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NEX / ISDX
Clinical decision support systems supplier DXS International (DXSP) increased its interim revenues by 17% to £1.78m and it has moved into profit. DXS has moved from a loss of £39,000 to a pre-tax profit of £64,000. DXS has won the tender for London Partnership Procurement, which has 100 members and is expected to spend £1.5bn over the four year contract period, and a new version of its software has been launched. There was £361,000 in the bank at the end of October 2016.
Based on the latest fundraising price, the value of the Coinsilium Group Ltd (COIN) stake in nano payments company SatoshiPay Ltd has grown in value from €200,000, mostly invested one year ago, to €725,220. Fellow NEX-quoted company Kryptonite 1 (KR1) has invested just over €59,000 as part of the €1m fundraising giving it 1% of SatoshiPay. AIM-quoted Blue Star Capital (BLU) is investing a further €640,000 at €340 a share and it is raising £700,000 from a share placing at 0.15p a share in order to finance the investment. AIM-quoted FastForward Innovations Ltd (FFWD) is another investor in SatoshiPay and the value of its investment has, since the original investment in September 2015, increased by 212.5% to €500,140.
Early Equity (EEQP) has increased its NAV from £209,000 to £706,000 at the end of August 2016 mainly thanks to the £607,500 raised at 0.45p a share last year. The full year loss was slightly lower at £110,000. Early Equity invested £450,000 in a 32.1% stake in Yicom Global, a healthcare products supplier primarily focused on China. This business started trading in February 2015 and is already profitable with revenues building up each month. Early Equity has received a dividend of nearly £26,000.
Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas plans to raise up to £3m ahead of its admission to AIM. Eco is already quoted on TSX-Venture market but it believes that the London market will take more account of the prospects for its exploration interests. Eco has offshore exploration interests in Guyana and Namibia. The Orinduik block in Guyana, where Eco has a working interest of 37.1%, is near to the Liza discovery by ExxonMobil and Eco’s partner is Tullow Oil. Part of the cash raised will go towards funding seismic exploration of the block. This will help to identify where the exploration well should be drilled next year. There are applications for other blocks in Guyana. Eco has stakes in four blocks in Namibia but the initial focus is Cooper (32.5% working interest) where an economic impact assessment needs to be carried out before any drilling.
Strategic Minerals (SML) moved into profit in 2016 thanks to strong sales of magnetite from the Cobre mine in New Mexico and it has enough cash to push ahead with the development of its other interests. Strategic Minerals has the rights to sell the magnetite which is a by-product of the mining. The rights to sell the stockpile of magnetite are coming up for renewal. They could be renewed for a further 12 months or even possibly for a number of years, which would provide more certainty about future revenues. Last year, there was a 24% increase in sales, taking revenues to $1.55m. The company has also received a $400,000 compensation settlement from the rail provider to the mine. This cash will go towards exercising the option to take a 50% stake in the Redmoor tin/tungsten project in Cornwall. The cash will fund the 2017 drilling programme for the joint venture. Strategic Minerals is also interested in the CARE nickel project in Australia.
Vislink (VLK) is still selling its hardware division to xG Technology Inc (XGTI) but surprise, surprise Vislink is not getting the full disposal proceeds of $16m upfront. This means that Vislink shareholders have to shoulder the costs of another general meeting to agree to the revised disposal already having agreed to the original terms at a previous general meeting on 9 January. Vislink is still likely to receive $16m for the business but only $6.5m of this is payable initially. On completion, secured loan notes of $9.5m will be issued and should be redeemed within 45 days. Vislink also retains the right to cash received from an outstanding debt up to a maximum of $2m. It is not clear if there is any chance of the debt being paid. The xG share price has bounced back since Christmas and a ten-for-one consolidation means that the share price complies with regulatory requirements for the Nasdaq Capital Market. The loss-making company raised $10m gross at the end of 2016.
