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Proactive news snapshot: Zoetic International, Sareum Holdings, Bluebird Merchant Ventures, Block Energy …

A glance at some of the day's highlights from the Proactive Investors newswire

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Zoetic International PLC (LON:ZOE) has raised around £1.2mln through a share subscription from Ox Distributing, its primary distribution partner in the US. The maker of cannabidiol (CBD) products said Ox has subscribed for around 23.7mln new shares at a price of 5p each, the same as Wednesday’s closing price.

Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR) said it has inked a licensing deal with an unnamed Chinese specialty pharmaceutical company that will develop the UK firm's FLT3+Aurora kinases portfolio, including SAR-20293, a preclinical drug candidate for acute myeloid leukaemia and other blood-borne cancers. The AIM-listed group will receive £50,000 upfront and a further £900,000 milestone payment related to oral bioavailability - the ability of the drug to reach the therapeutic area after being taken by mouth.

Bluebird Merchant Ventures Ltd (LON:BMV) said it has teed up US$5mln of debt finance for its gold mine projects in South Korea. Talks are underway with the lender over borrowings that will be repaid by production from the Gobang and Kochang mines.   As an interim funding measure, Bluebird has borrowed £200,000 from investors until funding for the projects is received.

Block Energy PLC (LON:BOE) has acquired new acreage in Georgia, picking up two areas held by Schlumberger for no upfront cash consideration. Schlumberger will instead be given options over Block Energy stock - 120mln shares, or 23.3% of the company, ascribing a base deal value of around US$6mln.

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) has received maiden dividends from its wholly-owned Turkish operation subsidiary Galata Madencilik after the company’s Kiziltepe gold mine began generating cash and profits. A total of £1.6mln has been transferred to Ariana.

MetalNRG PLC (LON:MNRG) has told investors that it has been presented with new “potentially attractive” transactions in the oil and gas sector amid the current market turmoil triggered by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. At the same time, in the wake of the collapse in crude oil price, the natural resource investor has returned to the negotiating table over a project in Romania – for which an acquisition had previously been agreed.

ADES International Holding PLC (LON:ADES) told investors that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has not significantly impacted the group's operations to date, albeit that in line with the FCA directive the company will delay the release of its financial results. The rig contractor said its assets are operating as usual, and, trading remains in line with management expectations.

Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP) is to take a 29% stake in AqualnSilico, a software firm developing tools to optimise wastewater treatment across multiple industries. The IP investor said AquaInSilico, a spin out from NOVA University in Portugal, has developed sophisticated algorithms to help detect possible problems with treatment processes before they can be diagnosed by humans.

Tekcapital PLC’s (LON:TEK) portfolio company Lucyd, a developer of “smartglasses”, has filed a new patent and a trademark on its forthcoming Vyrb app. The Vyrb app will enable users to activate “a world of smartphone actions” with their voice in just moments, including social media posting. By using the app along with Lucyd Bluetooth glasses, the user can spend less time looking at their phone and keep more of their focus on the real world. Lucyd is looking to release the app in December 2020.

Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS) has issued a helpful step-by-step guide that will help mitigate the security risks for companies whose employees are working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is based on the advice it is providing FTSE-100-listed clients.

Jubilee Metals Group PLC (LON:JLP) has delivered a 778% boost to its earnings for the six months to end December 2019 to £6.67mln, up from the just £760,000 delivered in the corresponding period in 2018. Cash generated from operations rose 570% to £4.89mln, and overall revenues were up by 205% to £25.4mln.

Inspired Energy plc (LON:INSE) has reiterated its January trading statement guidance for 2019 results, which it has delayed publication of reflecting FCA advice, but said it will not provide updated guidance for 2020 currently and will defer a decision on paying a final dividend for this year.

Iofina PLC (LON:IOM) revealed it has received notice that a requisition for a general meeting from Arron Bank’s Rene Nominees, has been withdrawn Rene Nominees controls around 10.56% of the company’s share capital and earlier this month Banks clarified that he did not intend to make an offer the company Banks previously communicated he was unhappy over the company’s move into hemp and wants it to make more of its iodine capability during the coronavirus crisis.

Pembridge Resources PLC (LON:PERE) has said there are no coronavirus cases at the Minto copper mine operated by the group, although in the wider Yukon there are currently three cases. In a statement, the company said that the safety of staff, their families, customers and partners are of paramount importance to it and Minto Explorations in these uncertain times.

Mineral & Financial Investments Limited (LON:MAFL) noted that investee firm Cerrado Gold Inc has made a new acquisition, picking up the Don Nicolas mine in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina. The move is described as the first step in Cerrado’s goal of becoming an ‘intermediate producer’. Mineral & Financial holds 625,000 shares, about 1.5%, in presently unlisted Cerrado which intends to “seek a path forward to become a public company.”

