The Indian Government and Reserve Bank of India has announced several relief packages to combat the adverse impacts of COVID-19 and the lockdown implemented last week. The lockdown encompasses all non-essential industries and has resulted in Mercantile shutting down operations. As a result of the current market uncertainty, we are withdrawing our forecasts from the market and move our recommendation to Under Review until macroeconomic conditions stabilise. We believe the long-term prospects for Mercantile remain unchanged and expect management to continue to convert pipeline customers.
Companies: Mercantile Ports & Logistics
The outlook remains positive for Mercantile Ports with stronger revenue generation expected in FY20E. Relationships with pipeline customers are progressing and remaining positive but are taking longer than anticipated to finalise. This is due to the long-term nature of the contracts resulting in both parties looking to ensure favourable terms.
The successful fund raise of £30m in Dec-18 allowed Mercantile Ports to progress the build out of the port making it operationally ready. Mercantile is now revenue generating and has further progressed pipeline contracts with at least two new customers planning to utilise the port in H2/19E. Post period-end a further contract was secured with Tata Projects Limited and Daewoo Engineering worth £5.5m.
AMRYT PHARMA PLC— a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and delivering innovative new treatments to help improve the lives of patients with rare or orphan diseases have raised $60m before expenses and will relist on the AIM Market on the 25/09/2019
Companies: ONC PEN RBD UOG SAE SIM MATD CER MSMN MPL
The build out of the port has substantially progressed and is now capable of supporting operations from both contracted and pipeline customers. The first vessel was received and they gained Customs approval from the Ministry of Finance. Additionally, they secured a 20-year lease extension (taking its maturity to 2059) and an option to double the size of the originally proposed port. Despite this progress, delays to receiving customs approval have pushed back the expected start date of operations to after the monsoon (Sep-19E), leading us to downgrade our forecasts for FY19E and FY20E.
Mercantile Ports & Logistics (MPL) has announce a £27.75m conditional fund raise. The raise is expected to fund the project to completion and we issue forecasts inferring that MPL will achieve profitability in FY19E. After significant investment in developing a competitive advantage, through the elimination of regulatory risk and commencement of operations, we believe that investors stand to benefit from increasing cash flows into the future. MPL trades on an FY20E EV/Sales of 1.8x, which we believe offers value for its prospects. We reinstate our Buy recommendation.
RA International is a leading provider of services to remote locations in Africa and the Middle East looking to join AIM raising £18.8m and 56p, market cap of £97.2m. Expected 29 June
Cake Box Holdings—franchise retailer of cakes with a growing store base across the UK looking to join AIM, Offer tbc, expected late June
Mind Gym. Behavioural science business that uses scalable proprietary products to deliver human capital and business improvement solutions to large corporations. Offer TBA. Due 28 June
Anexo -specialist integrated credit hire and legal services group. Offer raising £25m at 100p, market cap £110m. Due 20 June.
i-nexus—develops and provides strategy execution software to assist global enterprises in effective execution of their strategic plans and initiatives looking to jon AIM. Offer TBC, expected 19 June
Yellow Cake will use its expertise to generate value through the ownership of physical U3O8 (Uranium) together with a range of activities and opportunities connected with owning physical U3O8. Acquiring supply contract for up to $170m. Offer TBA.
Tekmar— technology provider of protection systems for subsea cable, umbilical and flexible pipes and offshore engineering services—Offshore wind farms and Oil & Gas. Revenue of £21.9m and Adjusted EBITDA of £4.9m. £61.8m raised at 130p. Mkt cap c.£65m. Due 20 June.
Knights Group— UK regional legal and professional services businesses. FYApr18 rev £34.9m and adjusted operating profit was £6.8m excluding Turner Parkinson (acquiring on IPO). Offer TBA, expected 29 June.
TransGlobe Energy Corporation—an independent international upstream oil and gas company with headquarters in Calgary, Canada is looking to join AIM. No Capital to be raised, market cap of £131m. Expected 29 June
Strongbow Exploration (TSX:SBW) intends to dual list on AIM. Holds rights to the South Crofty underground tin mine, a former producing tin mine located in the towns of Pool and Camborne, Cornwall . The project is estimated to require the Company to raise £25 million over the next 18 months to progress to a production decision. Offer TBS. Due June.
Companies: ERIS PTSG KOOV OPTI WSBN VRS MPL ING HVO JAN
In light of today’s trading update, we are placing our forecasts and recommendation under review. Any previous recommendation and forecasts cannot be relied upon.