Global Energy Development Ltd (GED) proposes to acquire subsea surface vessel businesses and change its name to Nautilus Marine Services. The deal covers 11 offshore subsea service vessels and one barge vessel, which provide services in the Gulf of Mexico. A convertible loan note issue is planned to raise $10.5m – the coupon is 8% and the conversion price 50p a share. The current share price is 16.25p. The loan note cash, plus the issue of two other loan notes valued at $6.1m and $15m and convertible at 160p a share and 225p a share respectively, will finance one transaction and the other transaction will be financed by forgiving $8m out of $12m of existing loan notes. Issued by the seller
Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG) has bought lightning protection and earthing systems installer Nimbus for £1m. This business made a pre-tax profit of £300,000 in 2015. Premier says that last year’s trading was in line with expectations.
First Property Group (FPO) has won a new investment mandate from three colleges in Oxford and Cambridge totalling £14.5m. A new fund has been set up called Fprop UK Special Opportunities LP and First Property is investing £725,000. Including debt, the fund can invest £30m. Fees will be dependent on the value of the properties under management. At the end of 2016, First Property had invested 95% of the funds it manages for the Shipbuilding Industries Pension Scheme.
Gold miner Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) reported a first half profit of $3.7m and generated cash of $7m from operations. The commencement of underground production from San Gregorio west in November will boosted the second half. Cash operating costs were $914/ounce but this figure should fall below $900/ounce for the full year. There was $5.4m in the bank at the end of November despite the heavy capital expenditure in the period. There will be more drilling at the Anza gold project in Colombia in order to define the potential mineralisation and provide a maiden resource figure.
Independent Oil & Gas (IOG) plans to acquire a gas pipeline in the southern North Sea. This unused pipeline, which has a capacity of 300,000mmcfd, could be used to transport gas from the Blythe hub and Vulcan satellite fields. There will be a lot of technical work required to get the pipeline up and running. Drilling at the Skipper field indicates that the oil is heavy making it difficult to produce.
SQS Software Quality Systems (SQS) continues to increase its higher margin managed services business and 2016 profit was in line with expectations despite the negative effect of currency movements (SQS reports in €). Net debt was €12m at the end of 2016. Significant new business continues to be won.
Arria NLG (NLG) has left AIM although it has not finalised its admission to ASX and the New Zealand Stock Exchange. Arria hopes to complete a $25m fundraise in the first quarter of 2017.
Standard list cash shell Stranger Holdings (STHP) has raised a further £110,000 at 1p a share. Trading in the shares commenced on 13 January, following a £848,000 (£675,000 after costs) placing at 1p a share. The initial 50 million shares were issued at 0.1p each. The current share price is 1.25p (1p/1.5p). There is no guidance concerning a specific sector focus for any acquisition. The two directors are also directors of Plutus PowerGen and standard list shell Papillion Holdings. They were also directors of former AIM company BioProgress.
Hair and skin care products supplier InnovaDerma (IDP) says that its first half revenues are more than 80% ahead at £3m. The revenues have been boosted by UK sales of skin tan brand Skinny Tan, which tans and reduces the visibility of cellulite.
ISDX / NEX
Diversified Gas & Oil (DOIL) has offered to repurchase its bonds for 105p each or, if the bondholders are outside of the US, they can receive ordinary shares at a discount of 20% to the AIM placing price. The AIM flotation has been delayed until late January and Diversified Gas & Oil plans to raise $40m – it had previously been $40m. The closing date for the offers is 13 January. This means that bondholders will receive interest until the end of 2016. So far, holders of 74% of the bonds have opted for the cash alternative and 1% the share alternative.
