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Cogenpower slumps as it confirms intention to offload Italian subsidiary and become a cash shell

Some of the main news-driven risers and fallers in London on Tuesday...
power plant
A third-party valuation suggested CGP’s Italian subsidiary was worthless

Cogenpower PLC (LON:CGP) slumped on Tuesday afternoon as it confirmed its intention to sell off its struggling Italian subsidiary and become a cash shell.

The company – which designs and operates high efficiency combined heat and power plants – has entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Re Sipar SRL for the disposal of Cogenpower SRL.

As part of the deal, Re Sipar – which is wholly-owned by CGP’s founder and current boss Francesco Vallone – will also purchase Cogenpower SRL’s two subsidiaries.

Shareholders will have to approve the transaction at a general meeting on 1 December.

Assuming they do vote it through, Vallone will step down from the board, the company will be renamed Monreal PLC.

Cogenpower raised £550,000 at the end of October which it said will keep the lights on while it looks for potential acquisitions, something it must complete within six months of becoming a cash shell.

Shares fell 28.9% to 0.5p.


1.15pm....Science in Sport sprints higher as investors back its move into the US and global football markets

Science in Sport PLC (LON:SIS) powered higher as the sports nutrition group revealed it has raised £15mln by issuing shares at pretty much the going rate.

It wants to use the cash to accelerate its move into the much larger US market and the worldwide football market, both of which the company said represented “compelling growth opportunities”

"Science in Sport has quickly grown to become a leader in endurance sports nutrition for elite athletes, but our ambition is to capture a much bigger market share and to expand internationally beyond our now profitable core business,” said chief executive Stephen Moon.

"We are delighted with the level of support from existing shareholders and new investors, which has been demonstrated by the significantly oversubscribed placing.”

The SIS share price is currently up 9.1% to 78p, having closed yesterday just above the 70p which was it issued shares at.

Escher Group lowers forecasts as licence sales fail to materialise

Elsewhere, Escher Group Holdings PLC (LON:ESCH), which specialises in outsourced point-of-service software for the postal industry, was out of favour as it lowered its full-year guidance following order delays.

The company said it had expected to close a few additional licence sales in the second half of 2017 but they now won’t happen due to the postponement of major contracts.

“As a result, group revenues are now expected to be approximately US$18m for the year to 31 December 2017 with licence revenues, which have a high margin, materially lower than expectations.”

Adjusted underlying earnings (EBITDA) are expected to come in at US$2.7mln, while Escher also thinks it will have a neutral net debt/ cash position.

"We are disappointed with the postponement of licence sales, which we had anticipated falling in 2017,” said chief executive Liam Church.

“The volatility in revenues and earnings caused by the timing of these licence sales remains a characteristic of our core Postal activity."

Church seemed to hint that all is not lost and that the sales could come through in the next financial year.

That wasn’t enough for the markets though, with shares down 20% to 140p.


9.30am...Aukett Swanke soars as it wins contract to build swanky new mall in Dubai

Aukett Swanke Group PLC (LON:AUK) was the big riser on the junior market early on Tuesday after it unveiled a “significant” new project win in the Middle East.

The architecture and interior design specialist has long stated its desire to grow its operations in the region and confirmed today it had been commissioned to design and deliver a huge new mall in Dubai.

Aukett said the Lesso Mall – named after the Chinese client – will provide more than 1.2mln square feet of retail space plus various car parks on a “prominent site” in the country.

The mall is expected to be completed by mid-2020 which, along with other confirmed work, will give Aukett’s Dubai operation decent revenue visibility over the medium term, the firm said.

"We are delighted to announce this important contract from a most prestigious client,” said chief executive Nicholas Thompson.

“It is a tangible validation of the expansion of our operations in Dubai and the quality of their work and provides valuable underpinning to the Board's view of next year's performance.”

Shares jumped 20% to 2.55p.

Xtract Resources heads lower as it raises £1.7mln

Xtract Resources PLC (LON:XTR) shares headed the other way as it raised £1.7mln at a slight discount to Monday’s closing price.

The junior miner raised the money in in order to pay off its debts as well as to explore other opportunities close to its Manica gold project in Chile.

The shares were issued at 2.85p, an 8.5% discount to last night’s close, and will see the shares in issue increase by 20%.

