. Net debt was £82.4m on 26 September, with deferred payments of £6.9m.
There was a reduction in full year revenues generated by National Milk Records (NMRP) from £22.8m to £21.6m. Earnings per share halved to 4.7p.
Wishbone Gold (WSBN) has an exclusive 45-day option to acquire 100% of mineral tenements in the Patersons Range region of Western Australia. The option payment is £50,000. A dividend of 1.25p a share is proposed.
In the year to April 2020, property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased revenues by 26% to £6.39m. Pre-tax profit was £9,252, including a lease breakage fee of £173,000. There were £800,000 of fair value reductions. Net cash generated by operating activities was £1.88m. Since the year end, £3.14m has been spent on properties.
British Honey Company (BHC) generated revenues of £1.04m in the five months to August 2020, with £500,000 from sanitiser. More recently alcohol sales have recovered, and sanitiser generates around 10% of sales. There was a £435,000 loss in the period because of higher admin expenses.
VI Mining (VIM) is terminating the Minaspampa and Rosario de Belen project acquisitions. Unpaid deferred consideration of $42.2m has bee cancelled. A joint venture is being discussed for other group projects.
Good Energy (GOOD) has launched the UK’s first dedicated heat pump tariff. There is no standing charge in the winter months.
European Lithium (EUR) intends to leave the Aquis Stock Exchange on 6 November.
Peterhouse has resigned as corporate adviser to Imperial X (IMPP).
Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £94,000 at 0.5p a share.
Omega Diagnostics (ODX) is involved with the initial UK-RTC order for one million Covid-19 rapid antibody tests. Omega is set to manufacture 175,000 of these tests. This is the first order and Omega plans to increase capacity to 200,000 tests per week by the beginning of November. finnCap believes each test could generate 150p and the gross margin is 50%. The current revenue forecast of £12.6m for the year to March 2021 does not include the Covid-19 tests which could generate a further £5.7m. Omega should be profitable without any contribution from the tests.
Xpediator (XPD) has acquired Yorkshire-based freight business Nidd Transport for £4.6m. The owner is retiring, and the purchase price is covered by Nidd’s cash and property assets -where there is already an agreement for a sale and leaseback. The deal is earnings enhancing. The logistics business does not have a significant presence in northern England and there will be cross-selling opportunities with other parts of the business. Nidd also has operations in France, Spain and Portugal. In the year to April 2020, Nidd made and operating profit of £500,000 on revenues of £11m.
Hormonal disease treatments developer Diurnal (DNL) has raised £7.5m after expenses at 60p a share and there is an open offer to raise up to £2m.
Plutus PowerGen (PPG) plans to demerge its generation assets and become a cash shell. A placing at 0.02p a share will raise £490,000 after expenses and this will pay money owed to directors and provide working capital. Debt of £266,000 will be capitalised. Plutus tried to sell its co-investee assets but there was no buyer found. Plutus Energy is being demerged and there are plans to demerge the Plutus energy investment portfolio, but this is currently being blocked by Rockpool.
Vanadium flow batteries developer Invinity Energy Systems (IES) is involved in four energy storage products funded by the California Energy Commission. These total 7.8MWh of batteries and they should be delivered next year. Commercial terms are still be agreed with partners. This follows a £1.1m order during June.
Dekel Agri-Vision (DKL) increased third quarter crude palm oil produced by 10% to 5,280MT, thanks to a higher extraction rate. The cashew nut processing plant should still be commissioned next spring.
Caledonia Mining (CMCL) has increased 2020 guidance following third quarter figures showing gold production of 15,200 ounces and nine-month production of 42,900 ounces. Full year guidance is between 55,000 and 58,000 ounces. Caledonia has secured an agreement with the Zimbabwe government that will enable it to assess other gold projects. A solar plant is being built that will provide 27% of the electricity needs of the Blanket mine.
Fintech firm Mode Global Holdings (MODE) joined the standard list on 5 October. Mode raised £7.5m in a placing at 50p a share. Trading commenced. The share price has fallen back to 48.5p. The cash will help to finance the launch of a payments service powered by Open Banking that would replace the need for cards.
Ingredients supplier Treatt (TET) had net cash of £1m at the end of September 2020 and it intends to pay a final dividend. Pre-tax profit of £14m is in line with pre-Covid-19 expectations. Health and wellness revenues grew by 16%, although total revenues fell by 3% due to the lower orange oil prices.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) plans to acquire the two data centres in Quebec housing its cryptocurrency mining equipment that are owned by GPU.one. September mining revenues were £1.1m.
BATM (BVC) has secured an initial order for its Covid-19 Real-Time PCR diagnostic test kits and they will be delivered in the fourth quarter.
Gin and spirits supplier British Honey Company (BHC) is using spare capacity in its distillery to produce # alcohol sanitisers. There is a shortage of sanitisers due to the coronavirus and HMRC has given permission for British Honey to produce denatured alcohol. The sanitisers are made with 70% alcohol and extracts of honey and green tea. Longer-term, the strategy is to buy other spirits brands to use spare capacity. British Honey started off as a honey producer and moved into craft spirits infused with honey in 2017. It has a computer-controlled, 1,000-litre capacity still and bottling facility with a capacity of 1.5 million bottles a year. Ingredients can be tracked. There has been £4m invested in this infrastructure. The existing products use a small proportion of this capacity. The company also produces spirits on behalf of third parties. Discussions have begun with some potential acquisitions. British Honey joined Aquis Stock Exchange at the beginning of the week and raised £4.25m (£3.88m after expenses) at 110p a share. Advanced assurance of eligibility for the Enterprise Investment Scheme has been obtained. The initial market capitalisation was £10m. Cairn is corporate adviser and Stanford Capital Partners is broker.
Sativa (SATI) is launching a cannabigerol (CBG) and alcohol-based hand sanitiser. CBG is thought to be effective as an antibacterial product and could combat superbugs.
Energy supplier Good Energy (GOOD) reported better than expected 2019 pre-tax profit. Underlying pre-tax profit still dipped from £2.3m to £2.1m due to lower gross margins. Profit is expected to bounce back to £3.1m in 2020. Both business and domestic customers were higher last year. The total dividend has been increased from 3.5p a share to 3.7p a share. Net debt was £39.2m at the end of 2019.
Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) has decided not to pay the interim dividend of 6p a share announced the week before. The sharp downturn in trading and subsequent closure of pubs due to COVID-19 means that Shepherd Neame is also cutting capital investment and the board is taking a one-fifth cut in pay. Rent receipts from tenants were suspended from 16 March.
KR1 (KR1) has generated $168,000 from selling ATOM, taking the total raised from disposals to $290,000. It still holds nearly 17,000 ATOM.
Sheltered housing developer Walls and Futures REIT (WAFR) has outperformed its benchmark for a third year in a row. The MSCI UK Residential index increased by 4.4% in 2019, while Walls portfolio increased by 23%.
BWA Group (BWAP) says that its subsidiary has been awarded an exploration licence for an area known as Dehane in central Cameroon. The focus is rutile sands and other minerals. The permit is for three years and the financial commitment in year one is £275,000, followed by £207,000 in each of the next two years. Tri Castle Investments is subscribing £100,000 at 0.5p a share.
