News blog

Quoted Micro 4 September 2023

  • BY: Andrew Hore |
  • POSTED: 03/09/2023 |

AQUIS STOCK EXCHANGE

Valereum (VLRM) says the takeover of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange will go ahead in September. In the middle of September, a US fund is due to provide funding of £5m-£8m in two tranches. Trading in the shares has been suspended ahead of the publication of an admission document, which is likely to be in early October.

Fibre optic cables materials supplier Unigel Group (UNX) reported a dip in interim revenues from £18.8m to £18m, even so pre-tax profit jumped from £442,000 to £852,000 due to lower overheads. There was a £244,000 cash inflow from operating activities. The market declined by 3% during the period because of a slowdown in 5G investment.

Marula Mining (MARU) has acquired ore sorters to expand processing capacity at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine. Two ore sorters will cost £1.74m in total. The target production is up to 50 tonnes/day of lithium spodumene product from existing stockpiles. An agreement has been signed for an initial sale of 27.5 tonnes of high-grade material from Blesberg. The sale price is $3/000/tonne, based on a minimum grade of 6%. The company is negotiating to cancel a previous offtake agreement with Southern Jade Resources.

Cadence Minerals (KDNC) has warned that the Sonora lithium project licences, where it owns 30% of the entity that owns them, could be cancelled by the Mexican government because of minimum investment obligations between 2017 and 2021. Evidence of the spending may not have been submitted when required. This is subject to appeal. WH Ireland has already put a cautious value on the asset because of this uncertainty.

Psychedelic substances investment company Clarify Pharma (PSYC) had net assets of £1.1m at the end of May 2023. Cash had fallen to £183,000 at the end of August.

AQRU (AQRU) continues to reduce the number of employees and streamlined its investment pipeline. The main digital asset businesses have been injected into Langland Software Solutions in return for a 30% stake. Three directors are leaving the board, including Phil Blows who controls Langland. AQRU retains individual stakes, plus cash and crypto tokens.

KR1 (KR1) had net assets of 48.13p/share at the end of July 2023. There was income of £572,000 generated during the month.

Shareholders of Oscillate (MUSH) voted against voluntary liquidation. Net assets were £2.95m at the end of May 2023, including £1.17m in cash.

PanGenomic Health Inc (NARA) had net liabilities of $1.45m at the end of June 2023.

Clean Invest Africa (CIA) has received £200,000 from the convertible loan note issue. This will provide additional working capital. Pascal Portmann has become a non-exec director.

Black Sea Property (BSP) has raised €7.56m through a loan note issue.

Andrew Offit has taken a 4.8% stake in NFT Investments (NFT).

AIM

Pharma IT systems supplier Instem (INS) is recommending an 833p/share cash bid by Ichor Management, which is controlled by funds managed by Archimed SAS. The bid is still below the share price peak of 905p in September 2021. Instem is valued at £203m. The board believes that private ownership will provide greater access to capital to fund acquisitions and growth.

SailPoint Technologies UK is bidding 2.35p/share for Osirium Technologies (OSI), which may be nearly double the previous market price, which was an all-time low, but it is well below the share price peak of 201p during the 4 May 2016, less than one month after it joined AIM. The bid values the cyber security company at £3.11m. SailPoint Technologies believes that the business will fit well with the SailPoint Identity Security Platform. A unified platform will be developed for securing privileged and non-privileged identities for customers and there will be enhanced regional opportunities.

Frasers Group (FRAS) continues to build up its stake in online fashion retailer boohoo (BOO) from 9.1 to 10.4%. Frasers has also edged up its interest in ASOS (ASC) from 19.3% to 19.8%, although 9.2% is held through financial instruments.

Sustainable wood products supplier Accsys Technologies (AXS) made a strong start to the financial year, but it warns that demand from the construction market is declining. Sales volumes for the year to March 2024 will be worse than expected and profit will be much lower than anticipated. Operating costs are being reduced.

