News blog

Quoted Micro 21 March 2022

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 20/03/2022 |

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AIM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MAIN MARKET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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