Western Selection (WESP) has increased its stake in AIM-quoted Bilby, following a profit warning and accounting adjustment announcement by the gas and electrical installation services provider. Western Selection bought 62,192 shares at 51.18p each, taking the stake to 6.04%. There is still £451,000 in the bank
Netalogue Technologies (NTLP) slipped into loss in the six months to September 2016. Revenues slumped from £552,000 to £317,000 and the ecommerce technology developer swung from a profit of £38,000 to a loss of £232,000. There is still £451,000 in the bank despite a cash outflow. Andrew Robathan has been appointed as chief executive. Deal activity has picked up but markets’ are still uncertain and business may take longer to come through than in the past.
Chinese medicines supplier MiLOC Group Ltd (ML.P) has extended its agreement with its skincare products distributor in Taiwan. The agreement will continue until the end of March 2017. The launch of a range of hair care products. Has been delayed until April. MiLOC has paid the first instalment of £320,513 as part of the endorsement agreement with BrandKing, while the same amount is payable by April.
Forbes Ventures (FOR) has taken an option over a potential investment in Primus Care (www.primuscareplc.com), which manages residential care services for children and the elderly. Forbes has the right to acquire £500,000 of convertible loan notes with a conversion price of 0.3p a share, lasting 18 months. The option expires on 30 December 2016.
CyberOwl, a spin-off from Crossword Cybersecurity (CCS), has raised an additional £510,000. The cash will fund further development of an early warning system for network security for uses such as the internet of things.
The award for the latest pre-Christmas warning announcement goes to TLA Worldwide (TLA). The sports agent and marketing business sneakily put out its announcement at 6.26pm on 23 December, having sadly been denied the chance to put it out on Christmas Eve because that is a Saturday. Poor ticket sales for the Australian 2016 International Champions Cup football tournament in July means that the agreement to promote the tournament has been ended. There is talk of another football event to replace this. Second half trading in the US sports management business was not as good as expected. This means that EBITDA will be 15% below previous expectations. That appears to mean that it will be lower than last year. The fact that, in September, the bid from AAPC fell through because it found it difficult to raise money, is less surprising given the trading. That bid cost the company $1m.
Kuala Lumpur Kepong has allowed its bid for MP Evans (MPE) to lapse after it receives acceptances equivalent to 13.2% of the oil palm plantations operator.
Price volatility in the energy trading market has made the autumn a tough trading period for Good Energy (GOOD) and it means that 2016 figures will be at the bottom end of market expectations. Trading has been more favourable in the past couple of weeks. Good Energy is recycling the investment in its 5MW solar site in Dorset, which is being sold to Eneco UK for £5.78m, while retaining an option over the power generated. There will be a disposal gain of more than £340,000, which will be recognised in 2017. The cash will fund further solar sites prior to the end of March, after which the current renewable obligation certificate subsidy will no longer be available.
Facilities management and security services provider Mortice Ltd (MORT) is raising £2.3m at 75p a share to help it to reduce dependence on working capital facilities. Some of these facilities have an annual interest rate of more than 9%. Mortice intends to spend more on the marketing of its Soteria remote surveillance services. First half revenues of $80m have been generated, with more than doubled facilities management revenues thanks to the UK business.
Italy-based PR firm SEC Group (SECG) is acquiring 60% of Martis Consulting for around €1m. Poland-based Martis provides public and corporate affairs services and the latest annual revenues were €1.69m and a pre-tax profit of €286,000. SEC is only acquiring the relevant assets and management will own the other 40%, while having the option to exchange these shares for shares in SEC.
Biopharmaceutical products and services developer and provider Abzena (ABZA) has signed a licence agreement with start-up immunomodulatory oncolytic viruses treatments developer Trieza Therapeutics Inc. The exclusive worldwide licence is for an undisclosed antibody sequence that Trieza wants to use with its own viral vector technology to develop oncology treatments. If the development is successful then up to $35m of milestone payments could be generated on top of any royalties from commercial sales. Abzena made an interim loss of £4.27m. Net debt was £9.38m at the end of September 2016.
