Small Cap Movers: Faroe Petroleum shares boosted as it battles hostile takeover effort

A look back at some of the more interesting stories from the junior market over the past week

Offshore oil rigs
Faroe urged shareholders not to accept what it said was a low-ball and “opportunistic” bid of £600mln

One of the key movers on AIM this week was oiler Faroe Petroleum plc (LON:FPM), which rose 4.5% to 153p as it battled a hostile takeover effort from Norwegian predator and 30% shareholder DNO.

The firm urged shareholders not to accept what it said was a low-ball and “opportunistic” bid of £600mln.

DNO ratcheted up the rhetoric this week saying it was going nowhere irrespective of whether the bid was a success or failure, with DNO chairman Bijan But Mossavar-Rahmani adding that shareholders had given a “free pass” to Faroe’s board for too long.

Faroe’s response was one of indignation at DNO’s attacks on its “outstanding exploration track record and its implied criticism of our technical team”.

We’ll see over the coming days and weeks how this hostile bid battle plays out.

Elsewhere, online musical instrument retailer Gear4Music Holdings PLC (LON:G4M) was one of the post-New Year shortened trading week's heavier fallers after a profit warning on Friday drowned out solid sales for the Christmas period, sending its shares plunging 47% to 272.5p.

The company said that while it had seen strong sales in the four months to 31 December, demand had outstripped its UK capacity and constrained further growth.

As a result, the firm said, earnings for the 2019 fiscal year were expected to be “slightly below” 2018 levels.

Having a much better start to the year was Anglo African Oil & Gas PLC (LON:AAOG), which soared 41% higher to 15.8p after reinstating production at its TLP-101 well at the Tilapia field in the Republic of Congo.

TLP-101 had been producing around 30 barrels of oil per day before the TLP-103 programme got underway, but production was paused due to the proximity of the gas flare to drilling apparatus.

The well has now be restarted following the relocation of the flare and over an initial two-week test phase has flowed at a rate of 55 barrels of oil per day.

Following behind with a 12% rise to 118p during the week was Spectra Systems Corporation (LON:SPSY) after it revealed its first production order in China for its smartphone authentication product, TruBrand, with two tobacco companies signing up.

The order will see TruBrand incorporated into around 6 to 8mln cigarette packs to be sold in China.

Over the week the AIM All-Share was up 0.92% at 866.5, while the FTSE 100 was up 0.52% at 6,763.6 in the three and a half sessions.

Cabot Energy PLC dropped 11.4% to 0.62p over the week after the firm revealed it was talking to its major shareholders to see whether they will support a fund-raising.
The company has insufficient funds to pay off trade creditors and is low on working capital.

Elsewhere, software specialist WANdisco PLC (LON:WAND) jumped 5% to 506p after it secured its first multi-cloud contract with one of the largest mobile network operators (MNO) in the world.

While the MNO itself was not revealed, the contract is valued at about US$565,000 and will involve the operator using WANdisco’s patented Big Data and Cloud product, WANdisco Fusion for Multi-Cloud.

Metals Exploration Plc (LON:MTL) shares rocketed 151% to 0.82p in the week after unveiling its new chief executive.

Darren Bowden joins the company from Colombian gold company Minesa SAS where he oversaw the design, development and licensing of Minesa’s flagship underground Soto Norte project in the Santander province of north-central Colombia.

The shoe was on the other foot at MX Oil PLC (LON:MXO), which rose 33% to 0.08p but instead in response to the resignation of its chief operating offer Nigel McKim.

The group said its technical requirements would be “more than ably” covered by technical consultant, Wim Burgers, while chief executive Stefan Oliver said the change would “enable us to trim costs further which is important at this stage of our development”.

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