Hybridan Small Cap Feast

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Hybridan Small Cap Feast

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Agronomics  17.3p  £168.7m (ANIC.L)

The listed company focused on the field of cellular agriculture, has led the founder’s round of Liberation Labs Holdings Inc through an initial investment of US$ 627k for a 47% equity stake. Liberation Labs aims to become the global leader of precision fermentation with purpose-built production facilities for industrial biotechnology. The investment will be made using funds from the company’s own resources. Agronomics and CPT Capital LLP, two of the most prominent and active investors in the field of cellular agriculture have come together with Liberation Labs’ co-founders Mark Warner, CEO, and Etan Bendheim, CBO, to address the pressing need for modern full-scale precision fermentation facilities. Investment in precision fermentation companies within the cellular agriculture sector has been increasing, with US$1.7bn raised in 2021 alone. In the US, Agronomics’ and CPT Capital’s portfolio companies, including Perfect Day, The EVERY Company, Motif FoodWorks and Geltor are already generating revenues from their precision fermentation produced proteins, which are on the market in the form of dairy, egg and other proteins such as collagens. As more companies look to commercialise and scale-up, there is a need for large-scale, cost competitive manufacturing capacity.

Alien Metals 0.7p  £33.3m (UFO.L)

The global minerals exploration and development company, has completed the acquisition of 100% of the Vivash Gorge Iron Ore Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia from ASX-listed Zenith Minerals Ltd (ASX:ZNC) (Zenith), having satisfied all conditions in the Binding Heads of Agreement (See announcement of 30th May 2022). Bill Brodie Good, CEO & Technical Director of Alien Metals, commented: “We are pleased to have completed the acquisition of the Vivash Gorge Iron Ore Project from Zenith Minerals. We thank the team at Zenith for their support in this process and look forward to getting on the ground in the coming quarter. We feel it’s a great fit to our iron ore portfolio which adds further potential to the Company’s growth in the high grade iron ore sector.”

Forward Partners 50p  £67.3m (FWD.L)

The London-based investment firm updated on its full-year expectations for the valuation of its Ventures portfolio. Since its February Update, the Company has experienced downward pressure on the valuations at which it holds its investments and expects valuations to remain under pressure during the course of FY22, driven primarily by changes in the valuation basis where funding rounds have been delayed and by declining share prices of the broader listed peer groups. Whilst acknowledging there is still significant uncertainty the Board now expects to report a mid-to-high twenties percentage point decline in its Ventures portfolio valuation at the half-year, down on the previous market guidance of circa £117m for 31st December 2021. The Company has significant cash reserves (£31m at the FY21 year-end), which together with the Group’s existing cost base, are being conservatively managed. Many companies within the portfolio hold strong balance sheets and the Group will continue to carefully deploy existing resources to support growth at its investments. The Group expects to continue to find attractive new investment opportunities in what is becoming a more favourable climate for in-price valuations. Forward’s portfolio demonstrated strong performance through 2021, and good momentum in the first half of 2022. The Company reiterates that it remains confident in the longer-term growth prospects of its portfolio, and notes that Venture is an inherently disruptive alternative asset class where performance is weakly correlated with share prices of publicly traded technology companies.

Gemfields 17.8p  £206.0m (GEM.L)

Gemfields announced the results of a ruby auction comprised of seven sequential mini-auctions held in Bangkok during the period 30 May – 17 June 2022. The auction delivered all-time high auction revenues for any Gemfields auction and contained a selection of grades that are typically offered at Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada’s auctions of mixed quality rubies. Following the viewings, the auctions took place via an online auction platform specifically adapted for Gemfields and which permitted customers from multiple jurisdictions to participate in a sealed-bid process. The rough rubies were all extracted from the mining licence held and operated by MRM (which is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% by Mozambican partner Mwiriti Limitada). The proceeds of this auction will be fully repatriated to MRM in Mozambique, with all royalties due to the Government of the Republic of Mozambique being paid on the full sales prices achieved at the auction. Total auction revenues of USD 95.6m, an all-time high for any Gemfields auction. Average price of USD 246.69 per carat, a new record for any mixed quality ruby auction. Of the 119 lots offered, 112 were sold (94.1%). 63.5% of the carats offered at the auction were sold. The 16 auctions of MRM rubies held since June 2014 have generated USD 827.1m in total revenues.

IOG 24.3p  £127.1m (IOG.L)

The Net Zero UK gas and infrastructure operator focused on high return projects, provides an update on current activities and operational guidance for the remainder of 2022. Andrew Hockey, CEO of IOG, commented: “I am pleased to say that Saturn Banks production continues to be restored as planned, up to 54 mmscf/d gross currently from 30 mmscf/d at the start of June. We are taking the necessary actions both to improve facilities uptime and minimise restart times after any outages. Allowing for planned and unplanned downtime, we expect to produce 45-60 mmscf/d gross on average over 2H22. UK Day-ahead gas pricing remains extremely volatile, trading in a 10p to 224p/therm range this month. Our average realised price to date is 135p/therm and forward prices for this winter are increasingly elevated, closing at over 300p/therm last Friday. We expect 2022 opex to be 10-15p/therm. In parallel, the 24″ extension of the Saturn Banks Pipeline System to Southwark has been successfully laid, while drilling of the Southwark East well is at an advanced stage. With Southwark expected onstream in Q4, we aim to exit 2022 with a higher, more diversified production stream. This is part of an exciting growth period ahead, with the Goddard and Kelham appraisal wells following straight after Southwark, plus a Nailsworth final investment decision and seismic re-evaluation results for the Panther/Grafton area both targeted by year end. As the government encourages reinvestment in the North Sea to support energy security, we also have a clear view of value-adding new licence targets, alongside other business development opportunities under active evaluation.”

