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Nostra Terra Oil and Gas jumps on confident outlook despite industry crisis

A look at Wednesday's major movers among the London-listed companies

Cello Health PLC - Cello Health surges on acquisition offer

Nostra Terra Oil and Gas Company plc (LON:NTOG) jumped 29% to 0.42p in the afternoon after reassuring investors it is well placed to weather the crisis thanks to its hedges.

Despite the oil price reaching all-time lows, the AIM-listed firm has enjoyed its secured hedges of US$55.15-57.15 per barrel for half of its production, lasting to the end of the year.

In the year to December 2019, revenue slipped 20% to US$1.7mln, while loss before tax widened 55% to US$1.7mln.

2.10pm: Ariana Resources rises after buyer formally commits for asset acquisitions

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) added 11% to 4.32p in the early afternoon after Özaltin formally committed to buy 53% of both the Salinbas project and the Zenit Madencilik joint venture.

The AIM-listed miner will receive half of the US$50mln set for Zenit, with the other half going to its partner Proccea Construction.

Turkish firm Özaltin will initially pay US$5mln for the Salinbas project and will inject a further US$8mln of equity to acquire 53% of it.

12.15pm: MS International slips after swinging to a loss

MS International plc (LON:MSI) slipped 8% to 119p at noon after swinging to a full-year loss due to lower trading amid travel restrictions during the pandemic.

In the year to April 30, the engineering products manufacturer posted loss before tax of £3mln from £4mln profit in the previous period.

However, as lockdowns are being lifted, the AIM-listed firm has seen signs of recovery.

11.10am: Cadence Minerals higher after joint venture partner deemed eligible for Finnish state credit scheme

Cadence Minerals PLC (LON:KDNC) shot up 14% to 9.5p in late morning after its partner Hastings Technology Metals is eligible for the Finnish Export Credit Scheme.

Hastings, which is developing with Cadence the Yangibana Rare Earth Project in Australia, could receive by Finland’s government AU$75mln.

The firms said this step marks progress towards financial close.

10.10am: St James House tanks on convertible loan note agreement 

St James House PLC (LON:SJH) tanked 44% to 37.7p in mid-morning after announcing it is entering a an unsecured convertible loan note agreement for £415,000.

The maturity date is July 2023 and have an interest rate of 5% per annum.

Investors can choose to convert their loan into shares for a value of 10p each, an 85% discount to Tuesday's closing price.

The lottery operator said the cash injection was “essential” and, alongside the steady growth of the payments business, will allow it to weather the crisis.

In the infrastructure sector, John Laing Group PLC (LON:JLG) dropped 10% to 314.2p after admitting net asset value for the first half of the year could shed between 1-9%.

The investor said the coronavirus crisis and reductions in power price forecasts have hindered the underlying portfolio performance and gains from foreign exchange.

Some bids relating to public procurement processes were delayed to next year but infrastructure investments are expected to play an important role in post-crisis economic stimulus programmes.

9am: Cello Health surges on takeover offer from private equity firm

Cello Health PLC (LON:CLL) topped the early risers on Wednesday morning surging 43% higher to 160.5p after agreeing to a takeover offer from private equity firm Arsenal Capital Partners.

The bid values the health advisory firm at £178.8mln, or 161p per share, a 44% premium to Tuesday’s closing price.

“The Cello directors are confident that, as part of the value demonstration platform with Arsenal's backing, Cello will be optimally positioned to accelerate its current strategy and capitalise on a broader range of opportunities,” said chief executive Mark Scott in a statement.

Elsewhere, Haydale Graphene Industries PLC (LON:HAYD) climbed 28% to 2.6p on the back of a new collaboration with IRPC to develop fabric for medical use, including face masks.

The advanced materials group has been developing a functionalised graphene-coated fabric during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and tests carried out by the Thailand Textile Institute showed antibacterial finishes over 99.3% on the textile material after ten washes. The pair believe the new fabric will be commercially available this year.

Meanwhile, Catenae Innovation PLC (LON:CTEA) jumped 24% to 3.29p after revealing its app that records a person’s coronavirus status is now ready for launch well ahead of schedule.

The tech firm is in discussions that could lead to “local and international sales opportunities”. The project is a joint initiative by a consortium of companies led by the Z/Yen Group, and it is expected the fully validated product will be rolled out to businesses.

