QuotedData’s morning briefing 9 May 2024 – SONG, DGN, AWEM, EOT, GSEO, THRL, AIRE, SOHO, SMT

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In QuotedData’s morning briefing 9 May 2024:

  • Concord Bidco, the bidding vehicle for the Alchemy/Concord Chorus bid for Hipgnosis (SONG), says that its offer of $1.25 per Hipgnosis share is final and will not be increased. [QD comment: as we suspected, Concord was unable/unwilling to better Blackstone’s $1.30 bid, which at the current exchange rate is equivalent to 104.2p. The shares are trading at a tiny premium to that bid price. As time goes on, it seems increasingly unlikely that another bidder will enter the contest.]
  • Asia Dragon (DGN) says that, as planned, Charlie Ricketts, Donald Workman and Gaynor Coley have retired from its board with effect from today, as it is six months since the completion of the merger with abrdn New Dawn. There is still no substantive comment on the proposed merger with Ashoka WhiteOak Emerging Markets (AWEM).
  • European Opportunities (EOT) has tried to talk to the shareholders that voted against various resolutions at its last AGM (everything was approved, but there were some largeish votes against some resolutions) but those shareholders have declined the offer to meet the trust’s board. Since the meeting, the company has completed its 25% tender offer and bought back another £59.4m worth of shares.
  • VH Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities (GSEO) is financing the construction of a 10MW gas-fired flexible power plant in the UK. The plant is being equipped with Asco CO2 scrubbing units and exhaust piping that will allow it to produce purified food-grade CO2 commercially. The four Rolls Royce 16V engines that power the plant have now been fired up and tested, and the CO2 units are expected to be fully operational in the second half of this year. [This plant can fire up and down fairly quickly, so it can be used to help balance the power grid. Ideallly, plants like these would permanently replace diesel-powered plants that are currently used for this purpose. It could also be competing with energy storage projects such as batteries.]
  • Target Healthcare REIT (THRL) reported a 2.2% uplift in EPRA Net Tangible Assets (NTA) per share to 109.0 pence in the quarter to 31 March 2024. This primarily reflected a 1.4% like-for-like valuation uplift in its portfolio to £934.8m – driven by the portfolio’s inflation-linked rent reviews and a net tightening of yields. Adjusted EPRA earnings per share for the quarter was 1.57 pence, fully covering the quarterly dividend of 1.428 pence.
  • Alternative Income REIT (AIRE) posted a 1.2% drop in NAV to 80.6p per share in the quarter to 31 March 2024. It’s portfolio was down 0.7% to £102.6m. EPRA earnings were flat at 1.5p per share, covering its quarterly dividend of 1.425p.
  • The board of Triple Point Social Housing REIT (SOHO) has launched an independent review of the investment management arrangements. As part of the process, the board will benchmark market precedents and engage with other market participants “to ensure that any changes made to the current terms of the investment management arrangements reflect best practice and deliver enhanced value for shareholders”. The review is expected to complete within three months.
  • Baillie Gifford’s flagship fund, Scottish Mortgage (SMT), has announced that it has repurchased 35m shares at a price of 895.00p per share – implying a total of cost £313.25m, which would appear to be a record for any UK listed investment company. It has already announced that it was stepping up its repurchasing efforts (click here to read our coverage of this) and it is likely that this latest repurchase is to appease Elliott Advisers, the famed US activist hedge fund manager, which has previously announced a 5% stake in SMT.

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