Proactiveinvestors RSS feed en Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:48:19 +0100 Genera CMS (Proactiveinvestors) (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[Media files - President Trump's criticism of Federal Reserve pushes gold higher ]]> Fri, 20 Jul 2018 10:45:00 +0100 <![CDATA[Media files - Unilever Plc reports sales growth despite Brazil strikes ]]> Thu, 19 Jul 2018 13:18:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Jadestone Energy to list on AIM as it snaps up more assets off Australian coast ]]> Toronto Venture Exchange-listed oil group Jadestone Energy Inc is to raise US$95mln and list on AIM following a major acquisition in the Timor Sea, offshore Australia near Darwin.

The group has acquired the Montara oil project from PTT, Thailand’s state-owned oil company, for US$195mln in cash to add to its existing oilfields offshore Australia, and assets in Vietnam and the Philippines.

Montara consists of three fields that are currently producing 10.3 thousand barrels of oil (mbl) daily. The acquisition will triple Jadestone’s output to 13.9mbl/d and boost reserves to 45.3mln barrels (from 17.1mln) on a 2P basis.

A reserve-based lending facility of US$120mln will fund the deal alongside the placing.

Two existing institutional shareholders, directors and senior management will put up US$46mln of the share issue with pricing expected to be announced early August.

The acquisition is scheduled to complete in September or October.

Jadestone’s current assets are a 100% working interest in Stag, offshore Western Australia, a 100% operated working interest in three gas development blocks in Southwest Vietnam and a partnership with Total in the SC56 exploration block in the Philippines where it holds a 25% working interest.

Montara suffered a major oil spill in 2009, described as Australia’s worst, due to a wellhead blow-out.

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 08:44:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - African property trust GRIT to bolster coffers with London listing ]]> African property investment trust Grit Real Estate Income Group Limited or GRIT is to raise at least US$120mln to expand its portfolio when it lists in London this month.

Bronwyn Corbett, chief executive, said a London listing will give UK investors exposure to the African real estate sector, which offers some of the best returns in the global property market.

Proceeds to fund purchases

GRIT invests in seven countries currently and will use the proceeds from the float to buy more assets in Mozambique and Ghana and to look at other markets such as  Senegal and Seychelles.

The trust does not invest in South Africa through GRIT currently has 214mln shares listed in Johannesburg and Mauritius.

As part of the London listing, the property group will sell up to 250mln new shares at US$1.43 per share or the equivalent of net asset value currently.

Targets returns are 12% per year. The group has paid eight dividends thus far and has a target payout for the year to June just ended of US$5.9c.


Tue, 17 Jul 2018 07:47:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - Leaseum Partners to launch blockchain based real estate investment fund ]]> Fri, 13 Jul 2018 10:40:00 +0100 <![CDATA[Media files - Cube Chain offering a 'faster, more secure' blockchain alternative ]]> Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:10:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Paragon shares up as it announces appointment to work in KidZania in Abu Dhabi ]]> Paragon Entertainment Limited (LON:PEL) shares jumped as the provider of attraction services announced that it has been appointed to work on KidZania in Abu Dhabi, educational role-play environment for kids.  

The AIM-listed firm said it was delighted to have been awarded the specialist fit out scope on the KidZania project with a completion date of early 2019.

READ: Live Company jumps as it announces launch of BRICKLIVE Christmas show in Monaco

The company said the project is commissioned through INC, the main fit out contractors in Dubai, and it is another world class project for Emaar Entertainment and another project for INC and Paragon to support Emaar’s expanding portfolio.

Mark Pyrah, Development director and founder of the company, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity to work on another fantastic Emaar project with INC”.

He added: “Utilising our skill base of theming, interactives and props and taking the knowledge we gained working on KidZania London and applying it to create a solid package of knowhow, speed and quality for KidZania Abu Dhabi."

In lunchtime trading, Paragon’s shares rose 7.3% to 1.10p. 

Tue, 10 Jul 2018 11:57:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - InstaSupply helping businesses get paid faster ]]> Tue, 10 Jul 2018 08:23:00 +0100 <![CDATA[Media files - Chromium to see 'continued robust demand growth' on a global level ]]> Mon, 09 Jul 2018 13:24:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Better Capital says Northern Aerospace sale to Chinese buyer terminated after failing to get UK competition regulator approval ]]> Better Capital PCC Ltd said its sale of Northern Aerospace Ltd to a Chinese buyer had fallen through after it failed to get approval from the UK competition regulator.

Last month the Competition and Markets Authority launched a probe into the sale of the airplane parts maker by the UK private equity firm to a unit of China's Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources Co., issuing an intervention notice halting the disposal on national security grounds.

READ: UK government intervenes on national security grounds in Better Capital deal to sell Northern Aerospace to Chinese firm

In a statement today, John Moulton founded Better Capital said: "Permission to complete the sale was not obtained from the Competition and Markets Authority by the revised contractual deadline, despite requests for such permission by both parties.”

"Accordingly the proposed transaction has lapsed,” it added.

The private equity firm had agreed to sell Northern Aerospace to Shaanxi Ligeance unit, Gardner Aerospace, in a £44mln deal at the start of June.