OptiBiotix Health 21.3p  £18.7m (OPTI.L)

The life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skin care, notes the announcement (14 June 2022) by ProBiotix Health plc (AQSE: PBX), that Steen Andersen has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and that Steen will join the company after completing his notice period with his current employer. The Company has a 44% shareholding in ProBiotix Health. This is part of a long-planned strategy by OptiBiotix and its portfolio companies to appoint experienced industry commercial leaders to each part of the business allowing the Group CEO to focus on identifying, developing and acquiring the new technologies or companies that will provide the Group with a pipeline of products and applications to deliver future growth and market value. This structure gives shareholders exposure to multiple opportunities within the emerging microbiome space and affords the potential to deliver additional value through separate public listing of the businesses and dividend return as achieved with the listing of ProBiotix Health earlier in the year.

Plant Health Care 10.3p  £31.2m (PHC.L)

The provider of novel patent-protected biological products to global agriculture markets, updated concerning the volume manufacture of its Harpin α based products. Signed a long-term production and supply agreement with a leading Europe-based fermentation company, securing low-cost production capacity of Harpin α , the active ingredient in its ProAct ® , Employ ® , and H2Copla ® products , to meet projected global demand. Volume production cost targets have been met, ensuring an improved gross margin for the Company and an attractive Return on Investment for customers. Continuing manufacturing of PREtec peptides within the same facility in support of new product regulatory filings and commercialization of PREtec-based products.

Plexus Holdings 4p  £4.2m (POS.L)

The oil and gas engineering services business and owner of the proprietary POS-GRIP® friction-grip method of wellhead engineering, known for its safety, time and cost saving capabilities, has been awarded a Purchase Order for Plug and Abandonment (P&A) equipment and services from Oceaneering International Services Limited,  a division of Oceaneering International Inc., a leading subsea engineering and applied technology company. The order includes tieback and subsea well control equipment together with hydraulic controls and services. The rental equipment will be used to support Oceaneering’s vessel-based P&A services for a six-operator joint campaign in the Dutch Sector of the North Sea. This order is estimated to generate revenues of circa £500k for Plexus in calendar year 2023, and has the potential to lead to other similar work in the North Sea and internationally both with Oceaneering and other customers. 

Redx Pharma 64p  £213.4m (REDX.L)

The clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel, small molecule, highly targeted therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and fibrotic disease, today announces that preclinical data from three of the Company’s proprietary compounds will be presented at the Extracellular Matrix Pharmacology Congress (ECM), being held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 23rd-25th June 2022. The two presentations cover data originating from Redx collaborations with prestigious international research institutes, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (the Garvan), Australia and Ghent University, Belgium. The first presentation will highlight preclinical data from Redx’s ongoing collaboration with the Garvan demonstrating the efficacy of targeting fibrosis associated with pancreatic cancer in mouse models with Redx’s Porcupine inhibitor, RXC004, and a Redx proprietary ROCK2 selective inhibitor. The second presentation will detail results from a research collaboration with scientists at Ghent University assessing the efficacy of RXC008, a GI-targeted ROCK inhibitor, to suppress fibrosis as measured by histopathology and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Solid State 1,090p  £93.2m (SOLI.L)

The specialist value added component supplier and design-in manufacturer of computing, power, and communications products, has been awarded a contract to help deliver a new One Person Operation CCTV system for Transport for London, as part of the Piccadilly Line Upgrade on the London Underground Network. The new digital system will be utilised on the Piccadilly line, which will benefit from 94 new state-of-the-art Tube trains from 2025. It will allow real time IP video images of the platform edge (the “mind the gap” area) to be transmitted to, and displayed, on in-cab screens for driver awareness. Steatite will be providing custom-designed computers for use on the trains and within the wider station-based system. Carrier boards with specialist display outputs are being designed by Steatite’s Imaging business, Active Silicon, to be utilised at the heart of the onboard system. The finished systems will be tested to various rail-standards using Steatite’s in-house EMC testing chamber and environmental test facility, allowing de-risking of the project prior to carrying out official certification at an independent test house.

What’s cooking in the IPO kitchen?

Visum Technologies seeking admission to The AQSE Growth Market. The Company’s business is to own and operate an “on-ride” video and photographic camera system that it sells and/or licenses to customers (being theme parks, ride manufacturers, souvenir imaging providers, and other leisure operators).  Due 30 June.

LifeSafe Holdings, a fire safety technology business with innovative fire safety products, intends to join AIM. LifeSafe has developed what the Directors believe to be market disrupting, eco-friendly fire safety protection products to both protect (via fire extinguishers) and detect (via carbon monoxide, smoke and heat alarms) fires. At the centre of the Group’s product range is the FER1000 extinguishing fluid, which has been developed by LifeSafe to extinguish five different types of fire: electrical, paper, textiles, cooking oil, and petrol and diesel. The Group’s best-selling product using this patent pending extinguishing fluid is the StaySafe 5-in-1 fire extinguisher. It was launched on Amazon Prime in the UK in August 2021 and subsequently became Amazon Prime’s top selling fire extinguisher in the UK in the same month. In n the year ended 31 December 2021, the Group generated revenues of £670k and a loss post taxation of £1.5m. £3m to be raised. Due early July 2022.

Altona Rare Earths, the AQSE listed mining exploration Company focused on the evaluation, acquisition and development of Rare Earth Elements mining projects in Africa, intends to join the Main Market. Admission to trading of the Company’s Ordinary Shares on the AQSE Growth Market will be cancelled simultaneously with Admission. It is also proposed that on Admission, the Company will change its EPIC from AQSE:ANR to REE.  The Company also seeks to raise funds to finance its current and future rare earths mining projects in Southern and Eastern Africa. Due June 2022.

*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP

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