Small Cap Wrap: 15th August 2016
15th August 2016
Altitude Group (LON:ALT 16.75p/£7.45m)
Altitude Group, the provider of innovative technology solutions for small to medium sized businesses, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Customer Focus Software Inc., has agreed a five-year agreement with Philadelphia, PA based AI Mastermind, a leading buying group serving more than 1,000 promotional product resellers representing over $200m in annual sales in North America. Under the terms of the Agreement, Altitude will provide each AI Mastermind member with an ecommerce website that uses the Group’s unique proprietary technology. Altitude will receive a share of the gross margin on all orders that are processed through the platform. The Agreement is for an initial five-year term, with automatic renewal for a further five years. The Directors expect the first customers to be live by October 2016 and the deal to be earnings enhancing from launch.
Avingtrans (LON:AVG 193.88p/£53.86m)
Avingtrans, a manufacturer of critical components and associated services to the global energy and medical sectors, announced that Maloney Metalcraft, part of Avingtrans PLC’s Energy & Medical division, has secured a contract with EDF Energy, worth £3.5m, to supply components for their current fleet of seven nuclear power stations across the UK. Maloney Metalcraft will supply gas-cooling process-critical valves for each of the seven EDF managed Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors around the country (Dungeness B, Hinkley Point B, Hunterson B, Hartlepool, Heysham 1, Heysham 2 and Torness). The contract is part of a life extension programme that will also see Maloney Metalcraft providing engineering support and on-site services to EDF Energy as part of the deal. These contracts will continue until the end of life of the stations.
Blue Prism (LON:PRSM 211.10p/£131.33m)
Blue Prism, a leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), provided an update on current trading. Blue Prism has continued to enjoy strong pipeline progress. The Group has won a number of new contracts including a contract to deploy its RPA solution to a global tier-1 bank through one of its major alliance partners. This is a significant contract win for Blue Prism that provides a strong validation of its partner-led sales model and whilst the size of the contract today is uncertain, the Board believes it has the potential to become the largest deployment of Blue Prism’s software robots to date. Alongside these contract wins, the Group has recently secured a contract renewal with one of its largest customers, a UK-headquartered global tier-1 bank, which signed a new three year commitment. Together, the renewals and the continued momentum in new business wins in the year to date, mean that, subsequent to the outlook detailed in the Group’s interim results, we are confident that Blue Prism will outperform the Board’s current expectations for the full year.
Conroy Gold and Natural Resources (LON:CGNR 30.65p/£3.47m)*
Conroy Gold and Natural Resources, the gold exploration and development company focused on Ireland and Finland, announced that an independent study by structural consultant Dr. Francis Murphy has confirmed the continuity of the gold lodes at the Company’s Clontibret gold target. The structural study was carried out on the stream bedrock in Clontibret. Eight gold lodes were identified in the stream bedrock. These lodes all corresponded to gold lodes previously identified by the drilling programme. The confirmation of continuity in the gold lodes, taken in conjunction with drilling results and channel sampling results from the old antimony mine workings at Clontibret enhances the Company’s understanding of gold mineralisation within the Clontibret gold deposit. This demonstration of the continuity of the gold mineralisation at Clontibret is a further essential step forward as the Company proceeds with its Clay Lake-Clontibret gold mining project.
Lok’n Store (LON:LOK 322.00p/£86.72m)
Lok’nStore, the fast growing self-storage Company, announce the signing of management contracts to develop and operate two new landmark stores. The two sites are in prominent retail locations in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire and Broadstairs, Kent. Lok’nStore has secured planning permission for a purpose built landmark site in Hemel Hempstead which has been purchased by an international fund management group. The Broadstairs site is an existing building in a prominent location on a retail park that will be converted for storage use. Building work will commence immediately on both locations, funded by the owners of the properties, with opening scheduled for 2017. When developed these Managed Stores will add around 70,000 sq. ft. to the trading portfolio, an increase of 5 percent to the total managed or owned currently by the Company. With the addition of the new landmark sites recently acquired as Lok’nStore Owned Stores in Wellingborough and Gillingham the Company will be operating 30 storage centres when these sites are completed. Lok’nStore will generate a return on these stores by charging management fees for the acquisition, branding and operation of the stores based on revenue and profits. These projects continue Lok’nStore’s strategy of expanding the operating footprint of the business by developing both Managed Stores and Owned Stores while maintaining its strong balance sheet.
Oakley Capital (LON:OCL 127.94p/£243.80m)
Oakley Capital Investments, the company established to provide investors with access to the investment strategy being pursued by Oakley Capital Private Equity L.P. (Fund I) and its successor fund, Oakley Capital Private Equity II (Fund II), announced a trading update for the 6 months ended 30 June 2016. The Company, through its investment in Fund I, has an indirect interest in each of Fund I’s portfolio companies representing 65.5 percent of Fund I’s total commitments; and through its investment in Fund II, an indirect interest in each of Fund II’s portfolio companies representing 38.1 percent of Fund II’s total commitments. The Company’s NAV will be in the range £2.12 – £2.15 per share representing an uplift of 12 – 15p per share versus the NAV of £2.00 per share as at 31 December 2015. Of the uplift in NAV per share, approximately 13p is attributable to the significant weakening of Sterling between 31 December 2015 and 30 June 2016. The underlying performance of the portfolio in the Funds has been good, contributing to an uplift of up to 9p per share. There has been a fall in NAV per share of 7p due to the post-IPO share price of Time Out on 30 June 2016. The Company’s NAV comprises cash, the investments in the Funds, short-term bridging finance for the Funds and loans provided to a number of the portfolio companies.