Other Proactive news headlines:

Ariana Resources PLC (LON:AAU) said that Özaltin Holding A.S., through its subsidiary, Özaltin Insaat, Ticaret and Sanayi A.S., has formally committed to proceeding with its acquisition of 53% of both the Salinbas Project and the Zenit Madencilik San. ve Tic. A.S. joint venture which is currently owned by Ariana in a 50:50 partnership with Proccea Construction Co. The AIM-listed exploration and development company operating in Europe announced on November 25, 2019, that it intends to partially dispose various interests held in Turkey to Özaltin, including jointly with Proccea, 53% of Zenit for US$50mln - to be split equally by Ariana and Proccea -, as well as an initial 17% of the Salinbas Project for US$mln. 

IronRidge Resources Limited (LON:IRR) said it has completed the acquisition of CAPRI Metals SARL, giving it full ownership of a “highly prospective gold exploration portfolio” in Côte d'Ivoire. The Africa-focused mineral explorer said the acquisition completes its purchase of the Vavoua portfolio, which comprises three licenses and grants IronRidge exclusive rights to a tenure package adjacent to the 2.15mln ounce Abujar deposit.

Enteq Upstream PLC (LON:NTQ), an oil drill technology specialist, increased revenues by 7% in the year to March 31, 2020, despite the industry's problems in the US shale area. Sales in the twelve months year rose to US$10.9mln (2019: US$10.2mln) with underlying profits 24% higher at US$3.1mln. Growth outside of the US, especially in China and Saudi Arabia, helped offset the weak US market, said the company, with non-US revenue now accounting for 30% of the total.

Oncimmune Holdings PLC (LON:ONC) said its Brazilian distributor has received the regulatory all-clear for its lung cancer detection technology, paving the way for sales of the device in the country. Marketing authorisation for the EarlyCDT Lung blood test is effective immediately, providing partner Valentech International commercial access to one of the world’s largest healthcare markets. Brazil has a high unmet need for a diagnostic that could help cut the mortality rate for the disease. Figures for 2018 showed 34,000 people were diagnosed with lung cancer and there were 32,000 deaths that year.

OptiBiotix Health PLC (LON:OPTI) has signed a distribution deal covering Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Thailand for its cholesterol and blood pressure reducing dietary supplements, CholBiome and CholBiome X3. Leading this latest leg of the international expansion will be Actial Farmaceutica, an Italian business with operations in Asia focused on probiotics and gut health. Since launching its CholBiome products containing the company’s LP LDL formulation two years ago, the company has signed around 30 agreements in 50 countries.

Eden Research PLC (LON:EDEN) announced that it has moved office and opened up a new laboratory facility at Milton Park, a science cluster in Oxfordshire. The producer of sustainable biopesticides said the new facility will allow it to do more in-house, including formulation, microbiological screening, plant and seed evaluations and analytical work. It also features high-tech plant growth chambers, to undertake relatively rapid, small scale tests on different plant species.

Zanaga Iron Ore Company Ltd’s (LON:ZIOC) chairman has hailed “a rise in global investment into large scale iron ore projects”, which he said provides a strong investment case for the company’s project in the Republic of Congo (ROC). In a statement accompanying the company’s final results, Zanaga's non-executive chairman, Clifford Elphick also said iron ire prices had been resilient and premiums for “high quality iron ore products” had been maintained, further bolstering the company’s investment case.

Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK) has secured the sale of its subsidiary FishVet, a provider of veterinary and diagnostic services, for between £14.4mln-£14.7mln in cash. The aquaculture genetics, health and nutrition firm said it has sold FishVet to Pharmaq, part of Zoetis Inc (NYSE:ZTS), the world’s largest producer of medicine and vaccinations for pets and livestock.

Curzon Energy PLC (LON:CZN) said negotiations over a potential reverse takeover by Sun Seven Stars Investment Group (SSSIG) are continuing. The oil and gas firm said a period of exclusivity between itself and SSSIG has been extended from its original end date of June 30, 2020, although formal terms covering the extension of the exclusivity period and the nature of additional financial support to be provided by SSSIG to the company have yet to be finalised. Curzon said the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns in the UK and US had caused delays and disruptions to the overall due diligence process, however, both parties remained “positive” regarding a potential transaction.

Canadian Overseas Petroleum Limited (LON:COPL) has announced that its interim chief financial officer Ryan Gaffney, who took over the role on June 6, will become permanent on July 2. "Ryan has a background in investment banking where he spent 13 years with Canaccord in their London and Toronto offices. He will be a great addition to the company's management team as the company moves forward with its business plan”, COPL president and chief executive Arthur Millholland said in a statement. The group also said it expects around 438.5mln placing shares to be admitted to the standard segment of the LSE’s main market on Thursday following completion of a £1.2mln financing that the company said will cover its working capital costs and allow it to continue focusing on its OPL 226 project in Nigeria.