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ has said it is monitoring the coronavirus situation as it evolves and is implementing precautionary measures to maintain the safety of its employees and ensure the sustainability of its business. In a statement, Anglo Asian noted that it is continuing to produce gold from its operations in Azerbaijan for the time being.

Touchstone Exploration Inc (LON:TXP) has told investors it plans to press ahead with the drilling of the Chinook prospect, in Trinidad, unless it becomes “absolutely necessary” to suspend operations due to the coronavirus (Covid-19). Operationally, the company’s focus is on delivering the Coho and Cascadura discovery wells – which will significantly boost production volumes – and drill Chinook which follows on as the third well on the Ortoire block.

Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd (LON:FOG) has told investors that its new Beetaloo shale well, in Australia, will be suspended before fracking as the operator responds to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The AIM-quoted explorer, in a statement, said that partner Origin Energy has been adhering to advice from the Northern Territory and Federal Government on health and safety and social distancing.

Sunrise Resources PLC (LON:SRES) has said it continues to make good progress in the permitting process for its CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada, USA. Currently, all Sunrise staff are working from home, and this is not having and is not expected to have any negative effect on the company’s business.

Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (NYSEAMERICAN:CMCL) (LON:CMCL) (TSE:CAL) has said it is confident it can manage the likely knock-on effects to its Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe of the 21-day shut-down in South Africa due to the coronavirus pandemic. The supply chain for the procurement of a significant portion of mining consumables and capital equipment for the Blanket mine comes from South Africa. However, the company expects no interruption to its gold production.

BigDish PLC (LON:DISH) has said its business has been immediately affected by the government’s decision to order all UK restaurants to close temporarily. The technology firm, which helps restaurants fill tables in less busy times, said its Manchester team has been furloughed to preserve cash and so the company can qualify for government assistance. BigDish’s technology and business support teams in the Philippines are working from home. Technology development continues and no material effect to this aspect of this business is currently envisaged. The team have all accepted voluntary salary reductions during this period.

Synairgen PLC (LON:SNG) has taken advantage of a recent share price surge to raise up to £14mln to fund the trial of its interferon-beta treatment in coronavirus patients. On Thursday, the company said it had raised the funds in a heavily oversubscribed fundraising through the issue of 40mln new shares at a price of 35p each, a 32% discount to its closing price on Tuesday, the day before the placing was announced. In a note, analysts at 'house' broker finnCap introduced a 120p target price on the firm, saying the company's risk/reward profile was "skewed significantly to the upside" and that a successful outcome from the pilot phase of SNG001 will have "substantial commercial value".

Impax Environmental Markets PLC (LON:IEM) said that, as a consequence of the emergency measures being implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which include restrictions on gatherings of more than two people and the expected delay to the company's Annual General Meeting, its board has determined to pay this year's dividend as an interim dividend, rather than as a final dividend requiring shareholder approval at the Annual General Meeting. Accordingly, the firm will pay an interim dividend for the 2019 financial year of 3.0p per ordinary share on 24 April 2020 to shareholders who appear on the register on 3 April 2020, with an ex-dividend date of 2 April 2020.  This dividend is as at the same level as that paid in respect of the previous financial year.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR), the AIM-listed investor in natural resource opportunities, announced that on 25 March 2020, its chief executive officer, Michael McNeilly, purchased 1,250,000 ordinary shares in the company on market, at a price of 0.99p each, for a total consideration of £12,375. Following this purchase, the group noted, McNeilly is interested in a total of 5,247,733 Ordinary Shares, representing 0.34% of the Company’s issued share capital.

Location Sciences PLC (LON:LSAI), the leading location data verification company, said it has agreed to issue warrants to subscribe for up to, in aggregate, 74,286,667 new ordinary shares at an exercise price of 0.1p each. It said the warrants, will be issued to all those participating in the placing an issue price of 0.875p per share to raise approximately £0.975mln announced by the company on 6 March 2020. If all of the warrants are exercised, the gross proceeds receivable by the company would be £74,287, bringing the aggregate value of the fundraising, including the proceeds of the placing, to approximately £1.0mln, the group said. Mark Slade, chief executive officer of Location Sciences, commented:  "The impact of COVID-19 on the financial markets has been profound, which has resulted in our share price falling well below the Issue Price and, as a consequence, we have had to try to balance the interests of Placees with what is best for the Company.”

Location Sciences also announced that all resolutions put to shareholders at its General Meeting on Thursday were duly passed. Accordingly, a re-organisation of the company's share capital will occur with effect from close of business today comprising a sub-division of the existing ordinary shares to create two classes of shares: new ordinary shares with a nominal value of 0.1p and new deferred shares with a nominal value of 0.9p. The proportion of the issued ordinary share capital of the company held by each shareholder immediately before and after the sub-division will remain unchanged. It also said that Peterhouse Capital will be appointed as joint broker to the company.

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