CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities (CCPEOL) has achieved a total NAV return loss of 4% (it targets an 8% return) in the last 12 months, affected by market turbulence. CCPEOL has a significant weighting to stressed assets in its portfolio. Although credit markets have rebounded from the March lows, the performing credit segment is still trading at historically low valuations. The manager sees the greatest opportunity in the upper CCC and lower B segments and in structured finance. As such, although the manager expects the markets to remain volatile, it has positioned its portfolio towards the more opportunistic spectrum of the credit market.
Companies: CVC Credit Partners Europn Opprtnity
We have knitted together the impact on the investment companies from what is now widely considered to be the most severe pandemic in a century. The collapse in asset prices over the latter part of March, brought the curtain down on an up-market that lasted more than ten years. In amongst this, there were pockets, such as the technology sector, that held up well. For many industries, the worst is still to come, as we brace ourselves for the sharpest contraction to global growth since the US great depression.
Companies: ASL SDV ASIT BGEU BRLA CCPE DPA IEM JMF JZCP JUKG EPIC PSHD CSH RIII CCPG BLP TMPL BPCR SEQI AIF SMT KKVX FAIR ICON RSE CRS GWI USF DIGS
CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities (CCPEOL) achieved an NAV return of 3.1% in sterling and 1.6% in euro terms in FY19. The investment vehicle through which CCPEOL invests achieved a gross return of 2.9% (in euro terms), behind its target of 8–10% per year. This was largely due to several restructuring processes within the credit opportunities pool taking longer than expected. However, these have shown good progress recently and, together with prospective new credit investment opportunities, now offer further upside potential for 2020. Meanwhile, the performing credit holdings delivered solid returns as the investment manager was able to profit from the recent ‘flight to quality’ in credit markets.
CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities (CCPEOL) aims to achieve a blend of capital growth and income (it targets gross total returns pre fees of 8–12% pa, with c 5pp from income). It maintains two pools of assets – performing credit with assets acquired close to par and credit opportunities consisting of discounted assets. CCPEOL’s one-year NAV total return (to 10 January) was a modest 3.4% for the sterling shares and was assisted by positive returns in November and December. Throughout most of the year, performance was driven by the performing credit bucket. In turn, credit opportunity returns were muted as the company was working on a number of restructuring processes that we understand started to bear fruit at the end of 2019.
CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities (CCPEOL) aims to achieve a blend of capital growth and income (it targets gross total returns of 8–12% pa, with c 5pp from income). The portfolio is positioned defensively, mainly in senior secured debt of large issuers (average EBITDA above €500m) from Western Europe. Long-term NAV net total return (TR) performance remains broadly intact at 6.4% pa over three years (vs SP ELLI at 3.5% pa), despite weaker performance during the Q418 downturn. Currently both share classes offer a dividend yield in excess of 5%, largely covered by coupon income according to our estimates.
CCPG – CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities – Results of fundraising
CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities (CCPEOL) aims to achieve a blend of capital growth and income (target total returns of 8–12% pa, with c 5pp from income) by investing in high-yielding debt instruments such as senior secured loans and sub-investment grade bonds. The portfolio is biased towards large, liquid issuers (€600m weighted average EBITDA) in Western Europe, although up to 40% may be allocated to non-European markets. The underlying investment vehicle holds a blend of investments in performing credit, where returns come mainly from income, with a credit opportunities portfolio made up of discounted assets that offer higher yields and the potential for capital growth. CCPEOL’s performance since launch in 2013 has been solid, although the broad-based sell-off in late 2018 has affected returns more recently. The fund has sterling (CCPG) and euro (CCPE) share classes, which have tended to trade close to NAV, and currently yields just over 5%.
Blackstone / GSO Loan Financing – Half-year report | CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities – Half-year report | Woodford Patient Capital– Half-year report and portfolio update | Real Estate Credit Investments – Proposed placing
Companies: BGLF CCPG SUPP RECI
CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities (CCPEOL) seeks to achieve gross returns of 8-12% a year by investing in a portfolio of high-yielding debt investments with a bias towards Western Europe. The majority of the portfolio is in floating rate, senior secured loans, which, while rated below investment grade, rank higher in the capital structure than equities or bonds. The strategy blends performing credit, where returns come mainly from income, with more opportunistic investment in credits that are priced below par, offering a yield pick-up as well as capital growth potential. In spite of sustained strong issuance and refinancing, which puts downward pressure on yields, the managers see opportunities from accelerating disposals of non-core assets by banks, industry dislocations in areas such as retail, and expected periods of volatility around interest rate rises.
