SPARK act as Sponsor to Downing Planned Exit 6 & 7 VCT

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it has acted as Sponsor to the Boards of Downing Planned Exit VCT 6 plc and Downing Planned Exit VCT 7 plc in relation to tender offers to purchase their own ordinary shares : Downing Planned Exit VCT 6 plc: 3,072,197 shares and Downing Planned Exit VCT 7 plc: 3,225,806 shares. The tenders will be at the latest announced Net Asset Value per Share of each Company immediately prior to the Tender Offer, less the costs of the Tender Offer.

SPARK advises Salters’ Company

LONDON ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUND ANNOUNCES A GREEN LOAN FACILITY TO THE SALTERS’ COMPANY The London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF), established by the Mayor of London’s Green Fund through the EU JESSICA initiative and managed by the Amber Infrastructure, is delighted to announce that it has agreed to provide a loan facility to The Salters’ Company, one of the 12 Great Livery Companies of the City of London. The loan facility will support the installation of energy saving measures across two sites, including the headquarters of the Salter’s Company, Salters’ Hall, on Fore Street in the City of London, which is in the process of undergoing a major refurbishment.

The Salters’ Company aims to reduce its energy usage by approximately 40% and achieve a minimum BREEAM “Very Good” rating demonstrating its commitment to the green agenda. The Salters’ Company, who were advised by SPARK Advisory Partners, is very pleased to have been able to access these funds in order to refurbish its Hall to the highest efficiency standards possible. A Livery Company, whose strong historical links with the City of London stretch back 600 years, it sustains a lively fellowship through its civic responsibilities and longstanding charitable activities. Science focused, over a million children have taken Salters’ Science courses across the country at A level or GCSE in the last 10 years. As part of the redevelopment project, Salters’ Hall will be connected to the Citigen heating and cooling network.

The LEEF facility, by enabling the Company to make its buildings more efficient and economical to run for itself and its future tenants, will assist in maintaining its key charitable activities and at the same time allow it to continue to support the Lord Mayor and the Corporation whilst remaining based in the heart of the City. LEEF, is a £100m sustainable investment fund with £55 million remaining to invest in energy efficiency retrofit projects in London by the end of 2015.

LEEF makes investments in the expectation that capital will in time be repaid and recycled into further energy efficiency projects. LEFF investment is available to the private sector, as well as public, voluntary and third sector bodies. LEEF provides investment opportunity across a great range of buildings and bodies in London allowing them to benefit from flexible and competitive long-term financing terms and delivering Energy Savings (kWh) in excess of 20%. LEEF is able to provide successful applicants with debt or equity investments in the range of £1 – 20 million.

SPARK has been appointed as independent financial advisor to AIM-quoted 600 Group

On 9 October 2013 600 Group plc confirmed that discussions are on-going with Qingdao D&D Investment Group Co. and that in accordance with Rule 2.6(c) of the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the “Code”), the Takeover Panel consented to an extension of the relevant deadline to allow those discussions to progress. The new deadline either to announce a firm intention to make an offer for the Company in accordance with Rule 2.7 of the Code or announce that it does not intend to make an offer is 5.00 pm on 6 November 2013. This announcement is not an announcement of a firm intention to make an offer under Rule 2.7 of the Code and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer will be made.

SPARK sponsors £70m+ merger of 6 Venture Capital Trusts managed by Downing LLP

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) has acted as Sponsor to Officially Listed Downing Distribution VCT 1 plc (to be renamed Downing ONE VCT plc) in its merger of 6 VCTs managed by Downing – by means of s110 liquidations of Downing Income VCT plc, Downing Income VCT 3 plc, Downing Income VCT 4 plc, Downing Absolute Income VCT 1 plc and Downing Absolute Income VCT 2 plc. If the Merger is approved by all the VCT’s shareholders, the Company should have increased net assets of over £70 million, annual running costs of around 2.67% of net assets per annum and a greater number, and more diversified portfolio, of investments. This represents SPARK’s second VCT client – following the sponsorship of the Amati VCT /Amati VCT 2 offers for subscription in early 2013.

SPARK appointed to Verdes Management PLC

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce that it has been appointed to act as NOMAD to Verdes Management PLC. Verdes has undergone a complete change of board and strategy and aims to build a fund management group. It is intended that this will be achieved by consolidating a number of existing fund management companies and teams of fund managers in a way that allows the fund managers to pursue their own business strategies whilst benefiting from the economies of scale that can be derived from being part of the larger group.

Neil Baldwin, Partner, commented: “As a team, SPARK has vast experience in helping aspirational AIM companies in achieving their objectives. We look forward to working with Verdes to realise their ambitions.

