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
Dispersion Holdings (AQSE:DEFI) an investor in the high growth FinTech sector within the UK, the USA and Canada, has listed 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. Placing and subscription at 3p per share, that raised a combined £9m. The Company previously raised £2.2m before expenses in a pre-IPO fundraising round. Market cap £18m
Conditional dealings commence in Darktrace (DARK.L) 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. Offer price set at 250p. Mkt cap £1.7bn. £165.1m raised of which £143.5m is new money. Revenue hit $199m in the year to the end of June 2020, up from $137m the year before.
Watchstone Group plc (AQSE:WTG) has begun trading on the Access segment of the AQSE Growth Market. Watchstone is now a group with a number of litigation assets, contingent liabilities and cash. The Group intends to make further cash returns to shareholders as appropriate as its litigation assets are resolved and will continue to consider other commercial opportunities that present themselves in areas where the Board have commercial and/or legal experience. Mkt cap £22.5m.
Off the menu
Abbey has left AIM following a cash takeover.
Driver Group 51.5p £26.9m (DRV.L)
The professional services consultancy to the construction and engineering industries, providing multi-disciplinary consultancy services including expert witness, claims and dispute resolution services, today announces the following operational update on its activities for the period to 31 March 2021. Driver Group performed creditably during the period with PBET (before share based payment charges) for the period expected to be only slightly lower than the result for the same period last year, which was largely unaffected by COVID-19. A fast-moving picture in terms of lockdown restrictions in key territories and the loss of senior staff and associated team members to a competitor in the APAC region together combined to present significant challenges. However, meaningful progress has already been made in implementing the five year strategic plan announced to the market in December with last year’s results. The essence of that plan is to drive shareholder value through increasing the proportion of sales represented by higher margin expert assignments and the focused recruitment of key talent to further enhance Driver’s technical and geographical service offering. The Directors are confident that the merits of this strategy will become increasingly evident over the life of the plan.
Eleco 124p £103m (ELCO.L)
The AIM-listed construction software specialist, announced a strong start to the year, building on its resilient performance in 2020, with unaudited Management Accounts for the three-month period ended 31 March 2021 reporting that: Revenues in the period increased by 9% compared to the same period in 2020 to £7.0m. Recurring revenues for the period of £3.7m, increased by 9% compared to the same period last year (includes maintenance, support, subscription and SaaS revenue. Profit before tax increased by 21% over the same period in 2020. Strongly cash generative during the period, with a net cash position of £7.9m at 31 March 2021 against a net cash position of £6.2m on 31 December 2020. Operational highlights for the period under review include: Turkish Minister of Transportation approved Powerproject as an accepted Project Scheduling software for Public projects. Asda increased equipment ordering accuracy by 35%, lowered material wastage and dramatically cut data administration using IconSystem. Kingspan Group continued to expand its use of ShireSystem by adding another site in Poland. Large Powerproject Enterprise order placed by a well-known Austrian company specialising in intelligent automation of factories.
Jersey Oil & Gas 160p £51m (JOG.L)
The independent upstream oil and gas company focused on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) region of the North Sea, announced the introduction of a Carbon Policy. JOG recognises that commitment to a sustainable and lower-carbon energy future is central to delivering its vision. The management of carbon emissions and the commitment to low-carbon targets and initiatives in the production of oil and gas are integral to JOG’s operational objectives, risk management, corporate structure, company values and culture. The Carbon Policy confirms JOG’s commitment to risk-managed growth, which will involve reducing its carbon footprint to the lowest possible levels for the benefit of its shareholders and other stakeholders. Through this Carbon Policy, as well as the strategies and programmes that stem from it, JOG will seek to position itself as an oil and gas company leading in the energy transition on the UKCS.
Futura Medical 58.5p £149m (FUM.L)
The pharmaceutical company developing a portfolio of innovative products based on its proprietary, transdermal DermaSys® drug delivery technology and currently focused on sexual health and pain, today announces that further to the announcement of 19 March 2021, the Company has now received its MDR EU Quality Management Certificate for the placing on the market of a Class II(b) medical device known as MED3000 (CE mark approval). Futura’s breakthrough, fast acting topical gel formulation MED3000, is the first clinically proven, pan-European topical treatment for adult men with erectile dysfunction (ED) available without a doctor’s prescription (OTC).
