Gulf Marine Services hurls brickbats at largest shareholder

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Gulf Marine Services PLC (LON:GMS) sank 14% to 8.3p as the battle with its largest shareholder, Seafox, hotted up.


Gulf Marine said Seafox, which is the company’s largest shareholder with 29.99% of its shares, has embarked on a “sustained campaign to disrupt the governance and management” of the oil rig of the oilfield support services provider.


Yesterday, Seafox sent Gulf Marine a letter requesting that the board requisitions a general meeting to ask shareholders to vote on the proposed reappointment of Hassan Heikal to the board of directors. Heikal was one of two non-executive directors who resigned yesterday; the other – Hesham Halbouny – has not indicated a wish to be reappointed.


2.30pm: Intercede Group sees half-year revenues rise


Intercede Group PLC (LON:IGP) hardened 10% to 77p after a trading update covering what it called “an unprecedented six-month period”.


The specialist in digital identity, credential management and secure mobility kept a tight rein on costs in the six months to the end of September, which led to it enjoying positive cash flow.


Revenues were roughly 9% higher than in the same period of last year, in line with management’s expectations.


1.30pm: HSS Hire Group to shift focus to online


HSS Hire Group PLC (LON:HSS) shares rose 9.3% to 21.8p after the tool hire firm announced lots of its workers are for the chop.


The company plans to cut around 300 jobs as it closes 134 of its 250 locations and moves to a more on-line model in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


The company reported a GBP12.9mln loss before tax on revenues down 22% to GBP126mln in the half-year to June 27, 2020, though it said underlying profits (EBITDA) have remained positive through the pandemic.


12.30pm: Petroneft rises as it completes mini oil refinery ahead of schedule


Petroneft Resources PLC (LON:PTR) climbed 12% to 0.7p on the successful testing of the mini oil refinery on Licence 61 ahead of schedule.


The oil processing facility on Licence 61 was built to eliminate the need to purchase the significant volumes of diesel fuel required for machinery and electricity generation at production facilities, especially during the winter months.


Petroneft said the project will reduce 2021 operating costs by more than US$600,000. In addition, it will further improve the company’s economics by enabling the excess product to be sold on the local market at a significant premium to unrefined barrels.


11.30am: Toscafund takes another tilt at TalkTalk


Talktalk Telecom Group PLC (LON:TALK) shares rose by a sixth to after it received a bid approach from investment group Toscafund.


The possible offer values the telecoms firm at 97p per share, up from Wednesday’s closing price of 83.3p but less than a third of the share’s peak level in the mid-2010s.


In July, Sky News reported that Toscafund had made an offer worth 135p a share that was turned down by th TalkTalk board.


10.30am: Osirium surges as it wins cybersecurity gig with major UK retailer


Osirium Technologies PLC (LON:OSI), up 31% at 25.5p, was London’s second best-performing stock after the company won a contract with a major retailer.


The cloud-based cybersecurity software specialist said the contract win was secured in a competitive bid against four other “privileged access management” (PAM) vendors, one of which was bidding to have the contract renewed.


The retailer, said to be a “prestigious household name” in the UK, has purchased a 60-month licence for the Osirium PAM platform.


9.30am: MySale Group rockets as founders of Catch.com.au buy in


MySale Group PLC (LON:MYSL) shot 28% higher to 10.9p in early trade on Thursday after individuals behind the success of Catch.com.au agreed to buy into the company.


Gabby Leibovich and Hezi Leibovich, founders of Catch.com.au and Nati Harpaz, the former chief executive officer of the Aussie online retailer, have pledged to pump around GBP5.1mln into MySale through the acquisition of shares at 6p a pop.


“This investment will further enhance MySale’s ANZ First Strategy as we seek to scale our marketplace platform with leading brands across a wide range of new categories to complement our already established international and domestic fashion, footwear, accessories and beauty categories,” said Carl Jackson, the chief executive officer of MySale in a statement.


Crikey!


As eye-catching as the MySale share price movement was, top billing in London went to Asiamet Resources Limited (LON:ARS), which soared 50% higher after it struck a US$163.4mln deal to sell its BKM Copper project.


