Maistro shares to become just a blurred memory

A look at the day's major movers, including Great Western Mining, Majestic Wine, Ascent, Ferguson and Just Group

AIM 20-share index
Once one of AIM's high-flyers, it never really recovered from its founder offloading a pile of shares

3.30pm: Maistro shares squeeze in one more plunge 

Maistro PLC (LON:MAIS), the company formerly known as Blur, slumped 18% to 0.225p as shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposed delisting from AIM.

The last day of dealing in Maistro's shares on AIM will be 27 June.

More than 97% of the votes cast at today's general meeting were in favour of the company going private.

2.15pm: Fragrant comes up smelling of roses as Simon Retter rejoins the board

Cash shell Fragrant Prosperity Holdings Limited (LON:FPP) rose 15% to 1.95p after it announced the return of Simon Retter to its board.

Retter stepped down from the Fragrant board in March of last year to pursue other interests.

Retter, who rejoined the board on 13 May, specialises in corporate finance transactions.

1.00pm: Great Western in line for cash return after Nevada mining decision

Great Western Mining Corporation PLC (LON:GWMO) shares headed north, rising 12% to 0.365p, after receiving good news from Nevada.

The Nevada Division of the US Environmental Protection Bureau of Mining Regulation and Reclamation has approved Great Western's application to close the reclamation permit relating to the 2018 drill programme on the company's M4 copper-gold project in Mineral County Nevada, following a site visit to review the company's land reclamation work.

The decision will enable the company to begin securing the release of a U$60,000 performance bond that had been lodged as part of the 2018 M4 drilling programme.

11.45am: A business cannot be run on sediment alone

Full-year results from Majestic Wine PLC (LON:WINE) presaged a 7.9% fall in the share price of the struggling wine flogger to 295p.

Put another way, the shares went down – but not well. Sediment – I mean sentiment – was not helped by the resignation of its chairman, Greg Hodder.

READ Majestic Wine stumbles as chairman unexpectedly resigns, swings to loss in full year

“We’re told the wheels are in motion for Majestic Wine’s legacy shops business to be sold, leaving the group as an online-focused entity called Naked Wines but is that really the right move?” wondered Russ Mould, the investment director at AJ Bell.

Mould expressed concerns that the company might miss direct interaction with its customers and is also concerned at the money Naked Wines is splashing out in an attempt to lure new customers.

“It believes it will make £4 for every £1 it spends on such investment over a 20-year period. There do not appear to be many barriers to entry for setting up an online wine-ordering business and so competition could be a major issue for the group in the future, affecting its ability to hang on to customers,” Mould suggested.

10.30am: Ascent descends as it receives knockback in Slovenia

Ascent Resources PLC (LON:AST) shares plunged 31% to 0.225p after reports circulated of a knock-back for the oil explorer and its partners in Slovenia.

The joint venture partners had been hoping to restimulate the Pg-10 and Pg-11A wells on the Petišovci project in Slovenia but if a report on a Slovenian government website is to be believed, the Environment Ministry has denied permission for the work to be done on the wells.

The report has not been officially confirmed but the board is clearly preparing for the worst, saying it will consider all potential courses of action including arbitration and a claim for damages against the Republic of Slovenia.

9.30am: Ferguson surges as activist investors reveals chunky stake

Ferguson Plc (LON:FERG) topped the Footsie leader-board with a 6.4% rise to 5,648p in early morning trading after hedge fund Trian revealed it has a 6% stake in the plumbers’ merchant.

“Trian believes that Ferguson is an attractive business that trades at a discount to comparable US peers,” the investment firm said in a statement released on Thursday.

Trian, which is run by veteran activist investor Nelson Peltz, has been in touch with members of Ferguson's management team and said it looks forward to working with them.

Trian said its stake was valued at around £736mln as at last night’s close. It recently beefed up its stake in the company - formerly known as Wolsely - by splashing out around £250mln at 5,285p a share.

There has also been some share buying going on at Just Group PLC (LON:JUST), the retirement income advisor, with its shares up 14.4% at 57.70p early doors.

Ahead of its annual general meeting being held today, the company revealed that all of its directors have recently increased their shareholdings or are in the process of doing so.

The company said this demonstrated confidence in management’s ability to execute its turnaround plan and underlined the board’s view that the company’s shares are fundamentally undervalued.

Proactive news headlines:

Tekcapital PLC (LON:TEK) told investors that its portfolio company Salarius Ltd has completed a follow-on order for MicroSalt with an American snack food company. Salarius has developed MicroSalt which is a proprietary salt comprising micron-size salt particles that dissolve in the mouth significantly faster than regular salt. It creates a higher sensation of saltiness with much less salt. Big Pic in February.