Burford Capital 948.5p £2bnm (BUR.L)
The global finance and asset management firm focused on law, today announced the appointment of Kenneth A. Brause as Chief Financial Officer, effective May 3, 2021. Mr Brause will be based in Burford’s New York office. Mr Brause, 56, has 35 years of experience in the financial services industry, with a significant focus in specialty finance. Most recently, he was CFO of OnDeck Capital, a New York Stock Exchange-listed specialty lender. Previously, he held a number of executive roles at CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), including serving as Treasurer of its bank and parent company, and, before that, as CFO of its North American Banking business, President of Small Business Lending, and head of Investor Relations. CIT was at the time among the largest specialty finance firms in the United States. Before CIT, Mr Brause held senior roles at American General, the Bank of New York and Bankers Trust.
PCI-PAL 102.5p £61m (PCIP.L)
The global cloud provider of secure payment solutions for business communications, today announces its intention to conduct a fundraising to raise gross proceeds of up to approximately £5.5 m through a placing at 95p. The net proceeds of the Fundraising receivable by the Company will be used to fund the Company’s further expansion into the new territories of Mainland Europe, Canada and Australia. The net proceeds of the Fundraising should allow the Company to accelerate long-term growth through targeting a larger addressable market underpinned by the Company’s high margin, scalable, globally available SaaS technology platform.
Enteq 16.25p £11m (NTQ.L)
The energy technology company has received a rental contract valued up to $1.1m over the next 18 months from an existing North American customer. The order relates to the rental of Enteq’s core Measurement While Drilling (MWD) technology for a minimum of 8 months. A deposit has been received relating to the first tranche of equipment, valued at up to $0.8m, which will be delivered shortly. There is an option for an additional tranche of up to $0.3m, which, if confirmed will be expected within the next month, with the equipment to be delivered soon after. This contract will significantly expand the number of MWD kits operated by this customer, which is based on Enteq’s proven, robust and ultra-reliable technologies.
Genedrive 90p £57m (GDR.L)
The near patient molecular diagnostics company, announces that the Genedrive® 96 SARS-CoV-2 Kit has been formally approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The Genedrive® 96 SARS-CoV-2 Kit achieved 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity in the performance evaluation conducted by the ICMR. The Company will now commence commercial activities in India through its existing distributor Divoc Health and will also be seeking additional routes to the market.
NetScientific 58.5p £8.8m (NSCI.L)
The life sciences and sustainability technology investment and commercialisation Group, announces that its portfolio company PDS Biotechnology Corporation (Nasdaq: PDSB) yesterday announced that initial efficacy and safety data from the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Phase 2 clinical study of PDS0101 for the treatment of advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated cancers that have progressed or returned after treatment (NCT04287868), has been accepted for oral presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2021 Annual Meeting taking place 4-8 June 2021.
What’s cooking in the IPO kitchen?
Voyager Life, the health and wellness company established to supply high-quality Cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp seed oil products, announces the Company’s intention to seek admission to trading on the Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market (Access Segment). Admission on AQSE is expected to occur before the end of June 2021. Voyager was incorporated in November 2020 as a health and wellness business focused on CBD and hemp seed oil products. The Company’s directors believe that a significant opportunity exists in the CBD market due to the forecast growth and ongoing regulatory changes.
Galantus Holdings, a provider of accounts payable automation and analytics solutions, is considering a listing on the AIM market of the LSE. It is focusing on three product areas; Active AP Discovery, Intelligent AP Automation and Advanced AP Analytics, it utilises its internally developed data platform to offer an integrated solution for the finance function, accounts payable in particular. These solutions are offered to over 300 customers, more than 50 of which Galantus classifies as large enterprises. The Group headquarters is in Dublin, Ireland. The main office for EMEA operations is in Harpenden, England. The main office for US operations is in San Jose, California. The core product development team is based in Katowice, Poland with additional team members in a satellite office in Vilnius, Lithuania, and management support from the Dublin headquarters. Valuation, amount to raise, and timing TBC
East Star Resources plc, a company formed for the purpose of undertaking an acquisition or acquisitions of a majority interest in a company, business or asset, has announced that the Prospectus dated 27 April 2021 has been approved by the FCA in connection with an application for admission onto the Official List by way of Standard Listing Rules. The Company intends to focus on opportunities in the natural resources sector. In connection with Admission, the Company will raise gross proceeds of £1.98m. Timing of Admission onto the Standard List TBC.
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.
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.
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 tbc.
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