GRC International slides as it places shares to finance an acquisition

A look at the day's major movers, including eServGlobal, Plaza Centers, Range Resources, Pathfinder Minerals, Altus Strategies, Coro Energy and Empyrean Energy

GRC will pay £3.53mln in cash and 2.02mln in shares to acquire DQM

Governance and risk management specialist GRC International Group PLC (LON:GRC) is to acquire DQM Group, a provider of data consulting and technology solutions.

The acquisition is expected by the board to be significantly earnings enhancing in 2020 and beyond and marks the completion of the majority of the group's investment programme intended to position the group to become cash generative.

The shares slid 7.5p to 109p as the company announced it would finance the cash element of the coat of the acquisition by placing 5mln new shares at a quid each.

1.50pm: eServGlobal lifted by new contract with an existing key customer

Mobile payments platform operator eServGlobal Limited (LON:ESG) has signed a new contract with an existing customer in Asia Pacific.

The value of the contract is about €1mln, which will be recognised over a three-year period, with roughly 50% capable of recognition in 2019.

The contract involves eServGlobal supplying a voucher management platform for a leading local operator in the region.

The shares were up 7.4% at 7.25p on the news.

1.00pm: Plaza Centers offloads its interest in the Dambovita Center project in Romania

Plaza Centers N.V. (LON:PLAZ), the emerging markets-focused developer of shopping and entertainment centres, tumbled after it offloaded its interest in the Dambovita Center Project.

Plaza had a 75% interest in the Casa Radio project, as it is known, but is to sell its stake for a maximum consider of €60mln to Israeli company Africa Israel properties.

Plaza shares trade at 40p, down 5p on the day.

12.15pm: Nick Beattie to check out as CFO of Range Resources

Nick Beattie has tendered his resignation as the chief financial officer (CFO) of Range Resources Ltd (LON:RRL).

Theo Eleftheriades, the group financial controller, will assume the role of acting CFO following Beattie's departure.

As is often the case when a bean counter moves on, the share price took a dent – down 14.3% at 0.03p.

11.00am: Pathfinder rises on the prospect of consultancy firm taking an equity interest

Natural resources company Pathfinder Minerals PLC (LON:PFP) is on the right path, judging by the market’s response to its corporate upsate on Monday.

The company has employed mergers & acquisitions consultancy Africa Focus Group (AFG) to advise on the the potential acquisition of mining concession 4623C from Pathfinder Moçambique.

The shares rose 8% to 1.35p as pathfinder dangled the prospect of AFG spending its consultancy fee on new shares in Pathfinder.

10.00am: Altus Strategies cashes in on its bauxite assets in Cameroon

Altus Strategies PLC (LON:ALS) has pulled out of its joint venture with ASX-listed Canyon Resources.

Altus is to receive up to 30 million Canyon shares with a current value of C$5.8 million (about £3.4mln) for giving up its share in Aucum Resources, the holder of the company’s Birsok and Mandoum licences in Cameroon.

Altus will receive a US$1.50 per tonne royalty on bauxite ore mined and sold from the licences.

"We are delighted to reach this deal with Canyon which is designed to monetise our bauxite projects in Cameroon,” said Steve Poulton, the chief executive officer of Altus.

Shares in Altus were up 13.6% at 3.35p in mid-morning trading.

9.15am: Transfer of interests in Duyung production sharing contract see shares in both Coro and Empyrean slide

Coro Energy PLC (LON:CORO) is to acquire a 15% interest in the Duyung Production Sharing Contract (PSC) in the West Natuna Basin, offshore Indonesia.

The company will pay US$2.95mln in cash and US$1.85mln in shares for the stake and will contribute US$10.5mln towards the cost of this year’s drilling campaign.

In order to finance the cash element of the deal, Coro’s cornerstone investors have agreed to underwrite a €22.5mln Eurobond issue.

Shares in Coro, formerly known as Saffron Energy, were down 6.6% at 2.48p in early deals. On 9 April of last year, when the company relaunched after acquiring Sound Energy Holdings Italy Limited, the shares were trading as high as 4.3p.

Empyrean Energy PLC (LON:EME), which is selling down its interest in the Duyung PSC, also saw its shares dip, albeit by slightly less; the shares were down 5.1% at 8.3p.

