Small Cap Feast

20th January 2022

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Universe Group has left AIM following a takeover by Inform Information Systems Limited.

What’s Cooking In The IPO Kitchen?

Hercules Site Services a technology enabled labour supply company for the UK infrastructure sector, intends to float on AIM. Hercules is seeking to raise approximately £5.5m to rapidly deliver on the significant demand it is experiencing for its diverse range of services across the UK infrastructure sector, including to scale up its operations to supply labour to the northern section of the HS2 rail project from London to Birmingham. In addition, up to £4.5m will be raised for the existing shareholder from the sale of part of its interest in the Company. Hercules has a sustained track record of revenue growth from £9.7m in FY 2015 to £30.7m in FY 2019 and has experienced a strong rebound following Covid-19 growing to £14.0m in H1 FY 2021. Expected early Q1 2022.

Spinnaker Acquisitions plc, intends to join the Main Market (Standard). The Company have conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of HomeServe Labs Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of FTSE250 quoted public company HomeServe Plc, by way of a reverse takeover conditional, inter alia on relisting and successful completion of fundraising activities to be undertaken by way of a placing and direct subscriptions by new and existing investor. If the Proposed Transaction proceeds to completion, it is proposed to change the name of the Company to Ondo InsurTech Plc and the name of Labs, which will become a subsidiary of the Company, to LeakBot Ltd. Should the Proposed Transaction not proceed, then the Company would need to apply for the suspension of its listing of ordinary shares to be lifted and for trading to be restored. £5m capital to be raised. Due early 2022.

Unbound Group PLC, (currently called Electra Private Equity PLC) to join AIM. Unbound Group, will be the parent company for a range of brands focused on the 55 plus demographic. Initially focused on Hotter Shoes, Unbound’s curated, multi-brand retail platform will offer additional products and services that will enhance the enjoyment and wellbeing of its targeted customer community. This online platform will be based on the foundations of Hotter Shoes as a trusted brand, cloud-based digital infrastructure, and strong customer personalisation through data insight. No capital being raised on Admission. Anticipated Mkt Cap c.£30m. Due 31st Jan.

Clean Power Hydrogen, the UK-based green hydrogen technology and manufacturing company that has developed the IP-protected Membrane-Free Electrolyser is seeking to join AIM. The Group designs and manufactures hydrogen production units and is focused on the commercial production of green hydrogen in a simple, safe, and sustainable manner. The Group intends to raise approximately £50m. Timing TBC.

SuperSeed Capital Limited, to join the AQSE Growth Market. The Company will invest in technology-led innovation primarily through unquoted funds managed by SuperSeed Ventures, the Company’s Investment Manager, with the objective of maximising the investors’ long term total returns – principally through capital appreciation. Mkt Cap and Capital to be raised TBC.

Carbon Air, a nano-technology company which leverages the adsorption properties of activated carbon and other advanced materials to improve suspension systems, enhance acoustics or reduce noise, to join AIM. The Company’s proprietary technology has allowed it to develop a unique portfolio of solutions for a variety of sizeable end markets, including vehicle suspension systems, acoustic insulation for domestic appliances and micro-speakers for smartphones. Mkt Cap and Capital to be raised TBC. Due Late Jan.

i(x) Net Zero, the investing company which focusses on Energy Transition and Sustainability in the Built Environment, announces its intention to join AIM and raise money to provide development and expansion capital to certain of its investee companies, for future investments in companies that fall primarily within its areas of interest in Energy Transition and Sustainability in the Built Environment and to provide working capital for the Group. Capital to be raised £20m. Expected admission late Jan.

Spiritus Mundi due to join the Main Market (Standard), a special purpose acquisition vehicle which will seek acquisition targets in Europe and Asia in the clinical diagnostics sector. The Company has already raised approximately £1.2m in a pre-IPO fundraising round. Due late Jan 2022.

Recycling Tech Group to join AIM, a UK-based engineering, research and manufacturing company that has developed a modular and mass producible machine, the RT7000, which processes hard to recycle plastic waste into a synthetic oil that can be sold back to the petrochemicals industry as a chemical feedstock to make new plastics. Targeting a £40m raise. Due early Q1 2022.

Nu-Oil and Gas to acquire Guardian Maritime Ltd and Guardian Barriers IP Ltd and become Guardian Global Security plc and join the Main Market (Standard). Guardian is a technology group that supplies products to prevent unauthorised entry into areas that are deemed to have value, with maritime security being the main focus initially. Due late Jan 2022.

Superdielectrics to join AIM, a Company which is focused on developing technology to build supercapacitors with high energy density, low cost, and environmentally benign electrical energy storage devices that will help create a clean and sustainable global energy and transportation system. Admission is expected to take place in Late Jan 2022. Mkt Cap and Capital to be raised TBC.