PT Wasesa Indo Nusa (PT WIN), currently a private Indonesian shell company, is to acquire Asiamet’s wholly-owned subsidiary company Indokal, which holds the Kalimantan Surya Kencana (KSK) Contract of Work (COW) which in turn hosts the BKM project in Indonesia.


“While it is recognised that there are still a number of steps to completion, the proposed transaction has the potential to unlock very significant unrecognised value for Asiamet shareholders and most importantly secures a clear road map for the funding and development of the BKM copper project and the further advancement of the wider KSK CoW for the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Tony Manini, Asiamet’s executive chairman in a statement.


Proactive news headlines:


Asiamet Resources Ltd (LON:ARS) has struck a US$163.4mln deal to sell the BKM Copper project in Indonesia. PT Wasesa Indo Nusa (PT WIN), currently a private Indonesian shell company, is to acquire Asiamet’s wholly-owned subsidiary company Indokal, which holds the Kalimantan Surya Kencana (KSK) Contract of Work which in turn hosts the BKM project. It will be a phased transaction with an aggregate deal consideration of US$163.5mln. At first, US$10mln of cash will be paid to Asiamet upon execution of a binding sale agreement. The next US$40mln of cash will come as PT WIN completes an intended stock market IPO onto the Indonesian Stock Exchange in early 2021. Asiamet will then subsequently receive PT WIN shares equating to 22.5% of the company, in two tranches.


Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) has said it is “on track” to meet its expectations for the full year after completing a restructuring of its balance sheet in the third quarter. In an update covering the period from July 1 to September 30, 2020, the Africa-focused forestry and timber firm said it has “significantly” reduced its debt to US$1.1mln from US$49.9mln, which in turn reduced interest charges in the quarter by 50% while the positive impact of the restructuring is expected to be even greater in the final quarter of its current year, with interest charges expected to be around 90% lower than in the second quarter.


Sareum Holdings PLC (LON:SAR) said the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued what is called a notice of allowance offering protection for its pre-clinical cancer immunotherapy drug candidate. The patent will protect the SDC-1802 molecule and its pharmaceutical preparation. SDC-1802 is a dual tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2)/Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) inhibitor. TYK2 and JAK1 are members of the Janus Kinase (JAK) family of protein kinase enzymes that play roles in autoimmune diseases and tumour cell proliferation in cancer.


Thor Mining PLC (LON:THR) shares moved higher on Thursday as the group reported that results collected from historic stream sediment samples correlated with a gold trend at the Pilbara goldfield tenements in Western Australia. The AIM-listed firm said the sampling results had confirmed a 13 kilometre anomalous gold trend along the eastern thrust faulted mafic/ultramafic contact, adding that sample delineating the gold target zone are from separate drainage catchments, supporting the potential of gold mineralisation along the entire strike length.


W Resources PLC (LON:WRES) has extended its loan facility with BlackRock to access an additional US$7mln. The additional facilities will support the implementation of a comprehensive production programme to boost production at the La Parrilla tungsten and tin mine, the company said. It provides a significantly increased working capital buffer, W Resources noted.


Kromek PLC (LON:KMK) has announced the appointment of former FTSE 250 CEO Rakesh Sharma as a non-executive director of the group with immediate effect. The worldwide supplier of detection technology focusing on the medical, security screening and nuclear markets noted that Sharma has 20 years’ experience in running international hi-tech engineering and manufacturing businesses, being instrumental in the growth of Ultra Electronics Holdings PLC. Having joined Ultra Electronics at its formation in 1993, Sharma presided over significant revenue and profit growth across multiple director-level and divisional roles, including in North America, latterly serving for six years as CEO.


Applied Graphene Materials PLC (LON:AGM) has launched a new commercial offering to provide research and development (R&D) services to support businesses in harnessing the potential of graphene in their products. The AIM-listed firm said its Innovation Accelerator will offer customers a range of solutions including exclusive graphene-enhanced dispersions tailored for their systems, support from Applied Graphene’s technical experts to develop a customised projects, formulation services and full system application testing and product characterisation. Applied Graphene said the service represents a potential new revenue stream for the group, with partners to pay a one-off fee for a package that includes R&D, quality control testing, on-going stability trials and a starter kit of a graphene dispersion. Tailored dispersions made to customer product specifications will be priced separately.


