Proton Power Systems shares steer higher as it appoints new chairman

A look at some of the biggest risers and fallers in London on Thursday

hybrid car
Proton Power Systems develops fuel cells for electric hybrid vehicles

Proton Power Systems Plc (LON:PPS) announced the appointment of Helmuit Gierce as its new chairman, sending its shares higher in afternoon trading.

The developer of fuel cells for electric hybrid vehicles said Achim Loecher has resigned as chairman and company secretary to pursue new challenges.

Gierse, a non-executive director of the company, has been appointed as chairman with immediate effect.

Group finance director Roman Kotlarzewski will take on responsibilities of company secretary on top of its current role.

Shares rose 10% to 4p.

Going the other way Stratex International plc (LON:STI) shares fell 14% to 0.8p after saying chief executive Bob Foster has kicked off a review of the gold explorer’s assets.

Foster is the company’s former boss, who left in August 2016 after 10 years in the role, and was brought back on an interim basis in November to help carry out an independent review of the group’s position and strategy.


The group said it was seeking joint-venture financing for the Dalafin project in Senegal to advance exploration work on the project after decided it was not prepared to commit further funding following a review.

2.00pm: Conroy shines on updated mineral estimate

Conroy Gold & Natural Resources PLC (LON:CGNR) shares jumped after revealing an increase in the updated mineral estimate for grades at the Clay Lake-Clontibret project in Northern Ireland.

In a statement after the annual general meeting, the company said the updated mineral estimate showed a 26% rise in the resource grade and a 23% increase in the gold grade in the indicated category.

“There is also strong geological evidence to suggest that the lodes have a more extensive strike length than previously interpreted,” said chairman Richard Conroy.

“In addition, the new data from old antimony workings that became available during the year helped with the understanding of the structure and the antimony itself is economic and therefore potentially another income source given its status as a strategic mineral.”

Shares shot up 52% to 19.5p in afternoon trading. 

1.00pm: Tri-Star Resources slumps as it announces fundraise

Tri-Star Resources PLC (LON:TSTR) was the biggest market faller in London approaching lunchtime, with the miner’s share plunging by 56% to 0.06p after it announced plans to raise £4.4mln through an open offer of shares at a price of just 0.01p each.

That price represents a 92% discount to Tri-Star’s closing price of 0.125p on Wednesday. The firm said it did not believe the price was representative of the company's underlying value but was offered to encourage "wide participation in the open offer."

The group said the proceeds from the open offer will go towards providing funds for the part pre-payment of US$6.0mln of loan notes issued to Obey Funds in November and towards corporate purposes.

In addition, Tri-Star said that construction of the Oman antimony roaster project continued, but production of first metal is now expected for the second quarter of 2018, as opposed to the first quarter.

12.10pm: Columbus Energy's legacy challenges

Elsewhere, Columbus Energy Resources PLC (LON:CERP) shed 16% at 5.78p after the oil and gas producer noted that numerous legacy challenges, old infrastructure and inferior oil-field practices and equipment meant it was unable to grow production to reach the internal stretch targets it hoped could be achievable in 2017.

The Trinidad-focused group said it achieved production of 561 barrels of oil per day within the past week, and it is fully funded for its planned 2018 work programme.

Columbus said it has now implemented a programme of infrastructure and process improvements and introduced new leadership in the Goudron field, all designed to address the legacy issues which hampered production growth

And McCarthy & Stone PLC (LON:MCS) shares fell 8% to 156p after the retirement homes builder plunged after the government announced it will force developers to cut controversial ground rents to zero for new homes.

The company said it has made a “strong case” to the Department for Communities and Local Government for retirement housebuilders to be exempt from the new rules.

“The proposal to set all ground rents to zero will result in a disruption of housing supply and contradicts the government's stated objective of seeking new sources of housing,” said McCarthy & Stone’s chief executive Clive Fenton.

11.00am: Legendary Investments jumps as it agrees to buy 9.7% of crowdfunding firm

Legendary Investments plc (LON:LEG) was the market’s top gainer in late morning trading, jumping 34% higher to 0.18p after the investment company said agreed to acquire 9.7% of crowdfunding firm Crowd for Angels UK at a post money valuation of £3.7mln.

The AIM listed firm said 9.7% stake will be paid for through the issuance of 248mln Legendary shares to Crowd for Angels which launched in 2014 and was among the first crowdfunding platforms to become Financial Conduct Authority regulated.

Elsewhere, Styles & Wood Group PLC (LON:STY) soared 21% higher to 455p after the property services firm agreed a £42.5mln takeover from Central Square Holdings, an investment company.

The bidder has agreed to pay 465p in cash for each Styles & Wood share, equivalent to a 24% premium to the closing price on Wednesday.

And Summit Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:SMMT) (LON:SUMM) gained 9% at 177.5p on news it has farmed out the rights in Latin America to its in-development ridinilazole treatment for the C. difficile infection (CDI).

The firm has entered into an exclusive licence and commercialisation agreement granting Eurofarma Laboratórios SA rights in Latin America, while retaining commercialisation rights in all other countries.

9.50am: Sumo Digital investors get early Christmas present on junior market debut

Investors in Sumo Digital Group PLC (LON:SUMO) got an early Christmas present today after shares in the games developer jumped to a strong premium early morning on their first day of trading today on AIM.