Quadrise Fuels International PLC (LON:QFI) told investors it has inked a services agreement with Aleph Commodities Ltd which will provide services to the company in the use of the MSAR technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Big Pic this week.

Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR), the specialist small molecule drug development business, has hailed the recent progress of its clinical and pre-clinical programmes. Following last week’s announcement of preliminary efficacy data for SRA737, a cancer drug it helped to develop, the company provided the market with an update on other developments within its active pre-clinical portfolio. Big Pic in February.

Salt Lake Potash Ltd (LON:SO4) (ASX:SO4) has demonstrated the economic potential of its Lake Way Project through a scoping study for the commercial-scale development of its Western Australian sulphate of potash (SOP) project. The study was based on the mineral resource estimate for Lake Way reported in March, amounting to 8.2 million tonnes of SOP calculated using drainable porosity and 73 million tonnes using total porosity. Big Pic in February

Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) (ASX:THR), in response to a price query from the Australian Securities Exchange, confirmed that it was not aware of any information which could explain the recent movement in the price of the company's ordinary shares on ASX.

Iodine producer Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) plans to move into the production of cannabidiol (CBD) oils after receiving conditional approval for a licence to process hemp in Kentucky, US. Big Pic in March.

Europa Metals Ltd (LON:EUZ) told investors that the first hole in the drill programme at the Toral lead-zinc-silver project, in Spain, has been terminated early and its contractor has now begun the next hole. The first hole, tagged TOD-021, was terminated at the company’s instruction due to a substantial deviation in trajectory, away from the targeted zone. Big Pic in April.

Midatech Pharma PLC (LON:MTPH) has finalised a development plan for its MTD201 Q-Octreotide product. Big Pic in May.

Seeing Machines Ltd’s (LON:SEE) has won four new commercial fleet contracts for its driver-monitoring technology via its New Zealand distributor in recent months. Big Pic in February.

accesso Technology Group PLC (LON:ACSO) has signed a three-year partnership with The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) to supply its Passport, Siriusware and Ingresso products. Big Pic in March.

Live Company Group Plc (LON:LVCG) has inked a deal to supply BRICKLIVE interactive brick-based content for an event to be held in Holon, Israel. Big Pic in March.

Taptica International Ltd (LON:TAP), the advertising technologies and performance-based mobile marketing group, has made rapid progress on its integration with recently acquired RhythmOne. Big Pic in April.

Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) has raised £3.88mln via a placing with a single investor to help fund the progression of its lead asset into clinical trials. Big Pic in May.

ValiRx Plc (LON:VAL) has raised £300,000 through a share placing to address its immediate working capital needs and to develop key drugs. The group also expects to shortly receive £150,000 in proceeds from the sale of an unlisted security along with a research and development tax credit of £400,000 from the HMRC in July. Big Pic in May.

Mineral & Financial Investments Ltd (LON:MAFL) has announced it has taken an interest in Golden Sun Resources Limited, a group that’s advancing the Costa Rica based Bellavista mine into production later this year. It has purchased US$250,000 of Golden Sun’s ‘Series B’ convertible debt. Big Pic in March.

Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK) has confirmed that, further to its announcement of 3 June 2019, the company today successfully completed a new senior secured floating rate listed bond issue of Nkr850mln (US$95mln equivalent). The group said the bond issue, which will refinance Benchmark's existing $90m credit facility, was significantly oversubscribed and marks the company's entry into the Nordic region debt and securities market, which is globally recognised for its investment in aquaculture, providing it with access to a sector specialist investor base.

Pembridge Resources PLC (LON:PERE) revealed in a corporate update on Wednesday that it has received an additional £450,000 in subscriptions at 16p per ordinary share within existing shareholder authorities, which concludes the company's non-brokered private placement.

Cabot Energy PLC (LON:CAB) announced that SP Angel Corporate Finance is now the company's sole broker with immediate effect and remains the company's nominated adviser. Scott Aitken, Cabot’s chief executive officer, commented: "I would like to thank our previous joint broker GMP FirstEnergy for their services and the support they have provided to Cabot Energy over the years."

Diversified Gas & Oil PLC (LON:DGOC) said it will pay a dividend in respect of the first quarter to 31 March 2019 of 3.42 US cents per share (Q1 2018: 1.725 US cents). The group said the dividend will be paid on 27 September 2019 to those shareholders on the register on 6 September 2019.


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