Guild Esports PLC (LON:GILD) kicked off dealings in the junior market on the last day of the week, with the flotation priced at 8p bringing the market value to GBP41mln.
The owner and developer of esports teams, backed by former Manchester United and Real Madrid star David Beckham, raised GBP20mln from the oversubscribed initial public offer.
As a figurehead and minority shareholder, Beckham will use his influence to support the company’s brand and business development.
He was one of the reasons Germany’s Niklas ‘NRaseck’ Raseck agreed to sign up.
For those unfamiliar with the sector, NRaseck is a three-time eWorld Cup competitor and the second-highest prize earner for Electronic Arts FIFA 20.
Guild, which is coaching Britain’s prospective e-champions using the same academy model used by professional football clubs, will compete in Rocket League, EA Sports FIFA and Fortnite in its autumn debut.
Its ambition is to become a top-10 esports franchise within three years, in a market projected to grow to almost 650mln viewers by 2023 from 443mln last year.
As esports grow more popular, teams can make money through sponsorships, merchandising, broadcasting and tournaments.
Newcomers aside, lots of companies were suspended this week after they missed AIM’s deadline to publish results, which had already been postponed to 30 September because of the pandemic.
Learning and skills development firm Malvern International PLC (LON:MLVN), wind energy industry provider Windar Photonics PLC (LON:WPHO), investor Clear Leisure, advertising agency M&C Saatchi Plc (LON:SAA), miner Tri-Star Resources PLC (LON:TSTR), re-refiner of industrial oils Hydrodec Group plc (LON:HYR) were among the victims.
Explorer Erris Resources, instead, saw its shares suspended because the proposed acquisition of Deutsche Lithium by Bacanora Lithium constitutes a reverse takeover.
Turning to the wider market, the AIM-All Share index dipped 0.4% to 960, just about outperforming the FTSE 100 which was down 0.5% to 5,845.
Fast-fashion star Boohoo Group PLC (LON:BOO) raised full-year forecasts despite the City wondering how it can pull off gross margins of over 50% with the company’s vow to address poor working conditions and pay in its supply chain.
The stock, which had almost climbed back to where it was before the scandal broke in July, was down 5% to 354p this week.
Talking about sustainability, rival ASOS PLC (LON:ASC), which has delivered almost 60% growth since the start of the year, was little moved after launching an eco-friendly clothing collection that is designed to fit within the ‘circular’ economy.
While there was turmoil in the hospitality sector after the first weekend under new coronavirus rules where restaurants and pubs have to shutter at 10pm, share prices were not much moved from already depressed levels.
City Pub Group was indeed up 5% to 61p after slamming the chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan and warning of significant job losses for the sector, while Franco Manca owner Fulham Shore PLC (LON:FUL) shed 1% to 7p despite stating the curfew will not have a material effect on its dine-in business.
Stocks that did fall included Trafalgar Property Group PLC (LON:TRAF), which tumbled 18% to 0.1p after admitting its recent move into the assisted living sector has not proved to be a success.
Elsewhere, IT provider IDE Group Holdings PLC (LON:IDE) slipped 12% to 1p after warning revenue and earnings will be lower in the second half due to uncertainty around the timing of certain contracts and projects.
Meanwhile, jet services company Gama Aviation PLC (LON:GMAA) slid 11% to 30p after warning the second half will be impacted by reduced government support in the UK.
Among the risers, Orosur Mining Inc. (LON:OMI) rocketed 186% to 16p after NYSE giant Agnico Eagle joined fellow big cap Newmont at the Anza Project in Colombia, owned by Orosur, to carry out exploration work.
Online defence solutions firm Corero Network Security PLC (LON:CNS) climbed 53% to 11p after reporting a record order intake in the three months to September 30, with over US$6mln booked.
In the pharma sector, diagnostics specialist Novacyt SA (LON:NCYT) leapt 32% to 568p after it launched a new COVID-19 antibody test.
Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS) surged 11% to 68p after providing software for remote data collection and analytics to a trial by the University of Oxford to use antinflammatory drug adalimumab to treat patients with COVID-19 in care homes. It also signed an agreement with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to get access to three separate anonymised patient data sets.
Finally, media company Digitalbox PLC (LON:DBOX) shot up 13% to 5p after acquiring popular university online magazine The Tab for GBP750,000.