Mineral and Financial Investments Limited (LON:MAFL) said it has agreed on a resolution to the earn-in option agreement at Lagoa Salgada with Ascendant Resources.  M&FI, through a Swiss subsidiary, currently owns 75% of Redcorp Empreedimentos Mineiros, whose main asset is the 23Mt Lagoa Salgada polymetallic project in Portugal. The option currently is that Ascendant must fulfil its work obligations, totalling US$9.0mln, and pay M&FI US$2.5mln over the next 2 years to reach 50% ownership.

Aminex PLC (LON:AEX) said the longstop completion date for its Ruvuma farm-out agreement has been extended to July 14, 2020. The junior said partner ARA Petroleum and itself continue to work closely with the Tanzania authorities to obtain government approval and complete the farm-out as soon as possible. ARA has agreed not to demand repayment of a US$2mln loan that falls due on July 1, 2020, or to charge interest on a US$3mln funding arrangement, Aminex added.

Tower Resources PLC (LON:TRP), the AIM-listed oil and gas company with its focus on Africa has announced a further extension of its loan facility of US$750,000 with Pegasus Petroleum Ltd. The group said the facility will now be due for repayment on or before August 15, 2020, and the terms of the extension include the issue of 4.5mln of five-year warrants with a strike price of 0.35p, a premium of 11.1% to the closing share price on June 30, 2020. Tower noted that the reason for the extension is the delay to the completion of the farm-out to OilLR, revealed on Tuesday.

AFC Energy PLC (LON:AFC) has received a significant show of shareholder support for its hydrogen-based fuel cell technology after a funding round that raised £31.6mln was heavily oversubscribed, it said. Of the proceeds, £30mln came from a placing, £1.5mln from a retail offer through the PrimaryBid platform, and £100,000 from a subscription. All the share sales were priced at 16p a share. AFC said the money would give it the capacity and flexibility to ramp up the manufacture of its H-Power fuel cell systems to meet expected demand over the next two years.

Pembridge Resources PLC (LON:PERE) has revealed that the amendment to the shareholders agreement to restructure interests between the investors in Minto Explorations Ltd. has now been finalised and executed.  The group said the final agreement, signed on June 30, 2020, remains as described on April 6, 2020, and provides Minto with US$3mln of cash investment to support its current cash requirements. This also assists Pembridge's liquidity in the current unprecedented market conditions by relieving the company of significant future financial obligations amounting to US$6.4mln and up to US$22.1mln. As a result of the new investment into Minto by the other shareholders, Pembridge's economic interest in Minto will be reduced to 11% from 33%.

Mosman Oil and Gas Limited (LON:MSMN) the oil exploration, development and production company, advises that it has today executed an agreement with Blackstone to resolve all outstanding matters between the two parties. In accordance with the settlement agreement, Blackstone has paid Mosman an amount of USD 107,500 (AUD C 155,000) John W Barr, Chairman, said: "Mosman is pleased to resolve this matter. The business plan continues to be increasing production with a focus on operations in East Texas."

Asiamet PLC (LON:ARS) said that at its annual general meeting held on Tuesday all resolutions proposed to shareholders in the Notice of Meeting as announced on May 28, 2020, were duly passed. It noted that a presentation and Q&A recording with Asiamet's executive chairman, Tony Manini will be made available to shareholders and will be posted to the company website this week.

Bezant Resources PLC (LON:BZT), the AIM-quoted mineral exploration and development company, announced that, as a result of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the countries where the company operates, it has applied for and been granted to delay the publication of its audited accounts for the year ended December 31, 2019, by three months that is by September 30 2020. The company has agreed an audit completion timetable with its auditors which will enable it to meet this extended deadline. Bezant also said it will call a procedural annual general meeting to be held on or around Monday August 4, 2020, at which shareholders will not be permitted to attend in person, and it is currently intended that the AGM will be held with only the appointed chair of the meeting and two other nominated shareholders.

Instem PLC (LON:INS) announced that a general meeting will be held at 2 Diamond Way, Stone Business Park, Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 0SD at 11am on July 16, 2020. In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, shareholders and their proxies will not be allowed to attend the meeting in person, as to do so would be inconsistent with current government guidelines, and the business will be restricted to the purposes set out in the formal notice of general meeting. There will be no additional presentations or opportunities for the board of directors to answer questions, it added.

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