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Shearwater Group PLC

Could pigs fly … What next for Aurum Mining?

Punters pushed shares in Aurum Mining 10% higher today as speculation on what the gold and tungsten explorer’s new management team might be planning to diversify in to was further stoked by a new board appointment

Peppa Pig
Giles Willits was, until very recently, chief financial officer of Peppa Pig media group EntertainmentOne

Punters pushed shares in Aurum Mining PLC (LON:AUR) 10% higher today as speculation on what the gold and tungsten explorer’s new management team might be planning to diversify in to was further stoked by a new board appointment.

The group has appointed Giles Willits, until very recently chief financial officer of Peppa Pig media group Entertainment One PLC (LON:ETO), as a non-executive director. Willits is also a former group finance director of J Sainsbury plc LON:SBRY) and Woolworths Group.

Aurum’s chair David Williams was formerly chairman of Entertainment One, although he is better known for turning his investment vehicle Marwyn into a £1bln-valued quarrying and aggregates business, Breedon Group PLC (LON:BREE), through some aggressive acquisitions.

Aim-listed Aurum has gone on a hiring spree recently, recruiting high-profile figures from the aerospace, defence and cyber sectors, fuelling rumours it is preparing to change direction into those areas.

On October 24, Aurum appointed Stephen Ball, most recently UK chief executive of US defence giant Lockheed Martin and a former chief executive of GCHQ as a non-executive director.

A fortnight earlier, the group had also named Robin Southwell, the former chief executive of Airbus UK as a non-exec.

Michael Stevens, the former head of international market development for Airbus Defence and Space, had been appointed Aurum’s chief executive earlier that month.

But with the appointment of Willits, could the firm be thinking of a more entertaining arena to move in to?

Having risen more than four-fold in the past three months on the speculative interest, Aurum shares were up 10.6%, or 0.5p to 5.2p in early afternoon trading.

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