Unsurprisingly the share price headed down towards that figure this morning, dipping 5.5% to 2.88p. 


Proactive news headlines

Xtract Resources PLC (LON:XTR) has raised £1.7mln through a placing to pay off its debts and look at other opportunities in the area surrounding its Manica project in Chile.

Directa Plus Plc (LON:DCTA) said its Graphene Plus (G+) membrane and G+ printed fabrics have received international certification from Complife Italia, certifying that the material do not cause any irritation to human skin.

IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR) has signed off the joint venture with Gail Exploration for a gold prospect in the Ivory Coast. Originally agreed this time last year, Ironridge will have access to a granted licence covering 385 sq km.

Orosur Mining PLC (LON:OMI) has hit high grade gold at its Anzá project in Colombia. Three holes of a 15,000 metre programme have been drilled to date, with highlights including 5.47 grams gold per tonne over 4.63 metres. The mineralisation remains open along strike and at depth.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) has appointed a new vice president of marketing. He is Karl Ryan, who has aircraft leasing experience and is a graduate from the world famous General Electric training programme. Based in Dublin, Ryan will spearhead the firm’s marketing efforts in Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) has drawn attention to recent high quality drill results reported by joint venture partner MOD Resources at the T3 copper project in Botswana. The mineralisation looks to extend further than was previously thought, and further work is being undertaken to investigate the potential. Six drill rigs are now on site.

appScatter Group PLC (LON:APPS) is set to formally launch its b2b platform on 22 November - on time and on budget.

Fox Marble Holdings PLC (LON:FOX) has cut and processed stone from its quarries in Kosovo to build a new display for a British military memorial in the country.

Akers Biosciences Inc (LON:AKR; NASDAQ:AKER) expects sales of its BreathScan alcohol detector to “ramp up” in the coming months after its UK distributor Accutest secured a “major new channel partner” in Today’s Wholesale Services Group. Today’s Wholesale Services is a subsidiary of Today’s Group, the largest independent buying group of its kind in the UK with buying power exceeding £5.7bn a year.

Tharisa PLC (JSE:THA, LON:THS) said headline earnings per share for the year to the end of September are likely to be between 21 and 23 cents, up from six cents the year before, thanks to the increase in the chrome concentrate price.

Belvoir Lettings PLC (LON:BLV) has received a boost for its offer to merge with The Property Franchise Group (LON:TPFG) with three fund managers suggesting talks. Amati Global Investors, Livingbridge and Hargreave Hale, which speak for owners of 12.31% of TPFG, said they support in principle the two firms engaging in discussions around the possible merger offer.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP, TSE:TXP) has reported third quarter results boosted by increase in production and oil prices. The company generated some US$1.387mln, compared with US$438,000 for the preceding quarter and US$1.56mln in the same period of last year.

Solo Oil PLC (LON:AIM) has unveiled a new US$5mln convertible debt funding deal with institutional investor Riverfort Global Capital. Riverfort is providing an initial US$1.5mln and the timings of further draw-downs at the company’s sole election.

Telephony specialist Adept Telecom PLC (LON:ADT) confirmed another meaty dividend hike as interim profits jumped by 36%. The group is following a ‘buy and build’ strategy and contributions from OurIT (six months) and Atomwide (two months) helped revenues match earnings with a 36% rise to £22.6mln.

Ariana Resources plc (LON:AAU) has completed its latest round of exploration across the Hot Gold Corridor within its wholly-owned Salinbas gold project, already known to contain one million ounces of gold. The Hot Gold Corridor is named after the four million ounce Hot Maden gold-copper deposit, located approximately 4 km south.

Diagnostics specialist genedrive plc (LON:GDR) has extended the “commercial reach” of its relationship with Sysmex Corp, inking a distribution deal with the Japanese group’s Asia-Pacific arm. Under the agreement, Sysmex will be responsible for sales, marketing and customer support for the CE-marked Genedrive HCV ID Kit and platform in the region.

Sareum Holdings Plc (LON:SAR) has raised £700,000 through a share placement to support drug development programmes and supply working capital.
The specialist cancer drug discovery and development company placed 100 million new ordinary shares of 0.025p each at a price of 0.7p per share.

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