Bacanora Lithium PLC (LON:BCN) has entered a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Erris Resources PLC (LON:ERIS) for its 50% interest in Deutsche Lithium (DL), the owner of the Zinnwald lithium project in Germany. Under the agreement, Bacanora said it will sell its stake in DL plus EUR1.35mln (GBP1.23mln) in return for 90.6mln new shares in Erris, together with a net profit royalty. Following the transaction, Bacanora said it will own a 44.3% stake in Erris.


CMC Markets PLC (LON:CMCX) has said its net operating income in the current financial year will be towards the upper end of the current range of forecasts. The six months to the end of September 2020 saw the spread-betting firm put in a record performance, with strong trading across all parts of the business. Net trading revenue from certificates for deposit (CFDs) during the period shot up to around GBP200mln from GBP85mln in the corresponding period of 2019.


OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) has appointed a former Tesco PLC (LON:TSCO) lead development manager, Aneta Zlotkowska as its head of Quality & Operations. Zlotkowska’s main responsibilities at Tesco were within the distribution business unit in logistics and operations. She will join the AIM-listed life sciences business at the beginning of 2021 and one of her primary objectives will be to attain a British Retail Consortium certification for OptiBiotix.


Oriole Resources PLC (LON:ORR) told investors that it has extended the Bibemi and Wapouze exploration licences in Cameroon. It comes as drill equipment is being mobilised to the Bibemi site ahead of a maiden 3,000-metre drill programme. The licence tenure was renewed for a third two-year exploration term. Oriole has a team on the ground in the field present, with work presently underway to high-grade prospects in the Bakassi project area.


Amryt Pharma PLC (NASDAQ:AMYT) (LON:AMYT) said the top-line results from its successful phase III study will be run as a late-breaking abstract at the European Association of Dermatology and Venereology Virtual Congress later this month. The EASE trial of FILSUVEZ showed the gel was effective in accelerating wound healing in people with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare, chronic and distressing genetic skin disorder. The treatment has been granted rare paediatric disease designation and has also been given fast track status by the US Food and Drug Administration.


Malvern International PLC (LON:MLVN) said its language schools in London, Manchester and Brighton have now reopened and are following government guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions. The London and Manchester schools reopened on August 10 and the Brighton school reopened last month, the company said in its results statement for 2019. Around 50 students have enrolled at the centres and enquiries and bookings are starting to pick up. The governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries are now allowing sponsored and self-funded students to travel to the UK, and students are beginning to arrive. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the company is expecting student numbers for the language centres to return to normal levels from summer 2021.


Chaarat Gold PLC (LON:CGH), the AIM-quoted gold mining Company with an operating mine in Armenia, and assets at various stages of development in the Kyrgyz Republic, has provided an update on the current situation in Kyrgyz Republic. Following the recent political disruptions in the Kyrgyz Republic, the group confirmed that its projects in the country have not been materially impacted. Nevertheless, the company added, it has taken preliminary precautionary measures to ensure the continued safety of its personnel and operations. Chaarat said it will provide an update on the situation as and when appropriate.


Block Energy PLC (LON:BLOE), the exploration and production company focused on Georgia, said that employees have exercised options to acquire, in aggregate, 943,107 ordinary shares of 0.25p each. The options exercise will be satisfied out of existing shares held in the Block Energy Employee Benefit Trust (EBT). Following the exercise of these options, the remaining number of shares held by the EBT will be 38,348,495, representing 8.76% of the current total issued share capital.


discoverIE Group PLC (LON:DSCV), a leading international designer, manufacturer and supplier of customised electronics to industry, has said it will issue its trading update for the six months ended September 30, 2020, on October 15, 2020, ahead of publishing its half-year results on November 30, 2020.

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