Today's update has reassured investors with the news of its second cargo management contract at its new Mumbai site
Clean Invest Africa—Introduction due around 14 Nov. Vehicle established to identify investment opportunities and acquisitions in renewable and clean energy projects/companies or alternative technologies that are used in a socially and environmentally responsible way that will aid the development of the African continent,
Boku - Independent direct carrier billing company. Revenues were up 21% to US$10.2 million in HYJun17 . Q32017, revenues grew to US$6.5m, up by 44% . The Company also saw continued growth across all of its key metrics: user numbers, total payment and a positive adjusted EBITDA for the month of September 2017. Due 20 Nov. Offer TBA.
Ten Lifestyle Hldgs. Technology-enabled lifestyle and travel platform providing trusted concierge services to the world's wealthy. Net revenue increased from £20 million in the year ended 31 August 2015 to £33 million in the year ended 31 August 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 29%. Offer and date TBA.
AfriTin Mining—Demerger from Bushveld Minerals (BMN.L). Offer TBA. Due 6 Nov. The Uis Tin project (Namibia) is considered the flagship tin asset within the portfolio, as this was once the largest open cast tine mine of its kind in the world .
Footasylum Ltd—UK-based fashion retailer focusing on the branded footwear and apparel markets announced its intention to seek admission to AIM. Expected value between £130m and £150m. Due Nov 2017.
Central Asia Metals (CAML) -RTO of Lynx Resources. Anticipated market capitalisation at Admission: £404.8m. Raising £113m at 230p. Acquiring the SASA zinc-lead mine in Macedonia from Solway Industries. Due 15 Dec.
OnTheMarket—Intention to float on AIM to raise c.£50m which will be used to fund the growth of the OnTheMarket.com portal, already the third biggest UK residential property portal provider. Expected valuation £200m to £250m.
OG Graphite, brownfield development-stage graphite company focused on the reactivation of its wholly-owned Kearney natural flake graphite mine and mill located 280 km north of Toronto, Canada. Offer TBA, expected mid November.
Companies: NAR OTC MPL HAT AST CSSG TOT SVCA MAGP URU
Mercantile Ports & Logistics (MPL) has announced interim results to H1/17, indicating that project works continue to progress on schedule and in line with management’s projections. Continued reclamation works drove a loss before tax of £1.6m for the period with reported net debt of £16.7m – this in line with our full year expectations and hence 2017E remains unchanged. We maintain our view that, as the current valuation of the Group is minimal relative to the potential upside, the recent weakness in the share price provides an excellent entry point for investors. BUY.
appScatter Group—Sch1 from the B2BSaaS platform that allows its paying users to distribute their apps to, and manage their apps on, multiple app stores. Following admission, appScatter intends to launch the public version of the platform, at which point the platform will be available to all app developers and publishers worldwide. Offer TBC, expected early Sept 2017 | Warehouse REIT - The Company will invest in a diversified portfolio of UK warehouse assets located in urban areas. The Company is targeting a dividend yield of 5.5p equivalent to a yield of 5.5 per cent. for the year ending 31 March 2019. Issue price 100p. Raising up to £150m. | Destiny Pharma—A clinical stage biotechnology company - lead asset (XF-73) targets antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in hospitals. Offer TBA. Due early September. | Avingtrans (AVG.L) Sch1 on its Reverse Takeover of Hayward Tyler (HAYT). Combined market cap of c.£75m. Expected 01 September 2017 | OnTheMarket—Intention to float on AIM to raise c. £50m which will be used to fund the growth of the OnTheMarket.com portal, already the third biggest UK residential property portal provider. Expected valuation £200m to £250m. | Chesterfield Resources-newly established company formed for the purpose of acquiring a company, business or asset that has operations in the mining sector that it will then look to develop and expand. Raising £1.3m at 5p. Due 29 Aug. Mkt cap £1.4m. | Hipgnosis Songs Fund investment Company offering pure-play exposure to Songs and associated musical intellectual property rights. Offer raising £200m at 100p. The Company has decided to extend the closing date for the Placing, Offer for Subscription and Intermediaries Offer to 1 August 2017. The Company may bring forward this closing date at any time. Admission 15 September 2017
Companies: FAL NCCL IHC WYG MPL CNIC ACC SDX MPO
Mercantile Ports & Logistics (MPL) has entered into a binding contract with an India-based company to manage it’s cargo at the Karanja facility. With an initial contractual term of 5 years this, in our view, is the strongest endorsement to date of the commercial application of the port. Reclamation and pile laying continue apace and in line with our forecasts. We maintain our view that, as the current valuation of the Group is minimal relative to the potential upside, the recent weakness in the share price provides an excellent entry point for investors. BUY.
