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TRADING UPDATES: Marlowe buys; Galliford snaps up nmcn's Water unit

Thu, 7th Oct 2021 22:08

(Alliance News) - The following is a round-up of updates by London-listed companies, issued on Thursday and not separately reported by Alliance News:

Coca-Cola HBC AG - FTSE 100-listed Swiss-based soft drinks bottler - Completes 30% stake buy in Italian coffee company Casa Del Caffe Vergnano SpA. The financial details of the deal, via whollyowned subsidiary CC Beverages Holdings II BV, were not disclosed. "Caffe Vergnano is one of the oldest coffee roasters in Italy offering a truly premium, high-quality coffee that represents Italian heritage and authenticity at its best. As part of this deal, Coca-Cola HBC has entered into an exclusive distribution agreement for Caffe Vergnano's products in Coca-Cola HBC's territories outside of Italy," company says.

Galliford Try Holdings PLC - FTSE 250-listed construction firm based in Uxbridge - Agrees to acquire substantially all of nmcn PLC's Water business including the specialist water process and control businesses Nomenca and Lintott for GBP1.0 million cash. nmcn enters administration on Wednesday. Galliford Chief Executive Bill Hocking says: "This acquisition is an excellent strategic fit with our existing business and will accelerate the growth of our successful Environment division, providing work with new clients and increasing our capabilities. This is a very exciting time as we deliver our Sustainable Growth Strategy and I look forward to a bright future for our collective team."

Mercantile Ports & Logistics Ltd - Indian port and logistics facility developer and operator - Revenue for 2020 rises to GBP745,000 from GBP30,000 in 2019, but pretax loss widens to GBP6.1 million from GBP5.0 million as finance costs grows to GBP1.9 million from GBP613,000. Chair Jeremy Warner Allen says: "In 2020 we re-commenced operations of the port in a very challenging environment caused due to the impact of Covid-19 pandemic, with the firm support of our stakeholders. At the same time, we continued to make progress with our strategic objectives and continue to strive to sign long term contracts with niche clients which will add value to our facility as well as market standing. Our team has continued to make progress with contract negotiations and other areas despite the lockdown and, given the current capability of the facility and its location, I believe that we are well positioned in every way to perform strongly as restrictions are lifted and trading conditions improve."

Ramsdens Holdings PLC - Middlesbrough, England-based pawnbroker - Says "resilient" continues in six months to September 30. "The group's jewellery retail segment, both in store and online, has continued to achieve good growth reflecting the investment in stock, window displays, website merchandising and functionality, and staff training in recent years. In addition, demand for pawnbroking lending has increased in recent months with new lending in September 2021 almost back to the pre-covid levels of September 2019. Gold buying remains at approximately two thirds of pre-covid levels but is expected to recover as demand for our foreign currency service returns and customers are made aware of this service. Foreign currency exchanged has slowly increased throughout the summer, with September 2021 volumes being approximately 30% of September 2019 volumes," company adds.

BP Marsh & Partners PLC - investor in financial services companies - Investee XPT Group LLC buys S&H Underwriters Inc, a managing general agent and surplus lines broker and binding authority business based in Barre, Vermont. XPT also signs deal to add USD30.3 million in debt financing from Madison Capital Funding LLC, on top of existing banking facilities with Madison of USD37.4 million.

JPMorgan American Investment Trust PLC - fund managed by JP Morgan Asset Management invests in S&P 500 index companies - Raises additional USD35 million of long-term debt through issue of fixed rate senior unsecured privately placed notes, maturing 2032 with a fixed coupon on 2.32%. The net proceeds from the notes will be used in part to repay the company's short-term indebtedness.

NFT Investments PLC - invests in non-fungible tokens - Invests CAD100,000, about USD79,600, in start-up Big Whale Labs, a decentralised social network platform. Executive Chair Jonathan Bixby says: "I am delighted to announce our partnership with Big Whale Labs and our third investment to date. Social networks are ripe for disruption by decentralised technologies and we expect this to be a growing future market. We are proud to support Big Whale Labs alongside a roster of high calibre investors."

Mobeus VCTs - London Main Market-listed venture capital trusts - Mobeus Income & Growth VCT PLC, Mobeus Income & Growth 2 VCT PLC, Mobeus Income & Growth 4 VCT PLC, and Income & Growth VCT PLC note gains from Proactive Group Holdings Inc realisation. Mobues VCT nets GBP2.3 million, Mobeus 2 nets GBP1.6 million, Mobeus 4 gains GBP1.9 million, while Income & Growth nets GBP2.5 million.

