Mobility solutions group Redde Northgate PLC (LON:REDD) was a bright spot in late-afternoon trading, rising 7.1% to 204.5p after the firm said it will acquire Nationwide Accident Repair Services for up to £11mln.

Nationwide is the UK’s largest wholly owned repair network and the largest independent accident repair company in Europe. Redde said the purchase is expected to be earnings enhancing in the first full year of ownership as well as delivering a post-tax return on invested capital comfortably in excess of the its weighted average cost of capital.

The company also said the acquisition will extend its existing capabilities in its service, maintenance and repair businesses.

2.00pm: Advance Energy surges as subsidiaries secure UK offshore licenses

Advance Energy PLC (LON:ADV) saw its shares surge 25% to 0.22p in mid-afternoon deals after it said its subsidiary, Resolute Oil & Gas (UK) Limited, and Holywell Resources Limited, in which it owns a 25% interest, were each awarded a 50% working interest in block 43/25 and part-blocks 43/29, 43/30, 48/4 and 48/5 in the UK Oil & Gas Authority’s (OGA) 32nd Offshore Licensing Round.

The firm said the blocks contained undrilled gas prospects and are located in the Southern North Sea, and through its holdings in the firm’s it will indirectly own a 62.5% stake in the blocks.

Meanwhile, budget airline Ryanair Holdings plc (LON:RYA) was gaining altitude, with shares rising 3.4% to €12.05 as the group raised roughly €400mln from a share placing overnight to further strengthen its already-bulging coffers to take advantage of any expansion opportunities.

The airline, which already has over €3.9bn in cash on its balance sheet and 333 fully owned Boeing 737s, said the struggles of the airline market due to the coronavirus pandemic is “likely to result in long-term impacts for the sector which it expects will create opportunities for Ryanair to grow its network, and expand its fleet, to take advantage of lower airport and aircraft cost opportunities that are likely to arise”.

12.00pm: Cobra Resources lifted by exploration permit approval

Shares in Cobra Resources PLC (LON:COBR) were lifted 2.3% to 2.2p in late morning trading after the miner said it has received an exploration permit for its Wudinna gold project in South Australian weeks ahead of schedule.

The company said the permit removes the need for annual approvals within the permit area and covers all 22 gold prospects and 4 IOCG targets. The firm is now planning to begin an expanded drilling program of 25 holes on September 23.

Elsewhere, blue-chip group Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:HIK) climbed 2.7% to 2,477p after a US court ruled in its favour over a generic version of a medicine that currently generates well over US$1bn of sales a year.

A Federal Circuit judge upheld a ruling earlier this year in the US Court for the District of Nevada that Hikma’s generic version of Vascepa does not infringe any claim of six key patents owned by its the drug’s developer, Amarin Corporation (NASDAQ:AMRN).

Vascepa is a high-grade fish oil for the reduction of cardiovascular risk in patients with elevated triglyceride blood levels, with both Hikma and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories looking to launch generic versions.

10.25am: Empire Metals higher as fieldwork starts at Eclipse project in Kalgoorlie

Empire Metals Limited (LON:EEE) headed 5.8% higher to 2.75p in mid-morning trading after it said it has commenced fieldwork at the Eclipse gold mining licence down under.

The fieldwork programme at the asset has started with systematic soil sampling and geochemistry.

The results from this first phase are expected by the end of this month.

9.30am: Christie Group shares bid-up as its transaction pipeline starts flowing again

Christie Group PLC (LON:CTG) saw its shares bid up by 5.1% to 72.5p in early trade on Friday on the back of well-received full-year results.

The auction house saw operating profit in 2019 rise by 41.4% to £5.8mln from £4.1mln the year before, despite revenue only rising 2.6% to £78.0mln from £76.1mln.

“Our transaction pipeline which had been stalled is now flowing again. We are experiencing a return of known investors and a healthy flow of new buyers. These include private equity buyers looking for good businesses which have faced COVID-19 disruption, private buyers looking to relocate to the country and coastal locations and even entrepreneurs utilising ‘bounce back’ loans to acquire additional trading units,” the group’s chairman and chief executive, David Rugg said in the final results statement.

But CyanConnode Holdings PLC (LON:CYAN) shares lost a tenth of their value at 3.5p after its results failed to meet expectations.

The smart meter network specialist posted numbers for the 15 months to the end of March that showed a decline in revenue to £2.5mln from £4.5mln in 2018 (i.e. comparing 15-month revenues with 12-month revenues).

The numbers did not come up to snuff largely as a result of a delayed contract for the Indian utility, Jaipur Vidyut Vitran Nigam; this contract is now active and the company is receiving cash payments for the roll-out.

