A round up of the day’s news brought to you by the team at small-cap broker and advisor Hybridan.
Dish of the day
Semper Fortis eSports * (SEMP 1.7p / £6.9m as at midday 26-04) announced their first day of dealings onto the Access Segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market. Semper is a multi-operational Esports organisation focusing on gaming technology solutions, brand enhancement and high growth team infrastructures. The company successfully raised £2.5m @ 1p in an oversubscribed fundraise to develop their three core areas of establishing an esports team, forming partnerships with brands for sponsorship and B2B consultancy services. The Board are highly experienced in sports and corporate deal making (Keith Harris, former Chairman of The Football League), technology and electronic gaming (Nolan Bushnell, founder of the pioneering company, Atari), esports and game tech (Kevin Soltani and Jassem Osseiran) and as FD Max Deeley.
Off the menu
No leavers today.
Arena Events 15.25p £49.76m (ARE.L)
Further to the announcements of 7 April and 16 April 2021, Arena and the Co-Bidders have completed the acquisition of Aztec Shaffer. Arena now holds a 50% equity stake in Aztec Shaffer and now has management control of the business. Aztec Shaffer comprises two businesses, Aztec Events & Tents and Shaffer Sports & Events. Aztec is a very similar business to Arena Stuart, the US operations of Arena Events Group, based in California. It has a diversified customer and event base with its products including party/wedding tents as well as tables, chairs, linens, table top items, dance floors and decorative items. The significant majority of Shaffer’s historical revenues has come from golf, supporting in excess of 15 tournaments a year including the Players Championship and the Presidents Cup. Other sports served by Shaffer include motorsports and horse racing. Shaffer’s focus on sports is well aligned with Arena Events Services who have a broader customer mix and also serves many events outside of the sporting world. Aztec Shaffer has suffered a significant reduction in revenues over the last 15 months, compounded further by the 363 bankruptcy of the business. As a result of the bankruptcy, the multi-year long term contract with the US Tour has been replaced by a short term amended contract up to the end of December 2021. All the other significant contracts have been retained and the company will commence discussions with the US Tour with a view to securing a new multi-year contract over the coming months.
Ergomed 1140p £555.8m (ERGO.L)
The company focused on providing specialised services to the pharmaceutical industry, announces that its PrimeVigilance business, a global leader in the provision of pharmacovigilance and medical information services, has established its new legal entity and regional office in Japan and is fully operational from 26 April 2021. The new subsidiary company, trading as PrimeVigilance Japan KK, is based in Tokyo and offers a comprehensive range of pharmacovigilance services, including a dedicated Japanese safety database. Full Japanese language Medical Information services are also provided. This expansion provides existing and prospective international PrimeVigilance clients the opportunity to extend their product coverage into the strategically important Japanese pharmaceutical market, the fourth largest globally after the US, the EU and China. It also provides PrimeVigilance and Ergomed the opportunity to provide high quality specialist services to domestic Japanese companies, opening up a new market.
Goldplat 7.7p £13.1m (GDP.L)
The gold producer, with international gold recovery operations located in South Africa and Ghana, announced that all conditions precedent in respect of the sale of Kilimapesa, which owns the Kilimapesa Gold Mine in Kenya, to Mayflower Gold Investments Limited have been either met or waived and that the sale of Kilimapesa is now complete. The completion of the Transaction will enable Goldplat to focus on its recovery operations and Mayflower Gold’s parent company Mayflower Capital Investments Pty Limited to accelerate its investment into Kilimapesa. The initial consideration receivable by Gold Mineral Resources Ltd (“GMR”), Goldplat’s subsidiary, is in the form of a secured debenture of USD 1.5m, to be satisfied by cash and/or the issue of shares to that value in Papillon payable on Papillon’s re-admission to trading on the LSE following completion of the RTO, with 30% (USD450,000) of the initial consideration payable in cash. In the event that Papillon is not re-admitted to trading on the LSE by 16 July 2021, the full initial consideration of USD 1.5m will become payable in cash and will attract interest of 4% with effect from 1 January 2021.
