Businessman on finance backgroundBusinessman on finance background

A flurry of fundraising activity on the small cap market showed no signs of slowing down this week as a stream of AIM-listed firms sought to take advantage of the festive mood and persuade investors to give them an early Christmas present in the form of a cash injection.

At least five companies on the junior market have conducted fundraisings this week across a variety of sectors, with the haul totalling just under £85mln.

One of the biggest funding rounds came from rare disease specialist Amryt Pharmaceuticals PLC (LON:AMYT), which announced that it has raised $40mln (£30mln) from a collection of leading US biotech investors to fund potential acquisitions and investments in new technologies and businesses.

Amryt is one of a number of companies taking advantage of renewed interest in the biotech sector following the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

These include clinical artificial intelligence (AI) group Sensyne Health PLC (LON:SENS), which raised £25mln during the week to help “industrialise and scale” its data platform.

Other fundraisings in the week came from market software group Access Intelligence PLC (LON:ACC), construction materials firm SigmaRoc PLC (LON:SRC) and mining firm Vast Resources PLC (LON:VAST).

Meanwhile, the ongoing growth of the hydrogen industry was also evident on AIM after clean fuel group ITM Power PLC (LON:ITM) said two of its partners, energy infrastructure firm Snam and chemicals group Linde, have signed a deal to develop new hydrogen projects, sending the company’s shares up 1.9% to 380p.

Another sector player on the rise was Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR), which climbed 15.5% to 1,074p after it unveiled a collaboration with Austrian powertrain specialist AVL List to license the firm’s fuel cell technology.

ITM and Ceres have now established themselves as major players on the small-cap market, with ITM AIM’s eighth-largest company while Ceres is thirteenth with a combined market cap of almost £4bn.

With a coalition of firms announcing this week that they will work to cut the cost of hydrogen to around £1.50 per kilo over the next five years, the sector’s rapid growth may be set to continue.

Turning to the wider market, the AIM All-Share was little moved over the week, down 0.37% at 1,064 while the FTSE 100 was up 0.06% at 6,554.

Looking to other risers, TruFin PLC (LON:TRU) soared 67% to 75p after banking giant Lloyds licensed its invoicing software for a six-month pilot scheme which could lead to a five-year agreement if successful.

Plastics maker Coral Products PLC (LON:CRU) surged 58% to 7.5p as it reported a rise in underlying operating profits of over 100% in its first half.

Among the oilers, Reabold Resources PLC (LON:RBD) gushed 52% higher to 0.6p after it said a discovery at the West Newton project near Hull has “exceeded pre-drill expectations”. Fellow industry player Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO), which holds a 17% stake in West Newton, also flowed 13% higher to 0.18p following the news.

Elsewhere, cloud communications specialist IMImobile PLC (LON:IMO) climbed 47% higher to 593p after it accepted a $730 million (£552 million) takeover offer from IT giant Cisco Systems. The company advised its shareholders to accept the 595p-per-share cash offer, a 47% premium to the closing price at the last session before the offer was announced.

Anmong the fallers, online clothing retailer Quiz PLC (LON:QUIZ) slumped 8% to 7.9p after the company delayed the release of its interim results to the end of January, beyond the usual publication date of before the end of the year.

Renewable power group SIMEC Atlantis fell 22% to 17.5p over the week after it said planning permission for a greenfield site as part of one of its projects could come later than initially expected.

Meanwhile, specialist bank PCF Group was also on the slide, falling 14% to 24p after it suffered a profit hit from credit impairment charges worth nearly £8 million and issued a cautious outlook due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business.