Around 9.50am, Sumo shares were changing hands at 118p each against the initial public offering (IPO) price of 100p per share which had given the firm an initial valuation of £145mln.

The Sheffield-based firm - which makes games such as Forza Motorsport 7 and HITMAN Episode 5 -raised about £38.5mln in a placing of ordinary shares, while a vendor placing raised about £39.7mln for selling shareholders.

There were also two other new issues on AIM this morning, with European focused mineral explorer Erris Resources plc (LON:ERIS) off to a steady start on its junior market debut on Thursday.

Shares in the company – which has a portfolio of zinc prospects in Ireland and gold projects in Sweden – gained 2p on the 25p IPO price in early deals to trade at 27p.

Meanwhile, another exploration company joining the junior market on Thursday was Panthera Resources PLC (LON:PAT).

The gold explorer also made a solid start to life as a listed company with shares rising to 23.5p – 17.5% higher than the 20p the shares were placed at for the float.

Proactive news headlines:

Summit Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ:SMMT, LON:SUMM) has farmed out the rights in Latin America to its in-development ridinilazole treatment for CDI.

ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM) has confirmed that the last patient has completed dosing within the 52-week, randomised, double-blinded, Phase III clinical trial of Lupuzor™, its lead programme for the potential breakthrough compound for Lupus, the life threatening auto-immune disease. The specialist drug discovery and development company said 200 patients have been successfully recruited and dosed, with top line results remaining on track to be reported in the first quarter of 2018.

Cyber-security specialist Corero Network Security PLC (LON:CNS) had some mixed news for shareholders, with record order intake in the fourth quarter but a warning that full-year revenues would be hit by implementation delays at a couple of customers.

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (LON:BMY) is looking for a new group finance director following news that Wendy Pallot has informed the board of her intention to resign from the position to join FTSE 250-listed Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC (LON:ERM). The AIM-listed firm said Pallot will remain in her post at the Harry Potter books publisher for the duration of her 12 month notice period “to ensure a smooth and orderly handover”.

Gfinity Plc (LON:GFIN) has announced that leading French esports franchise and current reigning EA SPORTS™ FIFA Ultimate Team World Champions, Team Vitality, will join the highly popular Gfinity Elite Series for season three, which is due to commence in March 2018. Big Pic in December.

Directa Plus Plc (LON:DCTA), a producer and supplier of graphene-based products, has received an order from bicycle tyre manufacturer, Vittoria.

Connemara Mining PLC (LON:CON) said it has achieved its key objectives at its Mine River gold project in Wicklow and Wexford, Ireland. The company has drilled two holes at Gibbet Hill at 193 metres and another at Tom Breen at 97 meters. Elsewhere in the project area, it has completed sampling and mapping.

Stratex International plc’s (LON:STI) new interim chief executive Bob Foster has kicked off a review of the gold explorer’s assets. Foster is the company’s former boss, who left in August 2016 after 10 years in the role, and was brought back on an interim basis in November to help carry out an independent review of the group’s position and strategy.

Victoria Oil & Gas plc (LON:VOG) told investors that its third quarter results are in-line with expectations as it gave an update ahead of the close of 2017. The company highlighted that it has had an ‘extremely active’ few months in its Gaz Du Cameroun subsidiary.

Plexus Holdings PLC (LON:POS) chief executive Ben van Bilderbeek told investors its financial performance, in the year ended June 30, has mirrored the challenging trading conditions faced by the oil and gas sector.

As part of its transition from product development into a revenue-generative company, stem cell services provider WideCells Group PLC (LON:WDC) has beefed up its management and advisory team. The London-listed group has added Peter Presland, Malcolm Glaister and Zakaria Aziz to its board as non-executive directors.

 European focused mineral explorer Erris Resources plc (LON:ERIS) got off to a steady start on its junior market debut on Thursday. Shares in the company – which has a portfolio of zinc prospects in Ireland and gold projects in Sweden – gained 2p on the 25p initial public offering price in early deals to trade at 27p.

Bushveld Minerals Limited (LON:BMN) has completed the acquisition of the 55% of Bushveld Vametco it doesn’t already own for an initial US$11.1mln in cash and shares. This in turn will give it a 59.1% stake in South Africa's Vametco vanadium mine and processing operations compared with 26.6% formerly.

European Wealth Group Limited (LON:EWG) has announced that its chief operating officer, Simon Ray has tendered his resignation with effect from 31 December 2017. The integrated wealth management group said Ray will continue to work with the firm as an independent contractor covering IT and Systems.

 Trading in the shares of office productivity software group BOS GLOBAL Holdings Ltd (LON:BOS) has been suspended after funding talks broke down.

Scotgold Resources Limited said it raised gross proceeds of approximately £2.66mln, before expenses, from its recent rights issue at 0.25p per share. The group said, following the rights issue, its chairman Nat le Roux increased his holding in the company to 15,045,494 shares, or 56.64% of its issued capital.

Highlands Natural Resources Plc (LONHNR) has announced that  with immediate effect, Cantor Fitzgerald Europe has been appointed as its sole financial adviser and corporate broker.

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