"The sale to Coro Energy PLC of a 15% interest in the Duyung PSC is mutually beneficial for all parties concerned,” claimed Tom Kelly, the chief executive officer of Empyrean.

The West Natuna basin includes the Mako Gas discovery, described by Kelly as “an exciting project”.

“Empyrean will now be largely funded for the majority of the 2019 appraisal programme and whilst Empyrean will sell 15% of its interest and drop from 10% currently to 8.5% at completion, the potential uplift in valuation of the asset will come with minimal financial risk to Empyrean,” Kelly said.

Proactive news headlines:

Live Company Group Plc (LON:LVCG) has inked an agreement with AWC AG, a leading German exhibition promoter, to provide three BRICKLIVE shows in the country.

Avation PLC (LON:AVAP) expects pre-tax profits to have more than doubled when it reports its first-half results later this month. The company, which buys planes and then leases them out to airlines such as Thomas Cook and Air France, said it “continues to perform well”.

Rosslyn Data Technologies PLC (LON:RDT) has won three contracts for its supply chain analytics solutions carrying a combined value of over £500,000.

BlueRock Diamonds PLC (LON:BRD) has recovered a 16.28 carat diamond of gem quality from its Kareevlei mine in South Africa. The stone is 4.58 carats larger than the largest stone hitherto extracted from Kareevlei by BlueRock. Separately, BlueRock has raised £575,000 in a placing of shares at 0.3p each. The money raised will be invested in mining operations and in associated plant. 

SIMEC Atlantis Energy Limited (LON:SAE), has announced further progress on the MeyGen tidal energy extension activities known as Project Stroma with the award of a contract for the manufacture and delivery of the world's most advanced sub-sea tidal turbine connection system.

Sativa Investments PLC (NEX:SATI), the UK’s first medicinal cannabis investment vehicle, has appointed veterinary expert Dr Nick Horniman as its new director of regulatory affairs.

ANGLE PLC (LON:AGL), the med-tech firm at the forefront of cancer research, said its liquid biopsy system has been used in research featured in the prestigious science journal Nature. Parstortix was central to the analysis carried out by a team at the University of Basel, in Switzerland, which highlighted the role of immune cells assigned to protect the body from disease in actually promoting the spread of cancer - a process called metastasis.

Following hard on the heels of a commercial deal covering the Baltic area, OptiBiotix Health plc (LON:OPTI) has signed an agreement that will see its breakthrough cholesterol-lowering bacteria strain distributed in Japan. For the UK group has negotiated an exclusive tie-up with the EIWA Trading Co for its LPLDL product.

Primary Health Properties PLC (LON:PHP) has acquired the owner of the Oakwood Lane Medical Centre in Leeds, for £5.43mln. The Oakwood Lane medical centre was completed in 2014 and is fully let to a general practitioner (GP) practice that serves more than 13,500 patients, making it one of the largest practices in the local area; it also has a pharmacy unit that benefits from rent reviews linked to the retail price index.

Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO) announced a new round of management changes and gave further details of its business plan – which continues to focus on tight cost management, divestment possibilities and sourcing new opportunities. Chairman Alastair Ferguson changes his role from non-executive to executive management, and, at the same time managing director Dan Maling leaves his position with immediate effect.

Follow-up drilling work undertaken by Savannah Resources PLC (LON:SAV) has confirmed continuity of lithium mineralisation at the Grandao, Reservatorio and Pinherio deposits on the Mina do Barroso lithium project in Portugal.

A review by South Korean state-owned mining company KORES has confirmed Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd’s (LON:BMV) estimates of the potential of the Kochang mine. Samples taken by KORES from a small section at Kochang indicated an indicated and inferred resource of 113,000oz compared to Bluebird’s 117,000oz.

Galantas Gold Corporation (LON:GAL)(CVE:GAL) is continuing with development on the Kearney vein at its Omagh gold mine in Northern Ireland. "Current production is sourced from the mining of on-vein drives, which have to be developed before stoping panels are mined,” said chief executive Roland Phelps.

Alba Mineral Resources PLC (LON:ALBA) has updated on progress on its portfolio of mining projects. Among the highlights are ongoing activities towards the re-opening of the Clogau-St Davids gold mine, the UK's largest historical gold producer, as well as an extensive regional exploration programme which will shortly be commencing across the Dolgellau gold belt.

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