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 10:42:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - Azuri Technologies 'a pioneer of pay-as-you-go solar technology' in Africa ]]> Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:46:00 +0100 <![CDATA[Media files - WPP Plc gets poured into the Proactive Stockpot ]]> Fri, 06 Jul 2018 10:35:00 +0100 <![CDATA[Media files - Copper price under threat as US-China trade war kicks off ]]> Fri, 06 Jul 2018 09:48:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - EDF Energy hikes UK customer's dual-fuel, standard variable tariff for second time this year ]]> EDF Energy is raising gas and electricity prices for its UK customers on the standard variable tariff for the second time this year.

The French-owned energy supplier said on its website that the further price hike of around 6% from August 31, will increase the combined average annual dual fuel bill by £70 per customer.

READ: EDF Energy to raise UK electricity prices by £16 on average per year

The group, part of French utility EDF, had already announced in April that it would increase dual fuel prices on the same tariff by 1.4% starting from June 7.

The first hike raised the standard variable dual fuel direct debit tariff £16 a year to £1,158 in total.

Once again the firm said the new hike reflects the continued pressures it faces from significant wholesale energy price rises.

EDF Energy pointed out that regulator Ofgem acknowledged that costs faced by all energy suppliers had increased when it adjusted the level of the prepayment and safeguard caps in April.

The group pointed out again that  60% of its customers won’t be impacted by the changes.

Thu, 05 Jul 2018 15:04:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - UK housebuilding sector 'still on solid foundations' -'s Neil Wilson ]]> Thu, 05 Jul 2018 12:59:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Jaguar Land Rover boss warns “hard” Brexit could cost car maker more than a billion pounds a year ]]> Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has warned that a so-called “hard” Brexit could cost it more than a billion pounds a year and would mean it could not maintain its operations in the UK.

In a statement on the website of Britain’s biggest carmaker published yesterday, JLR’s chief executive Ralf Speth said: “A bad Brexit deal would cost Jaguar Land Rover more than £1.2bn in profit each year.

READ: LSE looking to go Dutch so it can continue to serve European customers in event of a ‘hard’ Brexit

 “As a result, we would have to drastically adjust our spending profile; we have spent around £50bn in the UK in the past five years - with plans for a further £80bn more in the next five. This would be in jeopardy should we be faced with the wrong outcome.”

Speth concluded; “We urgently need greater certainty to continue to invest heavily in the UK and safeguard our suppliers, customers and 40,000 British-based employees.”

The statement from the boss of JLR -  which is a subsidiary of Indian automotive company Tata Motors - came ahead of a key cabinet meeting for Prime Minister Theresa May this Friday as the UK tries to negotiate its way out of the European Union.

Recent weeks have seen criticism of the government by some of the biggest companies operating in Britain including French airplane maker Airbus and German firm Siemens.

Thu, 05 Jul 2018 08:55:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - Graphite demand 'about to enter a period of rapid growth and improving prices' ]]> Tue, 03 Jul 2018 08:54:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Lloyd’s of London chief executive Inga Beale to leave next year ]]> Lloyd’s of London chief executive Inga Beale will step down next year after five years in charge at the insurance giant.

Beale was the first female chief executive at Lloyd’s and led a push for a more diverse workforce and the adoption of new technology.

“Her boldness and persistence have generated the momentum required to bring about real change,” Bruce Carnegie-Brown, who became chairman last year, said in a statement.

Despite her drive to modernise the centuries old insurance market with a move to electronic processing, it has been losing ground to rival centres such as Singapore.

The insurer, which started in Edward Lloyd’s coffee house in 1688, posted a £2bn loss last year, following a series of natural disasters.

In response, Lloyd’s is reviewing costs and asking syndicates to provide action plans to boost less profitable businesses.

Fri, 29 Jun 2018 13:08:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - 'Still plenty of buying opportunity for gold' despite Fed rate hike uncertainty' ]]> Fri, 29 Jun 2018 09:53:00 +0100 <![CDATA[Media files - Lithium miners and processors likely to enjoy a very strong market by 2027 ]]> Wed, 27 Jun 2018 08:03:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Trump’s Trade War: Who’s in the firing line? ]]> Since the start of 2018, US President Donald Trump has been throwing around threats of trade tariffs, and in many cases has begun imposing them on various types of US imports.

The main headline grabbers have not only been Trump’s simmering trade battle with China - although some would argue it was expected, given his campaign rhetoric - but also newer feuds that have broken out between the US and some of its most steadfast allies, including the European Union and Canada.

With the White House currently assessing the potential for 10% tariffs on a further US$200bn on Chinese goods, and the Beijing government poised to respond in kind, it is good to take a look at what products Trump has decided to turn his ‘tariff gun’ on, and which countries are bearing the brunt.

Steel and Aluminium

The steel and aluminium tariffs are probably seen by many as the sparking point of the trade tangle the global economy now finds itself in, and what has caused the most tension between the US, its allies, and China.

To date, the US has placed a 25% and 10% duty respectively on steel and aluminium imports, covering around US$48bn of imports, with most of these coming from allies such as Canada, the EU, Mexico, and South Korea.

Surprisingly given his previous rhetoric, only 6% of the imports covered by these tariffs come from China, mainly due to previous US restrictions on 94% of steel imports from the country.