OptiBiotix Health (LON:OPTI 72.20p/£56.33m)*
OptiBiotix Health, a life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and skin care, announced that GoFigure® meal replacement shakes and natural snack bars products are now available for sale in UK stores of the Whole Foods Market Inc, a large ($15bn turnover in 2015) American supermarket chain exclusively featuring healthy foods. On 26 July 2016, OptiBiotix announced it had completed an investment to acquire 51% of The Healthy Weight Loss Company which produces GoFigure® products containing SlimBiome®, OptiBiotix’s patented combination of natural ingredients, identified and developed by experts to support weight loss. The launch of SlimBiome® in the GoFigure® range establishes its use in food products with customer feedback consistently reporting reduced hunger, less snacking, and easier weight loss. GoFigure® products will initially be stocked in 8 UK Whole Foods Market Inc shops with opportunities for further expansion.
Premier Veterinary Group (LON:PVG 147.00p/£21.24m)
Premier Veterinary Group announced that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Premier Vet Alliance Limited, it has signed a cooperation agreement for its preventative healthcare program for pets, Premier Pet Care Plan (PPCP), with Zoetis, one of the world’s largest animal healthcare companies. PPCP is branded as “Huisdieren Zorg Plan” (HZP) in the Netherlands. Since the introduction of HZP to the Dutch companion animal market in March 2015, the business has entered into contracts with over 10% of the available clinic market. The cooperation agreement signed with Zoetis, an influential global manufacturer serving this market, will result in their representatives identifying and supporting practices which are interested in launching HZP in the Netherlands. Working in close collaboration with Zoetis is expected to generate an acceleration of the penetration of HZP into the wider Dutch market. The available market for preventative healthcare programs for pets across the Netherlands is estimated at 1,100 veterinary practices, and an estimated 1.5 million dogs and 2.6 million.
ProMetic Life Sciences (TSX:PLI CAD3.04/CAD1,801.4m)*
ProMetic Life Sciences, announced that it has completed enrolment of the congenital plasminogen deficient patients in its pivotal phase 2/3 clinical trial required for the accelerated regulatory approval pathway with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA has agreed to an accelerated regulatory approval pathway, given the rarity of the condition and the related unmet medical need. To secure an accelerated pathway approval, a drug must treat a serious condition, provide a meaningful advantage over available therapies and demonstrate an effect on a surrogate endpoint that is reasonably likely to predict clinical benefit. ProMetic’s Plasminogen has received an Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA and the European Commission for the US and the European markets respectively. ProMetic also received a Fast Track Designation by the FDA, a process designed to facilitate the development and expedite review of drugs and biologics intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs.
Sareum (LON:SAR 0.673p/£17.75m)*
Sareum, the specialist cancer drug discovery and development business, announced that the Chinese Patent Office and the Hong Kong Patents Registry have issued notifications that patents will be granted for inventions associated with Sareum’s Aurora+FLT3 Kinase Inhibitor Programme. These patents describe compounds that inhibit the activity of Aurora and FLT3 kinase enzymes and the medical use of these compounds, particularly in the treatment of cancer. The granting of these patents means that Sareum will have approved patent protection in China and Hong Kong for its Aurora+FLT3 inhibitor programme. The Company announced that similar patents were to be granted in the USA and Europe in September 2015. Other major territories, including Japan, are expected to pegfollow in due course. Sareum’s Aurora+FLT3 inhibitor programme targets acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and other leukaemias and lymphomas. In disease models of AML, the preclinical development candidate molecule demonstrates greater than 98% tumour inhibition. Preclinical development studies to obtain approval for human clinical trials are being undertaken in collaboration with, and funded by, Hebei Medical University Biomedical Engineering Center (HMUBEC) in China.
Venn Life Sciences (LON:VENN 28.00p/£16.77m)
Venn Life Sciences, a growing Contract Research Organisation (CRO) providing drug development, clinical trial management and resourcing solutions to pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device clients, announced that it has signed a new contract worth €2.8m with a European Biotechnology client. The clinical trial is a Phase II study in the area of Immunotherapeutic treatments for Multiple Sclerosis and involves patients in six countries across Europe and commences in October 2016. Furthermore, Venn’s Interactive Response Technology (IRT) department, which centralises the randomisation of patients for Phase I to IV clinical trials and manages the logistics of these studies, has successfully qualified as a service provider to a top ten Pharmaceutical client and has been awarded an initial project involving thirty sites in China. This vendor qualification is a significant milestone for the IRT division and represents an exciting opportunity to grow a global account.