First Sentinel (FSEN) has raised £389,000 at 20p a share for working capital. VI Mining (VIM) raised £56,000 via a placing at 15p a share that was curtailed because of COVID-19. Further cash will be raised in the future.
Eastinco Mining and Exploration (EM.P) has secured a $200,000 facility from Augustin Corp, which is owned by a trust related to Eastinco executive chairman Charles Bray. The annual interest rate is 6 percentage points above commercial lending rates and the facility lasts for up to 18 months.
SAPO (SAPO) is holding a general meeting on 14 April to gain shareholder approval for increasing the share capital. Executive chairman Dr Keith Harris has been issued 20 million shares at 1p a share. The consideration will be paid by the end of 2024.
Belvedere Leisure Resorts (BELV) believes that once normality is resumed it can accelerate its resort development and deliver phase one on time.
Dozens Savings (DS07) says that 795 investors have subscribed for company bonds.
Trading in Dana International (DANA) shares remains suspended. The property investor is still trying to gain full information about share transfers.
Christian Taylor-Wilkinson has become interim chief executive of Altona Energy (ANR) following the resignation of executive chairman Qinfu Zhang.
Sales of COVID-19 tests by Novacyt (NCYT) continue to accelerate. It has received orders worth more than £8.7m in a six-week period. Manufacturing capacity is being increased.
Synairgen (SNG) is about to start a phase II trial for SNG001 for the treatment of an initial 100 patients with mild-moderate COVID-19. Initial results should be available by the summer. SNG001 is inhaled interferon beta, which has shown benefits in the treatment of SARS. The existing COPD phase II trial has been paused, but initial results suggest that there is clinical benefit.
Best of the Best (BOTB) would have been in trouble a decade ago when it generated its competition entries from airports and other areas of high footfall. Having gone online, the competitions organiser has continued to prosper. Additional marketing investment has helped the 2019-20 performance to be above expectations. The pre-tax profit forecast for the year to April 2020 has been raised from £2.6m to £3m.
Payment systems provider PCI-Pal (PCIP) has won a contract for its Agent Assist product with a UK government organisation. The annual contract value is £565,500.
Manx Financial (MFX) is buying back the 12.94% shareholding owned by Aaron Banks. Manx intends to pay £1.61m for the shares and then cancel them. This cash will become a loan to Manx and an existing £483,500 convertible will be added to the sum. Banks has requisitioned a general meeting at iodine manufacturer Iofina (IOF) in order to remove Lance Baller from the board and become a director himself. Banks does not intend to make a bid for the company.
Mobile payment services provider Bango (BGO) is still set to move into profit in 2020. End user spend doubled last year.
Indigovision (IND) is recommending a 405p a share cash bid from Motorola Solutions. This values the video security technology company at £30.4m. In 2019, pre-tax profit was $1.3m.
MJ Hudson (MJH) grew organic revenues by 12.5% in the first half. The asset management services provider has net cash of £20.1m following last year’s flotation. The acquisition of Meyler will expand the range of services provided in the US. The customer base is predominantly long-term and closed ended funds. A full year pre-tax profit of £1.1m is forecast.
Big Sofa Technologies (BST) has put itself up for sale and trading in the shares is suspended. The video and data analytics technology developer needs additional cash and it is difficult to raise funds in the market when there is so much uncertainty. The company expects proposals by the end of April.
The Wressle oil field development in north Lincolnshire is set to commence production in the second half of 2020 and Egdon Resources (EDG) has a 30% stake and is operator. Europa Oil and Gas (EOG) and Union Jack Oil (UJO) also have interests. The breakeven oil is estimated at $18/barrel. Production could start at 500 barrels a day. An application has been allowed against North Lincolnshire council for costs relating to delays in gaining a permit.
Diagnostic and precision testing services provider Diaceutics (DXRX) boosted revenues by 30% last year following its flotation. Although gross margins improved, a significant increase in headcount meant that pre-tax profit dipped to £500,000. The initial benefits of the investment in the business are showing through growth in Asia and other regions.
Regional property investor Real Estate investors (REI) increased its dividend by 7% to 3.8p a share. Like-for-like rental income was slightly lower at £16.9m and the weak retail property market led to a 3% reduction in EPRA NAV to 67.4p a share. Loan to value is 46.7%. The Midlands property market is strengthening ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. An improvement in NAV to near-69p a share is forecast for 2020.
Xeros (XSG) has signed a joint development agreement with a global commercial laundry business. XFiltra micro-particle filtration technology will be included in the partner’s commercial washing machines. The EU plans to have micro-particle filtration in use by 2026. Xeros is likely to need to raise more cash next year.
Oncimmune (ONC) says NICE has completed a positive review of EarlyCDT Lung and believes that it can help in the early diagnosis of lung cancer.
Trading in the shares of Boston International Holdings (BIH) has been suspended ahead of the proposed acquisition of invoice factoring company Alexanders Discount Ltd, which is based in the South East. Alexanders Discount accounts for the year to November 2019 are for a dormant company and the assets were worth £4. The standard list shell floated in October 2016.
Telecoms services provider Toople (TOOP) says that the integration of DMSL is ahead of plan and it has won two new contracts.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) is partnering with Novamed for an at-home COVID-19 diagnostic kit. The kit should be completed within four months.
AIQ Ltd (AIQ) has signed a conditional share purchase agreement for Alchemist Codes, a Malaysian IT services developer. AIQ is paying £2.3m in shares.
Ecommerce technology developer Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) is recommending a 11.2p a share cash offer from TrueCommerce, which values the company at £5.73m. That is nearly double the share price of the most recent share deal. Netalogue clients include Transport for London, Greene King and Bunzl. The deal will bring together ecommerce and supply chain software in one platform and provide cross-selling opportunities. US-based TrueCommerce is a global connectivity business, which also has a B2B client base. The UK part of the business has revenues of £13.8m, but it is losing money. The group as a whole has revenues of $95.2m and made a net loss of $157,000. In the year to March 2019, Netalogue made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 on revenues of £1.35m. There should be potential cos savings from duplication of development spending and overlapping roles.
AFH Financial (AFHP) is acquiring the client portfolios of Warwickshire-based Groom Associates from the two retiring advisers. The initial cost is £321,000 and a further £294,000 could be payable depending on the performance of the acquired assets over 26 months.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) is selling its African operations and consolidating 100 shares into one new share. It can then concentrate on cannabis business Apollon Formularies.
Proton beam therapy firm Rutherford Health (RUTH) grew interim revenues from £197,000 to £2.5m, but the loss increased from £9.17m to £14.9m as the initial proton beam therapy centres get up and running. Since August, a further £12.5m has been raised and a £20m debt facility agreed. The focus is building up patient numbers for the three fully operational cancer centres. At the end of October, 412 shares were traded at 245p each. There is still the Woodford share overhang.
Two months after floating World High Life intends to consolidate every ten shares into one new share. The investment company plans to acquire businesses involved in medicinal cannabis and related products, including nutraceuticals and cosmetics. World High Life has announced plans to acquire Love Hemp in return for £4m in cash and the issue of 30 million (existing) shares. A further £2m could become payable in the next three years depending on the achievement of turnover targets.