Despite initial exemptions, Trump eventually decided to impose the tariffs on the EU, as well as fellow members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexico and Canada.

The only countries that appear to have escaped unscathed are Argentina, Australia, and Brazil, who were all granted indefinite exemptions. South Korea also escaped tariffs with a permanent exemption but was then hit with a quota which cuts its exports of steel to the US by 21.2%.

In response to the new tariffs, the EU has retaliated by slapping €2.8bn of duties on a variety of US goods, ranging from bourbon whiskey to Harley Davidson motorcycles.

The effects of these retaliations are already being felt, with Harley Davidson announcing on 25 June that it was shifting some production for European customers out of the US to avoid the tariffs, causing a blow to one of Trump’s key voting demographics - blue-collar workers in the Mid-Western ‘rust belt’.


Surprised that Harley-Davidson, of all companies, would be the first to wave the White Flag. I fought hard for them and ultimately they will not pay tariffs selling into the E.U., which has hurt us badly on trade, down $151 Billion. Taxes just a Harley excuse - be patient! #MAGA

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 25 June 2018

The Chinese government also issued its own set of retaliatory tariffs on US$2.4bn of US exports including aluminium waste and scrap, pork, fruits and nuts.

Not wanting to be left out, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced US$16.6bn in retaliatory duties, calling it “inconceivable” that the country was considered a national security risk, the reason used by the Trump administration to justify the initial imposition of tariffs.

Technology and Intellectual Property

Following the results of an investigation initiated by the US in August 2017, the Trump administration released a list of 1,333 Chinese products under consideration for 25% tariffs in April, citing the investigations report that China was conducting unfair trade practices relating to technology transfer, intellectual property (IP) and innovation.

The top sectors targeted for these tariffs were machinery, mechanical appliances, and electrical equipment which totalled around US$46.2bn in US imports.

The Chinese responded with their own list covering 106 US products including vehicles, aircraft, vessels, and soybeans totalling US$49.8bn of its imports from the US.

Not wanting to be outdone, Trump asked US trade officials to consider tariffs on an additional US$100bn of Chinese exports to the US, before releasing a revised list on 15 June, covering the same amount but more heavily targeting intermediate inputs which could damage supply chains for US companies.

In response, the Chinese revised their own list, which now targets more agricultural products as well as petroleum products and medical equipment, while removing aircraft from the list.

Cars and auto parts

A slightly newer development compared to the other tariff disputes, but what seems to be the next step in the saga is the automotive industry, with Trump’s latest proposal to slap 20% tariffs on EU car exports in response to the bloc’s reaction to the US steel and aluminium duties.

The spat was preceded by a US Commerce Department investigation begun in May to evaluate the national security risks of importing cars and auto parts to the US from foreign markets.

In a tweet this morning, President Trump threatened to place a 20% tariff on car imports coming from the EU if it didn't remove the $3.2 billion in tariffs recently placed on the United States.

— Axios (@axios) 22 June 2018 Washing machines and solar panels

A somewhat lesser known aspect of Trump’s tariff crusade, washing machines and solar panel imports were hit with US$1.8bn and US$8.5bn in duties in January after a report by the US International Trade Commission found that imports of these goods had caused injury to US producers of the targeted products.

Shortly after these tariffs were introduced, China began investigating potential tariffs on US exports of sorghum (a type of cereal crop) worth around US$1bn.

While this was not explicitly reacting to the tariffs on washing machines and solar panels, the timing suggested a repeat of China’s retaliation to former US President Obama’s safeguard tariffs on tyres in 2009.

Beijing then followed through in April with 178.6% antidumping duties on sorghum imports from the US, although these were ended in May after trade negotiations with the US.

However, the US wasn’t completely unscathed, as earlier that month, South Korea filed a dispute with the World Trade Organization (WTO), claiming the tariffs on washing machines and solar panels were a breach of its rules.

That is the list so far, but there are sure to be more twists and turns as the US prepares to fire the next shot of its Chinese trade spat on 6 July.

More to come?

On 10 July, the White House revealed that it was currently assessing the potential for 10% tariffs on a further US$200bn of Chinese goods ranging all the way from fish to luggage.

However, these new tariffs, while formidable, are not scheduled to take effect for another two months, giving time for both US industry to adapt to the new levies and for any potential negotiations that could prevent the global trade war from escalating.

Tue, 26 Jun 2018 13:00:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - Carpetright floored again after threadbare results ]]> Tue, 26 Jun 2018 10:57:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Clarks chief executive walks following internal investigation ]]> The chief executive of family-owned shoe maker Clarks has resigned following an investigation into his conduct.

The high street retailer had been looking into Mike Shearwood following “complaints of conduct contrary to the … company’s code of business ethics”.

Stella David new interim boss

Clarks concluded that his “conduct, conversations and expressions” fell short of the behaviour it expected from any employee, let alone the boss, on several occasions.

"In these circumstances the board has accepted Mr Shearwood's resignation," the firm said.

Clarks has named its former senior independent director Stella David as its interim boss while it kicks off the search for a permanent successor.

