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The recent capital markets day presentations provided a clear strategic direction and purpose to the RBG Holdings strategy and the resulting diversification of operations. The quality of Rosenblatt law has continued to show through and the flexible approach to staffing, allied to the business mix and fee arrangements, provides excellent margins. The branching out into other related professional services is strategically sensible and recent updates from the Group suggest execution is improving, particularly this morning's announcement of further deal completions at Convex. There's lots to like in Rosenblatt's business and we maintain our buy rating while seeing medium term strategic and competitive challenges for other mid-market UK focused law firms.
Companies: RBG Holdings Plc
Begbies Traynor’s track record demonstrates its ability to generate consistent growth in increasingly sustainable revenues across the economic cycle. This stems from a strategy driven by value-accretive acquisitions over the past six years, designed to build both upon existing and develop new, complementary disciplines. Returns have also been enhanced by organic investment in service line expansion, employee development / recruitment, and processes focused upon improved working practices and client service. The results are clearly visible in 16% CAGR in EPS from FY16-FY20, consistently positive cash generation and 8% pa dividend growth since 2017. Earnings growth is significantly ahead of the UK insolvency market (4% CAGR FY16-FY20), reflecting improved market shares from an increasingly diversified business, divisional cross sales / referrals, and the benefit of the acquisition strategy.
Companies: Begbies Traynor Group plc
UK railway privatisation, which was launched in the mid-1990s, has finally turned full circle: the Department of Transport has recently confirmed that its controversial railway franchise system will be scrapped.
In this month's feature article, Nigel Hawkins, the Infrastructure analyst at Hardman & Co, examines the 25-year history of railway privatisation and chronicles its ups and its downs. The successes of railway privatisation, such as new rolling stock, are addressed, along with the many shortcomings, which included minimal vertical integration.
With the winding up of the franchise system, the UK railway sector is effectively reverting to its former status as a nationalised industry, a shift started with the renationalisation of the collapsed Railtrack – later re-badged as Network Rail – in 2001.
Companies: ARBB BBGI CLIG DNL FLTA ICGT OCI PCA PIN PXC RECI SCE TRX SHED VTA YEW
Another deal from RBGP’s CF division brings YTD completions to four, with today’s netting the Group a fee of £1.5m (£2.6m deal fees YTD). Our bullish view on 2021 M&A activity levels (set out here) continues to be substantiated, and a further eight deals are expected to complete in the short to medium term. As we learnt at the recent CMD, Convex has focused on building a portfolio of potential deals across multiple COVID-resilient sectors, with a strong pipeline beyond the near term. On current forecasts, RBGP trades on a 13.1x PER FY21E (9.4x EV/EBITDA). We leave forecasts unchanged and will look to revisit them once FY20 results are published on April 20th 2021.
Today's news & views, plus announcements from MRW, BNZL, HICL, AGK, SEPL, SEIT, SDY, BGO, SHED
Companies: BGO SEIT SEPL
Franchise Brands’ results for the full year can be characterised as resilience in adversity with adjusted EBITDA, profit before tax, EPS, dividend and net cash all comfortably ahead of forecasts, the latter boosted by a placing in 2020 raising £13.6m net. Faced by COVID restrictions, quick reactions by management resulted in a decline in B2B and B2C EBITDA of just 0.7%, against a fall in fee income of 15% while direct labour income increased by 71% reflecting a full year from Willow Pumps. Having achieved a CAGR in adjusted EBITDA and dividends of 47% and 59% respectively since listing, the Board has now set out a new growth strategy which seeks a run-rate in revenues of £100m and adjusted EBITDA of £15m by the end of 2023. Earnings enhancing acquisitions and a better outcome from existing activities, points to the prospect of another strong year ahead.