Gunsynd PLC - London-based investment firm - Investee Pacific Nickel Resources completes initial JORC mineral resource estimate for prospecting licence PL 01/18 on Isabel Island, Solomon Islands. Total JORC mineral resource estimate at Jejevo is 14.4 million tonnes at 1.3% nickel at a 1.0% cut-off. Chair Hamish Harris says: "It's pleasing to see momentum gathering on this project. Much progress has been made in 2021 and we look forward to receiving news on mining licence applications in the future".

Marlowe PLC - London-based safety and regulatory compliance services and software - Acquires water treatment and compliance services provider Sterling Hydrotech Holdings Ltd for enterprise value of GBP1.8 million. "The acquisition provides attractive synergies with Marlowe's Testing, Inspection & Certification division," company says.

Semper Fortis Esports PLC - London-based professional esports team operator - Signs Max Anthony Cope and Jack Renata as its full-time Fortnite, a free-to-play battle royale shooter game, professional and content creator team for the upcoming season. "Both have signed six-month contracts with an option to renew for an additional 6-months thereafter. They will receive an annual salary and performance-based incentives Both are also semi-professional players," company says.

BATM Advanced Communications Ltd - Israel-based networking technology and medical lab systems - Signs strategic partnership with AudioCodes Ltd, where company's network function virtualisation product, Edgility, is being made available by AudioCodes, a vendor of advanced communications software and products. "AudioCodes' MSBRs are designed for service providers serving the Small Office Home Office, small and mid-size business and small to mid-size enterprise markets to provide an all-in-one router combining access, data, voice and security in a single device," company says.

Bidstack Group PLC - London-based in-game advertising platform - Signs exclusive new partnership with Toronto based game studio Tangent Interactive Media Inc for its interactive story game Storylines: Fashion & Passion, which will be released in Spring 2022. "Bidstack's technology will enable immersive and realistic native in-game ad placements to come to life within the game's virtual world, helping Tangent Interactive to sustainably monetise its audience, without disrupting their playing experience," company explains.

Kanabo Group PLC - medical cannabis research and development - Signs partnership agreement with MedoCann Pharma Ltd for development of new products with exclusive distribution rights into the German and UK medical cannabis markets. "The partnership agreement between Kanabo and Medocann will focus on the co-development of new and novel strains from flowers and extracts made for specific medical indications through the combination of Kanabo's preclinical data on the effect of cannabis on different illnesses and Medocann's genetics bank, breeding and strain development expertise. The new strains and extracts will be used to launch new co-developed medical cannabis products," company says.

Sareum Holdings PLC - Cambridge, England-based specialist drug developer - US Patent & Trademark Office formally approves its patent in respect of an invention associated with Sareum's proprietary SDC-1802 TYK2/JAK1 Kinase inhibitor programme. "The patent will grant on 26 October 2021 and will protect the SDC-1802 molecule and pharmaceutical preparations thereof as a therapeutic to treat cancer selected from pancreatic, colorectal and kidney cancers, melanoma, and B-cell lymphoma by inhibiting TYK2 kinase. This programme is in preclinical development," company explains. ​

IQ-AI Ltd - Jersey-based medical services firm - Rasies GBP620,000 through placing of 12.4 million shares at 5 pence each. Chief Execrative Trevor Brown subscribed for GBP150,000 for 3.0 million shares as part of placing. He now owns 29% of company. "The net proceeds of the Placing will be invested in the continuing development of the company's Software Platforms, IB Zero G, IB Trax and IB CAD, and for general working capital purposes," company says.

Directa Plus PLC - London-based supplier of graphene-based products - Previously awarded contract for soil decontamination has now become effective for its remediation subsidiary, Setcar SA. Contract effective from October for a duration of 12 months and has a value to Setcar of about EUR900,000. Directa Founder & Chief Executive Giulio Cesareo says: "Setcar is proving to be the 'go-to' supplier of petroleum and hydrocarbon remediation services in both ground and water in south east Europe. This is another good win and I congratulate the team behind the project."

Sanderson Design Group PLC - Buckinghamshire-based interior design and furnishings - Morris & Co brand signs licensing & supply agreement with FTSE 100-listed retailer Next PLC for range of homewares including bedlinen, cushions, ready-made curtains, blinds, rugs, wallpaper and lighting. "This agreement is further to Morris & Co's apparel agreement with Next, which was signed in November last year. The Next range of Morris & Co women's, men's and children's apparel was launched in May this year and is performing ahead of Group expectations," company says. Adds: "It is anticipated that the first products under the Morris & Co homewares agreement, which has an initial three year term, will be launched in early 2022 and will be available online at and in selected Next stores."