Mon, 25 Jun 2018 15:52:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - Mining Capital’s Alastair Ford on US-China sanctions and how it affects international markets ]]> Fri, 22 Jun 2018 11:26:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Cancer biotech company Autolus Therapeutics raises US$150mln in IPO ]]> Cancer biotech company Autolus Therapeutics has raised US$150mln in an initial public offering (IPO) of 8.8mln shares at US$17 each.

The London-based company, which is at a clinical stage in developing blood cancer therapies, is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market today.

The IPO price was at the upper end of the US$15 to US$17 range.

Clinical stage company

The funds raised in the flotation will aid Autolus in developing CAR-T treatments for targeting cancer and a commercial platform to support the rollout of its programmes.

The company was founded in September 2014 by healthcare company Syncona, which retains a 33.8% stake after investing US$24mln in the IPO.

“Autolus is now a globally differentiated, clinical stage company at the forefront of a potential revolution in cancer treatment,” said Syncona chief executive Martin Murphy.

“We look forward to our continued partnership as significant owners and strong supporters of the business as it executes its plan to deliver transformational treatments to patients.”

Woodford and Arix retain stakes 

Star investor Neil Woodford’s Woodford Capital Trust PLC (LON:WPCT) has kept a 15.9% stake in Autolos. The fund management firm said the value of its holding has increased by 51% to US$104.7mln after the IPO.

Arix Bioscience Plc (LON:ARIX) owns an 8.2% interest in Autolus worth US$53.7mln, which is 73% higher than it was before the flotation.

“Since the inception of Autolus four years ago, the company has commenced 6 clinical trials in 5 programmes and added the capabilities needed to bring its next-generation T-cell therapies to market,” said Arix chief executive Joe Anderson.

“We believe Autolus is at the forefront of a revolution in cancer treatment and that its innovative approach to T-cell programming has the potential to offer life-changing therapies for patients, with both haematological and solid cancers.”

Goldman Sachs and Jefferies acted as joint book-running managers for the offering.

Fri, 22 Jun 2018 07:46:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - i-nexus Global to float on AIM June 21 ]]> i-nexus Global PLC (LON:INX) has said it will float on AIM on June 21 as it announced a placing as part of its initial public offering (IPO).

The software company said the placing would include around 12.6mln new and existing shares at a placing price of 79p each, with an expected market cap of around £23.36mln.

The firm added that the placing, which was “significantly oversubscribed”, was expected to raise around £8.9mln which would be used to enhance its go-to-market strategy, scale the group's channel partner programme and the development of standardised, self-service "out of the box" aspects to its software solution.

Simon Crowther, i-nexus Global chief executive, said: “The funds raised will enable us to capitalise on the growth of our sales pipeline and take advantage of what we believe to be a significant market opportunity in Hoshin-based Strategy Execution software.”

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 08:13:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - 'Carnage on High Street rumbles on' with fresh set of profits warnings ]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 15:45:00 +0100 <![CDATA[Media files - 'There hasn't been a better time to have a cobalt project' - Roskill's Jack Bedder ]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 15:06:00 +0100 <![CDATA[Media files - 'Black Tuesday' for UK retail with yet another profits warning for Debenhams ]]> Tue, 19 Jun 2018 10:28:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - UK government intervenes on national security grounds in Better Capital deal to sell Northern Aerospace to Chinese firm ]]> The UK government has intervened on grounds of national security in Better Capital PCC Ltd's deal to sell aircraft parts maker Northern Aerospace Ltd to Chinese-owned Gardner Aerospace Holdings Ltd.

The private equity firm, founded by Jon Moulton,  agreed to sell Northern Aerospace to Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources Co Ltd's unit Gardner Aerospace in a £44mln deal earlier this month.

READ: Rolls-Royce confirms plans to cut 4,600 mainly UK jobs

In a statement on Monday, the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said: "On Sunday 17 June 2018, the Secretary of State issued a public interest intervention notice, confirming that he is intervening in the sale on national security grounds.”

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in a statement today that it has until July 13 to submit a report on the competition and national security aspects of the proposed deal.

To assist with its assessment, the CMA has invited comments on the impact of the transaction from any interested party.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 07:45:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - Mining Capital's Alastair Ford: "The mining sector is open to M&A activity" ]]> Mon, 18 Jun 2018 13:51:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - RFC Ambrian says “time is right” for M&A activity in African gold industry ]]> The time is right for more merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the African gold industry, according to analysts at RFC Ambrian.

"Although M&A got itself a bad name as the result of over-enthusiastic prices being paid for assets at the top of the cycle, it remains a mechanism through which companies both build their businesses or transform their status," the analysts said in a report on African gold M&A entitled ‘The Market is Open’.

Ambitious plans to grow businesses

They added: “We see this as being of particular significance in the current market conditions, where the lack of gold price volatility and the reduced ebb and flow of capital into the gold sector provides a high level of transparency on companies’ activities.”

RFC Ambrian sees the most potential for merger activity in the group of single African mine gold producers, with many of these companies having ambitious plans to grow their businesses.

The analysts said key companies among this group are: Centamin PLC (LON:CEE), Resolute Mining Ltd (LON:RSG), Asanko Gold (LON:AKG) and Teranga Gold (LON:TGZ)

Among the African-focused gold producers, RFC Ambrian considers Semafo inc. (TSE:SMF) and Avesoro Resources (LON:ASO)  the most likely to acquire African-based assets.  