Share (SHRE) has sold a further 40,000 shares in the London Stock Exchange and raised £1.12m. This takes the money raised from disposals in recent weeks to £1.66m. Share retains 60,000 shares in London Stock Exchange. Share has taken on up to 8,700 customer with more than £200m under management from Invesco Perpetual – which had not previously been named when the deal was announced. These are mainly ISA accounts.
Simon Fry, Jean-Pascal Tranie and Felipe Simonsen have joined the board of investment company Mercom Capital (MCC) and John Zorbas, Patrick Cross and Kyle Appleby have sold their shares and stepped down from the board. The exiting directors sold their shares at 20p each and returned 2p a share to the company. There are plans for Mercom to raise £3m at 30p a share and issue a warrant with each share that is exercisable at 80p a share for 180 days after issue. Existing shareholders will be issued one warrant, on the same terms, for every four shares they own. The placing price is much higher than that suggested in the initial proposals. This depends on resolutions being passed at the AGM in early January. The new investing strategy is to invest in established technology and media businesses. The name will be changed to Monchhichi.
Learning management systems provider NetDimensions (Holdings) Ltd (NETD) says that 2016 revenues will be at least $26m, up from $25.4m, and EBITDA will be $2m, compared with a loss of $500,000 in 2015. Bid discussions are continuing.
Redcentric (RCN) has reported interim figures which should show a real picture of the company‘s position. Internal systems are being improved and this will continue well into 2017. In the six months to September 2016, revenues edged up 2% to £53m, while there was a turnaround from a loss of £2.5m to a profit of £300,000. There was £7.29m generated from operations during the period and £5m came from the disposal of network assets. Net debt was £34.4m at the end of September 2016. Richard Griffiths and Kestrel have been picking up shares in the market.
NWF (NWF) has warned that a weak first quarter means that the interim figures will be lower than the same time last year but the full year outcome is still expected to be in line with expectations. Demand for feed has weakened at a time when ingredient costs have increased, while the fuel division has been hit by warm weather. The food distribution activities The interim figures will be published on 31 January.
Vislink (VLK) will seek shareholder approval for the disposal of its hardware division on 9 January. The acquirer xG Technology Inc will then seek to finalise the funding of the $16m (£13m) acquisition. If the disposal is completed early in 2017, then the forecast earnings per share will reduce from 1.3p a share to 1.2p a share. Trading in the fourth quarter of 2016 has benefited from the normal seasonal uplift but a £1.2m full year underlying loss is still expected. An additional £5.3m write-down will be required to bring down the book valuation of the hardware division. This appears to indicate a group NAV of around £16m., while net debt will be more than £10m
Diversis has posted the offer document for ServicePower Technologies (SVR). Diversis is offering 6p a share, which values ServicePower at £13.7m.
Collagen Solutions (COS) grew its interim revenues by 30% to £1.89m, but the loss quintupled to £418,000. Additional staff have been taken on and more spent on marketing and R&D. There was still £1.66m in the bank at the end of September 2016. House broker Cenkos expects net cash of £230,000 at the end of March 2017, while net debt is forecast at £3m one year later.
Standard list shell Papillon Holdings (PPHP) has come to an agreement with main shareholders and directors to acquire Myclubbetting.com Ltd, where golfer Lee Westwood is a shareholder and ex-England manager Sam Allardyce was a shareholder – he said in August that he was giving up his shares (https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/1611113/sam-allardyce-drops-footie-betting-job-and-ditches-shares-after-sun-probe-finds-boss-lost-investors-4m/). The target is run by Neil Riches who used to run Worldlink, which was introduced to the standard list on 24 November 2011 at a notional valuation of £55m (at 250p a share), although it never got near that valuation when trading commenced. Worldlink was a mobile applications developer that had a similar business to Myclubbetting.com but fewer than two years later it was in liquidation. In August, The Sun said that Neil Riches claimed Myclubbetting.com would float on the Scandinavian First North market at a valuation of £75m. There is still due diligence and other matters to complete before the deal goes ahead. Papillon floated on 24 June and raised £824,000 at 1p a share.