Trading in Black Sea Property (BSP) shares has recommenced following its interim results announcement. Interim revenues improved from €272,000 to €312,000, but there was a €1.9m write-down on investment properties. The overall loss was €2.58m. NAV has fallen from 0.95 cents a share to 0.75 cents a share over a six months period.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has converted the €2m it is owed by Finance Partners Group into shares that take its stake in the investment company, which has an investment in Italy-based Avantgarde Group, to 40%. Avantgarde owns inventory finance fintech company Supply Me (www.supplyme.tech), which may list on the London market. Eight Capital Partners has paid £1,500 to John Treacy, one of its directors, for a further 30% of Epsion Capital, giving it 100% ownership. It has also invested a further £95,000 in the company, which is applying to the FCA for full regulatory status.
VI Mining (VIM) says that talks with the vendors of the Minaspampa and Rosario de Belen projects are likely to end with them taking back the projects because there is still $42.4m of the payment outstanding. VI will focus on generating cash from tolling operations. David Sumner is waiving the $1.61m of salary owed to him. Sumner, who already provides loans to the company, is raising money via a security token offering and cash raised will be used to finance VI.
Former NEX-quoted company MESH Holdings (MESH) is proposing to gain admission to the standard list. There is a timing extension to the acquisition of AI business Sentiance and the acquisition of additional shares and the exercising of an option has taken the Sentiance stake to 16.8%. The acquisition of a majority stake is dependent on ZASAi and related interests not having to make a bid for MESH after they receive shares in return for the Sentiance stake. MESH will then own 80.1% of Sentiance and be able to issue a prospectus for the listing.
In the year to June2019, Frontier IP (FIPP) made an unrealised profit of £3.85m on its investee company portfolio, up from £2.06m last year. NAV was £17.6m at the end of the year. A placing has raised £3.8m at 50p a share. This will help to develop and commercialise investee companies.
Rose Petroleum (ROSE) is acquiring a 10% of Captiva Energy Holdings II (CEH) Inc’s 89.5% net working interest in the 317-acre McCoy lease in Colorado. It will also have an option to acquire up to a further 80% of that net working interest. CEH is owned by the chairman and chief executive of Rose. Drilling should happen within one year and there are discussions about a funding partner. Rosehas raised£1.25m at 1.1p a share to provide finance to develop assets. This is expected to be the first in a series of deals. The Morton family trust has taken a 3.84% stake in Rose.
Zoo Digital (ZOO) was hit by a faster than expected decline in Blu Ray and DVD business, but the core localisation and dubbing business did grow its revenues. A stronger second half is expected, and Zoo should return to profit this year. New streaming services from Apple and Disney provide a strong back drop for demand.
Shares (SHRE) subsidiary The Share Centre won two awards at the Shares Awards 2019. They were best stocks and shares ISA provider and best customer service.
Competitions organiser Best of the Best (BOTB) is trading ahead of market expectations. This has sparked a 2019-20 profit forecast upgrade of 16% to £2.2m. The interims will be published on 30 January.
Faron Pharma (FARN) has raised £7.48m at 190p a share. This will finance the clinical programme for potential cancer treatment Clevegen.
Defenx (DFX) is seeking to cancel its AIM quotation. Strand Hanson will continue as nominated adviser until the cancellation. BV Tech, which owns 67.1% of Defenx, will vote for the cancellation.
LIDAR wine sensor technology developer Windar Photonics (WPHO) has been hit by the slow conversion of interest into orders. Revenues in the ten months to October 2019 were €1.2m. Full year revenues will be below expectations. There is limited working capital available. BDO resigned as auditor during October. A share swap has left the interests of Windar director Jorgen Jensen with a 11.2% stake and O-Net Communications with 4.5%.
Nanoco (NANO) has entered into early discussions with potential buyers of the company. This has sparked a review of strategic options for the business. That includes potential additional funding. There are also talks with potential customers in the displays and infra-red sensing markets.
InnovaDerma (IDP) executive chairman Haris Chaudry has stepped down the day after the beauty products supplier’s AGM. He has reduced his stake from 28.6% to 0.2%. The shares were sold at 52.4p each. Edale Capital has taken a 9.11% stake. Revenues have grown by 38% in the first four months of the financial year. A new skincare product will be launched in 2020.
Robbie Rayne does not want Gresham House Asset Management to be reappointed as external manager of LMS Capital (LMS) and he and his family intend to vote their 42% shareholding against the reappointment at a general meeting. He wants a return to internal management of the portfolio of assets and a £7.5m distribution to shareholders.
Standard list shell Contango Holdings (CGO) intends to try to raise £1m at 5p a share in order to help finance the acquisition of the Lubu coalfield project in Zimbabwe. Contango has advanced $310,000 to the project. If the acquisition does not go ahead by Christmas Eve, then the money should be returned.
Zenith Energy (ZEN) is planning an all share offer for Nordic Petroleum. One Zenith shares will be offered for every 100 Nordic shares. This will require the issue of up to 9.1 million shares. Nordic is involved in heavy oils in Canada. It has tax credits in Norway and a legal claim against a UK party, the rights to which will be retained by Nordic shareholders. A prospectus has been approved for an issue of up to €25m of Euro Medium Term notes at par.
National Milk Records (NMRP) increased its pre-tax profit by one-fifth to £2.4m in the year to June 2018. Revenues improved from £21.4m to £22.8m. The farm-based milk recording business grew, but the main growth came from the much smaller traceability and reproductive businesses. These figures are for the period before the recent virus attack. The dividend has been halved from 2.5p a share to 1.25p a share because management wants to invest in laboratories and IT. Net debt was £1.7m.
Good Energy (GOOD) has clarified its interim figures. The renewable energy supplier says that there was a misclassification of £4.9m relating to cash and current assets and current liabilities. The problem was the timing of payments. This does not change NAV and profit. There was a £20m in the bank at the end of September 2019. Good Energy has signed a technology platform agreement with Octopus Group, which could involve investment of £4m in order to improve efficiency. The existing technology will be written down over the 12 months to June 2019. Operating cost savings should cover the investment in 18 months of full implementation.
Vox has ended merger discussions with PCG Entertainment (PCGE) and Align Research saying that it is difficult to raise money for any business involving Align Research. Vox is concerned that this will hamper fundraisings for future deals, and it believes it could have a negative effect on its main business.
VI Mining (VIM) has acquired rights to near-surface oxide gold at the Aripuana project in Brazil. The company’s other assets are in Peru.
Reyker Securities has been suspended as a broker on NEX Exchange.
PCI-compliant payment services provider PCI PAL (PCIP) is making progress in winning new contracts in North America. Recurring annual contract value is £1.9m, compared with forecast revenues of £4.8m in the year to June 2020, up from £2.8m. PCI Pal will continue to lose money as it builds up revenues. Net cash was £1.5m at the end of June 2019. A new £2.75m facility will provide the working capital required to cover losses until the company starts to generate cash. Net debt of £1.5m is forecast at the end of June 2021, so this is well within the funding available.