On the assets potentially for sale, RFC Ambrian names Endeavour Mining's (TSX:EDV) Tabakoto mine in Mali, which has a high cost base and a short life.

“The company is reported to be undertaking a review process as a result of which it will make a final decision regarding the project’s future,” the analysts said.

Four projects with the potential to attract interest 

According to the analysts, the acquisition of development staged projects is a perennial of M&A activity, and they see four projects as having the potential to attract third party interest.

These projects are cardinal Resources’ Namdini Project in Ghana, Orezone Gold’s Bombore Project, West African Resources’ Sanbrado Project in Burkina Faso, and Orca Gold’s Block project in Sudan.

RFC Ambrian concluded that ‘Urge and Merge’ is a current theme of company strategy and this will be reflected in M&A activity over the coming years.

“In any event, the Market is open,” analysts at RFC Ambrian concluded.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 13:39:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - AIM Journal's Andrew Hore on the Small Cap Awards 2018 winners ]]> Fri, 15 Jun 2018 19:38:00 +0100 <![CDATA[Media files - Gold rangebound as investors weigh rate rise against increased international uncertainty ]]> Fri, 15 Jun 2018 10:25:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - EDF Energy to pay £350,000 after missing smart meter targets ]]> EDF Energy will pay £350,000 after the supplier missed its target to install smart meters for its customers in 2017, regulator Ofgem said.

Ofgem said that under the government's smart meter roll-out programme, suppliers are required by law to take all reasonable steps to install smart meters in all homes and small businesses by the end of 2020.

READ: EDF Energy to raise UK electricity prices by £16 on average per year

Suppliers set individual annual targets for smart meters to be installed for their customers, against which Ofgem monitors compliance.

EDF Energy failed to meet its annual installations target for 2017, instead meeting it in January, less than one month after the deadline.

The supplier has agreed to pay £350,000 into OFGEM’s consumer redress fund administered by the Energy Savings Trust and submitted targets for this year and plans for meeting them.

Due to these steps, Ofgem has decided not to take formal action against the company.

Jim Poole, director of customer operations at EDF Energy, said: “EDF Energy is working hard to meet its smart meter programme objectives, delivering the benefits of smart meters to our customers, and we are disappointed that we were three weeks late in reaching our 2017 target.”

He added; “During 2017 we doubled our smart meter installation rates and employed more people to install smart meters. We recovered the shortfall quickly in 2018 and are on target for this year.”

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 08:09:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - Tritax EuroBox to tap continental demand for online shopping ]]> A new trust to tap into the European shopping warehouse market is to list on London’s stock market.

Tritax Eurobox PLC will raise €300mln and be managed by Tritax, which already manages the UK-focused Tritax Big Box REIT (BBOX).

Online shopping has driven a surge in demand for out-of-town warehouses to fulfill orders.

Nick Preston, Tritax EuroBox’s manager, said: "The rise of online retailing in Europe is one of the most significant drivers of occupier demand for logistics space.

Online sales seen growing

Online retail sales across Europe are expected to rise 94% from 2016 to 2021, a dynamic which closely resembles how online retail penetration has transformed the UK logistics market in recent years, he said.

EuroBox will capitalise on Tritax's specialist knowledge, he added, with a pipeline of assets worth €1.8bn already identified and advance negotiations underway on €600mln of these.

These assets are in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain with an average size over of 105,000 sq m and an average lot size of €87mln.

Tritax EuroBox is targeting a yield of 4.75%.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 09:43:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - “Unprecedented” float of payment handler for Netflix, Facebook sparks echoes of Dot-com bubble ]]> The backend payment handler for tech giants such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) has conjured up memories of the infamous late 1990s ‘Dot-com bubble’ with an “unprecedented” float on Wednesday on Euronext.

Following a highly sought-after initial public offering (IPO), Dutch payments company Adyen saw its share price double within the first hour of trading to €480 from an issue price of €240, effectively lifting its market cap to around €14.2bn.

With its range of blue-chip customers, combined with a relatively small number of shares on offer and the recent strength in technology shares, institutional investors are eyeing up the previously obscure company as a potential indirect investment vehicle for its corporate clientele.

Spirit of the 'Dot-com bubble' lives on

However, there is a note of familiarity and caution in the air, as some analysts have echoed the debut as similar to those of various companies during the ‘Dot-com bubble’ of the late-1990s and early-2000s, in which speculation in technology and internet-based companies pushed stock prices ever higher before a crash facilitated by overspending by various telecoms and tech firms caused the tech-heavy Nasdaq to fall 25% in one week.

While the Adyen float may not be the prelude to a stock crash on the same level as the ‘Dot-com bubble’, there are indicators that the speculation may be running away with investors.
For example, the issue price was more than 70 times the company’s 2017 underlying earnings (EBITDA) of €99.4mln, with the company expecting growth in sales by around 25%-30% annually.

The other major risk factor to Adyen is its competition and its reliance on large clients. The payments market is fierce, with larger company’s trying to muscle in on the action (such as PayPal’s acquisition of smartphone payment terminal iZettle for US$2.2bn in May).

