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Boku Inc sinks as it buys loss-making company

A look at the day's major movers, including Metals Exploration, Strategic Minerals, Challenger Acquisitions, Gresham Technologies and Countrywide
In 2017, Danal generated revenue of US$5.1mln and an LBITDA of US$5.2mln

Direct carrier billing company Boku Inc (LON:BOKU) has splashed out on the acquisition of Danal, a company based that provides mobile identity and authentication solutions.

The company is handing over US$1mln in cash plus 26.7mln Boku shares and US$3mln of Boku warrants – they do love a warrant in the US – exercisable at 141p.

Shares in Boku currently trade at 74.5p, down 23.5p on the day, so the warrants are a long way underwater. Boku said the acquisition is expected to dilute earnings in fiscal 2019 as it intends to invest in the Danal platform.

In addition, Boku has agreed to pay deferred consideration of up to US$64 million, satisfied in common shares and warrants, dependent on Danal's future performance.

“The acquisition of Danal will accelerate the development of Boku's mobile identity service offering, allow expansion into new merchant segments, such as finance and government and ensure broader exposure to key geographies, including the USA,” Boku said.

The company also gave a brief trading update, disclosing that total payment volume in the first 10 months of 2018 grew 124% year-on-year to US$2.8bn.

Monthly active users rose 83% from a year earlier to 12.2mln.

1.40pm: Change at the top at Metals Exploration

Ian Holzberger has communicated to Metals Exploration Plc (LON:MTL) his intention to stand down as executive chairman.

The natural resources company, which has assets in the Pacific Rim region, said Holzberger will remain involved in the Runruno project as non-executive chairman.

The company has commenced a search for a chief executive officer and is in advanced discussions with a potential candidate.

Last month, Typhoon Rosita, which made landfall over the central and northern parts of the island of Luzon, had short term impacts on mining and processing operations at the company’s Runruno project in the province of Nueva Vizcaya.

The shares were down 45% at 0.75p following news of Holzberger’s decision.

12.30pm: Strategic Minerals on the boil after drilling update from the Leigh Creek copper prospect

Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) shares surged after it confirmed new copper mineralisation at its Leigh Creek copper project in South Australia.

Follow up diamond drilling had been commenced following the results, with the company adding that it had also completed a 250-hole shallow air core programme for all existing heap leach pads and they were awaiting assay results.

“Rosmann East drilling has come up with some particularly strong results,” John Peters, the managing director of Strategic Minerals, told Proactive.

“Some of the holes have been averaging over 2% copper, which is very, very strong,” Peters said, noting that the latest results were not included in the mineral resource estimate when they bought the project, “so, in effect, this is going to add additional resources to what we’ve got”.

The shares were up 10% at 1.375p on the news.

10.30am: Challenger Acquisitions spins higher after CEO shows faith

The chief executive of Challenger Acquisitions Limited (LON:CHAL), Mark Gustafson, has put his hand in his pocket and bought 6mln shares in the company.

Gustafson paid 0.065p a share for the first three million he bought and 0.085p for the next lot, taking his holding in the backer of giant observation wheel projects up to 10.15mln, representing 4.5% of the equity of the company.

READ Challenger Acquisitions expects investments in giant observation wheel projects to pay off

Shares in the company have been laid low by protracted wrangling over the building of New York’s version of the London Eye.

The leisure-and-entertainment-focused company has a US$3mln investment in New York Wheel Investors LLC, which – if it ever gets built – will operate the 192-metre tall New York Wheel (NYW) being built on the New York Harbour.

Construction of the NYW has been postponed since the dismissal of contractor, Mammoet-Starneth, in July last year but the operator has been taking steps to get the project rolling again.

The main components for the NYW have been completed, with the components for the four 275-foot legs being stored in Brooklyn ready to be assembled on site.

Shares in Challenger shot up 159% to 0.2075p after news of Gustafson’s share purchases broke.  

9.15am: Gresham Technologies the latest to blame a profit warning on contract delays

With today’s shake-out, there are likely to be a number of heavy fallers but Gresham Technologies plc (LON:GHT) looks like being one of the heaviest.

The shares lost more than a third of their value after a trading update that revealed the possibility of delays to some high-margin software licensing deals.

The company, which specialises in providing real-time data integrity and control solutions, said that as a result of the delays and continued investments in product innovation and business development, it expects full-year earnings will be “materially below current market expectations”.

