The frenzy of initial public offerings (IPOs) continues to benefit intellectual property investors as they find appetite from the financial community to spin off early-stage businesses onto the stockmarket. The latest investment to come from the IP Group (IPO) estate is Xeros, which we flagged in yesterday's Shares as a potential IPO candidate. The near-waterless washing machine expert plans to list on Aim in March, triggering a 5.1% rise to 225p in IP Group as it owns 22.7% of the business – split 14.6% directly and 8.1% via the IP Venture Fund. IP Group's shares have risen by nearly three quarters in price since September 2013 thanks to other successful spin-offs including Actual Experience (ACT:AIM) and IP Group itself beefing up its portfolio by bidding for rival incubator Fusion IP (FIP). Read our extensive look at the pipeline of IPOs in this week's Shares cover story.
Hotelier Millennium & Copthorne (MLC) is to pay a 9.15p per share special dividend after making a £139.3 million profit on selling its Glyndebourne property development in Singapore. The shares rise 4.3% to 596p, yet the results are slightly misleading. If you ignore the one-off property sale boost, pre-tax profit is 10% below expectations, as we discuss here.
The UK’s largest drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) rises 1% to £17.02 on a recommendation from two major medical bodies for Incruse, which relieves chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The European Commission is expected to give its final approval in the coming months.
Sugar distribution-to-bakery business Real Good Food (RGD:AIM) slumps 25% to 47p after warning that profits for the financial year to March will disappoint. The foods group blames a pricing dispute with British Sugar, owned by Associated British Foods (ABF) and a key supplier to its Napier Brown sugar distribution arm. The small cap accuses ABF of abusing its dominant market position and says the OFT has referred its complaint to the new Competition and Markets Authority.
Specialist flooring company Airea (AIEA:AIM) drops 27.6% to 10.5p after posting a sharp drop in half-year pre-tax profits from £270,000 to £24,000 on lower turnover of £11.6 million (2012: 13.5 million) and decides to pass the half-year dividend once again. In a downbeat outlook statement, the carpets maker says the residential market remains volatile and flags cut-throat competition in a subdued contract flooring industry.
Insurance claims outsourcing software supplier Innovation Group (TIG) unveils plans for a £67 million fundraising just days after splashing £35 million on buildings insurance services company LAS. The shares edge off 1.5% to 33.25p, although that reflects to modest 5% discount for the 32p share placing.
Embattled video marketing specialist Blinkx (BLNX:AIM) jumps 6.5% to 97.5p after welcoming mobile marketing guru Ujjal Kohli to its boardroom. Kohli's company Rhythm NewMedia was acquired by Blinkx in December in a $65 million deal. Sceptics might just think today's bounce is in response to yesterday's 10% share price slump.
Bellzone Mining (BZM:AIM) continues yesterday's share price slump by falling a further 10% to 3.06p. The iron ore miner announced in afternoon trading (20 Feb) that its Guinea joint venture was being sued for $6.1 million by a former construction contractor. Bellzone's shares have now halved in value since December 2013.
An upbeat update on its operations in Trinidad helps lift Range Resources (RRL:AIM) up 4% to 1p. Three of its rigs have resumed operations with chief executive officer Rory Scott Russell noting the group's drilling services contractor 'is now back to satisfactory operational levels'.