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PureTech Health lifted after associate receives funding for its digital therapeutics product


It has been a busy day in the healthcare world.

Vectura Group PLC (LON:VEC) has jumped 32.79% to 162p after the company, which is developing an inhaled treatment for COVID-19, backed  a £958mln or 155p a share takeover offer from private equity group Carlyle.

Meanwhile Spire Heatlhcare Group (LON:SPI) is being bought by Australia’s Ramsay Health Care Ltd (ASX:RHC) for £999mln or 240p a share. The private hospital group has added 26.17% to 243.5p.

Mediclinic PLC (LON:MDC), which holds a 29.9% interest in Spire, said it would vote in favour of the offer. With Mediclinic also reporting full year results which showed revenues down 3% and earnings down 21% but forecasting growth this year, its shares are up 6.29% at 327.8p.

And then there is PureTech Health PLC (LON:PRTC).

Shares in the biotherapeutics company have moved 7.52% higher to 386p after digital therapeutics business Akili Interactive, where it has a stake, announced it had secured US$160 million of combined equity and debt financing. Following this latest fundraising, PureTech will hold 23.4%.

Akili is the maker of EndeavorRx, the first prescription video game treatment used to treat patients with cognitive disorders, including improving attention function in children with ADHD. The product received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration in June 2020, and the new funding will help speed up its commercialisation and also develop the company’s pipeline of treatments.

2.56pm: Gym sees customers return after lockdown

There was a lot of talk about whether people would go back to gyms once they reopened, having made do without them during lockdown.

But the Gym Group PLC (LON:GYM) seems to have found no problems, saying its branches have outperformed expectations with total membership increasing to 729,000 by May 24 from 547,000 at the end of February.

It added that member satisfaction levels were “significantly higher than pre-COVID levels” and the average number of visits per member per week since reopening had risen to 1.5 from 1.1 in the same period in 2019.

The positive update saw its shares jog 8.49% higher to 281p.

2.14pm: Gas group positive on production and prices

President Energy PLC (LON: PPC), the South America focused business, has moved higher after a positive update from is wells in Argentina.

The company has climbed 4.88% to 2.15p after it said a new gas well, EV-1002, was successfully completed and was now on stream alongside EV-1001.

Production from the two, along with a third well LB-1002, is expected to be in line with forecasts, at a time when gas spot prices in the country are rising.

Chairman Peter Levine said: “On 20th January, President announced plans for the commencement of its first half 2021 drilling programme by end March comprising new gas wells in the Las Bases and Estancia Vieja Concessions in Rio Negro Province. Despite a variety of hurdles, all three new wells were drilled on time and on budget with initial aggregate production levels expected to hit pre-drill expectations as they build up.

“President also previously announced its intention to bring the wells on stream by the end of May to capitalise on winter gas prices that were, at the time of planning, projected to rise in excess of US$3 per metric million British thermal unit (MMBtu). Indeed, EV-1001 and EV-1002, the second and third wells drilled in the sequence, have now been placed on production meaning President has achieved its objective. Significantly, current winter spot gas sale prices in Argentina are US$6.5 MMBtu, much above expectations and a marked 182% increase from January 2021 prices.”

12.20am: Bars group boosts balance sheet

Revolution Bars Group PLC (LON:RBG) has lost its fizz after issuing 105mln new shares as part of a fundraising.

It has successfully placed the shares at 20p each to raise £21mln, with 5mln being offered to shareholders and subject to clawback depending on the take-up.

The company, which operates 66 bars under the Revolution and Revolución de Cuba brands, said the money would be partly used to pay down some of the £28mln debt run up during the COVID-19 lockdowns. It also plans to accelerate its refurbishment programme.

Chief executive Rob Pitcher said: “Thanks to the support of our shareholders and new investors, this successful fundraising will allow Revolution Bars to emerge from this period of disruption in a strong position with a fit for purpose balance sheet which provides us with ongoing financial flexibility and an excellent platform from which to deliver for all our shareholders.  We now have the firepower to deliver strong proven returns from the refurbishment of the remainder of our uninvested bars and the ability to take advantage of opportunities that undoubtedly will arise from a very dislocated market.