World Trade Systems (WTS) is aiming to relist on the standard list in the first quarter of 2017 and additional funds will be raised at that time. This follows the establishment of Shimao (Suzhou) Biotechnology, which plans to sell healthcare products to consumers. Net liabilities were £1.12m at the end of June 2016. The loans from Kudrow totalling £800,000 are repayable by the end of July 2017 or when trading in the shares recommences and have a 5% interest charge. Trading in the shares has been suspended for more than eight years.
Aircraft leasing company Avation (AVAP) has acquired and delivered a new Airbus A321-200 to Vietjet, taking the number delivered to six. Avation has also sold its remaining five Fokker aircraft. WH Ireland forecasts a full year profit of $21.5m.
House broker Daniel Stewart expects energy efficiency and home automation products supplier Sandal (SAND) to move into profit this year. In the year to May 2016, Sandal made a loss of £268,000 on revenues of £3.3m and this year the profit is forecast to be £105,000. The Energenie energy efficiency and home control products are expected to nearly double their sales to £1.4m this year and then double them again next year. The revenues of connectors business PowerConnections are expected to be flat.
Rail safety products developer Wheelsure Holdings (WHLP) plans to raise £106,000 at 1p a share and chief executive Gerhard Dodl says he will acquire some of the shares. The cash will be used for working capital.
Mechan Controls (MECP) says that it is still investigating the possible disposal of some of its business and it has received further approaches from potential buyers, including approaches from management teams of some of the subsidiaries. The offers do not appear to be high enough to provide the exit price wanted by the Mechan board. Mechan has gained shareholder approval to buy back up to 10% of its share capital.
Wealth management adviser Asia Wealth Group Holdings (AWLP) is talking to a number of potential acquisitions. In the six months to August 2016, revenues improved from $578,000 to $601,000 and the loss was halved to $11,000, helped by lower expenses. There was a $91,000 cash inflow in the six month period. There is nearly $1.4m in the bank.
EPE Special Opportunities (ESO/EO.P) will be left with a 24.3% stake in LED lighting products and wiring accessories supplier Luceco following its flotation on the Main Market. EPE sold shares worth £38m and had £10m of loans repaid. The cash will be The share price has risen from 130p to 148p. The stake is valued at £57.8m and this is still more than two-fifths of EPE‘s gross asset value.
Vislink (VLK) is selling its original core business to a former AIM-quoted company with an even worse track record. Vislink hopes to complete the $16m sale of the loss-making broadcast and surveillance hardware business to xG Technology Inc by the end of the year. It appears that xG Technology will have to raise cash in order to fund the acquisition. xG Technology left AIM at the end of 2013 after seven years on the junior market when it failed to build up significant revenues from the technology it had developed. The buyer has recently bought another business, which is much smaller than the Vislink business but the acquisition will undoubtedly form the core of the enlarged business. The Vislink hardware business was in the books at £22.7m, before central net liabilities, at the end of June 2016 – nearly £30m lower than six months before thanks to losses and write-downs. That is still well below the stated disposal price. Vislink had net assets of £22.9m at the end of June 2016. Executive chairman John Hawkins was appointed to the board on 1 April 2011 and net assets were £47m at the end of June 2011. There have been further share issues since then. If the disposal does go ahead then Vislink will be left with its profitable broadcast software business and have minimal debt.
Lok’nStore (LOK) has grown its underlying NAV by 28% to 386p a share thanks to the continued investment in the portfolio of self storage sites and strong trading. This year the valuer was changed to Jones Lang LaSalle. Supply is limited compared with the demand for self storage. Occupancy rates increased by 2% last year and prices also increased. There are plans for a further four sites – two managed stores and two owned in Gillingham and Wellingborough – over the next year or so, at a cost of £10m, while the recently opened Chichester, Bristol and Southampton sites are still building up their occupancy. There was also a much better contribution from document storage after a few years of flat performances.