Breakfast Buffet

Arecor Therapeutics 400p £111m (AREC.L)

The globally focused biopharmaceutical company advancing today’s therapies to enable healthier lives, provides a business update and announces that its preliminary results for the 12 months ended 31 December 2021 will be issued during the week commencing 25 April 2022. The financial performance for the 12 months ended 31 December 2021 was in line with expectations and the Group closed its financial year with a strong cash balance of £18.3m. Arecor’s proprietary portfolio is advancing on track. As announced today, the first patient has been dosed in the US Phase I trial of AT247, Arecor’s ultra-rapid insulin for the treatment of diabetes to investigate the product’s potential when delivered by continuous subcutaneous infusion via insulin pump. The trial is expected to complete in H2 2022 and builds on an earlier European Phase I clinical study in Type I diabetic patients in which AT247 exhibited an earlier insulin appearance, exposure, and offset, with corresponding enhanced early glucose-lowering effect compared with NovoRapid® and Fiasp®. The Group also continues to drive growth through its portfolio of collaborations across leading pharmaceutical, medical products and biotech companies. Further, the European Patent Office has granted patent EP3496734B, with claims protecting novel compositions of insulin glargine with improved thermostability. This grant further demonstrates the strength of the patent portfolio protecting the Group’s proprietary ArestatTM technology.

Brave Bison 1.825p £19.6m (BBSN.L)

The social and digital media company, provided a trading update in relation to the year ending 31 December 2021. Trading in the second half of the year has been strong. Revenues and viewing numbers across the Company’s advertising network have been robust, and Brave Bison’s agency won several new customers during the final quarter of the year. Furthermore, the integration of Greenlight is well advanced and all previously identified synergies for FY21 have been achieved. Consequently, Brave Bison expects to report results that are ahead of current market forecasts and the corresponding period from the prior year. Adjusted Operating Profit is expected to be not less than £1.4m, and Profit Before Tax is expected to be not less than £0.4m. Profit Before Tax is stated after incurring acquisition costs of approximately £0.7m and is expected to be the first statutory Profit Before Tax in the Company’s eight-year history as a public company.

Crossword Cybersecurity* 34.5p £25.9m (CCS.L)

The technology commercialisation company focused on cyber security and risk management, is today announcing that its online software assurance platform, Rizikon Assurance, is being made freely available to members of UK technology trade association, techUK for a single-use cyber security assessment to support them towards Cyber Essentials certification. TechUK SME members will be able to use Rizikon Assurance to self-assess their cyber security alignment with the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme. A report from the self-assessment will be issued with a high-level overview and ‘Scorecard’, helping them identify areas of cyber security weakness. The first 40 techUK members to complete the assessment will also be eligible for a one-hour consultation with a Crossword cyber security specialist to discuss their report in more detail . Should the member firm want to move towards formal Cyber Essentials certification, Crossword will for a fixed fee assist them with achieving certification. Additionally, Crossword will offer a limited free use of the Rizikon Assurance platform to techUK members interested in utilising the platform to assess their supply chain risks in a range of areas. Rizikon Assurance is a secure, encrypted portal which puts an organisation in control of managing risks in its supply chain and the financial, regulatory and reputational risks they indirectly carry. Rizikon Pro contains standard questionnaires on subjects such as cyber security, GDPR, supplier on-boarding, modern slavery, and anti-bribery & corruption. Customers can also opt to upgrade, which allows them to create their own question sets and scoring approaches, enabling a 360-degree view of supply chain risk in a single pane of glass.

Epwin 108p £156.5m (EPWN.L)

The leading manufacturer of low maintenance building products, supplying the Repair, Maintenance and Improvement, new build and social housing sectors, announces its year-end trading update in respect of the year ended 31 December 2021. Trading remained strong through to the end of the year, with revenues for FY 2021 expected to be approximately £330m, up by 37% compared to 2020 and 17% compared to 2019. This has been driven by a combination of the ongoing strength of demand in the RMI market, price increases and recent bolt-on acquisitions. The Group has continued to successfully navigate its way through the sector-wide operational, inflationary and supply chain pressures caused by the ongoing impact of Covid-19 and heightened demand levels. Accordingly, the Group now expects to report adjusted profit before tax for FY 2021 modestly ahead of current expectations, subject to audit. Trading in the first two weeks of 2022 has remained strong and has been in line with the Board’s expectations. The Board continues to monitor the development of the Covid-19 pandemic whilst managing the impact of absences across the workforce during the early part of 2022.

GetBusy 73p £35.9m (GETB.L)

FY Dec 21 trading update from provider of productivity software for professional and financial services. The Group made good strategic progress in the year, building on its established footprint of over 70,000 paying users across multiple market sectors and jurisdictions, coupled with continued double-digit growth in high-quality recurring subscription revenue. Annualised recurring revenue (ARR) growth was very strong in the final quarter, up 16% year-on-year at constant currency to £15.8m with encouraging contribution from both core and new products. Buoyant new business during Q4 together with strong customer retention and average revenue per user growth from our monetisation and pricing strategy were the key drivers. 2021 recurring revenue growth is expected to be 13% at constant currency, up from 12% in H1 and total revenue is expected to be slightly ahead of market expectations. Further, GetBusy has entered into the first customer agreements for its Certified Vault product, with aggregate ARR now in excess of $0.2m, demonstrating the potential for the Group within the broader US financial services market.