“We have traded outstandingly since the initial restrictions have been lifted. We are now looking forward to the end of all restrictions and are excited about the next part of the journey delivering best in class entertainment and hospitality to our guests.”

In the market Revolution has lost 28.25% or 9.35p to 23.75p, still above the offer price for the fundraising.

11.31am: Miner set for presentation on Halo project

Investors in Wishbone Gold PLC (LON:WSBN) are having a lucky day.

Its shares have climbed 13.42% to 17.75p ahead of a presentation on its Halo gold and copper project to a mining conference in Australia on Thursday.

The presentation will be given by Dr Simon Beams of Terra Search, Wishbone’s principal Australian geological consultants.

The company said he will report on recent geochemical/magnetic results and “will draw comparisons to the geological setting and geochemical associations at the nearby 5 million ounce Ravenswood Gold Deposit.”

10.28am: Network group announces new agreement for smart meters

CyanConnode Holdings PLC (LON:CYAN) has seen its shares jump after unveiling its second collaboration in a week.

The company, a specialist in narrowband radio frequency mesh networks that facilitate machine to machine communication, has signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s government-backed Intellismart.

Intellismart is rolling out smart meters across India with the aim of deploying around 250mln, and the two businesses will work together on existing and new projects, in India and in international markets.

CyanConnode executive chairman John Cronin said: “I am delighted to announce this MOU with Intellismart, which [has] an in-depth knowledge of the Indian smart metering market …

“CyanConnode Pvt Limited, our Indian subsidiary, continues to operate in line with expectations during this latest wave of Covid. My thoughts are of course with the Indian people during this difficult time.

“I look forward to a successful, collaborative partnership with Intellismart in both India and around the world.”

CyanConnode last week signed an agreement with California’s SEW (Smart Energy Water), an energy and water cloud platform provider serving more than 300 utilities worldwide.

This latest news has lifted CyanConnode shares 9.72% to 7.9p.

9.08am: Technology group sees Portuguese subsidiary hit by pandemic problems

Technology group Cohort PLC (LON:CHRT) has lost ground after it warned profit growth would slow due to order delays at a Portuguese subsidiary.

It said its trading performance overall for the year to the end of April was in line with expectations, and the recent acquisition of ELAC Sonar in Germany had added a profitable sixth business to the group.

There was a record order intake of around £210mln across the group as a whole.

But Lisbon-based EID saw some orders delayed due to COVID-19, representing around a third of its revenues, and these are not expected to be secured until 2022 or 2023.

It said: “While the overall performance of the group’s other businesses means the group’s revenue expectations are unchanged, leading to good revenue growth, the mix of revenues is expected to see a reduction in the group’s overall margin and accordingly a lower rate of profit growth.”

Cohort’s shares are down 11.05% or 74p at 596p.

8.32am: Gold group shines after positive update

Shares in Alba Mineral Resources PLC (LON:ALBA) are shining after a positive update from the Clogau-St David’s gold mine in north-west Wales.

The company, which also has mining projects in Greenland and Ireland, said it pilot processing plant was performing well in terms of extraction, with some good grades produced and the prospect of further positive results when it takes samples from new unworked veins.

Alba’s executive chairman, George Frangeskides, said: “These are really pleasing test results and demonstrate how well our pilot plant is working now in producing gold concentrates with high recoveries.  This bodes well for when we move onto bulk sampling new and previously unmined areas, in particular those new zones which we are defining in the course of our ongoing surface and underground drilling, where we believe the prospects for high-grade mineralisation are much greater.”

Alba shares have added 9.23% to 0.28p.

Also heading higher is [email protected] Capital plc (LON:SYME)

It has jumped 17.5% to 0.47p after it finalised a deal to buy TradeFlow Capital Management, a Singapore-based FinTech-powered commodities trade enabler focused on small and medium-sized enterprises.

TradeFlow has been independently valued at around £31mln.

The acquisition will give [email protected]’s platform the ability to offer commodities “in-transit” and is expected to generate a number of attractive synergy benefits for the company in terms of funding and customer origination.