Trading continues to improve at security and facilities management services provider Mortice (MORT). Interim revenues are expected to be 57% ahead at around $80m through a combination of acquisitive and organic growth. The fastest growth has been in facilities management where revenues have more than doubled thanks to the UK business with more to come due to recent contract wins. The Indian operations also continue to grow. This means that Mortice is on course to grow full year revenues from $133.5m to $170m, which should enable pre-tax profit to rise from $2.4m to $4.2m.
Core infection control products have grown fast enough to more than offset a continued decline in older product sales by Tristel (TSTL). In the year to June 2016, revenues grew 12% to £17.1m. Overseas revenues grew by more than one-fifth and they account for nearly two-fifths of group revenues. North America remains a major potential market and the first FDA approvals for products should be next year. There will be additional regulatory costs this year. House broker finnCap forecasts a rise in pre-tax profit from £3.3m to £3.6m.
BP Marsh & Partners (BPM) increased its NAV from 243p a share to 253p a share in the six months to July 2016. There is £7.9m of cash available for new investments after taking account of commitments to existing investee companies. The investment company has plenty of opportunities in the insurance broking and related markets but it is very careful when making a new investment.
Gold producer Orosur Mining Inc (OMI) has reduced its cash operating costs to $693/ounce in the three months to August 2016, which is well below expectations and the figure of $954/ounce in the corresponding period in the previous financial year. This cost reduction was helped by the mining of higher grades and costs will rise in the second quarter. The price received for gold sold was also higher but year-on-year production fell from 12,471 ounces to 9,950 ounces so revenues fell from $14.5m to $12.7m. Even so, Orosur moved from a loss to a profit of $2.76m and there was a $4.8m cash inflow from operations. Net cash was $4.7m at the end of August 2016. Orosur expects to produce between 35,000 and 40,000 ounces of gold and cash operating costs are expected to be between $800/ounce and $900/ounce. Orosur is capitalised at less than £19m.
Kyrgyz Republic-focused Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (CGH) has rejected a bid approach, which was at a 30% premium to the then market price. That suggests a bid of 11p a share or more. The bankable feasibility study for the Tulkubash heap leach project.
Prospex Oil and Gas (PXOG) has received government approval to drill the Boleslaw-1 well in the Kolo licence area in Poland and this should happen before the end of the year. The final application for the drilling permit has to be submitted. Well pad construction should begin early in November. The intial target has been identified as having potential for near-term production. Prospex owns 49% of the company that owns the Kolo licence.
Premier African Minerals (PREM) has bought a 4.5% stake in Casa Mining, which in turn owns 71.25% of the Misisi gold project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. For $250,000. This was funded by a £300,000 placing at 0.32p a share. Premier could add a further 30% stake. Premier also owns 2% of Circum Minerals, which expects to be awarded a mining licence for its Danakil potash project in Ethiopia by the end of this year. Morgan Stanley is assessing ways of moving the project forward, including a strategic partner or flotation.
More good news for Thor Mining (THOR) about the Molyhil project. The assay results have confirmed elevated levels of tungsten. More drilling is planned on the three targets that have been identified.
Starcom (STAR) has raised £300,000 for working capital after a $100,000 loan facility failed to be secured. The share placing was at 2.5p a share. The previous placing in March raised £450,000 at 1.5p a share. The cash is needed because some payments will not be received until early next year. There was recently a judgement against a subsidiary and two of the Starcom directors in the ongoing litigation brought by Top-Alpha Capital, although Starcom believes this could be overturned by a higher court. Starcom should at least meet the expectation of improved revenues in 2016.
Investment company Mercom Capital (MCC) is pending £600,000 on a 16% stake in Mexican fintech company Mobile Wireless and Satellite SAPI (MOWISAT). The strategy is to offer lending, payments and e-commerce services to unbanked people as a mobile virtual network operator. There are 109 million mobile users in Mexico and the vast majority are on prepay packages. Meanwhile, Mercom’s 10.2% shareholder Calvet International plans to requisition a general meeting at Mercom to propose board changes and a change in strategy.