2016A (‘the period’) was an important year for the Company, with significant progress made across the board. Following the successful £36m equity fundraising in Nov-16, channel dredging is now complete with ~90 acres of land reclaimed (~45% of total acreage), 160/240 piles laid and deck slabs for more than 150 meters of jetty cast. As the current valuation of the Company is minimal relative to the potential upside, the recent weakness in the shares provides an excellent entry point for investors. BUY.
Mercantile Ports & Logistics (MPL) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a listed, international construction company for the lease of a significant proportion of the completed facility – a strong endorsement of the commercial application of the Karanja port. Reclamation works have progressed well following the October 2016 placing, standing at 40% total acreage reclaimed to date. We maintain our view that, as the current valuation of the group is minimal relative to the potential upside, the recent weakness in the shares provides an excellent entry point for investors. BUY.
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A number of REITs have the ability to thrive in current market conditions and thereafter. Not only do they hold assets that will remain in strong demand, but they have focus and transparency. The leases and underlying rents are structured in a manner to provide long visibility, growth and security. Hardman & Co defined an investment universe of REITs that we considered provided security and “safer harbours”. We introduced this universe with our report published in March 2019: “Secure income” REITs – Safe Harbour Available. Here, we take forward the investment case and story. We point to six REITs, in particular, where we believe the risk/reward is the most attractive.
Companies: AGY ARBB ARIX BUR CMH CLIG DNL HAYD NSF PCA PIN PXC PHP RE/ RECI SCE SHED VTA
Successful businesses ‘never let a crisis go to waste’. Indeed since an otherwise strong Q1’20 was interrupted by COVID-19, Mpac has further streamlined operations, accelerated R&D and launched new remote equipment diagnostic/acceptance testing, virtual reality & other ‘Industry 4.0’ services.
Brick and concrete products manufacturer Forterra has raised c. £55m gross in an equity placing in order to maintain its strong balance sheet and support the Group's continued investment programme. It was accompanied by, in our view, a reassuring trading statement which we believe is backed by yesterday’s brick industry data and comments from housebuilders, which suggest that demand has been recovering from its lockdown lows, before the PM’s promises to “build, build, build” housing and infrastructure.
The announcement that Avon Rubber is to sell milkrite | InterPuls, its dairy division, to DeLaval Holding for £180m gross proceeds is strategically logical and financially compelling. The fit of dairy and defence has always looked slightly anomalous and the terms of the deal show that the opportunity to augment dairy through value-accretive deals is difficult given the scale of the business and opportunities. Management must now recycle the cash balances that will be created into Avon Protection, where there are a greater number of potential investments.
Companies: Avon Rubber
RBG Holdings pre-close trading update to June 30th confirms a strong H1 performance for RBL, the Group’s law firm, with revenues up 36% like-for-like to c.£11.4m YoY. Convex, the CF boutique, understandably has faced COVID headwinds, with most of its H1 pipeline deferred indefinitely, whilst Litigation Finance continues to grow its pipeline and financing commitments on a longer term view. Due to continued uncertainty from COVID we withdraw our forecasts this morning, with a view to reinstating once more clarity on H1 outturn and momentum into H2 is available.
Companies: Rosenblatt Group
Resilient Trading Update
Companies: Macfarlane Group
Revenue for FY 2020 is ahead of expectation and we adjust our forecast accordingly. Sales are growing at an impressive rate; >50% pa despite COVID-19 and the virus had no effect on the company’s ability to deliver projects with 23 new customers live in Q4. We note COVID concerns are causing some delay on contract decisions, and sales would have been even stronger but for that. These delays do lead to caution on FY 2021, and we ease back our forecasts on more prudent management guidance. However, with the recent £5m equity placing, PCIP has plenty of cash to continue to invest in rolling out its exciting secure payments proposition. This cloud-based solution can be deployed remotely and assists call centres in moving agents to WFH and still collect payments securely. The outlook remains very bright with continued rapid growth expected.