Uhuru Corporation is a Japanese Internet of Things technology company planning to join AIM this month. Tokyo-based Uhuru (www.uhuru.co.jp/en) is involved in consultancy and engineering, as well as providing creative content and data analysis. Customers include NEC, Dentsu, Honda, Komatsu, Yamaha and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Duke Royalty (DUKE) raised £461,500 at 44p a share via PrimaryBid.com, which takes the total raised to £16.55m. A two-for-51 open offer has been launched to raise a further £3.45m.
AIM shell Wilmcote Holdings (WCH) had discussions about the participation in the purchase of US-based speciality chemicals company Arclin Inc, but these have ended. The costs of the work done on this potential transaction have reduced the cash pile to £900,000. Wilmcote is holding talks with investors about how to fund expenses while it seeks another speciality chemicals acquisition. Trading in the shares has recommenced and the share price slumped from 97p to 65p.
Oil and gas producer Amerisur Resources (AMER) has issued revised bidding instructions to the potential acquirers that were provided data as part of the strategic review and formal sale process. The process will hopefully conclude before the end of the year.
Applied Graphene Materials (AGM) is focusing on the customers that are utilising its dispersion know-how and provide the best near-term revenue potential. That will enable the graphene producer to cut its operating costs and make the cash in the bank last at least another two years. Net cash was £6.1m at the end of July 2019 and a tax credit of £600,000 has since been received. Manufacturing will be streamlined, and the annual cost base could fall from £4.3m to £3.2m. Revenues remain modest.
Pawnbroker Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) will make a one-off gross profit of £600,000 from scrapping slow moving jewellery in order to take advantage of the rise in the gold price. Trading is in line with expectations. The interims will be published on 3 December.
United Oil and Gas (UOG) is on course to acquire Rockhopper Egypt for $16m before the end of 2019. A share issue is required in order to fund the initial cash payment of at least $11m. The rest of the payment will be in shares issued at the placing price. The main asset being acquired is a 22% interest in the Abu Sennan concession.
Time Out Group (TMO) has raised £17.1m at 127p a share. The June 2016 flotation price was 150p. The cash will be used to cut debt and roll-out more Time Out Market sites, with Chicago and Montreal due to open later this year and more contracted sites for the future. Net debt was £34.4m at the end of June 2019.
Investors give no quarter when it comes to profit warnings these days. Public housing software provider Castleton Technology (CTP) says recurring revenues are still going well, but there is a shortage of one-off revenues. This has led to a 15% cut in forecast revenues for the year to March 2020. That leads to a cut in pre-tax profit forecast from £6.4m to £5.3m. A similar reduction has been made in the forecast for 2020-21, which is £5.8m. The share price fell by more than one-third to 57p, which is less than ten times prospective earnings.
Trading in the shares of Solo Energy (SOLO) has been suspended ahead of a proposed acquisition of assets from ONE-Dyas for an initial €30.1m. That will be funded by debt and a share issue raising £20m, which will involve an open offer. The 14 gas fields are in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. Tom Reynolds is moving from non-executive to chief executive. The admission document should be published in November and the name will be changed to Scirocco Energy.
Dekeloil (DKL) is still being hampered by a low crude palm oil price but it is optimistic that the price will improve. There was a 11% decrease in third quarter crude palm oil production to 4,803 tonnes. However, there was a 30% increase in sales to 7,138 tonnes. The average price achieved was 16% lower at €456/tonne. The cashew processing project is on course for first production in 2020. The company is changing its name to Dekel Agri-Vision Ltd.
Managed services provider Redcentric (RCN) says that first half trading was on track. It is on course to improve pre-tax profit from £7.2m to £9.8m.
Nottinghamshire-based nmcn (NMCN) is acquiring Lintott Control Systems (LCS), which designs and manufactures water and wastewater treatment systems and process software. The total cost of LCS could be as high as £3.76m. The initial payment is £1, plus up to £676,000 dependent on the receipt of payment for certain invoices. The rest is dependent on profit levels over the three years to the end of 2021.
Argo Blockchain (ARB) has increased third quarter revenues by 75%, compared with the second quarter. Revenues were £3.63m and the cryptocurrency mining margin is 73%, even though the bitcoin price has dropped. The number o machines in production should double to 12,000 by the end of the year.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) used cash of £2.31m in operations in the year to June 2019. Rainbow generated revenues of £1.54m from trial rare earths mining at Gakara in Burundi, but production costs were double that level. Write downs mean that net assets were £3.37m at the end of June 2019. More exploration activity is required before production levels are increased.
Stranger Holdings (STHP) has agreed terms to acquire two mineral companies. One has assets in Cameroon and the other is in Idaho. Minerals include cobalt and nickel. Previous potential transactions have been terminated.
Standard list shell Auctus Growth (AUCT) is still seeking an acquisition. There is still £912,000 in the bank.
Arbuthnot Banking (ARBB) improved its underlying pre-tax profit from £2.7m to £3.4m in the first half of 2019. The interim dividend has been raised from 15p a share to 16p a share. The recent residential mortgage portfolio acquisition was after the end of June. The strategy is to diversify the business and asset-based lending and specialist finance are being built up. Savings platform Arbuthnot Direct has recently been launched. The core private banking operations of Arbuthnot Latham are still growing, though. The shareholding in Secure Trust Bank has been sold down to below 10%, which means it is no longer consolidated. The change from associate led to a write down and NAV declined to £13.21 a share.
VI Mining (VIM) has so far paid $9.1m in cash to the vendors of the Minaspampa and Rosario projects in Peru. There is still $42.2m outstanding 18 months after the acquisition agreement was signed. Majority shareholder Sumner Group Holdings is raising money from a security token offering, which could be completed in the autumn. Some of the proceeds will be used to replace existing facilities and help to pay outstanding acquisition considering, pending renegotiation of the deal. Chief executive David Sumner has provided a $10m term loan, plus a £39m facility of which $3m has been drawn down. There is $1.2m outstanding on the Tassili Jewellery LLC loan facility.
AfriAg Global (AFRI) has completed its acquisition of a 2.325% stake in cannabis company Apollon Formularies. The Jamaican subsidiary has produced its first licensed medical cannabis oils for commercial sale on the island.
MetalNRG (MNRG) has published a prospectus for its move to a standard listing on 23 July. It has raised £193,000 at 0.3p a share.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) says that its CoalTech subsidiary has signed a joint venture agreement with Creon Capital covering Russia and nearby countries. CoalTech is negotiating with other potential partners to set up operations in Europe, Indonesia and the US.
Tectonic Gold (TTAU) says its mining subsidiary has received approval for the R and D tax incentive scheme in Australia for 2018-19. A claim is being prepared.
Share trading has recommenced in Ganapati (GANP) after it published results for the year to January 2019. There was a cash outflow from operations of £23.8m. Since January, two new games have been generated each month.
Focusrite (TUNE) has acquired Germany-based studio monitor loudspeakers supplier Pro Audio for £16.2m in cash and it will still have £12m left in the bank. Pro Audio supplies ADAM branded products and made a pre-tax profit of €1m. This is an earnings enhancing acquisition. The businesses will operate separately but work together to develop cross-selling benefits.
Swallowfield (SWL) is selling its manufacturing business to the much larger US manufacturer Knowlton Development Corporation for £35m in order to concentrate on its portfolio of personal care and beauty brands. This should leave net cash of £23m in Swallowfield and this will be used to acquire more brands. The company is changing its name to Brand Architekts Group.
