SMALL CAP MOVERS: Private equity interest pumps Glantus shares

Something big was cooking at the minnow listed on the AIM Glantus Holdings this week.

Investors in the provider of account automation and analytics solutions saw their shares almost double between Monday’s opening bell and Wednesday’s early trades.

Pretty good for a small cap that published a grim earnings report the week before.

A regulatory announcement posted at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday, just as stocks were pumping, provided an answer to why: Glantus officially confirmed private talks with private equity firm Accel-KKR for a possible cash offer for the entire share capital of Glantus.

The talks are just that for the moment. No official announcement has been made, but Accel-KKR now has until August 16 to make a formal offer.

For now, shares of Glantus remain up 175 per cent week after week, representing a market cap of £11.2 million.

If only the rise in Glantus’ market value reflected the broader junior market.

The AIM All-Share Index fell 1.8 percent this week to 740, essentially par with last week’s disappointing performance.

Stocks in general have seen some macro headwinds over the past five trading sessions.

Thursday in particular was a brutal day, mainly due to higher interest rate forecasts from UK financial analysts.

There was also transit of popular US jobs data, which gave US stock markets a headache.

Blue chips witnessed a bigger sell-off than the bottom of the market, with the FTSE 100 finishing the week a painful 3.5% lower compared to AIM’s 1.8%.

Despite the slow week, there were some good positive stories among the junior market participants.

Not in the last place i(x) Net zero, whose shares rose as much as 90 percent in Thursday’s early deals as its investment WasteFuel Global, which develops bio-methanol from agricultural waste, secured a $10 million (£7.8 million) investment from none other than BP. i(x) ended the week up 92 percent at 26p.

Micro-cap life sciences company Aptamer Group had a rollercoaster. The Optimer folder maker rose nearly 25 percent on Friday after announcing it won several contracts worth a total of £507,000.

However, this was after a 40 percent plunge on Monday after announcing that it is urgently seeking additional funding to ensure the company’s continued existence as a going concern.

In the creative segment Zinc media climbed 6 percent all week after the TV, brand and audio production group released an optimistic trading statement on Wednesday.

The company said total revenues in the first half amounted to £31 million, already eclipsing the entire 2022 financial year.

Stocks in digital mental wellbeing company Kooth skyrocketed after winning a £148 million contract to serve all 13- to 25-year-olds in California.

The London-based company plans to hire more than 200 employees next year to support growing US infrastructure.

In the energy sector, Petro Matad skyrocketed nearly 60 percent in Thursday’s early deals as the explorer landed a new permit from authorities in Mongolia. On Friday, shares were still 30 percent in the green.

On the other hand, Quadruple fell 40 percent on Friday, although this was due to an open bid to raise at least £1 million ahead of expected initial commercial revenue from the lead projects.

Quadrise said it continues to focus on its key projects in Morocco, Utah and at Mediterranean Shipping “as the most efficient use of our financial resources and provide the quickest and most material avenues to commercialization.”

Zanaga Shares of Iron Ore Company fell nearly 40 percent this week on what appeared to be a rather benign financing package designed to limit dilution.

Shard Merchant Capital said it will try to sell 36 million Zanaga shares in three tranches, returning 95 percent of the proceeds. At current prices, the mining developer would receive £3.7 million. The additional shares would in turn increase Zanaga’s equity by just 5.9 percent.

Huge resources also fell on news of a financing package, in this case a £1.7m deal for the placement of 486m shares at 0.35p each.

Vast said it will use the money for working capital and for its current “business obligations”.

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