Evgen Pharma 8.25p £22.7m (EVG.L)
The clinical stage drug development company focused on the treatment of cancer, inflammation and acute respiratory distress syndrome, announces that Glen Clack, MD, FFPM will be joining the Company as Chief Medical Officer effective from 1 May 2021. Dr Clack has over 30 years’ experience in oncology and translational medicine, and held various roles within AstraZeneca for almost 20 years. Dr Clack has specialised in early phase oncology clinical development with an emphasis on a number of important cancers and has a wealth of experience in conducting and managing clinical trials. He has successfully provided strategic and operational leadership from Phase I through to regulatory submissions and commercialisation. He has been a lead member of study, clinical development and project teams on multiple trials.
Mind Gym 130p £129.73m (MIND.L)
The global provider for talent performance improvement, is pleased to provide a trading update ahead of reporting its full year results for the financial year ended 31 March 2021. Revenue expected to be £39.4m, down 18% versus the comparative period last year (down 16% in constant currency), ahead of our previous expectation range of down 30% to 20%. Stronger than expected H2 revenues, up 3% versus the comparative period last year (up 6% in constant currency), compared to H1 decrease of 39%. Digitally-enabled revenues increased by 102% to £30.5m for the full year, representing 77% of total revenue compared to 32% last year. Adjusted PBT is expected to be within the range of breakeven and £0.5m. Cash at bank of £16.8m, ahead of our expectations (for £9m – £11m), in part due to increased pre-payments by clients and a continued improvement in working capital management.
Seeing Machine 10.85p £413m (SEE.L)
The advanced computer vision technology company that designs AI-powered operator monitoring systems to improve transport safety, has been appointed by an additional global Automotive Tier 1 supplier to deliver its FOVIO Driver and Occupant Monitoring System (OMS) technology to an additional North America-based OEM. Delivered via the Company’s embedded Driver Monitoring Engine (FOVIO e-DME software library), this also signals Seeing Machines’ first design award for its recently launched Occupant Monitoring System technology, which extends its highly effective attention, distraction, impairment, identification, and other human state measures, from the vehicle driver to vehicle passenger(s) concurrently and also supports a range of interior monitoring features. Mass production is scheduled from late 2022 with an initial lifetime award value of A$7m.
Staffline 10.8p £411m (STAF.L)
Staffline, the recruitment and training group, provided a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2020 and the three months ended 31 March 2021. Q1 2021 trading ahead of management expectations provides increased confidence in the full year. Underlying operating profit increased 133% in Q1 2021 year-on-year. Significant restructuring of the Group undertaken in 2020, generating c.£15m in overhead cost savings. Strong demand in the food distribution, e-commerce and logistics markets in H2 2020 drove robust performance, in spite of Covid-19. The Board remains confident in the outlook for the Group and anticipates that trading for the current financial year is likely to be ahead of expectations.
Orchard Funding Group 48.5p £10.36m (ORCH.L)
The finance group which specialises in insurance premium finance and the professions funding market, announces that its subsidiary Orchard Funding Limited has completed a new banking facility with National Westminster Bank plc. The facility will provide finance to the group for all its core historic lending and its lending in new markets such as static caravans. The total amount of available banking facilities to the Company is now £22m.
IXICO 88.5p £42.45m (IXI.L)
The data analytics company delivering insights in neuroscience, today provides a trading update ahead of results for the six months ended 31 March 2021. Revenues expected to be £4.9m for six months to 31 March 2021 (2020: £4.6m), representing 8% growth; £9.4m (2020: £4.0m) of contracts signed across several clients and neurological disease indications over the period; Adjusted Order book of £19.0m at 31 March 2021 (2020: £15.3m); and strong cash balance of £7.0m (2020: £6.7m).
Induction Healthcare Group 102.5p £43.1m (INHC.L)
The virtual care platform driving digital transformation of healthcare systems worldwide, announces that it has signed contracts with three prominent hospitals across South East England to deploy Induction Zesty to deliver their digital patient portals. The contracts are worth a total of £440,000 covering time periods that range between 12 to 20 months.