Lawyer Gateley (GTLY) grew all its main operations. Acquisitions helped revenues to increase by one-fifth to £103.5m in the year to April 2019, but there was still organic growth of 9.5%. Pre-tax profit improved from £15.4m to £18.1m. The dividend was raised from 7p a share to 8p a share. Corporate business grew more modestly than other parts of the business, but this was impressive given market conditions for corporate deals. A profit of £21m is forecast for this year.
Victoria (VCP) has raised €330m via an issue of 5.25% senior secured notes 2024. This offer was three times subscribed. The floorcoverings manufacturer is using the money to refinance existing debt and will have £80m of cash after the issue.
Packaging machinery supplier Mpac Group (MPAC) is trading significantly ahead of expectations. Equity Development has increased its 2019 operating profit forecast from £4.6m to £5.5m.
Adamas Finance Asia (ADAM) has completed a co-investment agreement with a Hong Kong-based family office for the investment in Japanese resort business Infinity Capital Group. The family office will pay Adamas $1m of the $2m already drawn by Infinity and the other $2m will be provided 50/50 by the two parties. The facility has a coupon of 17.5% per annum. This deal provides cash to invest in other opportunities. Adamas took advantage of a dip in the share price to buy back £30,400worth of shares at 38p each.
Velocys (VLS) has raised £7m at 3p a share on the back of news that Shell and British Airways will co-fund the development of the Immingham biorefinery project. The cash will be used for further technology development and to progress the Mississippi biorefinery project.
Block Energy (BLOE) has completed the increase from a 71.5% to 100% of its working interest in the West Rustavi field in Georgia. The cash and shares payment means tha Georgia Oil and Gas has increased its stake in Block to 7.7%. Miton has cut its stake from 9.17% to 4.73%.
Mortice (MORT) has decided to cancel its AIM quotation and is offering shareholders the chance to sell their shares for 12p each. A lack of liquidity and a weak share price making it difficult to finance acquisitions are the main reasons for leaving AIM.
Albert Technologies Ltd (ALB) also wants to leave AIM, but it is not offering an exit for shareholders. It believes it can attract investors, but they would prefer to invest in an unquoted company.
Science Group (SAG) has been buying more shares in Frontier Smart Technologies (FST) at the bid price of 35p each and it has built up a 39.9% stake. It also has 3.1% acceptances for its bid.
Mirada (MIRA) has integrated Netflix into its set-top box platform and this will make its technology even more attractive to broadcasters.
Bangladesh has brought in a law that all listed companies have to pay at least 30% of post-tax profit, or an extra 10% tax charge will be levied. Beximco Pharmaceuticals (BXP) is assessing the legislation and will consider how best to manage cash.
Novacyt (NCYT) has sold its loss-making clinical labs business for £400,000 and it will concentrate on diagnostics businesses Primerdesign and Lab21. The first instalment of £100,000 has been paid and £100,000 more is due in September, but the rest will be paid in three equal instalments on the first, second and third anniversaries of the deal.
Spinnaker Opportunities (SOP) has received a commitment to invest up to £1.4m from a single investor conditional on the deal to acquire medicinal cannabis company Kanabo Research. The investment will be for a maximum of 4.99% of the enlarged share capital, although if there is any of the £1.4m left it could be invested in a convertible loan note. The investment underpins the expected acquisition-related fundraising and a fee of 10% of the investment is payable.
General meeting resolutions to wind-up Avocet Mining (AVM) were withdrawn at its general meeting. This comes after discussions with shareholders. There is a few weeks cash left in the business and any potential transaction would have to come with finance to cover the costs of an acquisition process.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has commenced construction of 17 specially developed apartments and retail space on its West Derby property.
Fashion On Screen has listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, which has European Growth Market status by the HMRC. This means that there is no stamp duty. The company had previously considered a listing on the Nasdaq First North market in Copenhagen. Fashion On Screen has raised more than £3m prior to its listing. A film based on the kidnapping of racing driver Juan Fangio in Cuba in 1958 could start before the end of the year (for more about the background to the story listen to https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055fjfx).
Brewer Shepherd Neame (SHEP) reported a 1% increase in underlying 2018 pre-tax profit of £5.9m. Pubs provided higher revenues and profit, while the brewery reported a reduction in profit contribution due to the ending of third party contracts and a small decline in volumes of its own beers and ciders. The brewing volumes have recovered in the early part of 2019.
Good Energy (GOOD) is making a strategic investment in Zap-Map owner Next Green Car Ltd. This is a business that provides electric vehicle market data and will help Good Energy move into the electric vehicle charging market. The initial investment is £1.08m for a 12.9% stake and £800,000 of convertible loan notes. If the loan notes are converted and payment of deferred consideration of £720,000 dependent on achieving financial targets, then the stake will increase to 50.1%.
Gunsynd (GUN) and Northbay Capital Partners have agreed with TSX-V-quoted Oyster Oil and Gas Ltd to settle debts of C$1.43m with the company in return for the outstanding share capital of Oyster’s subsidiary that owns production sharing contracts in Madagascar and Djibouti. Oyster shareholders have to agree to the deal for it to go ahead.
IMC Exploration Group (IMCP) has commenced drilling on PL2551 in County Wexford. The drilling should help to prove the presence of a major gold mineralisation trend.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) has increased its stake in Greatland Gold (GGP) by two million shares, taking the stake to 1.15%. The average cost is 1.71p a share. Over the next 18 months Greatland will pursue targeted exploration campaigns in Australia and accelerate the development in the Paterson region.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says 15%-owned Liberty Herbal Technologies reports that the first 11 weeks of sales of the hapac medicinal cannabis products in Italy have grown strongly from a low base.
Cadence Minerals (KDNC) is acquiring three prospective lithium assets in Australia. They are Picasso in Western Australia, Litchfield in Northern Territories and Alcoota in Northern Territories.
Clean Invest Africa (CIA) lost £204,000 in the near-13 months since incorporation. There was £69,000 in the bank at the end of September 2018. The reverse takeover of the 97.5% of CoalTech not owned by the company has still to be completed.
Barkby Group (BARK) has secured an eight-year operating agreement for the Queens Arms in East Garston, Berkshire. The pub and restaurant also operates a 120-capacity function room and 12 bedrooms.
Eight Capital Partners (ECP) has paid £3,500 for a 70% stake in financial adviser and investment firm Epsion Capital, which could provide advice to Eight Capital investee companies. Former ZAI corporate finance director and current Eight Capital non-executive director John Treacy is the sole director and other shareholder of Epsion, which is working on two corporate finance transactions.
Following the demise of Daniel Stewart, NQ Minerals (NQMI) has changed its corporate adviser to Arden, Gamfook Jewellery (GAMF) has switched to Peterhouse and VI Mining (VIM) has moved to VSA.
Telephony services and technology provider Netcall (NET) is increasing its cloud revenues and bookings. Interim revenues improved from £11.4m to £10.7m but pre-tax profit dipped from £1.9m to £1.2m because of increased investment. Annual contract value has risen by 11% to £15.1m.
