Market Tracker weekly round-up—12 October 2018

Weekly round-up of the latest corporate announcements, including strategic reviews from Johnston Press plc and French Connection Group plc, IPOs by Azalea Energy plc and Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund Limited, a secondary offering by Hydrodec Group plc, reorganisations by Access Intelligence plc, BlueRock Diamonds plc, Hydrodec Group plc and Vietnam Holding Limited, returns of value by WH Smith plc and Vietnam Holding Limited, a related party transaction by Hydrodec Group plc, a transfer from the Main Market to AIM by Titon Holdings plc, a transfer from AIM to the Main Market by Vietnam Holding Limited and 4 AGMs.

The weekly round-up covers all deals announced within our statement of scope until 12 noon on the Friday of the previous week. Any deals announced after this time will be included in the following day's round-up.

All transactions covered in this update are available on the Market Tracker deal analysis tool containing over 4000 public company deal summaries.

The Market Tracker weekly bulletin looks in more detail at the latest transaction developments, mini trends and analysis of corporate deal documents. For trend reports and other analysis see our Trend Reports subtopic.

New deals (and AGMs) announced:

AGMs

Announcement date Company Industry sector Key information
12 October 2018 Smiths Group plc Engineering & manufacturing Smiths Group has announced that its 2018 AGM will be held on 14 November 2018.
10 October 2018 Kier Group plc Construction Kier Group has announced that its 2018 AGM will be held on 16 November 2018.
9 October 2018 Clinigen Group plc Pharmaceuticals & biotechnology Clinigen Group has announced that its 2018 AGM will be held on 8 November 2018.
9 October 2018 Dunelm Group plc Retail & wholesale trade Dunelm Group has announced that its 2018 AGM will be held on 29 November 2018.

IPOs

Announcement date Issuer Industry sector Key information
11 October 2018 Azalea Energy plc Oil & gas Azalea Energy announced an intention to float on AIM. The company is expected to raise up to £28.7 million in gross proceeds, and is targeting a market cap of £75 million. Admission is expected in late October.
8 October 2018 Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund Limited Investment Sirius Aircraft Leasing Fund announced a potential IPO to raise gross proceeds of up to £191.5 million. The company’s prospectus is expected to be published in late October, with admission expected in November.

LR/AIM Rules transactions

Announcement date Company Industry sector Key information
8 October 2018 Hydrodec Group plc Oil & gas Hydrodec Group announced a related party transaction under the AIM rules.

Reorganisations

Announcement date Company Industry sector Key information
10 October 2018 Access Intelligence plc Computing & IT Access Intelligence has announced a one-for-ten share consolidation to reduce the number of ordinary shares the company has in issue. The directors feel currently the company’s share capital is much higher than similar sized companies on AIM and that this is negatively affecting investors’ perception of the company. The share consolidation is subject to shareholder approval at an EGM on 1 November 2018.
8 October 2018 BlueRock Diamonds plc Mining, metals & extraction BlueRock Diamonds announced a proposed capital reorganisation to reduce the nominal value of its ordinary shares in issue from 1 pence to 0.01 pence. The number of shares in issue will remain the same, and therefore there will be no direct impact on the trading price of the company’s new ordinary shares. The company’s ordinary shares are trading below the current nominal value, so the board considers the reorganisation to be in the interest of the company and its shareholders as it will allow the company to raise funds in the future through issuing new ordinary shares.
The capital reorganisation is subject to shareholder approval at a general meeting on 25 October 2018.
8 October 2018 Hydrodec Group plc Oil & gas Hydrodec Group announced a proposed share consolidation whereby every 100 existing ordinary shares are consolidated into 1 new ordinary share. The board believe that the share consolidation will result in a more appropriate number of shares in issue in relation to the company’s size, hopefully making the shares more attractive to investors and therefore improving liquidity. The share consolidation is subject to approval from shareholders at a general meeting to be held on 26 October 2018.
8 October 2018 Vietnam Holding Limited Investment Vietnam Holding announced a proposed redomicile from the Cayman Islands to Guernsey. This will enable a number of potential investors, who can only invest in vehicles managed by regulated fund managers, to invest in the company. The redomicile is subject to shareholder approval at the company’s annual general meeting to be held on 31 October 2018.

Returns of value to shareholders

Announcement date Company Industry sector Key information
11 October 2018 WH Smith plc Retail & wholesale trade WH Smith has announced a rolling on-market share buyback programme to return up to £50 million to shareholders. The return of value is reflective of the company’s confidence in its future prospects and ability to generate cash.
8 October 2018 Vietnam Holding Limited Investment Vietnam Holding announced a proposed tender offer for up to 15% of its outstanding shares at a 2% discount to realised NAV. The board believes that whilst the company’s shares trade at a discount to its NAV per share, repurchasing the shares for immediate cancellation would be an excellent use of the fund’s capital. This would give the company a near immediate and substantial return and provide liquidity to shareholders. The tender offer is subject to shareholder approval at the company’s annual general meeting to be held on 31 October 2018.

Secondary offers

Announcement date Issuer Industry sector Key information
8 October 2018 Hydrodec Group plc Oil & gas Hydrodec Group announced a placing, by way of an accelerated bookbuild, to raise gross proceeds of approximately £10 million. The shares are expected to be priced at no less than 75 pence per share. Admission of the shares to trading is expected on 26 October 2018.

Takeovers

Announcement date Deal Industry sector Key information
11 October 2018 Johnston Press plc Media & telecommunications Johnston Press announced that it is commencing a strategic review and formal sale process thus making it in an offer period.
8 October 2018 French Connection Group plc Retail & wholesale trade French Connection announced that it is reviewing all strategic options in order to deliver maximum value for its shareholders, which includes the potential sale of the company. French Connection is, on the publication of such announcement, considered to be within an offer period for the purposes of the Takeover Code.

Transfers from AIM to the Main Market

Announcement date Issuer Industry sector Key information
8 October 2018 Vietnam Holding Limited Investment Vietnam Holding announced its intention to transfer from AIM to the Main Market.
The transfer is subject to shareholder approval at the company’s annual general meeting to be held on 31 October 2018.

Transfers from the Main Market to AIM

Announcement date Issuer Industry sector Key information
11 October 2018 Titon Holdings plc Retail & wholesale Titon Holdings announced a cancellation of the company’s shares from the Main Market, and is proposing to apply for admission of the company’s shares to trading on AIM. If the cancellation is approved by shareholders, the company anticipates that the effective date of admission to trading on AIM will be 10 December 2018. The company’s General Meeting will be held on 9 November 2018.
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