What’s cooking in the IPO kitchen?
Alphawave IP Group is considering an IPO on the standard listing segment of the London Stock Exchange. Alphawave IP is a leading semiconductor IP company focusing on the hardest-to-solve connectivity challenges created by the exponential growth of data. Funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, and Janus Henderson, have each entered into cornerstone agreements with the Company to subscribe for, subject to certain conditions, in aggregate, c. USD 510m of Offer Shares at an offer price representing an equity value of up to USD 4.5b for the Group at Admission. During the year ended 31 December 2020, the Group generated revenue of USD 32.8m, exhibiting robust growth and delivering a CAGR of 161 per cent. since the year ended 31 May 2018.
Watchstone Group plc (LON:WTG) intends to apply for admission of its Ordinary Shares to trading on the Access segment of the AQSE Growth Market operated by the Aquis Stock Exchange (AQSE). It is expected trading will commence on 30 April 2021.
Catena Group (CTNA.L) to complete reverse takeover and be renamed Insig AI and is acquiring the remaining shares of Insight Capital Partners. Insight, which is based in the UK, is a data science and machine learning solutions company that provides bespoke web-based applications, advanced analytical tools and modern technology infrastructure to make machine learning accessible to investment professionals. Insight has developed five products specifically aimed at accelerating an asset manager’s data science and machine learning strategy. Capital to be raised on Admission approximately £6.1m. Mkt cap c. £66.4m. Due 10 May.
Emmerson EML.L moving from the Standard List to AIM. The Company’s current market capitalisation is approximately £46m, based upon its share price at close of business on 24 March 2021 of 6 pence per Ordinary Share. Raising £5.5m on admission. Emmerson is a potash development company focused on the development of the Khemisset Potash Project located in Northern Morocco, approximately 90km from the capital city, Rabat, and the planned bulk port of Kenitra Atlantique and 175km from the port of Mohammedia. The Project has a JORC Resource Estimate (2019) of 537Mt @ 9.24% K2O and exploration potential with a development pathway targeting a low capital expenditure and high margin potash mine. Due 27 April.
Dispersion Holdings PLC, an investor in the high growth FinTech sector within the UK, the USA and Canada, has announced its intention to IPO on the Access Segment of the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market. The Board intends to deploy the majority of the Company’s cash resources in the acquisition of minority interests in a number of different, yet to be identified, companies in the broad FinTech sector, and to apply expertise to the business operations and strategic plans of these companies. Target Admission Date of 30 April.
Darktrace plc. Intends to float on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (premium). Darktrace was founded in 2013 with a mission to fundamentally transform the ability of organisations to defend their most critical assets in the face of rising cyber threats. Darktrace is a world-leading provider of AI for the enterprise, with the first at-scale in-the-enterprise deployment of AI in cyber security. Due early May.
Wickes to demerge from Travis Perkins and list on the Main Market. Expected 28 April.
Thor Explorations (TSXV:THX) seeking a secondary listing on AIM. The Company is targeting Admission during Q2 21. Segun Lawson, President & CEO, stated: “Thor Explorations has advanced significantly, in both project development and capitalisation since the acquisition of Segilola in 2016. This year, the Company is well positioned to achieve two major milestones with the commencement of gold production at Segilola in Nigeria and a maiden resource at Douta in Senegal, as well as continuing to progress our highly prospective Nigerian exploration portfolio on the Ilesha Schist belt.”
Imperial X (AQSE:IMPP) to join the Main Market (standard). It is also proposed that on Admission to the Official List, the Company will change its name to Cloudbreak Discovery Plc. With effect from Admission, Imperial X will hold equity positions and royalties in a variety of projects in the natural resources sector across multiple jurisdictions, primarily in the Americas and Africa. The Company is proposing to raise up to £1.5m by way of placing of new Ordinary Shares to support further prospect acquisitions. Current Mkt cap £4.7m. Expected April.
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP
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