CVC Credit Partners European Opportunities (CCPEOL) seeks returns of 8-12% a year by investing mainly in high yielding sub-investment grade loans. A focus on senior secured assets mitigates the higher risk from lower credit quality. The bias to floating rate credits means rising interest rates should be a benefit rather than a drag. The portfolio is split roughly 50/50 between performing credit, where returns come mainly in the form of income, and credit opportunities, where assets are priced below par and thus offer potential for capital appreciation and downside protection due to the discounted price. There are relatively few alternative ways for individual investors in Europe to access the senior loans market, since loans are not permitted investments in open-ended UCITS funds. Sterling and euro share classes are available, and a recent placing of treasury shares has increased the market cap of each class by £77.55m and €13.87m, respectively.
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Avation is a lessor of 46 commercial aircraft to a diversified airline client base. This morning, the group has released results for the 12-months to 30 June 2020, which illustrate the challenges faced by its customer base as a result of Covid-19, as well as the corrective actions taken by the Board that have resulted in profitability being maintained in the year as a whole. Loan repayment deferrals of c.$24.4m were obtained in the period, in comparison to $13.1m short-term rent deferrals being granted to airline customers and thus emphasising management's focus on liquidity during an unprecedented period for global airlines. Avation again reports that it is currently reviewing alternatives in relation to the 6.5% senior notes due in May 2021. Whilst at this point our forecasts remain under review, and near term challenges remain across the industry, we believe that demand for aircraft from lessors such as Avation will increase in time as a result of airlines being even more reliant upon aircraft leasing firms due to the retirement of older aircraft during 2020 in combination with much weaker balance sheets that are unable to support direct aircraft purchases.
Companies: Avation PLC
Marlowe has raised £30m in new equity to help finance the acquisition of Ellis Whittam (for £59m, all upfront). We update our forecasts to reflect this transaction, along with recent bolt-ons (FY22E EPS upgraded by 8% to 29.0p), and reaffirm our Buy recommendation.
Companies: Marlowe Plc
In another upbeat update, GHT has confirmed that the business is tracking in line, in turn being driven by strong traction with key customer, ANZ. Here, new sales have driven a 20% increase in contracted customer revenue to >£11m in FY21. As a strategic partner (deeply involved with GHT in bringing new Clareti banking services to market) this extra investment is very encouraging, as it’s indicative of these services‘ strong future potential. Also announced today – GHT state that its transition to a recurring subscription model (commenced just two years ago) is now complete and that ARR now stands at £11.9m, ~+16% annualised organic growth since FY20 y/e. In a tough new business environment, we view this as a highly credible performance. It’s also worth noting that management reference remaining pipeline opportunities, these would further benefit strong forwards visibility – already £22.4m for FY21. Given this – and also as sign of confidence – today we reinstate FY21 forecasts. We look for a reacceleration in top-line growth: +16% y/y to £28.7m at a Group level, in turn driven by c.+24% organic growth in Clareti, to £20m. For valuation – with Clareti still in its relative infancy – we continue to view a sales multiple as most appropriate. Here, we note that peers typically trade in a 5-7x range vs. GHT at 4x our FY21 estimate. This suggests 25-75% upside to fair value for this disruptive company, with a multi-year growth opportunity still ahead.
Companies: Gresham House
As expected following the US banks’ releases, Barclays’ third quarter results saw a sharp reduction in provisions build-up while the emergence of delinquencies has been delayed by the State’s supporting measures. Management continues to expect a reduction in the cost of risk next year. It remains to be seen if this guidance is capable of withstanding new lockdowns or a no-deal Brexit.
Companies: Barclays PLC
Agronomics has announced it has conditionally raised £10.0m gross from an equity issue at a price of 6.0p, which represents a 6.8% premium to the most recently reported NAV per share of 5.62p. Assuming the company's post-raise cash balance is £8.15m, after repaying a £1.9m bridging facility, we estimate the new NAV per share to be c5.7p. We see significant potential in the cultivated meat sector and believe Agronomics is well positioned to support this developing sector and generate strong returns from these investments. We see upside in Agronomics' portfolio and have today initiated coverage with a Buy recommendation.
Companies: Agronomics Limited
Agronomics is an investment company building a portfolio of investments in the developing alternative protein sector. The company is focused on early stage investments, offering attractive valuations and significant upside potential. Importantly, we believe Agronomics represents an opportunity for public investors to gain access to early stage private companies, which might not otherwise be available. We expect the cultivated meat sector to be driven by a number of global mega trends that will increase public awareness of the issues the sector is aiming to overcome. We see strong upside in Agronomics' existing portfolio and initiate coverage with a Buy recommendation.
