The disposal was conditional upon the approval of the UK Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) but the CMA referred the deal for what is called a Phase 2 investigation.
The CMS investigation, announced on 21 April, is expected to take until October of this year to conclude and since it was announced, market conditions have changed substantially, resulting in both parties agreeing to terminate the acquisition.
2.35pm: Witbread taps the market
The 1-for-2 fully underwritten rights issue will be priced of 1,500p per new share, a discount of 37.4% to the theoretical ex-rights price of 2,395p and a 69% discount to the level the shares started the year.
Announcing the fundraising alongside results for the year to 27 February, where adjusted profit before tax fell 8% to £358mln on revenue up 1% to £2.1bn, the FTSE 100 group detailed various measures it has taken to reduce cash outflow since its hotels were closed in late March as part of the UK coronavirus lockdown, including putting more than 27,000 staff on the government furlough scheme.
1.45pm: Pets at Home's share price goes down with the mange
Pets at Home PLC (LON:PETS) was a god stock on Thursday, sliding 9.8% to 207.2p following its full-year results.
The pet products flogger nd veterinary group warned its half-year pre-tax profit would be “materially below” last year as sales have dwindled after an early coronavirus lockdown spike, while the retailers' operating costs remain high.
Following an initial upsurge when consumers stockpiled at the beginning of the lockdown, turnover has taken a hit due to social distancing measures and restrictions on non-essential items, with sales focusing on food, the group said.
1.00pm: Kibo Energy gives back most of yesterday's gains
The shares rose from 0.225p yesterday to 0.27p after it put out a “clarification statement” late in the day adding more detail to its proposed share capital reorganisation.
This morning it was announced that Sanderson Capital Partners and related parties had increased their stake in the Africa-focused company to 19.3% from 13.8%.
12.10pm: KRM22's acquisition strategy beginning to bear fruit
For the year ended December 31, 2019, the software firm reported annualised recurring revenues (ARR) growth of 21% compared to 10% a year earlier, while total revenues in the period rose to £4.1mln from £1.3mln.
The firm’s adjusted underlying loss (LBITDA) also narrowed, to £3.1mln from £3.3mln, and over the year it said it signed six new partnerships covering client on-boarding, enhanced due diligence, online training, individual accountability regime and regulatory reporting.
11.15am: Salt Lake Potash pumped after Lake Way update
The pumping of initial brine extraction drilled into the paleochannel at Lake Way has delivered flow rates of 18 litres per second with a consistent potassium grade of 7,100mg per litre.
The results, which were sustained over a 17-day delivery, are above the average flow rates used in the company’s bankable feasibility study, which demonstrated 8 litres per second and average brine grades of 6,100mg per litre.
10.30am: Universe expands after reassuring update
The loyalty scheme specialist said the results were in line with its trading update at the end of last month.
“We already have a revenue pipeline for this year that indicates completed revenues of £5.2 million in Q1, with further revenues of £16.8 million visible through existing recurring and repeatable revenue contracts and the order book,” disclosed Andrew Blazye, the non-executive chairman of Universe.
9.30am: Dart places shares at zero discount
The company, which owns the Jet2 airline and the Jet2 packaged tour holidays business, managed to get the share issue away at no discount to the prevailing market price, although it is worth noting that the shares have collapsed from 1,943p in February when it started to dawn on markets that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was going to hit the travel industry hard.
“The board believes that the proceeds of the placing, together with the recently confirmed Bank of England £300mln COVID corporate financing facility (currently undrawn) and the group's fully drawn revolving credit facility of £100mln, will provide the group with additional headroom to deal with this most challenging of trading environments,” said Philip Meeson, the executive chairman of Dart in a statement.
The employee and medical screening specialist said the service will provide employees with a CRL Clear kit to test blood samples for coronavirus antibodies which will indicate if a person has been previously infected with the disease.
If the employee tests positive, they will then receive a CRL Rapid Response Kit, a saliva-based molecular diagnostic test to determine if the virus is still active. A positive test, in this case, indicates the employee is still infected with coronavirus and will automatically be contacted by a doctor to discuss the results and next steps.
Proactive news headlines:
ClearStar Inc (LON:CLSU) said it has launched a coronavirus testing service to support employers with their return-to-work planning and workplace safety. The employee and medical screening specialist said the service will provide employees with a CRL Clear kit to test blood samples for coronavirus antibodies which will indicate if a person has been previously infected with the disease. If the employee tests positive, they will then receive a CRL Rapid Response Kit, a saliva-based molecular diagnostic test to determine if the virus is still active. A positive test, in this case, indicates the employee is still infected with coronavirus and will automatically be contacted by a doctor to discuss the results and next steps.
Belvoir Group PLC (LON:BLVR), the property lettings specialist, said its franchise networks has proved resilient during the UK’s coronavirus (COVID-19) lock-down. Trading during the first quarter, which incorporated just one week of the lock-down period, was strong and in line with management expectations, Belvoir said in an AGM trading update. Things got a bit trickier in April but at the end of the month the group carried out a rent arrears survey and the situation was not as bad as the board had feared. Less than 5% of tenants were in arrears on their rent compared with the usual 2% experienced by Belvoir’s networks.