With its top 10 clients, which include Vodafone (LON:VOD), Uber, and Spotify (NYSE:SPOT), currently amounting for 33% of its revenue, even one or two big losses could quickly push down Adyen’s market cap.

While a drop in Adyen’s share price is unlikely to cause a big a panic as the bubble bursting in 2000, it is an interesting side-note on just how far investor speculation can drive a company’s shares, rightly or wrongly.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 15:36:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - Chile knocked off top spot as leading global lithium supplier ]]> Wed, 13 Jun 2018 14:12:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - FRC fines accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers £10mln after probe into auditing of BHS ]]> The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has fined accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) £10mln after a probe into the auditing of the accounts of collapsed department store chain BHS.

The FRC has also fined one of PWC’s partners £500,000 and banned him from audit work for 15 years after the two-year inquiry during which the accountancy firm admitted misconduct.

READ: Accountants KPMG fined £4.5mln by the Financial Reporting Council for failings in its audit of Quindell

The regulator added that the fines would be reduced by 35% to £6.5mln for the auditing firm and to £325,000 for the partner, Steve Denison for agreeing to an early settlement.

Reuters reported that Denison left the auditor this month after a near 33-year career there, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The FRC launched an investigation into the PwC audit in 2016, a year after it signed off BHS as a “going concern” and billionaire retailer Philip Green sold the loss-making group for £1.

The failure of the 180 store chain was the biggest collapse in the British retail industry since the demise of Woolworths in 2008.

Earlier this week, another big accountancy firm KPMG was fined more than £4.5mln, reduced to around £3mln, by the FRC for misconduct relating to the scandal-hit insurance software firm Quindell, which changed its name to Watchstone PLC (LON:WTC) in 2015.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 07:51:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - Ex-Goldman Sachs manager launches Ashoka India Equity trust ]]> A new investment trust that will take long-term stakes in Indian companies is to launch on the premium section of the London Stock market.

Ashoka India Equity Investment Trust PLC will be managed by companies set up by Prashant Khemka, a former chief investment officer in India for Goldman Sachs.

The trust intends to raise £100mln through a placing, offer for subscription and intermediaries offer.

Investments will be highly focused with only 20-40 ‘high conviction’ opportunities.

Andrew Watkins, chairman, said: “The Investment Manager believes that India presents a compelling investment opportunity, combining consistent economic growth with attractive demographics and a stable regulatory and legal framework.

“Prashant Khemka, founder of the Investment Manager and Investment Adviser, has demonstrated leadership in building teams with a focused investment culture while establishing a deserved reputation as one of the industry's leading emerging market fund managers, having managed US$5bn at Goldman Sachs Asset Management where his funds delivered peer group leading performance.”

Ashoka will not pay an annual management fee but a performance fee, paid in shares, driven by out-performance of the portfolio over the benchmark over a medium-term period.

Trading is expected to get underway at the end of next month.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 08:22:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - IG Design Group reports record profits for full-year and hikes final dividend ]]> IG Design Group PLC (LON:IGR) has reported record profits in its full-year results, which were accompanied by a hike in its final year dividend.

The AIM-listed greeting card manufacturer reported pre-tax profits of £19.7mln, up 51% on the prior year, while revenues climbed 5% to £327.5mln.

Final Dividend hiked 45%

The firm also hiked its final dividend 45% to 4p, while capital investment during the year nearly doubled to £9.4mln from £5.1mln the year before.

In its outlook, the company said a strong order book and growth across all its regions meant it had opportunities to create growth in the new financial year.

Paul Fineman, IG chief executive, said: “Whilst we have achieved record levels of sales and profits, we have also invested for the future with fast payback capital investment of just over £9.4 million, demonstrating our confidence in the future and our determination to retain a distinct competitive advantage and to be the preferred choice for our customers and all stakeholders.

He added: “With the effective combination of our product and brand portfolio, together with an array of value adding services, we remain very well placed to continue to grow organically, across all regions and channels. This, together with carefully considered M&A opportunities supported by an ever strengthening balance sheet, provides a very bright future.”

In late-afternoon trading Monday, IG shares were up 4.5% at 456p.

--Adds share price--

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 07:58:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - Cobalt 'a great performer in the markets in recent months' - Alastair Ford ]]> Fri, 08 Jun 2018 15:42:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Yew Grove REIT raises €75mln (£66mln) via initial public offering ahead of Irish firm’s AIM debut this Friday ]]> Yew Grove REIT said it has raised €75mln (£66mln) ahead of its initial public offering (IPO) on London’s AIM this Friday, 8 June.

The Irish real estate investment trust, which is also joining the Enterprise Securities Market (ESM) of Euronext in Dublin, said it expects AIM admission to go ahead at 8am on Friday.

READ: Custodian REIT PLC sees profits increase as portfoilo value rise

The company said trading will begin in its ordinary shares at a value of €0.01 each, and it will seek to pay a target dividend of €0.07 per share in the first financial year.

Yew Grove hopes to build a property portfolio worth between €300mln and €500mln over the next three years.

The group said it is planning to create a portfolio based around commercial real estate, including office and industrial assets, in strategic centres around Ireland.

The company has agreed to acquire a seed portfolio of ten properties valued together at approximately €25.9mln.