SPARK advises ILX Group plc on its proposed acquisition of Progility Pty Limited

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce that it has advised ILX Group plc, the AIM listed training, consultancy and recruitment group, on the successful acquisition of Progility Pty Limited, a communication systems integration business which will transform the scope and scale of the Group’s activities in project management. The acquisition, which completed on 4 October, constituted a reverse takeover. Following the transaction ILX Group has changed its name to “Progility plc”. ILX paid £15.97m in consideration shares for Progility, which values the Enlarged Group at a market capitalisation of some £20 million.

Wayne Bos, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO of ILX and Chairman of Progility Pty Ltd, said: “Both of these companies have energetic, motivated management and combining the two will create a dynamic project management eco-system with scale and flexibility, which is important to new and existing customers. From this new platform, we intend to grow the Group both organically and by selective acquisition using our AIM listing to expand and access capital where appropriate.

SPARK appointed as financial advisor to Convivial London Pubs PLC

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) has been appointed by Convivial as its financial advisor in relation to a Formal Sale Process to market the Company’s share capital under the Takeover Code. Convivial owns 6 premium freehold pubs – the Crown and Anchor in Chiswick, the Mitre Hotel in Greenwich, The Clifton in St Johns Wood and bar/micro-breweries at the Botanist at Kew and the Lamb in Chiswick, together with the Hansom Cab in Earls Court.

SPARK advises Sky High plc on sale to Tracsis plc

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) has acted as independent financial advisor to AIM-quoted Sky High PLC in relation to the formal offer for Sky High’s issued share capital by Leeds based Tracsis PLC, also an AIM quoted company. Sky High is a traffic data collection, aggregation and analysis company that provides primary information to a variety of clients that include government bodies, private companies well known within the market place, and public sector groups. Its primary markets are the transport and people moving sectors ranging from highway agencies, stations and railways to festival/conference organisers.

Sky High operates a portfolio of technology and services to cover all types of survey requirements including a variety of video capabilities and Bluetooth sensing devices. The market need for the services provided by Sky High are diverse with data capture being utilised for budgetary, planning, infrastructure design, and general economic and income forecasting, all of which are becoming increasingly important in the present economic and political climate. AIM quoted Tracsis plc has made a recommended cash offer for the entire issued ordinary share capital of Sky High at 15.25p per Sky High Share, valuing the company at £3.28 million. The Offer represents a premium of approximately 69 % to the Closing Price per Offer Share of 9p on the last Business Day prior to the date of the Announcement; and a premium of approximately 77% to the weighted average Closing Price per Offer Share of 8.6p for the six months prior to the date of the Announcement. The high premium was endorsed by shareholders accounting for over 70% of shares in issue giving irrevocable undertakings to accept the Offer. SPARK Partner, Sean Wyndham-Quin, said: “We are pleased to be associated with Sky High on a transaction which makes sound commercial sense for both Tracsis as acquirer and Sky High as recipient of the Offer. It is pleasing too that most of the advisors to the transaction were regionally based, providing a strong endorsement of the strength of regional professional services”.

SPARK appointed as Nominated Adviser to ILX Group plc

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce that it has been appointed to act as NOMAD for ILX Group plc, our second such appointment since being approved by the London Stock Exchange to act as a NOMAD just a month ago. ILX is a world leading accredited provider of professional business technology-led learning and consulting services, which offers best of breed accredited courses in PRINCE2®, MSP®, MoP®, M_o_R® as well as ITSM courses such as ITIL® and BCS Professional Certifications. ILX Group provides innovative solutions for organisations and individuals to get the best out of learning, as well as helping companies improve organisational capability. Mark Brady, Partner, commented: “As a team, we have vast experience in helping AIM companies dating back to the start of the AIM Market in 1995 and we are delighted to have come through the rigorous process to gain Nominated Adviser status as SPARK. We have known the new management team at ILX Group for some time and we are delighted to be able to work with them in their new venture.”

SPARK gains first AIM client as a Nominated Adviser (NOMAD)

Following its recent approval as the the London Stock Exchange’s latest Nominated Adviser, which means that it is qualified to advise companies quoted on the AIM Market, SPARK has been appointed to act as NOMAD for drinks distributor Blavod Wines & Spirits PLC. The SPARK team, which was formed a year ago by five senior directors from Brewin Dolphin’s corporate finance team is backed by SPARK Ventures, and operates from offices in Leeds and London.

The appointment by Blavod brings SPARK’s retained client list to seven quoted companies, of which Blavod is the first acting in a regulatory compliance capacity as a NOMAD. Mark Brady, Partner, commented: “We are in discussions with a number of existing AIM companies both in the North of England and throughout the UK, about taking on NOMAD or financial advisory roles for them. Given the rapid consolidation of the corporate finance advisory sector, SPARK’s team stability and experience means that we are well placed to provide independent corporate finance advice, across the capital spectrum, to both public and private businesses.”