Companies: PCI Pal
The Norcros operating companies largely performed relatively well in challenging market conditions (in both the UK and South Africa) in FY20 though year end trading was affected by COVID-19 lockdowns, as flagged previously. The group’s financial position appears robust following management actions (including foregoing an FY20 final dividend) and well-placed to both contend with weaker near-term markets and the pursuit of market share gains from a position of relative competitive strength. Our estimates remain suspended at this time.
As flagged in the April trading update, Solid State’s FY20 results showed a 19.7% growth in revenues and 34.3% jump in adjusted profit before tax. Demand from the medical and food retail sectors is strong but weakness in the oil & gas and commercial aviation sectors related to the coronavirus pandemic is likely to result in lower year-on-year sales during Q2 and early Q321. While management sees potential for a Q4 recovery, the current range of FY21 profit outcomes is wide, so it is not providing guidance.
Companies: Solid State
The year-end trading update was encouraging, with expected results showing good YoY growth, modestly below but close to our earlier expectations. Trading has been resilient, particularly in safety critical areas such as its nuclear exposure, with some weakness being seen in oil & gas, where there is limited exposure. Two new contract wins in the nuclear sector have also been announced today. FY 2021 forecasts remain under review. With strong finances, the company is well positioned to maximise M&A opportunities, through its PIE strategy.
The group has issued a trading update for the year ended 31 May 2020 highlighting an adjusted EBITDA of at least £11.5m which is close to the group’s original expectation, despite widespread disruption to operations in the second half. The statement notes ample liquidity headroom in excess of £10m with net debt (excluding IFRS 16 lease liabilities) reducing in H2 to £7.5m as planned. The Group’s order book and prospect pipeline remains strong overall and the update is accompanied by the announcement of two meaningful contract wins in the nuclear sector. A further significant positive development is the grant of outline planning permission for the conversion of the group’s 7 acre Hayward Tyler site in Luton into residential housing for up to 1000 dwellings. Whilst financial guidance for FY2021E remains withdrawn at this point due to on-going uncertainties around the impact of COVID-19, we see the group continuing to demonstrate good resilience, operating at close to normal levels, supported by exposure to multiple markets and a strong customer base that includes governments and their agents.
Successful K3 Capital placing to raise £30.45m (gross) at 150p to fund the £9.3m acquisition of Randd UK Ltd, an R&D tax credit specialist with an LTM EBITDA of c.£2.0m, with a margin of c.50% and revenues typically contracted for 5 tax years with many recurring thereafter, followed by future potential deals in SME exposed markets. K3 has established itself as an innovative company that is able to effectively gather, generate and mine large quantities of data in order to scale up M&A services to SMEs. Transferring these lead generation capabilities to adjacent SME markets can allow rapid growth from proven models, at scale.
Companies: K3 Capital Group
Caledonia's Q2 2020 production from its 64% owned Blanket mine in Zimbabwe was 13.5koz gold. This was an increase over the same period last year of 6.2%, leaving Caledonia with a first half production of 27.7koz – well ahead of this time last year (24.7koz) and on track to meet its 2020 full year guidance of 53-56koz (WHI etc. 55.5koz).
Spectra Systems Corporation is a provider of machine-readable high-speed banknote authentication, brand protection technologies and gaming security software. The company has announced that it has executed a new contract with a major world central bank to ‘enhance existing authentication sensors to detect a unique type of counterfeit notes'.
Companies: Spectra Systems Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc Com Shs Npv
Salt Lake Potash has received commitments to raise A$15m through the placement of unsecured zero-coupon Convertible Notes to Equatorial Resources (ASX:EQX) and institutional investors. The Convertible Notes have been structured as deferred equity with zero coupon and mandatory conversion into equity at the lower of 45c/share or a 5% discount to any future equity raising of at least A$10m. These funds will enable Salt Lake Potash to continue to develop Lake Way to the project schedule through July as they finalise debt financing. Plant practical completion and first SOP sales remain on schedule for the March 2021 quarter. The debt financing process in its final stages and with an agreement expected to be executed within weeks.
Companies: Salt Lake Potash
Marlowe delivered a strong performance during FY20A, with +7% organic revenue growth, and improved Adj EBITDA margins. Integration of acquisitions is progressing well, and with receipt of c£40m gross proceeds, Marlowe is well placed to accelerate the consolidation of its markets. We leave our forecasts unchanged and reaffirm our Buy rating.