Revolution Beauty (REVB) has appointed Lauren Brinley as chief executive. The beauty and cosmetics products supplier also published its 2022-23 accounts. Lauren Brindley was until recently head of American retailer Walgreen’s beauty and personal care operations across its stores and online. Prior to that she worked at Boots and Tesco. Revolution Beauty has new distribution agreements with Walgreens and Boots. In the year to February 2023, revenues edged up 2% to £187.8m, while the loss reduced from £45.9m to £33.9m. That masks improved trading in the second half. First quarter sales were 60% higher, but there was destocking in the corresponding period last year. EBITDA was £3.5m in the period. Net debt increased to £21.5m.

Rosslyn Data Technologies (RDT) raised £2.7m from a placing and subscription at 0.5p/share and a retail offer to existing shareholders could raise up to £500,000 more. On top of the share issue, there is a proposed issue of 10% convertible loan notes to raise £600,000 from Hargrave Hale AIM VCT, Octopus AIM VCT and Octopus AIM VCT2. The conversion price is the lower of 0.5p or the issue price of another fundraise. There are also plans for a 50-for-one share consolidation. There will be a resolution at the general meeting on 18 September to gain shareholder approval.

Summary results for the phase II dose ranging study assessing Orenetide for hypoactive sexual desire disorder were disappointing and that has hit the Ovoca Bio (OVB) share price, which slumped 78.7% to an all-time low of 2.4p. The results of the study in Australia and New Zealand show that the treatment was not statistically significantly better than placebo. The company will have to decide how to move forward with the product and whether it should continue development. Ovoca Bio had €2.6m in the bank at the end of July.

Kinovo (KINO) says that it would not recommend a 56p/share bid from Rx3.

Linear Generator technology developer Libertine Holdings (LIB) says fees expected from Hyliion may not be recognised this year. This means that the loss would be higher than the £2.6m forecast. The first phase of development is complete and Hyliion has a six-month option period to negotiate IP rights. Work on the MAHLE powertrain was completed later than scheduled. There is £1.2m in the bank, which should last until May.

Application specific integrated circuits designer Sondrel Holdings (SND) has been hit by contract delays. Three major customers have delayed development for 6-12 months because of economic uncertainty and concerns about consumer confidence. Interim revenues will be 17% higher at £9.3m, but the full year forecast has been cut from £28.4m to £13m. Sondrel is likely to move into a net debt position by the end of 2023, but this should be temporary.

EnSilica (ENSI) has secured a $2.4m contract with an existing European customer for the development of an advanced networking ASIC. Most of this revenue will be recognised in the year to May 2024, which underpins forecasts. It has also won a €2.5m contract for its satellite broadband chip.

Pelatro (PTRO) will ask shareholders to vote to cancel the AIM quotation because of the cost and the inability to raise cash. The general meeting will be held on 21 September. Finance director Nic Hellyer is leaving the board. A matched bargain facility will be put in place.

Star Energy (STAR) is moving into geothermal project development in Croatia. This is part of the company’s move to refocus from gas to geothermal energy. A 51% interest in A14 Energy is being acquired for €1.3m in cash plus €300,000 back costs. A14 owns the Ernestinovo licence in the Pannonian Basin in Croatia. Bids have been placed for further licences. Up to €1.5m more is payable if the licences are granted.

MAIN MARKET

Networking and biomedical technology company BATM (BVC) grew interim revenues by 5% to $60.2m and gross margin improved. Pre-tax profit improved from $1m to $2.3m. Cash declined to $41.9m at the end of June 2023.

RegTech Open Project (RTOP) was the biggest riser in the Main Market last week. The share price rose 55.4% to 172.5p, having joined the market on 25 August at 100p. This values the business and operational resilience software company at £103.5m. The underlying business generated revenues of £1.1m in 2022, down from £1.31m in 2021, due to a fall in operational resilience fees. The operating loss increased from £930,000 to £2m. RegTech Italy, which is part of a group that owns 65% of RegTech Open Project, is providing a shareholder facility of up to £8m with an initial cash drawdown of £2m that will help to pay the expenses of the listing. The company estimates total directors’ remuneration of £505,000 over the next 12 months.

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