Tracsis (TRCS) improved its interim revenues from £18.1m to £19m and pre-tax profit will be higher than the £3.9m reported last year. There was £18.7m in cash at the end of January 2019. Chris Barnes has joined the transport optimisation software and services provider ahead of becoming chief executive.
Ramsdens Holdings (RFX) is buying 18 Money Shop sites for £1.5m. They are in north west England and Scotland and will be rebranded as Ramsdens. The pawn books of the sites and five others that will be closed are being acquired by Ramsdens. City Financial Investment has sold its remaining 9.73% stake.
WH Ireland (WHI) has raised £4.95m at 45p a share, which was a 30% discount to the market price. The cash will make sure that the broker has enough regulatory capital. Trading is tough and the operating loss in the second half will be higher than previously expected.
SimplyBiz (SBIZ) grew 2018 revenues by 15% to £50.7m and earnings per share were 28% higher at 11.9p. The supplier of compliance and business services to financial advisers continues to add to member numbers and sell more services to them. Net cash was £6.4m at the end of 2018.
DX (Group) (DX.) is making progress with its turnaround but there is still a long way to go. The parcel delivery business has restructured its business and raised prices to clients. The cash outflow was significantly reduced in the first half. DX could move back into profit next year.
Swallowfield (SWL) was hit by weak trading in its cosmetics manufacturing operations. The brands business maintained its revenues and profit. The second half outlook for manufacturing is better and costs have been reduced. The interim dividend was raised by 7.5% to 2.15p a share. Fidelity has increased its stake to 5.73%.
Ilika (IKA) has secured an 18 month project with Network Rail for the use of its Stereax battery technology in a ultra-low power wireless sensor for the network’s condition monitoring platform.
Pelatro (PTRO) has won a contract with Ooredoo Maldives worth $1.6m over three years. There is a fixed monthly fee and a share of the incremental revenue generated. There are also opportunities to cross-sell to other Ooredoo telecoms operations.
Cambria Automobiles (CAMB) has traded ahead of the first five months of the previous financial year. Although new car sales were lower, Cambria made more profit because of the higher value franchises. It was a similar trend in used cars. The aftersales operations increased sales and profit.
FFI Holdings (FFI) says that the film competition contracts business has been slow because of a lack of films and smaller productions. There are also possible claims. Delayed productions have hit the insurance agency business. That has reduced operating profit by $6m. The expected range for this year is $7.5m-$11m.
Allergy Therapeutics (AGY) reported a 11% increase in interim revenues to £46.7m and underlying pre-tax profit was 70% higher at £11.4m. That was partly down to lower development and marketing spending. Cash more than doubled to £31.6m, helped by a £10.2m placing. Net cash was £28.5m. The data from the phase III PQ Birch allergy study is expected in the next few weeks.
Finance provider ThinkSmart (TSL) reported a lower interim loss and there is cash in the bank of £11.3m. A special dividend of around 2p a share will return £44m to shareholders.
Accounting regulation changes mean that Paragon Entertainment Ltd (PEL) will not be able to recognise as much revenue in 2018 as it thought it would. That could reduce the figure by £700,000. The new range is £8.8m to £9.2m. The loss will be more than £2.5m. Revenues are expected to be higher this year.
Touchstone Exploration Inc (TXP) increased its proved reserves to 11,222 Mbbl at the end of 2018. Proved plus probable reserves are 19,275 Mbbl. NPV of future net revenues of proved reserves has increased by 18% to $79.8m.
Begbies Traynor (BEG) has completed a number of contingency engagements in the third quarter and there should be more in the fourth quarter. Corporate insolvencies are rising.
GetBusy (GETB) has increased its revenues from its core software products by 17% to £10.9m and it is making progress with its GetBusy productivity software which is in use with beta users. Cash generated from operations is being ploughed back into development spending.
Gfinity (GFIN) more than doubled its interim revenues from £1.8m to £4.4m with the growth coming from the managed services division, which includes the F1 Esports series. The Esports business is targeting breakeven in 2021.
Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has rejected a proposed 20p a share bid from RockRose Energy (RRE) which would value the company at £26.6m. Trading in the standard list company’s shares is suspended due to the proposed $140m acquisition of Marathan Oil West of Shetland.
Housebuilder Springfield Properties (SPR) is on track to increase full year pre-tax profit from £9.8m to £16.1m, following a strong first half. The housing market is stronger in Scotland than in the rest of the UK. The business has a mix of private housing and affordable housing developments. The Walker Group acquisition takes the company further upmarket in price terms and will make an initial contribution in the second half.
PhotonStar LED Group (PSL) has raised a further £170,000 at 0.01p a share, while directors John Treacy and Jonathan Freeman intend to subscribe a £24,000 when the company has authority to issue more shares. A general meeting will be held where the company will become a shell and change its name to Bould Opportunities. The operating business is being wound down. Antos Glogowski has a 20.9% stake.
In the past ten months, the valuation of the property assets of Sutton Harbour (SUH) has increased by 7% to £45.7m.
Small company-focused investment company Athelney Trust (ATY) reported a 21% decline in NAV to 225.9p a share at the end of 2018, although that is not a surprise given the weak stockmarket at the end of the year. The final dividend was increased by 2% to 9.1p a share. The board is in the process of appointing a fund management team. The plan is to increase the size of the fund to between £50m and £150m.
Standard list shell Cobra Resources (COBR) has agreed to acquire the owner of a 100% right title and interest in the Prince Alfred licence in South Australia. Prince Alfred was a producing copper mine. There is also an entitlement to earn 75% of five tenements in South Australia. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
European High Growth Opportunities Securitization Fund has converted £140,000 of convertible bonds and penalty payments of £210,000 into 140 million shares in WideCells (WDC) and that has nearly doubled the number of shares in issue. The first 60 million shares have been sold.
Primorus Investments (PRIM) says that investee company Sport:80 has delayed its flotation because it has been tidying up its shareholder register. Fintech company Engage Technology is also seeking to float later in 2019 following new product launches. Engage raised £2.6m at £22 a share at the end of 2018, whereas the average buying price by Primorus was £20.03 a share. Investee company, AIM-quoted Greatland Gold (GGP) has published results from the second drilling campaign at Havieron in Western Australia. Every drill hole intersected mineralisation and they extend the overall mineralisation. Drilling will recommence in March. Primorus has raised cash by selling most of the stake in UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) and Primorus was debt free at the end of 2018.
NEX has decided not to suspend trading in the shares of VI Mining (VIM) even though its corporate adviser Daniel Stewart is no longer a member of NEX. VI Mining had little or no notice of its adviser’s withdrawal. A new corporate adviser is being sought.
Milamber Ventures (MLVP) has acquired apprenticeship training provider Astara Training for £16,666 in shares at 9p each. Milamber lost £179,000 in the third quarter and there was £30,000 in the bank at the end of 2018.
Panther Metals (PALM) has announced the initial results of exploration activity at the Bear Lake project in Ontario. There was gold in soil anomalies at four of the five areas tested. Four areas have quartz vein sample assays above 5g/t gold. Two samples had large grade samples. The next phase of exploration is being planned and could start in the second quarter of 2019.
Auxico Resources Canada Inc (AUAG) has signed a deal that could enable it to earn a 70% interest in a joint venture that owns the Palha tantalum property in northern Brazil.