Companies: Franchise Brands plc
tinyBuild— a leading video games publisher and developer with global operations. tinyBuild's strategic focus is in creating longlasting IP by partnering with video games developers, establishing a stable platform on which to build multi-game and multimedia franchises is to join AIM. Offer details TBC. Due mid-March. AMTE Power, a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery cells for specialist markets, announced its intention to seek admission to trading on AIM. Admission is expected to take place during March 2021. The Company intends to raise approximately £7m by way of a placing of new ordinary shares in the capital of the Company. Timing TBC. Samarkand Group Limited, the cross-border eCommerce technology and retail group opening up the world's largest market for brands and retailers, intends to IPO on the Apex Segment Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market. Admission is targeted for March 2021. NextEnergy Renewables to launch an IPO on the Main Market. NREN is a differentiated renewables investment Company that aims to capture the most attractive private renewables and energy transition infrastructure investment opportunities globally. Targeting a £300m raise. NREN is targeting total returns of 9-11 per cent. per annum (net of all fees and expenses but including the Target Dividend and capital appreciation) . The Company's target dividend yield for the first full financial year to 31 December 2022 is 5.5 pence. Due Early March 2021. Digital 9 Infrastructure launch an initial public offering on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, by way of an initial placing and offer for subscription for a target issue £400m. Digital 9 Infrastructure plc is a newly established, externally managed investment trust. The Company will invest in a range of digital infrastructure assets which deliver a reliable, functioning internet. The IPO Prospectus is expected to be published in March 2021. Team PLC announced their plans for an AIM IPO. Team owns Theta Enhanced Asset Management Ltd, trading as Team Asset Management. This is a Jersey-based active fund manager providing discretionary and advisory portfolio management services to private clients, trusts and charities. Assets under management were GBP291m in November, up from GBP140m in December 2019 . The Company is seeking to raise no less than £5m. The Placing will be priced on a pre-money valuation for the Company of £7m. Targeting March Admission. Fix Price announces its intention to float on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Fix Price is one of the leading variety value retailers globally and the largest in Russia, with more than 4,200 stores. Fix Price has revenues of RUB 190.1bn, RUB 142.9bn and RUB 108.7bn for 2020, 2019 and 2018, respectively. Adjusted EBITDA for the same years was RUB 36.8bn, RUB 27.2bn and RUB 14.2bn, respectively. The Offer would consist of an offering of GDRs by certain existing shareholders of the Company. Great Point Entertainment Income Trust PLC announced its prospectus has been approved by the FCA. Great Point Entertainment Income Trust PLC is a newly established, externally managed closed-ended investment company. The Company will provide project finance to content makers and commissioners in the global television and film production industry via senior loans secured against pre-sold intellectual property (IP) rights. GPEIT's investment objective is to provide Shareholders with dividend income and modest capital growth through exposure to media content finance. According to media reports, Deliveroo, are expecting to release their IPO plans on 8th March. The company raised more than $180m in January with a valuation of more than $7bn.
Companies: ADME NFC CHAR WHR MKA IXI MOS D4T4 ALS TERN
Yesterday’s CMD from RBGP saw presentations from the Group CEO and each of the three division heads, outlining the Group’s strategy and updating on progress. Since our investment revisit note (here), which laid out what we expected for FY21E, we have upgraded forecasts for both FY21E and FY22E (here), and have seen continued progress against the investment case. We summarise the key points for each division below. RBGP’s shares are up c.55% YTD to 91p; a 12.1x FY21E PER (11.2x EV/EBITDA) with a 4.8% FY21E dividend yield. Putting the shares on a rating in line with the peer group would suggest an intrinsic value of 120p.
FRP has made its fourth and most material acquisition this financial year in the net £9.4m acquisition of Spectrum Corporate Finance Ltd, a mid-market corporate finance and debt advisory boutique. The deal provides a notable step-up in scale in those complimentary lines of service to the core Restructuring division, which are currently seeing strong deal flow, whilst also enhancing FRP's South Eastern presence/networks. The deal leads to +8% accretion in FY22E forecast EPS. Trading at a post-IPO low P/E multiple of only 14x that year, we see great upside to current pricing.
Companies: FRP Advisory Group Plc
Further media reports that Dr Martens, the British Boot brand is planning an IPO on the LSE. It is currently owned by PE group, Permira who is expected to sell down its stake at the IPO. March 2020 YE the group had revenues of £672m and EBITDA of £184m. Deal size TBC. Upon Admission to AIM, Nightcap will acquire The London Cocktail Club Limited (the "London Cocktail Club"), which is an award winning independent operator of ten individually themed cocktail bars in nine London locations and one location in Bristol. Offer TBC Due mid Jan. HSS Hire Group, HSS.L transfer from Main to Aim. Mkt Cap c. £70m. Recently raised £52.6m. Leading supplier of tool and equipment for hire in the United Kingdom and Ireland and has provided equipment hire services in the United Kingdom for more than 60 years, primarily focusing on the B2B market. Due 14 Jan. VH Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities plc, a closed-ended investment Company focused on making sustainable energy infrastructure investments, today announces intends to launch an initial public offering of shares on the Official List (Premium) of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Due by Early Feb.
