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QuotedData’s morning briefing 21 June 2021

QuotedData's Morning briefing

In QuotedData’s morning briefing 21 June 2021:

  • JZ Capital Partners (JZCP) has sold its portfolio holding Salter Labs, for approximately $41m. The company’s interest in Salter Labs is currently valued at around $37.6m. Further proceeds of approximately $750,000 have also been placed in escrow whereby some or all, depending on the outcome of certain closing adjustments, may also be received by JZCP in due course. The proceeds from the sale are intended to be used to repay an amount of approximately $33m to senior lenders under JZCP’s existing senior facility agreement, with the balance of the proceeds to be applied in accordance with its investment policy and for its general corporate purposes. Following the repayment to senior lenders, the remaining balance outstanding under the senior facility will be around $35m.
  • Augmentum (AUGM) has made a $10m investment into Tesseract Group Oy, based in Helsinki, Finland. The trust is leading Tesseract’s $25m Series A round alongside other investors including Sapphire Ventures, BlackFin Capital Partners, DN Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Wintermute and Woorton. Tesseract is a forerunner in the dynamic digital asset sector, providing digital lending solutions to market makers and other institutional market participants via regulated custody and exchange platforms. It was founded in 2017, is regulated by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority, and was one of the first companies in the EU to obtain a 5AMLD (Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive) virtual asset service provider licence. It is the only VASP with an express authorisation from the FIN-FSA to deploy client assets into decentralised finance. Martyn Holman, partner at Augmentum Fintech, said: “We are witnessing wholesale changes in digital assets infrastructure as it evolves to the demands of increasing institutional activity. Following the separation of custody and trading in the first waves of evolution, Tesseract is addressing the next fundamental need in a space that has limited leverage capabilities. Tesseract’s management team have built a strong and profitable foundation with a great product and a clear vision”.
  • GCP Student Living (DIGS) has announced a third interim dividend of 0.25p per share for the quarter ended 31 March 2021. The quantum of the dividend will be reviewed on a quarterly basis with a view to increasing the quarterly payment when there is greater visibility on DIGS’ revenue prospects. The board expects the trust will increase dividend payments to its shareholders as group revenues improve through growing occupancy levels. The dividend will be paid on 9 July 2021 to shareholders as a REIT property income distribution in respect of the group’s tax-exempt property rental business. No element of the dividend will be paid as an ordinary UK dividend.
  • Schroder UK Public Private (SUPP) has sold its shares in Inivata Limited, a leader in liquid biopsy, to NeoGenomics, a leading provider of cancer-focused genetic testing services and global oncology contract research services, for approximately $38.6m. SUPP intends to use the additional liquidity to support some of its portfolio companies with follow-on capital and will make new investments into both public and private companies.
  • The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) has found through routine inspections of its offshore wind farm holding, Merkur, signs of stress fatigue on certain areas of the support structure of the Helihoist on some of the 6MW wind turbines. Generation at the wind farm was paused as a precautionary safety measure whilst the root cause of the issue is being investigated. The turbines are under warranty and service contract with the manufacturer. Contractual provisions include a mechanism to protect lost revenue whilst turbines are not operational, subject to a cap. It is not currently expected that the cap will be exceeded and therefore no material financial impact is expected to TRIG. The first batches of turbines have now been brought back online, in consultation with the authorities and the project’s dedicated asset management team, with support from TRIG, is working closely with the manufacturer to identify and put in place a solution that will allow the wind farm to resume operating safely and effectively for the long term. Merkur represents 6% of TRIG’s portfolio value and has been a holding since 2019. A further update will be released in August 2021.
  • Scottish Investment Trust (SCIN) has announced its interim results for the six months ended 30 April 2021. For the period under review, it achieved a share price return of 16.4% while its NAV was up 14.4%. Its quarterly dividend has also increased by 1.8% year on year to 5.8p per share. SCIN does not have a formal benchmark but, by way of comparison, the sterling total return of the international MSCI All Country World Index was 19.8%. As announced earlier this month, this has therefore triggered the trust’s policy to review its investment management arrangements. Stanhope Consulting has been appointed to assist in the review and the board has invited proposals from established fund management groups. Any such proposals will be considered alongside the current management arrangements, which the board notes have delivered strong recent short-term performance. There is no certainty that any changes will result from the review.
  • VietNam Holding (VNH) announced it has bought back 35,587 of its own shares of par value $1 each at an average price of 258p per share. As in line with its share repurchase programme, these shares have been cancelled. In total, VNH has repurchased and cancelled 197,953 shares since its last AGM and now has 42,735,125 ordinary shares with voting rights in issue and no shares held as Treasury shares.

We also have news on Montanaro European Smaller Companies’ split share plans and full-year reports from BMO Global Smaller Companies and Utilico Emerging Markets.

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