AIM (February 2019 AIM Journal available here)
DP Poland (DPP) is running short of cash and is more than doubling its share capital through a heavily discounted placing raising £5.3m at 6p a share, with the possibility of an additional £500,000. The Domino’s Pizza franchisee for Poland has found competition is getting tougher and growth has slowed. The cash is required to cover losses and open more outlets. Peter Shaw is stepping down as chief executive at the end of June, nearly a decade after founding the business.
Ticketing and queueing technology provider Accesso Technology (ACSO) is reviewing its investment priorities although it says that 2018 figures should be broadly in line with expectations. These will be published on 27 March. A deal fell through and this cost $1.7m. Tom Burnet is moving from executive chairman to a non-exec role. The share price is less than one-third of last year’s high. BlackRock has cut its stake below 5%.
Midatech Pharma (MTPH) has launched a placing and 0.318-for-one open offer to raise up to £4.75m at 3.85p a share on top of the £8m subscription by former AIM company China Medical System Holdings, which will licence products for the Chinese market. The clinical trial for cancer treatment MTD201 will cost up to £7m.
Duke Royalty (DUKE) is acquiring its UK rival Capital Step and this will double the size of the portfolio to eleven investments and diversify it in terms of sectors. There is an initial £10m cash payment and the assumption of debt of £11.65m. There is performance related consideration of up to £1.5m. The deal is immediately earnings enhancing.
Visa has increased its bid for Earthport (EPO) from 30p a share to 37p a share, which beats the Mastercard offer of 33p a share. The latest bid values Earthport at £247m.
Taptica (TAP) has launched a recommended bid for RhythmOne (RTHM) and this will create one of the largest video advertising companies in the US. The offer is 28 Taptica shares for every 33 RhythmOne shares. Taptica shareholders will own 50.1% of the enlarged group. A $15m share buyback programme is planned after the merger. Ofer Druker will become chief executive.
Polemos (PLMO) has finalised the details of its reverse takeover of Digitalbox Publishing for £10m in shares and it is also acquiring the owner of the Daily Mash satirical news website for up to £1.2m in cash and shares. The model for the Entertainment Daily website will be used to improve the performance of the Daily Mash. A placing will raise £1.02m at 14p a share. The company will change its name to Digitalbox.
Hardide (HDD) is raising £3.6m at 1.5p a share so that it can move to new premises in the UK and invest in additional equipment. The surface coatings company is experiencing increasing demand from the oil and gas sector and there is potential for orders from aerospace companies. It will take two years to fully equip and move into the new facility. Hardide also intends to consolidate 40 shares into one new share.
finnCap has raised its forecasts for Tracsis (TRCS) following recent acquisitions. There is a 3% increase in earnings per share for this year and an 11% rise to 30.5p next year.
Stride Gaming (STR) has traded in line with previously downgraded expectations. Cost cutting continues to cover higher regulatory and tax costs. The online gaming operator will report a lower profit in 2018 and it is set to fall again in 2019. Net cash was £22.1m at the end of 2018.
Bowmark Capital has offered 110p a share for Tax Systems (TAX) and discussions continue. Tax Systems reduced net debt from £20.5m to £13.9m by the end of 2018. Pre-tax profit of £5.8m is forecast for 2018.
Victoria (VCP) has sold surplus land in Kidderminster for £2m. The land was in the books for £100,000 but it has obtained planning consent for housing.
Starcom (STAR) has renegotiated its agreement with Xplosive in South Africa, having originally announced it in October 2017. Xplosive has signed a 36-month agreement to pay a monthly fee for each of the Kylos units supplied for the monitoring of cattle. The fees are higher in the first six months and then reduce. The agreement should be worth $500,000.
Strix Group (KETL) has offered to acquire most of the assets of HaloSource (HAL) for $1.3m. Strix has provided working capital of $100,000. Due diligence is being carried out on the water filtration technology and if the deal goes through the cash will pay creditors, but there will be nothing for shareholders.
Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has announced that the Selva gas field in northern Italy has net 2P reserves of 13.3bcf and there are 2.26bcf attributable to Prospex, which has a 17% stake. Selva could start production in 2020 at a rate of up to 150,000 cubic metres/day.
Tau Capital (TAU) plans to raise cash via a placing through Peterhouse and then a capital distribution will be made to all shareholders. This will enable Tau to seek an acquisition. It has until 18 April to secure a deal or trading in the shares will be suspended. Armstrong Investments has increased its stake from 11.7% to 15.7%.
Evgen Pharma (EVG) says that the SFX-01 clinical trial for subarachnoid haemorrhage is on course having completed recruitment and the primary endpoints should be available in the second quarter. Partners Investment Company has acquired at 3.15% stake.
Sports Direct International (SPD) made a £15m offer to buy Patisserie Valerie from the administrator, but this was not deemed enough. Even a higher selling price won’t provide anything for Patisserie Holdings shareholders.
Solicitor DWF plans to raise £75m via a March flotation an some of the cash will repay members’ capital contributions as well as invest in the business. Existing shareholders will also sell shares and partners’ remaining stakes will be locked up until April 2024.
Two former AIM-quoted companies are coming together to join the standard list. Daniel Stewart Securities, which is closing its broking business, is making an offer for Atlantic Carbon, which was previously known as Atlantic Coal, where Adam Wilson, who has had connections with Daniel Stewart, is executive chairman. Singapore-based backer Epsilon Investments refused to put more money into the broker and that is why it is closing. Epsilon holds a majority stake in Hyde Park Holdings, which owns broker Novum Securities. Last October, SeeThruEquity research suggested that Atlantic had an equity value of $86.8m and $68m of debt. In 2017, Atlantic was the largest producer of anthracite in the US with a market share of one-third based on 1.18 million tonnes produced. Atlantic is expected to have moved into profit in 2018, although it did generate cash from operations in 2017. The owners of more than 50% of Atlantic shares have agreed to accept the bid of 1.5587 shares for each Atlantic share.
Thalassa Holdings (THAL) is offering 14.64p a share in cash and 0.26 of a share for each share in The Local Shopping REIT. Thalassa already owns 25.5% of the bid target, which is valued at 32.8p a share. The bid is an alternative to the winding up of The Local Shopping REIT.
Blockchain Worldwide (BLOC) is no longer acquiring blockchain technology developer Chorum Group because of political uncertainty affecting the UK equity markets. Former Avanti Communications boss David Williams is the director of Chorum. Blockchain Worldwide has more than £1m in the bank and is also looking at other technology sectors for acquisitions.
Drilling of the Colter appraisal well in Dorset has commenced and United Oil and Gas (UOG) has a 10% interest. The drilling should take three weeks. The Selva gas field in Italy has net 2P reserves of 2.7bcf attributable to United, which has a 20% stake. Selva could start production in 2020. United intends to move to AIM.
Oil and gas producer Zenith Energy (ZEN) has raised £607,000 in Canada and the UK at C$0.05 a share and 3p a share respectively.
Motor finance provider S and U (SUS) has confirmed that its figures for the year to January 2019 will be in line with expectations. The Aspen property bridging loan business had a loan book of £18m at the end of January 2019. Cautious lending criteria means that new business has slowed in recent months and this has led to a 5% 2019-20 earnings downgrade to 230.1p a share.