Goodbody Health 3.6p £16m (AQSE:GDBY)

Goodbody Health (Previously Sativa Wellness Group) announces a new sponsorship agreement with James Hedley for the Formula GB3 2022 Season. The Company Sponsored James in the 2019 Ginetta Junior Season following his win in the 2018 Ginetta Junior Winter Series Championship. He went on to become the 2019 Ginetta Junior Champion before moving onto Formula 4 in 2020 and 2021. The Goodbody Health Group operates within the United Kingdom and Europe as a trusted distributor and retailer of quality, accredited wellness products and diagnostic services to provides a unique ‘frontline’ healthcare service in the local community and enable customers to manage their health care digitally.

Marlowe 1,020p £786.7m (MRL.L)

The specialist in business-critical services and software which assure regulatory compliance, announces that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Optima Health Group Limited for £135m. Optima is a leading provider of technology-enabled Occupational Health services in the UK, is consistent with the Group’s strategy to become the leader in the Occupational Health sector, a core compliance market for Marlowe within its Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) division. Following the Acquisition GRC will contribute in the region of 60% of the Group’s annualised profits. The Board expects the Acquisition to be 10% accretive to Marlowe’s adjusted earnings per share in the first 12 months post-completion. Optima is a major step in the Marlowe compliance vision and confirms our position as leader in the regulatory compliance software and service arena in line with our Deepen, Broaden, Strengthen & Digitalise growth strategy. The Group expects to generate synergies of at least £2m in the first 12 months post -completion through the combination of Optima with its existing Occupational Health business. Pre-synergies the Acquisition will increase Marlowe’s run rate revenues and adjusted EBITDA to c.£400m and c.£71m respectively, with an adjusted Divisional EBITDA margin of c.19%. Further, the Group is launching a placing to raise c.£130m to fund the Acquisition. Following the Acquisition the Group will have proforma net debt of 1.5x Adjusted EBITDA and be strongly positioned to continue consolidating its fragmented compliance service and software markets.

Pennant International 32p £11.7m (PEN.L)

The global provider of training technology and integrated product support solutions , issues a trading update for the year ended 31 December 2021. The Company expects to publish its full-year results during May 2022. A preliminary unaudited assessment of the Group’s trading for FY21 indicates: revenues of circa £16m; loss before interest, taxation and amortisation of circa £0.6m; net debt at year-end of £3.6m; three-year order book at year-end of £22m, of which £10m is scheduled for delivery in 2022. As expected, trading improved in the second half of FY21 (with the Group generating positive EBITA of circa £0.4m for the period 1 July to 31 December) albeit the improvement was lower than budgeted as a result of two material factors. “2021 was a challenging year for Pennant given the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our business sector and the wider global economy. It is therefore pleasing that momentum has started to build again in our core product offerings and pipeline of new business. The Group continues to focus on its strategic objective of increasing the proportion of revenues which derive from software and services which is intended to deliver significant growth over the medium-term. Bid activity is increasing across the Group, and the Board remains very confident of the award of the ‘Major Programme’ within the first quarter of the year. The Group remains well placed to capture the many opportunities which lie ahead and accordingly, the Board views prospects for 2022 with increasing confidence and looks forward to reporting a significantly improved performance for the current year.”

Open Orphan 19.6p £131.6m (ORPH.L)

The rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation and world leader in vaccine and antiviral testing using human challenge clinical trials announces that further to the announcement on 9 August 2021, hVIVO, a subsidiary of Open Orphan, has inoculated the first cohort of volunteers with a GMP-manufactured malaria challenge agent as part of its first controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) challenge study. This study will assess CHMI using existing standard of care antimalarial drugs against Plasmodium malaria.

Zenova Group 18.5p £17.3m (ZED.L)

The provider of innovative fire safety and heat management technology and products, has signed a “partners in health” contract with the Epsom & St. Hellier University Hospitals NHS Trust in Surrey, UK. The signing of the contract and Zenova achieving NHS trusted partner status followed the evaluation of its fire safety and insulation products by the Trust’s EME Technical Support Services division. It paves the way for Zenova’s products to be used to improve fire safety and insulation throughout the Trust’s estate. Commenting on the news, Tony Crawley, Chief Executive of Zenova Group PLC said: “Achieving NHS trusted partner status with Epsom and St. Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust is a considerable development for Zenova. Zenova IR (insulating render) and IP (insulating paint) can now be used by the Trust to improve building insulation and reduce carbon emissions, whilst Zenova FP (fire-resistant paint) can be used to improve fire safety in the Trust’s hospitals and other healthcare settings for the benefit of NHS staff, patients, and their families. In addition, NHS trusted partner status now enables us to engage more easily with other parts of the NHS that are looking to address similar challenges. Given the scale of the NHS and its Greener NHS programme to reach net carbon zero, we believe that this represents a significant opportunity for Zenova, and further underlines that Zenova’s insulation and fire-safety products are becoming established and recognised as leaders in their respective markets.”

20 January 2022
*A corporate client of Hybridan LLP or retained by Hybridan LLP for certain services
** Arranged by most recent first
*** Alphabetically arranged
**** Potential means Intention to Float (ITF) has been announced, or it is a rumour


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