Countrywide PLC (LON:CWD) saw its shares edge 0.6% higher to 9.48p after Sky News reported that Cathy Turner, chair of the group’s remuneration committee, is stepping down from her role at the troubled real estate agency after an investor backlash against a £20.0mln executive pay plan she proposed.

The website reported that Countrywide has appointed headhunters to find a replacement for Turner, adding that it was unclear whether she will also step down as non-executive director of the company.

Shares in Countrywide have had an utter shellacking since a trading update on June 25, falling from 79.5p (and that was after the shares had fallen from 103.25p in the fortnight run-up to the trading update).

The company got away a refinancing in early August but only by issuing shares at 10p each, 

Proactive news headlines:

Strategic Minerals Plc (LON:SML) shares surged in mid-morning trading Thursday after it confirmed new copper mineralisation at its Leigh Creek copper project in South Australia.

Shares in Kodal Minerals PLC (LON:KOD) surged after it released encouraging drilling results from the Nielle gold prospect in the Ivory Coast.

e-Therapeutics PLC (LON:ETX) has teamed up with C4X Discovery Holdings plc (LON:C4XD) in a bid to find new treatments for Parkinson’s disease.

Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR) said it expects full year revenues to “more than double” as it hit two “key commercial milestones” with partners Bosch and Weichai Power. Big Pic this week.

Custodian REIT PLC (LON:CREI) notched up a net asset value (NAV) total return of 4.3% in the six months to the end of September.

Eland Oil & Gas PLC (LON:ELA) has revealed the latest results of the Ubima-1 appraisal well which effectively opens up additional source of production and revenue for the company. The Nigeria focussed oil company, in a stock market statement, reported that the E1000/E2000 reservoirs produced between 900 and 1,000 barrels of oil per day in testing.

Steve Couldwell, the chief executive of regenerative medicines specialist Tissue Regenix Group PLC (LON:TRX), is take a temporary leave of absence early next year in order to undergo medical treatment.

Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) shares soared in early trading Tuesday after it hit ‘bonanza’ gold grades at its Bibemi project in Cameroon following the results from a rock-chip sampling programme.

Rose Petroleum PLC (LON:ROSE) confirmed it is lined up to drill a well in the first quarter of 2019 after it agreed an updated operational plan with the Utah Bureau of Land Management. As part of the agreement the boundary of the Gunnison Valley Unit (GVU), in the Paradox Basin, has been extended to include acreage acquired by Rose earlier this year. Big Pic in July.

Sativa Investments PLC (NEX:SATI) has appointed an award-winning pain medicine and anaesthetic consultant to its medical cannabis advisory board. Matthew Brown is a consultant at the Royal Marsden hospital in West London and recently published research into using cannabinoids for cancer pain treatment. Big Pic in October.

Afritin Mining Limited (LON:ATM) said the first large-scale blast has taken place at its Uis tin mine in Namibia. Big Pic in July.

Base Resources Limited (LON:BSE) (ASX:BSE) announced that it has been granted a prospecting license for the Vanga area in Kenya. The group said the Vanga license is valid for three years and covers an area of 136 square kilometres, extending south west from the company’s existing Kwale Operation towards the Tanzanian border. Big Pic in August.

Cabot Energy PLC (LON:CAB) has told investors that new measures by the Alberta authorities to cut-back crude production in the short-term won’t impact its business. The regional government has this week revealed it will mandate a reduction in oil production by 325,000 barrels of oil per day, which represents a clip of about 8.7%, in order to address surpluses in the local market.

Mirada Plc (LON:MIRA) said trading in its shares on AIM has been temporarily suspended from 8:40am on 6 December 2018 , pending an announcement.

Tekcapital PLC (LON:TEK), the UK intellectual property investment group said its wholly-owned portfolio company Guident Ltd has appointed Johan De Nysschen as a director. The firm said De Nysschen has served as senior executive of several leading automotive companies, including Executive Vice President of General Motors and President of the Cadillac Motor Division, President of Infiniti Motor Company Ltd,  President of Audi of America Inc, and President of Audi Japan, amongst other positions.

EQTEC Plc (LON: EQT) said that, having been advised its current nominated adviser, Northland Capital will be removed from the register of Nomads with effect on 1 February 2019 due to its proposed merger with SPAngel, its directors are in discussions with another Nomad at present and anticipates a smooth and orderly transition of the role. The firm said it will provide a further update as soon as practicable.

Pan African Resources plc (LON:PAF) has advised shareholders that Questco Corporate Advisory Proprietary Limited has been appointed as the company’s JSE Sponsor, with effect from 6 December 2018.

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