BATM (BVC) has won a $3.2m cyber security contract and this takes contracted revenues from this government customer to more than $10m. The latest contract will be delivered this year.
Chesterfield Resources (CHF) is expanding its exploration programme in Cyprus. Initial drilling in an area near historic mining has shown gold, copper and zinc mineralisation. Chesterfield is also applying for licences to extend its licence area.
Dev Clever (DEV) has launched pay per play multi-player, virtual reality game Vanguard: Fight for Rudiarius in Harlow shopping centre. The game will be rolled out to other UK sites.
Bluebird Merchant (BMV) has applied for a grant to help finance drilling at the Kochang project in South Korea and there should be news by the end of the month. There has also been a permit application to develop Kochang.
Property investor Ace Liberty and Stone (ALSP) increased its rental income by one-third to £1.95m in the six months to October 2018. Profit from continuing operations improved from £218,000 to £271,000 and a dividend of 0.83p a share has been announced. Four properties have been purchased since April 2018 and Hume House was sold.
Capital for Colleagues (CFCP) increased its NAV from 42.69p a share to 43.35p a share in the year to August 2018. The strategic focus is to make larger investments in bigger employee-owned businesses. There was £175,000 in the bank at the end of August 2018, so there appear to be limited funds available for further investments, although there are £1.3m of loans to investee companies.
Health and community care properties developer and modular buildings supplier Ashley House (ASH) was hit by delays in projects planned by its Morgan Ashley joint venture in the six months to October 2018. Only one scheme reached financial close during the period and a loss was reported for the period. Modular buildings demand is strong with a good pipeline of potential projects. A profit is still expected for the 14 months to June 2019, but this still depends on the timing of projects.
Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne (HYDP) increased its full year profit from £127,000 to £153,000 on turnover 4% higher at £3.66m. There is £1.09m in the bank at the end of October 2018. The dividend was maintained at 21p a share, which is covered 1.2 times by earnings. The strategy is to encourage more direct bookings with the hotel and an online booking system was launched last September. The completion of refurbishment activities has enabled an increase in bookings for weddings. Bedroom refurbishments continue.
Formation Group (FRM) reported an improvement in revenues from £37m to £38.6m in the year to August 2018, but the operating loss nearly quadrupled to £416,000. There was a gain on financial asset of £450,000 and an exceptional cost of £318,000 relating to an accident in 2015. Management is cautious about taking on new property developments under the current economic conditions.
Karoo Energy (KEP) is still trying to raise cash to enable it to move to AIM. Management is confident that it will be able to raise the funds in the near future.
Formerly AIM-quoted Altona Energy (ANR) did not managed to obtain a replacement nominated adviser for Northland and it has moved to NEX on 1 February. Sino-Aus Energy Group is subscribing for £500,000 of 7% convertible loan notes July 2020. The conversion price depends on the market price in the 2o days prior to conversion although the minimum is 10p a share.
Sport Capital Group (SCG) has appointed Epsion Capital to help it raise up to £20m from a share issue at a price of at least 0.5p a share. There will be a warrant issued with every four shares. A circular is being prepared to gain shareholder approval. Early Equity (EEQP) has raised £187,500 at 0.75p a share.
Ananda Developments (ANA) says that 15%-owned LHT has launched its hapac medicinal cannabis inhaling technology in Milan, Italy. The initial reaction has been positive.
VI Mining (VIM) has completed the acquisition of the Cushuro gold project for $27.5m in shares.
Nuclear notes linked to guaranteed contingent value rights relating to the takeover of British Energy will mature and stop being traded on 7 February.
Dealings in the shares of Wheelsure (WHLP) and Ecovista (EVTP) have been suspended because they have not published their results for the year to August 2018.
Recruitment and training company Staffline (STAF) has delayed the publishing of its accounts because of concerns about invoicing. Trading in the shares has been suspended.
Electronic and battery products supplier Solid State (SOLI) says trading is significantly better than previously expected. Gross margins are continuing to improve. finnCap upgraded its 2018-19 earnings per share forecast by 26% and the 2019-20 figure by 21%.
Filtronic (FTC) fell into loss in the first half even before the write-off of £500,000 of capitalised development costs. Massive MIMO antennas sales will not build up as quickly as initially expected. There is £2.2m in the bank so the antennas and telecoms hardware supplier has a strong cash position while it waits for orders to come through. There is expected to be a full year loss but cash should still be £1.8m. A focus on defence and public safety markets will help to diversify the customer base and provide new opportunities.
A court has ordered Grant Thornton to pay £21m relating to its failures in the auditing of AssetCo (ASTO) accounts in the financial years to March 2009 and March 2010. AssetCo had been seeking £40m from Grant Thornton and there is still interest to be calculated on the award.
Location Sciences (LSAI) says that 2018 trading was in line with expectations and 2019 has started well. There has been a soft launch of the Verify product that ensures that responses to advertising from mobiles are genuine. Paid for trials in the US will provide further evidence of effectiveness.
Begbies Traynor (BEG) has acquired Manchester-based Croft Transport Planning and Design, which provides highways and traffic advice to property developers, for an initial £1.5m in cash and shares. This widens the range of services offered by the property services division.
Utilitywise (UTW) has not published its accounts and trading in the shares has been suspended. The utility cost management consultancy has also effectively put itself up for sale as part of its strategic review. This was sparked by the failure to raise cash required from a share issue. The £25m bank facility expires in April.
BATM Advanced Communications (BVC) has secured an investment of up to $30m to fund the commercialisation of molecular biology products being developed by Ador Diagnostics, a joint venture with Gamida for Life, that is valued at $30m prior to the investment. The first $14.5m should be invested by the end of March and the rest will be invested at a 33.3% premium to the enterprise valuation after the initial investment by the end of 2020. Most of the cash will come from medical sector investors and Puma Brandenburg. BATM and Gamida will each invest $2m and after the initial investment BATM will own 38.2% of the company. Shore Capital will reinvest its total fees of $1m into Ador.
Rainbow Rare Earths (RBW) is obtaining a $750,000 convertible security investment and a 24 month equity facility of up to $7m from an entity managed by The Lind Partners, which will get an initial commitment fee of $75,000. Between $100,000 and $300,000 can be drawn down each month. The shares will be issued at prices that are linked to market prices at the time. Rare earths production at the Gakara project in Burundi is expected to build up over 2019 as two further areas are opened up. Production costs were higher than sales revenues in the three months to December 2018.
Sportech (SPO) has acquired digital gaming technology business LOT.TO Systems, which has developed the iLottery platform.
Path Investments (PATH) has sold its Turkish oil and gas interests for £400,000. The focus is the acquisition of ARC Marlborough. The plan is to acquire ARC, which has a nickel and cobalt project in Queensland, via a share issue.
Dukemount Capital (DKE) has agreed a forward funding and assignment of the contract of the Wavertree property in Liverpool. This is the second project that has reached this stage. Dukemount will continue to manage the redevelopment of the property and a development profit will be received on completion. Executive chairman Geoffrey Dart has been awarded a bonus of £80,000 for the completion of the first two transactions and it will be received in shares at 0.3p each.