In a statement, Barry O’Dowd, Yew Grove’s non-executive chairman, said the successful IPO “is testament to the strength of the management team and investor confidence in our investment proposition.”

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 13:50:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - Online Blockchain cooperates with ADVFN to target Brazilian market with new cryptocurrency ]]> Online Blockchain PLC (LON:OBC) said it is cooperating with financial market website ADVFN PLC (LON:AFN) to target the Brazilian market to build support for Brazio, a proof-of-work cryptocurrency.

The AIM-listed blockchain and cryptocurrency developer said it had developed the software and a basic wallet for the crypto-token, which is based on a ‘hard-fork’ (permanent change to the software system) from the Bitcoin source code and would be conducting initial marketing to create awareness in the Brazilian market from June through ADVFN’s Brazil platform.

Very early stage of development

Online added that itself and ADVFN were bearing their own costs in respect of their cooperation on the development of Brazio at this stage, and while there is currently no financial arrangements between the two, it was anticipated that ADVFN may in time receive a marketing fee to be settled in Brazios on terms to be agreed.

The company clarified that Brazio was still in a very early stage of development, and that it would provide further updates in due course.

The firm also said it had begun work with teams of independent blockchain developers on new project initiatives and intended that (a mining pool developed by Online that enables miners to pool their computing power together to mine blockchains) would enable the development of additional blockchain support services, including providing mining support for a new coin or a new fork of an existing one.

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 08:27:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - ProFinda: "The future of work" ]]> Artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning is slowly starting to filter into day-to-day life both on a business and personal level.

ProFinda is one of a clutch of start-ups using AI to overhaul and improve the way organisations function.

Set up by Roger Gorman five and half years ago, the business uses clever software to identify and match the right skills and expertise to the right work, within a business.

Most people have a rough idea of the abilities of the close group of people they work with.

Expand that to 1,000 staff, 10,000 or 250,000 staff in the case of a multi-national and finding the right people for a project becomes a whole lot harder.

Most large knowledge-based firms function by resourcing people to projects on a daily basis, and to build and rapidly design optimal bid teams. HSBC for example has 52,000 technology staff. Accenture have over 500,000 staff all working a vast numbers of different projects and tasks. But they all lack a ‘who’ engine to help them match the right people to right work.

That’s where ProFinda can help says Gorman.

Using their engine and machine learning ProFinda can crunch disparate data sources such as timesheets, CRM insight, payroll information and other company info, Profinda matches people with required skillsets for a job.

Say you wanted a team who are French-speaking, cryptocurrency experts, then the ProFinda software has scanned available internal data sources, and can then give a dynamic list of ideal candidates in a matter of seconds.

At present, the traditional way of finding staff for a project can take weeks and even then runs the risk of coming up with the wrong people.

Without ProFinda the internal downtime in just finding staff for projects actually costs a big four accountant/consultant firm over $1bn a year, he says.

Gorman also wants to take the industry to the next level, where using something called a knowledge graph, ProFinda can match people by words cropping up in emails and many companies sources. So where talented people, working on complimentary bitcoin projects, for example, might have used associate terms/words inside emails c. 200 times.

So, now, having immediate visibility of the optimal talent from the organisations total talent pool is a huge deal for firms. The collective enterprise include their internal teams, freelancers, alumni etc. In this way will be invaluable in future for an organisation, believes Gorman.

At present, the company has around 35 customers but the aim is to increase that number significantly through growing the sales team across the US, and also the use of ‘channel partners’.

Payroll companies such as US giant ADP and software groups like Oracle, Workday and SAP’s Success Factors, for example, both work with thousands of companies. If just a fraction of these became channel partners with ProFinda, that would be a significant step-up.

The company raised £4.8m in January through a funding round including Notion Capital, Nextlaw Ventures and high net worth investors.

“By year 5 if we secure 350 customers, our revenues will sit well over $100m ARR.” Gorman claims, adding “and there is no ceiling to what it is doing because the market for our platform is far greater than just large multinationals. Think about Governments, NGOs, communities, alumni, networks, SMEs etc etc.

“I think what’s also so exciting is we’re not just a tech company, we are an adviser on the future of work. We’re helping design and shape the future of work.”

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 06:48:00 +0100
<![CDATA[Media files - Capitama 'connecting very good companies with high quality investors' ]]> Mon, 04 Jun 2018 11:32:00 +0100 <![CDATA[News - Sub-sea cables specialist Tekmar Energy to join AIM ]]> Tekmar Energy, which provides sub-sea cables and engineering services, is seeking to list its shares on AIM this month.

The group operates two primary divisions: the offshore wind farm division focuses on the provision of sub-sea protection for power transmission cables from offshore wind turbines, and the sub-sea division, which focuses primarily on the provision of sub-sea protection for umbilicals and flexible pipes to the oil and gas market.

Both divisions are supported by AgileTek which provides sub-sea analysis, simulation and engineering consultancy services, the group said.

The group reported revenue of £21.9 million and adjusted underlying earnings (Ebitda) of £4.9 million for the year ended 31 March 2018.

The group said it has clear long-term visibility on potential offshore wind farm projects because of the large scale nature of such projects and the long lead times.