Stobart Group Limited (LON:STOB) has said it will propose a name change before February 28, 2021, after selling the Eddie Stobart and Stobart trademarks and brands to Eddie Stobart Logistics PLC (LON:ESL) for £10mln. The aviation and energy group said the payment will be split into a £6mln sum to be paid on completion of the transaction, £2.5mln to be paid on or before December 1, 2020, and £1.5mln paid 36 months after completion of the sale. Stobart Group said the proceeds will be used for working capital purposes, adding that a number of its divisions will continue to use the brand for up to 36 months after completion of the sale which will be licenced on a royalty fee basis from Eddie Stobart.
Galileo Resources PLC (LON:GLR) told investors it has completed the acquisition of Botswana business Crocus-Serv which holds 21 exploration licences. Some 19 licences are located in the highly prospective Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB) and the other two are in the Limpopo Mobile Belt (LMB). Altogether the licences span 14,875 square kilometres. To acquire the assets the company is issuing 38.81mln new shares priced at 0.42p each.
Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) revealed that it has signed a ‘foothill contract’ with one of the world’s largest pharmaceuticals companies, which will evaluate the potential of Oncimmune’s technology to screen for lung cancer in at-risk patients. This initial tie-up could be the “first step” towards a long-term partnership with the unnamed partner that would see the widespread availability of the EarlyCDT Lung test, investors were told. The latest agreement is one of a series of deals inked in the last two months that showed the “full breadth” of the firm’s commercial offering, said chief executive Adam Hill.
FastForward Innovations Ltd (LON:FFWD) has noted that a strategic partner to its investee company Leap Gaming, IMG Arena is to begin offering bookmakers a virtual sports betting product for the NASCAR US stock car racing series. FastForward said IMG Arena has entered an agreement with NASCAR which licenses its official assets to create a virtual sports betting game for the racing series and offer it to operators worldwide. The game was developed in partnership with Leap Gaming, in which FastForward holds a 43.4% stake, and will replicate famous NASCAR tracks including the Daytona International Speedway, the Talladega Superspeedway and the Watkins Glen International.
Directa Plus PLC (LON:DCTA), the provider of graphene-based products, has said revenues so far in 2020 have been nearly three times higher than 2019’s levels. Year-to-date revenues clocked in at €1.8mln, the company revealed as it posted its results for the period ended December 31, 2019. Revenues for the whole of 2019 were €2.63mln, up from €2.25mln in 2018, while total income, including grants, rose to €2.81mln (2018:€2.50mln). The underlying loss (LBITDA) narrowed to €2.71mln from €3.24mln in 2019, while the group's loss before tax was cut to €3.43mln from €3.96mln.
KRM22 PLC (LON:KRM) has reported strong growth in recurring revenues in 2019 as its recent acquisitions begin to bear fruit. For the year ended December 31, 2019, the software firm reported annualised recurring revenues (ARR) growth of 21% compared to 10% a year earlier, while total revenues in the period rose to £4.1mln from £1.3mln. The firm’s adjusted (EBITDA) loss also narrowed, to £3.1mln from £3.3mln, and over the year it said it signed six new partnerships covering client onboarding, enhanced due diligence, online training, individual accountability regime and regulatory reporting.
88 Energy Ltd (LON:88E) has suggested that there is still life in the Charlie well yet as it provided a technical update on its view of the exploration disappointment following the departure of former partner Premier Oil PLC (LON:PMO). In an operations update, the AIM and ASX-listed explorer – which is in the process of rebooting via a merger with Alaska peer XCD Energy – among other details highlighted what it called “compelling” indications of oil in an up-dip location from the Charlie well location. Moreover, it commented that it had originally planned to drill the Charlie well somewhere else before Premier Oil joined the exploration campaign.
Chaarat Gold Holdings Ltd (LON:CCG) has updated investors on production numbers for the Kapan mine in Armenia, which yielded 12,992 gold equivalent ounces in the first quarter. That marks a 12% improvement compared to the preceding three-month period, driven by better grades, the group said. In an operational and production update, Charaat said it has successfully implemented its coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention measures since mid-February and has seen no cases on record within the group.
Braveheart Investment Group PLC (LON:BRH), the technology company investor, has increased its stake in imaging specialist Phasefocus to 42.7%. Through the deal, AIM-listed Braveheart will purchase an additional 22,145 shares in Phasefocus from Synergy Investments for £203,000 payable in shares at a strike price of 29p. Currently, Braveheart has a 25% stake in Phasefocus, which has developed a series of patented computational imaging techniques in applications such as live cells, engineering metrology and electron microscopy. Meanwhile, Braveheart said another of its investee companies, Paraytec is preparing patent applications after the conclusion of the UK government-funded Nexus Project.
Strategic Minerals PLC (LON:SML) said it has lodged a draft program for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPR) for its Leigh Creek copper mine (LCCM) with the South Australian government. In an update, the AIM-listed firm said the PEPR was “an important step to full re-opening of operations and producing copper at Leigh Creek”, with the process generally taking three to four months from lodging of the draft to approval. Strategic said once the approvals were complete and operations restarted, Leigh Creek was “ideally placed as a second income stream for the company with a short development timeframe and low capital costs to first production”.