Proactive news headlines:

Filta Group Holdings PLC (LON:FLTA) said it has secured exclusive rights to a new broad-spectrum disinfectant that can be deployed without the need to evacuate a room or to require extensive use of personal protective equipment helping in the fight against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This makes it an ideal option for customers in a wide range of sectors from office blocks and schools through to commercial kitchens and restaurants, the company added. The group has been given access to hypochlorous acid-based product by NTH Solutions, the support services arm of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust.

Supply@ME Capital PLC (LON:SYME) said it has signed a formal business alliance with Epic SIM for inventory funding and client company origination. Epic is a fintech platform for working capital solutions, enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to present their development projects, including an inventory monetisation service, to a selected audience of qualified investors. Supply@ME said the alliance will create a new sales channel for the group, including client company origination, sourced as companies come to the Epic fintech platform, and inventory funding.

Scotgold Resources Limited (LON:SGZ) has said construction and development activities at the Cononish gold and silver project are progressing well, with the first gold pour from the Scottish mine expected before the end of November. The company said underground development at Cononish has benefited from the arrival on site of the previously announced standby ST2G scoop tram while the first of two new T1D drill rigs is currently in transit. Plant construction is now focused on the building structure, to be followed by the installation and connections of pumps, drives, piping and electrics and ultimately commissioning, the company said. Scotgold also revealed that it has beefed up its geoscience team with two appointments.

United Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UOG) has expanded its footprint in the North Sea, picking up two new licence blocks in the UK’s 32nd Licensing Round. The new acreage, Blocks 15/18e and 15/19c, contain three discoveries and the Dunvegan prospect. They are located adjacent to United’s existing acreage, and the Zeta prospect. Altogether the new acreage spans 225 square kilometres, in the vicinity of the substantial Piper, MacCulloch and Claymore oil fields. “We are delighted with these awards which, based on extensive technical work carried out over the available acreage ahead of the application, were our primary focus for the 32nd round,” Jonathan Leather, United O&G’s chief operating officer said in a statement.

World High Life PLC (LON:LIFE) has said that in accordance with its investment strategy and building on momentum from its Love Hemp subsidiary, it is now “actively considering” investment targets in the medicinal cannabis space. The company said potential targets include new technologies, pharmaceuticals, synthetic cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp with potential for wide applications in multiple jurisdictions. Within this scope, World High Life said it intends to invest in and scale “innovative, early stage” uses of cannabinoids which have existing approvals in place to benefit patients and users.

Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL) has raised US$13mln via a share sale by Cantor Fitzgerald. Proceeds of the share sale are earmarked for investment in the construction of a solar power plant to supply electricity to the Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe. The company said it had raised the funds via its “at the market” (ATM) equity sale agreement, issuing some 597.9mln shares. Caledonia plans to construct a solar plant to handle all of the Blanket mine’s baseload electricity demand during daylight hours and about 27% of Blanket’s total daily electricity demand.

Alien Metals Ltd (LON:UFO) is to raise £1.25mln by issuing shares at 0.55p each from a share placing and subscription with the proceeds earmarked for a range of exploration activities across the company’s portfolio in Mexico and Western Australia. Bill Brodie Good, the group’s new chief executive officer and technical director of Alien Metals, said the funds would, specifically, be used to fast-track activities at the high-grade Elizabeth Hill silver project, through a mixture of surface sampling and trenching programmes. “With the strengthened silver price and strong demand outlook, the company is well placed with a portfolio of high-grade projects that demand further exploration and development,” he added in a statement.

i3 Energy PLC (LON:I3E) announced that it has now completed the acquisition of all the petroleum and infrastructure assets of Gain Energy Ltd for C$$80 million (circa US$58.8 million). The company said it has also completed the sale of such petroleum and infrastructure assets held by Gain Energy Ltd which are located in Saskatchewan, to Harvard Resources Inc for C$$45 million (circa US$33 million).

Chaarat Gold Holdings Limited (LON:CGH), the AIM-quoted gold mining company with an operating mine in Armenia, and assets at various stages of development in the Kyrgyz Republic, has announced the appointment of Canaccord Genuity as its nominated adviser and corporate broker with immediate effect.

San Leon PLC (LON:SLE) has announced that its annual general meeting will be held on September 30, 2020, at 11.00am at 3300 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24, D24 TD21, Ireland. In light of the ongoing public health advice in respect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the Company requests all shareholders to submit their Form of Proxy and not attend the meeting in person.

Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK) said it has been informed that Trond Williksen, the group’s chief executive officer, purchased a total of 180,000 ordinary shares of 0.1 pence each in the company at a price of 46p per share on  September 2 and 3, 2020.  Following this purchase, Williksen’s total beneficial interest in the company is 180,000 ordinary shares, representing approximately 0.03% of the issued share capital.