Energy infrastructure builder Infrastrata PLC (LON:INFA) bounced 12.7% higher to 0.6p in late-afternoon trading as the group advanced towards construction of its Islandmagee gas storage project in Northern Ireland.
The company said all remaining milestones for 2019 were expected to be completed on schedule, with enabling works ahead of full construction at the site expected to begin in December.
After the completion, Cello will own an 11.3% stake in the UK-based software provider, while Pulsar would continue to work with Cello in cases of “mutual client opportunity”.
1.15pm: Volga Gas deflates as production falls in September
The AIM-listed firm, which operates across five licenses in Russia, reported that it had produced 10.5mln cubic feet per day (mmcfd), 13% lower than in August, which was blamed on reduced output from its Vostochno-Makarovskoye gas field.
Meanwhile, in the risers, troubled high street lender Metro Bank PLC (LON:MTRO) had some good news after its shares climbed 22.2% to 220p as its founder and controversial chairman Vernon Hill announced he would step down by the end of the year.
The company said Hill believed the bank had reached “a size and scale where it is appropriate to appoint an independent chairperson” and was currently searching for a replacement.
Metro also unveiled plans for a £300mln debt issue at a record interest rate of 9.5%, returning to the market earlier than expected after it was forced to abandon a £250mln bond sale last week amid a tepid reception from investors.
On AIM, driver monitoring technology group Seeing Machines motored up 2.1% to 4.8p after announcing a deal with Alaska Airlines to improve pilot training with gaze-tracking technology that helps instructors understand pilot behaviour.
The company said its monitoring technology will improve the performance of Alaska’s instructors, trainees and flight operations and help the aviation industry more broadly by offering direct insights into flight training for Boeings and Airbuses.
11.15am: Hardy gushes as it offloads Indian subsidiary for US$8.8mln
The Aberdeen-based group said it had sold Hardy Exploration & Production (India) Inc to Invenire Energy, an upstream oil and gas group based in Uttar Pradesh.
Hardy said it would use the proceeds of the sale to invest or acquire assets in line with its strategy.
Gazvydobuvannya is a wholly-owned subsidiary which does not hold licenses or physical assets. The company’s management has been actively looking to sell the business.
“The sale of Gazvydobuvannya LLC is part of Cadogan’s goal of building a platform for growth in Ukraine through the prudent use of its cash resources and the monetization of its legacy asset,” said Guido Michelotti, Cadogan chief executive.
A small cap firm on the rise was Motif Bio PLC (LON:MTFB), which jumped 3.7% to 0.6p after it successfully raised £600,000 to help perform a restructuring that will see it sell its iclaprim antibiotic and wind down the rest of its business.
Shareholders will also be asked to grant secured lender Hercules Capital a warrant over 20% of the group’s share capital following the placing.
9.30am: Jaywing soars as major shareholders provide cash boost
The company, which has worked with brands including Mazda and Pepsi MAX, said its two backers had purchased its £5.2mln existing loan facility from Barclays, while also immediately increasing the size of the facility to £8.2mln.
As a result, Jaywing now had enough funds to repay its outstanding overdraft and was in a “much strong financial position” to realign its business and product offerings in line with the needs of its clients.
The all-share merger will result in the world’s largest online betting and gaming operator, with Flutter to hold a 54.6% stake of the newly enlarged group.
On the way down in early trading was flooring firm Topps Tiles PLC (LON:TPT), which declined by 6.1% to 64.8p after it blamed a “challenging economic backdrop” and Brexit-related political uncertainty for a 1.9% decrease in like-for-like sales in its fourth quarter.
Matthew Williams, the group’s chief executive, said that despite the “tough” market conditions the group’s sales for its latest full year compared “favourably” with the tile market as a whole, however he cautioned that the ongoing uncertainty would continue to weigh on consumer confidence until there was “greater clarity” around Brexit and its economic impact on the UK.
Proactive news headlines
Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) has refused to confirm reports in Zimbabwe that is has been awarded an exclusive prospecting order application (EPO) for its Zulu lithium project.
Nu-Oil and Gas PLC (LON:NU) has revealed a restructuring amid a debt purchase by C4 Energy Ltd and a £500,000 share placing to provide short-term working capital.