SMALL CAP MOVERS: Elliott Advisors joins £100m bidding war over Majestic Wine stores; clean water tech firm MYCELX falls on profit warning
What a week it was for Majestic Wines, which as well as announcing the unexpected departure of its chairman Greg Hodder and a swing to loss in its final results, appears to have three bidders for its branch network.
US activist fund Elliott Advisors is apparently ready to pony up £100million for the 200-strong chain, which raised a few eyebrows in the Square Mile.
Peel Hunt said a deal of that order would represent the ‘sale of the century’. The share price, up just 0.7 per cent at 284p betrayed some scepticism.
Elliott Advisors is apparently ready to pony up £100million for the 200-strong chain
Meanwhile, shares in industrial tape and adhesives maker Scapa Group were one of the biggest risers on AIM over the week, jumping 26 per cent to 206.5p, after it managed to cling on to its long-serving chief executive, Heejae Chae.
Chae had previously announced his intention to step down from the group in May after 10 years at the helm, however, on Monday the CEO performed an abrupt volte-face and decided that he wouldn’t be leaving the company after all.
Software group SCISYS was also a hefty riser, surging 26 per cent to 249p after it received a £78.9million takeover offer from Canadian IT and outsourcing firm CGI.
The offer of 254.15p per SCISYS shares was a premium of nearly 25 per cent on its Thursday close price of 204p.
Acquisition news also drove information group Dods 20 per cent higher to 9p after the firm unveiled an agreement to buy data services and software code provider Meritgroup for £22.4million.
In the miners, African Battery Metals climbed 25 per cent to 0.5p after saying it was back on track following a ‘turbulent’ first quarter which had involved a suspension of its shares as well as a restructuring and refinancing.
A contract win from a UK energy group worth £78,475 boosted shares of boiler efficiency specialist Sabien, which was up 16 per cent at 0.09p.
Biome Technologies also bounced 10 per cent higher to 370p after a bullish revenue forecast for one of its new heat-stable materials, which had begun commercial production in the US.
Internet of Things technology developer CyanConnode was also on the rise after a bullish update from the chairman at its AGM on Monday sent the shares soaring 38 per cent to 6.7p.
The AIM All-Share was up 0.06 per cent at 939 over the week while the FTSE 100 was up 0.1 per cent at 7,341.6.
Profit warning: MYCELX technology removes oil from water for oil companies
In the fallers, oil and gas group Ascent Resources wasn’t living up to its name, plunging 30 per cent to 0.3p after revealing that it would be claiming damages against the Slovenian government for denying a well stimulation permit at its Petišovci project in the country.
Investment firm Cambria Africa slumped 30 per cent to 0.6p after it suspended the use of its Paynet services by bank customers in Zimbabwe due to a collective refusal to pay for the company’s services in US dollars following a devaluation of the Zimbabwean currency.
Alexander Mining also tumbled 33 per cent to 0.03p after notifying shareholders of a meeting to approve a capital re-organisation as it struggled to keep afloat amid ‘acutely challenging’ market conditions.
Botswana Diamonds also seemed to have disappointed shareholders despite recovering 256 carats of rough diamonds from its Thorny River project as the shares fell 12 per cent to 0.5p.
A profit warning sent shares in MYCELX plunging 49 per cent to 96p as the clean water tech firm revealed that despite a strong first quarter it was suffering from delays to several project bids.
Elsewhere, procurement specialist Maistro looked set to close out its time on AIM with a whimper as the shares sank 33 per cent to 0.2p after shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve its delisting from the junior market.