Proactive news headlines

Tiziana Life Sciences PLC (LON:TILS, NASDAQ:TLSA) said its breakthrough fully-human monoclonal antibody “induces immunomodulatory effects capable of providing clinical benefit” when administered nasally.

Love Hemp Group PLC (LON:LIFE) (OTCQB:WRHLF) said it has raised £2mln to support its administration and marketing efforts after reporting a record day of sales through its ecommerce site last Thursday.

Caledonia Mining Corp PLC (LON:CMCL, NYSE:CMCL) announced an increase in reserves and resources at its 64%-owned Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe. Proven and probable reserves increased 1% to 528,000 ounces (or 17% including depletion of 84,925 ounces since the last update in July 2018) and measured and indicated resources rose 12% to 902,000 ounces (or a 23% increase including depletion).

Crossword Cybersecurity PLC (LON:CCS) said it has acquired Verifiable Credentials Limited (VCL), a provider of the Identiproof digital certification and documentation technology, for up to £2.75mln.

SkinBioTherapeutics PLC (LON:SBTX) said a study of people suffering psoriasis that received its immune system-modulating food supplement delivered results that exceeded expectations.

Learning Technologies Group PLC (LON:LTG) said the company is “confident of a strong recovery” in its content & services business in 2021 and that trading so far during the year has been in line with management expectations.

Polarean Imaging PLC (LON:POLX) has noted a study published in journal Radiology outlined how hyperpolarised xenon MRI scans had found abnormalities in the lungs of some COVID-19 patients more than three months – and in some cases, nine months – after leaving hospital, when other clinical measurements were normal. Polarean said it supplied Oxford University Hospitals Trust with an earlier research model that was used for the study and are working towards providing a new state-of-the-art polariser for further research.

Alien Metals Ltd (LON:UFO) said initial results from test leaching at the Elizabeth Hills silver tailings project in Western Australia showed high levels of silver recovery. Alien, which has an exclusive arrangement to potentially buy the project, has extended the exclusivity period with the project owner for a further 45 days.

Eurasia Mining PLC (LON:EUA), a platinum group metals and gold producer, said it completed a private placement yesterday, raising about US$20mln to finance the joint venture with Rosgeo.

Sureserve Group Plc (LON:SUR) has appointed Nick Winks as independent non-executive chairman with immediate effect.Type a message

Genel Energy PLC (LON:GENL) noted the receipt of payments from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) covering oil sales in the month of March 2021.

TomCo Energy PLC (LON:TOM) told investors operations can resume at the Greenfield Energy joint venture project in Utah.

Europa Oil & Gas PLC’s (LON:EOG) 30% owned Wressle field, in Lincolnshire, is clear to hit its production target as the project has now has been approved for crude oil storage.

Union Jack Oil PLC’s (LON:UJO) 40% owned Wressle field, in Lincolnshire, is clear to hit its production target as the project has now has been approved for crude oil storage.

The board of Quantum Blockchain Technologies PLC (LON:QBT) informed shareholders that the Court Hearing originally planned for 26 May at the Court of Venice, as announced on 11 March, has been delayed by one day to 27 May.

IQGeo Group Plc (LON:IQG) has appointed Carolyn Rand as an independent non-executive director with effect from 26 May. Rand, who is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management and Accountants and was most recently CFO of Bango, will chair the audit committee.

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) noted that the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has confirmed that it will be admitted to the Official List of the ASX and 9,111,810 Metal Tiger CHESS Depositary Interests (CDIs) will be officially quoted under the ticker ASX:MTR, from 27 May 2021.

MetalNRG PLC (LON:MNRG), a natural resource investing and exploration company, said it entered into an option agreement with BritEnergy Holdings LLP to buy a further 150 shares in BritNRG Ltd,  a special purpose vehicle focused on the development of oil & gas and other energy sector assets, for £545,000. 

RM Secured Direct Lending PLC (LON:RMDL) has declared an interim dividend of 1.625p per share in respect of the period from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021. The ex-dividend date will be 3 June and payment date 25 June.

Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) announced that its annual general meeting will be held on 23 June 2021.

SDX Energy PLC (LON:SDX) notified that it will hold its AGM on 25 June.

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