Standard list shell Mila Resources (MILA) is seeking to acquire an interest in a resources project, most likely in emerging markets. The ideal target would involve a project that is already well down the line and would benefit from a cash injection to move it towards production. Mila has around £1m in the bank after the costs of the flotation. The share price has risen from 5p to 8.25p in the fortnight since it floated.
Netalogue Technologies (NTLP), which is an ecommerce platform developer, has announced its first dividend since 2012 when it paid 0.123p a share. The latest dividend of 0.246p a share and the shares go ex-dividend on 17 December. Netalogue had cash of £807,000 at the end of September 2015 and the dividend will cost around £120,000. Interim revenues fell from £689,000 to £552,000 and profit dipped from £165,000 to £38,000. Netalogue has withdrawn from the hosting business. At 3.95p (3.7p/4.2p) a share, Netalogue is valued at £1.9m.
Hydro Hotel Eastbourne (HYDP) is maintaining its annual dividend at 18p a share. A dividend of 6p a share will be paid on 14 January (ex-dividend 17 December) and the 12p dividend on 5 May (ex-dividend 21 April). A slight increase in profit is expected this year. At 750p (725p/775p) a share, the yield is 2.4%.
Titania Internet Ventures (TITP) is considering changing its investment strategy so that it can become involved in the renewable energy sector. The proposal involves entering into a relationship with a British wind turbine manufacturer. Titania had been involved in online penny auctions, but this business ceased more than two years ago, and before that it investigated a nursing home acquisition in Finland. The company was originally called Uranium Prospects. At 2.5p (2p/3p) a share, Titania is valued at £44,000.
Leni Gas Cuba (CUBA) had net assets of £4.1m at the end of September 2015. Since then, £200,000 was raised at 5p a share but that went towards paying the £326,000 cost of joining ISDX. The pro forma NAV is around 0.8p a share. David Lenigas has bought one million shares at 1.437p a share, taking his stake to 142 million shares (28.7%).
Lombard Capital (LCAP) has raised a further £122,500 at 3.5p a share via a share issue to one of its directors, Mark Jackson. His stake is 28.2%. At 4.5p (4p/5p) a share, Lombard is valued at £102,000.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) services provider Strat Aero (AERO) is acquiring communications, flight control and hardware technology developer Aero Kinetics for $1.2m plus the taking on of working capital commitments. This will be financed by the issue of a $775,000 convertible promissory note with a 7.5% interest rate and a 6p a share conversion price, with the rest in cash. There will also be $80,000 0f legal fees and $150,000 will be required to finance an application for FAA Certification, which could be achieved in the middle of next year. There is potential contingent consideration, including warrants depending on certification and achievement of sales targets. This deal is part of the strategy to develop a vertically integrated business, which can offer a full solution to global clients. It also brings Aero Kinetics founder W Hulsey Smith to the group and he will take charge of the group’s technology operations. The acquired operations made a loss of $269,000 on revenues of $246,000 but this is under US accounting rules and all R&D is written off – more than $5m has been invested so far. Strat Aero is also raising £1.6m at 6.25p a share.
Moving into software has helped to offset the volatility of the hardware division but it will not prevent Vislink (VLK) reporting disappointing 2015 figures. The broadcast and surveillance technology supplier has found market conditions for the hardware business tough and new product launches have yet to generate the hoped-for sales. Expected full year revenues will be in the range of £54m-£58m. The company’s debt facility has been increased from £10m to £15m because late hardware sales will increase debtors. Net debt is expected to be £5.8m at the end of 2015. The 2015 profit could be as low as £4.2m, down from £7.1m. There could be a partial profit recovery to £6.3m in 2016 – helped by cost savings. Standard Life trimmed its stake to 4.6%.