Power Metal Resources PLC (LON:POW) highlighted a period of significant change and notable success as it released its financial results statement for the twelve months ended September 30, 2019. The statement - released just before Wednesday’s close - detailed the business restructuring, operational progress and exploration success achieved during the period and since. The pre-revenue firm reported a £1.6mln loss for the year, narrowed from the £6.6mln reported for the preceding twelve months. It ended September with £171,000 of cash before £700,000 was raised in December.
Tharisa PLC (LON:THS) has seen its first-half profit jump by 72% year-on-year, helped by a sharp increase in platinum group metal (PGM) prices. The group's pre-tax profit in the six months to the end of March rose to US$17.5mln, up from US$10.2mln the year before, on revenue that climbed to US$194.6mln from US$166.5mln. The average PGM basket price during the period was US$1,612 per ounce, compared to US$1,017 in the corresponding period of 2017/18.
Shield Therapeutics PLC’s (LON:STX) chief executive Tim Watts has said that finding a US partner for its iron deficiency drug is the “top priority” for 2020. His comments were made alongside the company’s results for the 12 months to December 31, 2019, which charted a period of significant progress. Heading the list of highlights was the approval in America for Accrufer with a broad label from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Shield already has commercial agreements in Europe and China for the drug, which is known as Feraccru outside the US.
Feedback PLC (LON:FDBK) has had a contract renewed with the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The specialist medical imaging technology company said the contract is for clinical PACS (picture archiving and communication system) services with Feedback Medical Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company. The renewal, covering a period of 14 months, will incorporate an upgrade to service, providing the trust access to Bleepa, Feedback's flagship imaging-based communication platform. The trust is the second National Health Service (NHS) trust to adopt Bleepa as a core imaging tool.
NQ Minerals PLC (LON:NQMI) (OTCQB:NQMLF), the base and precious metals producer from its Hellyer Gold Mine in Tasmania Australia, announced that it has raised gross proceeds of £189,500 from an equity issue at 7.0p and 7.5p per share from a UK-based institutional investor and a group of private investors for general working capital purposes which will see the company issue 2,699,999 new ordinary shares.
Catenae Innovation PLC (LON:CTEA), the AIM-quoted provider of digital media and technology, announced that it has received notification for the exercise of a warrant over 6,250,000 ordinary shares in the company at a price of 0.4p per share providing it with proceeds of £25,000. It also announced an issue of 3,341,057 ordinary shares as a result of the conversion of £65,485 of existing liabilities into ordinary shares at a conversion price of 1.96p each, with the conversion shares subject to a six-month lock-in.
Midatech Pharma PLC (LON:MTPH) (NASDAQ:MTP), an R&D biotechnology company focused on delivering innovative oncology and rare disease products to patients has announced the closing of its previously announced registered direct offering of 1,818,182 of its American Depositary Shares (ADSs) - each ADS representing five of the company's ordinary shares - at a purchase price of US$1.65 per ADS (equivalent to 27p per new ordinary share). Additionally, in a concurrent private placement, the company issued to the investors unregistered warrants to purchase up to 1,818,182 ADS’s with an exercise price of US$2.05 per ADS (equivalent to 34p per new ordinary share) which will expire five years and a half years from the issuance date. The net proceeds to Midatech from the offering are expected to be approximately US$2.6mln (£2.1mln). Midatech said it intends to use the proceeds from the offering to fund the clinical development program of MTX110, its product for DIPG and potentially other pediatric brain cancers, develop an internal pipeline of Q-Sphera formulation for partnering, for working capital and general corporate purposes. The company said it expects its previously announced placing to certain investors in the UK of 6,666,666 units - with each unit comprising one ordinary share and one warrant exercisable for one ordinary share, at an issue price of 27p per Unit - to close on or about May 22.
ImmuPharma PLC (LON:IMM) (Euronext Growth:ALIMM), the specialist drug discovery and development company has confirmed that it's annual general meeting (AGM) will be held on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at 10.30am BST at 50 Broadway, London SW1H 0RG. It added that due to the current issues surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) and the rapidly developing public health guidance in the UK it is no longer possible to hold the AGM in the way that the board had planned, and it cannot allow shareholders to attend in person. Any shareholders attempting to gain access to the AGM will be excluded from the meeting on grounds of public safety. In the light of the above, the group said it strongly encourages shareholders to consider ensuring their vote is counted by submission of the proxy by post as detailed in the Notice of Annual General Meeting.
Digitalbox PLC (LON:DBOX) announced that at the company's annual general meeting on Wednesday, all the resolutions, as set out in the Notice of Annual General Meeting dated April 2020, were duly passed. The results of the proxy voting will be available on the company's website in due course: www.digitalbox.com
Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) has said it will host an online webinar on Saturday, May 23, 2020, at 9.00am BST (UTC+1) to discuss the resolutions being proposed at the general meeting of shareholders as announced on May 15, 2020. It added that shareholders should use the following link to register and join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_R0vUN4dTRRephSKb0hi1oQ