Kavango Resources PLC - mineral exploration company with operations in Botswana - Renews five prospecting licences in the company's Kalahari Suture Zone project. Each licence runs for an additional 2 years, and will expire on September 30, 2023.

Sunrise Resources PLC - miner focused on operations in US state of Nevada and Western Australia - Signs agreement with Kinross Gold USA Inc where Kinross has a lease & option to purchase company's 25 Jackson's Wash mining claims in Nevada. Kinross granted 9-year mining lease and option to purchase claims for USD500,000, but company will retain 2.5% net smelter royalty.

Altus Strategies PLC - mining royalties investor - Notes 10,000 metre reverse circulation and 1,300 metre diamond drilling programme is underway at company's 100%-owned Diba gold project in western Mali. Chief Executive Steven Poulton says: "The drilling programme has been designed to expand and infill the existing Diba Deposit and define a maiden resource at the 900m-long Diba NW discovery. The AC programme will be used to test numerous, as yet undrilled, satellite targets which are proximal to the Diba Deposit. Recent drilling from Diba NW has established a series of consistent shallow-dipping zones of gold mineralisation."

Xtract Resources PLC - copper-gold projects in Australia, Mozambique and Zambia - Phase 2 diamond drilling programme at the Racecourse copper-gold deposit on the Bushranger project, located in the Lachlan Fold Belt of New South Wales, Australia was "very pleasing". Drill holes BRDD-21-018 and BRDD-21-019 have both completed to final depths of 732.6 metres and 693.6 metres, respectively. Executive Chair Colin Bird says: "Both intersected significant thicknesses of moderate intensity copper mineralisation. As we grow our knowledge of the Racecourse mineral system, we are better able to predict the orientation and location of the more intense copper mineralisation, allowing us to have a good sequence of promising intersections. We await with interest the assay results for holes BRDD-21-018 and BRDD-21-019."

Serinus Energy PLC - oil and gas projects in Tunisia and Romania - Incorporates new gas trading subsidiary, Serinus Energy Romania Trading Srl. The subsidiary will initially trade the company's Romanian gas production not committed under its marketing agreement with Vitol into the Romanian market. "Serinus Energy Romania Trading Srl has been created to allow our licenced gas traders to directly access the Romanian gas market and to capture the full value of gas prices in Romania," company adds.

IronRidge Resources Ltd - minerals exploration company with projects in Chad, Ghana and the Ivory Coast - Files application for shares to trade on OTC Market's OTCQX Best Market trading platform in the US, making shares more widely available to North American investors. "The company believes that listing on the OTCQX Market is a natural step forward to address global Lithium interest and will potentially provide enhanced investor benefits, including easier access in the United States, and greater liquidity," company says.

Thor Mining PLC - precious, base, energy and strategic metal projects in the US and Australia - Says latest soil results from 100%-owned Ragged Range project, in Eastern Pilbara, Western Australia, defined eight new "robust" drill-ready targets. Managing Director Nicole Galloway Warland says: "These results confirm our geological model of shear hosted gold associated with the mafic-ultramafic contact. The directors believe that Ragged Range has significant exploration potential, with all the right ingredients to host significant gold deposits and we look forward to commencing our maiden RC Drilling program at the Sterling Prospect next week."

Phoenix Global Resources PLC - upstream oil and gas company - Discussions over loan restructuring with Mercuria continues. "The board continues to believe that it will be able to agree the restructure of the existing debt with Mercuria and formalise an agreement for new funding. Whilst these discussions continue and further to the announcement on September 23, Mercuria has agreed to further increase the bridging facility, which carries interest at USD Libor plus 4% and is not convertible by USD17.5 million to USD67.5 million," company says.

Castillo Copper Ltd - Australia and Zambia-focused base metal copper exploration company - Finds significant pegmatite outcropping along Litchfield lithium project's western boundary. Managing Director Simon Paull says: "Initial due diligence at the Litchfield Lithium Project is off to an excellent start, with demonstrable photographic evidence of pegmatite outcropping along the western boundary. The board now awaits the outcome of assay results which will determine the potential for contiguous mineralisation with CXO's Finniss lithium project." Cadence Minerals PLC owns 29% of the lithium projects.

By Paul McGowan;

Copyright 2021 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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