Begbies Traynor (BEG) is expanding its property services business in order to offset the weakness of its core corporate insolvency business. In the six months to October 2015, revenues improved from £20.8m to £25.5m, while pre-tax profit rose from £2m to £2.5m. That is after a contribution from property of £6.11m in revenues and £1.16m in EBITDA, compared with nothing in the corresponding period. Corporate insolvency revenues and profit were lower. The interim dividend was unchanged at 0.6p a share. Net debt was £11.9m at the end of October 2015. A full year profit of £4.6m is forecast.
Surface coatings developer Hardide (HDD) had a tougher second half as oil and gas demand declined. In the year to September 2015, revenues were flat at £3m and Hardide fell from profit to loss. The majority of revenues were in the first half. This year it is likely to be the other way round. The new facility in Virginia should be open soon. An £800,000 loss is forecast for this year and a much smaller loss expected next year. There was £2.33m in the bank at the end of September 2015, which provides enough headroom on current expectations.
Snoozebox (ZZZ) is raising £5m at a hefty discount to the market price. The placing price is 6p – a 28.2% discount. The cash is required for the 2016 events season plus the evaluation of other opportunities. Snoozebox has already said that it has established a partnership with Dutco in the Gulf region. An EBITDA loss of £5m is forecast for 2015. Further cash will be required to take advantage of growth opportunities.
Investment group Cathexis has taken advantage of the recent weak trading statement by construction and fit-out company ISG (ISG) and bid 143p a share. ISG believes that this unsolicited offer is too low. The bid values ISG at £70.8m. US=owned Cathexis has been an investor since 2012, when the share price was below the bid level, and it made a bid approach in June. It currently owns 29.6%. The current year profit forecast for ISG had been slashed from £17m to £11m. The bid is at two-fifths of the share price 12 months ago.
Educational services provider Wey Education (WEY) made its move from ISDX to AIM on Friday and it raised £1.75m at 3.5p a share. Wey is capitalised at £3.29m.
Retail stockbroker Share (SHRE) is taking on up to 3,000 nominee share dealing accounts from Barclays, which is exiting the services. The accounts will be transferred by the end of February 2016. Share previously took on nearly 8,000 certificated dealing customers from Barclays.
Property services provider Waterman (WTM) has set a 6% target for its operating margin by 2019. Waterman’s business is predominantly in the UK and both the property and infrastructure sectors are strong. Sanlam forecasts a rise in profit from £2.7m to £3.7m in 2015-16. If Waterman can achieve its margin target then pre-tax profit could be around £6m in 2018-19. A dividend of 2.8p a share is forecast for this year.
Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd, which plans to join the standard list,has a copper concentrate trading business combined with a stake in a potential gold mining project. The former can generate cash for investment in the mining project and other projects in the Philippines. Bluebird’s management lives in the Philippines so it has local knowledge. Bluebird’s trading operation is taking advantage of the difference between the price of copper concentrate in the Philippines and the international price. So far, 18MT has been shipped and once Bluebird is shipping 100MT /month then it should be generating enough cash to cover its corporate overheads. The plan is to increase monthly shipments to 500MT/month, which would provide a sizeable surplus of cash to invest in other ventures. This includes other commodity trading opportunities as well as mining projects that are near to production or have been in production in the past and can be reopened. The potential gold mine will cost $15m to bring into production. It will take around 18 months to construct the mine once the necessary permissions are obtained from the authorities. At a gold price of $1,160/ounce, the NPV of the project would be around $13m. That is based on production of 100,000 ounces over five years.
Challenger Acquisitions (CHAL) has finally completed its deal to acquire the businesses of Starneth, which develops observation wheels, and been readmitted to the standard list. AIM-quoted Teathers has sold its stake for an average price of 50.3p a share, raising nearly £72,000 – a gain of £21,000. The Challenger share price ended the week at 41p.
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