The offshore wind farm division has a current sales pipeline of actively tendered projects with a potential aggregate sales value of £68mln, represented by 60 potential projects. Tekmar tracks projects for years in advance as they go through the consenting process, anywhere from three to ten years, and is currently tracking an additional 210 offshore wind farm projects. In the three year period to 31 March 2018, the group has delivered a conversion rate of tenders won to sales enquiries in excess of 70%.

The company intends to grow its business by increasing its market share in the sub-sea oil and gas market; adding new product variations to meet the needs of existing and future clients; and making selective acquisitions.

“Our plans to join the AIM market follow a period of consistent, strong organic growth supported by the group's current owners, Elysian Capital,” said James Ritchie, the chief executive officer of Tekmar.

"Tekmar is already the undisputed leader in offshore wind cable protection systems and it is our objective to become the partner of choice for the supply of sub-sea protection equipment to the global offshore energy markets. Admission to AIM will enhance our profile and brand recognition further in our sectors and allow us to execute our strategy to grow in both existing and new markets and geographies," he added.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 10:14:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - Law firm Knights Group to seek Aim listing this month ]]> Legal and professional services provider Knights Group Holdings PLC is to list on Aim, London’s junior market.

The initial public offering, or IPO, is expected to take place later this month.

Some of the money raised in the IPO will be used to pay down most of the firm’s debt and to provide general working capital.

Knights is ranked within the UK top 100 largest law firms by revenue and first against all UK law firms for its percentage increase in revenue per partner (2016 to 2017), the firm said.

It is unusual for a law firm in that it has moved away from the traditional partnership business structure to what it calls an alternative business structure (ABS).

"We have worked hard to build a resilient business model that is well-positioned to disrupt the UK legal sector and an AIM listing would enable us to continue with this journey, building on the strong momentum we have generated in recent years to become one of the UK's leading regional law firms,” claimed David Beech, the chief executive officer of Knights.

"I firmly believe that the old model for the legal sector is rapidly becoming redundant and, as pioneers in the sector following the group's early adoption of the ABS structure in 2012, we are well placed to benefit from the continued trend of commercial clients demanding an ever more relevant and value-based service offering," Beech claimed.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 09:43:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - Maestrano shares dip below issue price as it begins first day of trading on AIM ]]> Maestrano Group PLC (LON:MNO) shares dipped below its 15p issue price in early trading Wednesday as difficult market conditions marked its first day of trading on AIM.

The company, which operates an open cloud business integration platform that allows businesses to access automated management data, said the admission would allow it to raise new equity capital to fund growth.

Expected market cap of £12mln

At the point of admission, the group is expected to have a market cap of around £12mln, based on a share placing price of 15p each, with the placed shares representing 49.97% of its total ordinary shares.

The float followed a fully subscribed placing which saw the company raise £6mln to help develop its operations and to support existing and future contracts. 

Stephen Ibos, chief executive of Maestrano, said: "We are delighted with the success of our AIM admission and associated capital raising, which now positions the company with the means to execute its business plan, service clients and accelerate growth.”

Michael Ward, British consul general and director general of the UK Department for International Trade, Australia and New Zealand, added: "We've been proud to support Maestrano with their UK expansion over several years so we are really delighted with the news of their listing on the London Stock Exchange's AIM. We look forward to assisting their future plans and ongoing growth in the UK.”

Maestrono shares were down 5% on the issue price at 14.25p.

--Updates share price--

Wed, 30 May 2018 08:40:00 +0100
<![CDATA[News - Pret a Manger to be sold to JAB Holdings in £1.5bn deal ]]> British sandwich chain Pret a Manger is to be taken over by Luxembourg-based JAB Holdings in a deal worth over £1.5bn.

JAB, which acts as an investment vehicle for the reclusive Reimann family, currently owns doughnut maker Krispy Kreme as well as coffee brands Kenco, Douwe Egberts, and Tassimo, and secured a US$18.7bn deal earlier this year to acquire fizzy drinks maker Dr Pepper Snapple.

The sale of Pret is a lucrative one for the chain’s current owners, UK-based private equity firm Bridgepoint, who bought the chain for £364mln ten years ago.

Pret a Manger has expanded rapidly in recent years, opening 50 shops in the past year taking the total number of stores to more than 500 and generating revenues of £879mln.

Angus Grierson, managing director at LGB Corporate Finance, commented: “The sale of Pret a Manger to JAB is a significant win for private over public markets. With deeper pockets than public markets, private firms and conglomerates such as JAB are able to pay towards the higher end of valuation ranges in order to bring their desired brands into their portfolios. Today’s announcement is a landmark and lucrative exit for Bridgepoint, which paid £364m, including debt, to buy the Pret chain a decade ago and comes at a time when most fast-food stocks have struggled due to a confluence of rising wages, supply chain costs and ever-evolving consumer tastes.

He added: "JAB’s purchase of Pret will allow the firm to capitalise on the brand’s continued evolution of one-dimensional offerings to more artisanal, innovative new products that respond to consumer desires for freshly prepared food and drink. The firm will use its extensive experience and increased scale to help Pret compete in a challenging market to gain a stronger foothold in the US, the world’s largest coffee market.”

--Adds analyst comment--


Tue, 29 May 2018 09:30:00 +0100