Secure Trust Bank’s (STB) Q3 trading update disclosed that Q3 was stronger than expected and FY20 earnings are likely to be well ahead of consensus forecasts. Loan repayment holidays in its Motor Finance and Retail Finance divisions were down remarkably and credit quality is not deteriorating. Loan demand is strengthening after the lockdown. Capital and liquidity remain good. The bank remains cautious due to continued COVID-19 and Brexit uncertainty and is still not providing formal guidance. We are upping our earnings forecasts and fair value from 1,704p to 1,756p. In our view, the valuation remains depressed compared to fundamentals with banking stocks still out of favour. STB trades on an FY20 P/BV of 0.53x, yet it has a strong track record of value creating returns (ROE above COE), a good capital base and liquidity. The Q3 good news reinforces our view that we are unlikely to see book value deterioration during this downturn to justify any NAV discount.
Companies: Secure Trust Bank Plc
Trading at MJ Hudson (MJH) has improved steadily since its March nadir, and visibility has improved. As such, we are reinstating forecasts, with Adj EBITDA of £5.5m and £6.7m in FY21E and FY22E respectively. We believe that MJH's material discount to its core peers (c30%) is unwarranted and consequently, update our rating to Buy (previously Under Review).
Companies: MJ Hudson Group Plc
Litigation Capital Management has announced FY20 results with gross profit up 7% to A$21.7m and PBT of A$9.2m, slightly behind expectations albeit the Group had already flagged that delays to 3 cases during the year would result in resolutions in FY21, thereby impacting FY20 results. That said, excellent strategic progress through the year and good news flow as well as increasing scale suggests more value to come. Reiterate buy
Companies: Litigation Capital Management Ltd
There was an eclectic mix of property companies to feature in the top price movers for September. Top of the tree was private rented sector and residential development specialist Sigma Capital Group, with a 34.2% rise. The group launched a £1bn joint venture with EQT Real Estate, the real estate platform of global investment firm EQT, to deliver 3,000 private rental homes in Greater London. Micro-cap investor Panther Securities also hit double-digit gains, while Macau Property Opportunities saw an uplift in its share price after announcing debt refinancing and a disposal. CLS Holdings, the investor in offices in Germany, France and the UK, continued to see a recovery in its share price – which has risen 15.1% in the last three months. Off the back of solid results, Berlin residential landlord Phoenix Spree Deutschland saw its share price gain 7.2%. Schroder REIT’s share price rose 6.6% in the month as it embarked on a share buyback programme, while Irish commercial property investor Yew Grove REIT also saw positive shareholder reaction to amending its investment strategy to increase its target loan to value ratio to 40%.
Companies: SUPR DIGS CRC PSDL ASEI TPON RLE UKCM BREI BCPT RGL SIR SLI TOWN CAL
Record’s Q221 trading update confirmed that its new $8bn dynamic hedging mandate has started and that, prior to this, assets under management equivalent (AUME) expanded by 4% in the quarter. The group continues to work on developing new products and is deploying technology to enhance its ability to deliver these and existing products cost effectively.
Companies: Record plc
Deltic Energy is entering an exciting phase in its development based on its fully funded joint-venture projects with Shell. Preparations are now underway for an exploration well to test the Pensacola Zechstein prospect in the SNS (Southern North Sea). Deltic has indicated that it expects the current contingent well commitment to become firm on schedule by December 1, 2020. Drilling, according to Deltic, should follow in H2 2021. We see scope for positive news flow over the next few months, not least from the evaluation of Shell’s recently obtained processed 3-D seismic over Pensacola. Following Pensacola, the Selene prospect is scheduled to be drilled in mid-2022. The recent 32nd Round UKCS licence awards greatly expands Deltic’s exploration potential in the CNS and particularly the SNS Carboniferous fairway. Here some highly prospective acreage has been obtained.
Companies: Deltic Energy PLC
ANGLE plc (AGL.L): Acceptance of FDA submission | Feedback plc (FDBK.L*): Partnership agreement | Open Orphan (ORPH.L): Human Challenge Study Model contract with UK Government
Companies: AGL FDBK ORPH
Whilst there are some bright spots, such as payments companies, which are beneficiaries of the shift to online shopping, fears about the potential impact of COVID-19 have hit valuations across much of the financial sector. The fall in Polar Capital Global Financials Trust’s (PCFT’s) NAV reflects this situation.
Companies: Polar Capital Global Fincls Trust
The third-quarter results confirmed the group’s structural profitability issue in our view. Within this context, we suspect that management’s commitment to resuming capital distribution as soon as allowed by the regulator corresponds to a statement under duress, backed by no real conviction. We continue to believe that consensus expectations are still too optimistic.
Companies: Standard Chartered PLC