Companies: SAG DXRX CALL BBSN ASTO DNL FIPP IIG GROW TCN
Accrol Group Holdings plc (ACRL LN)
Bango plc (BGO LN)
Brickability Group plc (BRCK LN)
Norcros plc (NXR LN)
OnTheMarket (OTMP LN)
Ricardo (RCDO LN)
UP Global Sourcing Holdings (UPGS LN)
Watkin Jones (WJG LN)
Xpediator (XPD LN)
ZOO Digital (ZOO LN)
Companies: ACRL BGO BRCK NXR OTMP RCDO UPGS WJG XPD ZOO
As flagged at the trading update in December, the ahead-of-expectations interim results to 30 November 2020 show successfully integrated transformational acquisitions contributing positively to enlarged and diversified group revenue and profits. All three divisions are trading strongly in spite of COVID and associated lockdowns, with monthly average KPIs in the M&A division performing well and ahead of pre-lockdown levels in many cases. We upgrade our SOTP-driven price target to 323p, as positive market sentiment lifts ratings in the M&A division, where KBS exhibits high-margin, high-return characteristics and an innovative approach. Management expect full-year results to be comfortably in line and have now guaranteed the progressive dividend at previously estimated levels for the next three years.
Companies: K3 Capital Group Plc
Buoyed by exceptional demand for games during lockdown and boosted by the start of the console transition, the global games industry showed year-on-year growth of 20% in FY20 (Newzoo). Benefiting from increased industry development spending and the growth in new releases, Keywords delivered underlying organic revenue growth of 12%, with FY20 revenues rising 14% y-o-y. Assuming no worsening impact from COVID-19, FY21 looks set to be a more settled year. With publishers launching increasing numbers of new titles to address a growing next-gen console base in FY21–23, demand for Keywords’ services should continue to build in the short to medium term. The outlook for Keywords appears positive and, with net cash of c €100m (plus €100m of undrawn facilities), Keywords remains well placed to participate in earnings-enhancing M&A.
Companies: Keywords Studios plc
Demand for digital content including apps, games and streaming media is rapidly expanding. Bango provides two key products - online payments and data monetisation - which benefit from this rising consumer spend on digital content, and from merchants wanting to increase their share of this spend through targeted advertising. The value of online payments Bango processes has been doubling every year. Data monetisation revenues are surging, and are expected to be the biggest driver of future growth. After 70% revenue growth and c.800% EBITDA growth in 2020, we expect continued strong growth in future years as well. We initiate with a BUY and a 260p Target Price.
Companies: Bango plc
AMTE Power, a developer and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery cells for specialist markets, announced its intention to seek admission to trading on AIM. Admission is expected to take place during March 2021. The Company intends to raise approximately £7 million by way of a placing of new ordinary shares in the capital of the Company. Timing TBC. Samarkand Group Limited, the cross-border eCommerce technology and retail group opening up the world's largest market for brands and retailers, intends to IPO on the Apex Segment Aquis Stock Exchange Growth Market. Admission is targeted for March 2021. Cellular Goods a UK-based provider of premium consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids announced its intention to join the main market (standard) this Spring. Target valuation £20m raising c. £8m “to finalise the development and launch of a range of the Company's premium-quality consumer products based on biosynthetic cannabinoids, which is fully compliant under UK law.” NextEnergy Renewables to launch an IPO on the Main Market. NREN is a differentiated renewables investment company that aims to capture the most attractive private renewables and energy transition infrastructure investment opportunities globally. Targeting a £300m raise. NREN is targeting total returns of 9-11 per cent. per annum (net of all fees and expenses but including the Target Dividend and capital appreciation) . The Company's target dividend yield for the first full financial year to 31 December 2022 is 5.5 pence. Due Early March 2021. Auction Technology Group is considering an IPO on the Main Market. The Group operates six world-leading online Marketplaces and proprietary global auction platform technology for curated online auctions . In FY20 the Group delivered pro forma revenue of £52.3 million, supported by notable underlying year-on-year growth from both Standalone ATG Group and Standalone Proxibid Group (12.4 per cent. and 40.4 per cent., respectively). For the same period, the Group delivered a strong profitability performance of £22.3 million pro forma Adjusted EBITDA representing a pro forma Adjusted EBITDA margin of 42.6 per cent. Expected March 2021. Digital 9 Infrastructure launch an initial public offering on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange, by way of an initial placing and offer for subscription for a target issue £400m. Digital 9 Infrastructure plc is a newly established, externally managed investment trust. The Company will invest in a range of digital infrastructure assets which deliver a reliable, functioning internet. The IPO Prospectus is expected to be published in March 2021. 4basebio UK Societas is a specialist life sciences group focused on therapeutic DNA for gene therapies and DNA vaccines and providing solutions for effective and safe delivery of these DNA based products to patients. The Company has been divested from 4basebio AG , a German company listed on the Prime Standard segment of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange . No capital to be raised on Admission. Anticipated market capitalisation on AIM Admission: £14.53m.
Companies: SAR PAF PTRO NEXS TYM BOD CLX FAB ODX DUKE