SPARK acts as Sponsor to Seneca Growth Capital VCT Plc

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it has acted as Sponsor to Seneca Growth Capital VCT Plc (“SVCT”) in respect of its Offer for Subscription of £10m of B Shares (with up to a further £10m over-allotment facility).

This offer follows the success of SVCT’s B Share offer launched in 2018 (which included the appointment of Seneca Partners Limited as investment manager and under which SVCT raised £5.5m.

SPARK acts as Sponsor to Downing ONE VCT plc

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it has acted as Sponsor to Downing ONE VCT plc in respect of its proposed Offer for Subscription of £15m (with up to a further £25m over-allotment facility).

Downing ONE VCT is a well-established venture capital trust (VCT), created by the merger of six VCTs managed by Downing in November 2013, and is one of the larger VCTs in existence with net assets of in excess of £90 million and an existing portfolio of approximately 90 investments.

SPARK acts as Financial Adviser to Integumen plc (to be renamed Deepverge plc) in respect of its recommended all share offer for Modern Water plc

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it is acting as Financial Adviser to Integumen plc in respect of its proposed all share Offer to acquire the whole of the issued share capital of Modern Water plc (“MW”). This values Modern Water at £21.25 million.
The Rule 2.7 announcement (under the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers) was made on 28 August 2020.

Integumen is a vertically integrated business, collaborating its Labskin technology platform with partners in artificial intelligence, clinical research, medical device and life science. These collaborators are building their own technology on top of the Labskin AI backbone. Labskin allows skin-care, health-care, pharmaceutical manufacturers and cosmetic companies to test their products on human-like skin in a real-world environment with full access to multiple state-of-the-art partner technologies.

SPARK appointed Financial and Nominated Adviser to Equatorial Palm Oil plc

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it has been appointed as financial and nominated adviser to Equatorial Palm Oil plc.

Equatorial Palm Oil plc is an AIM listed company. Following disposal of its Liberian Palm Oil assets in June, EPO is an “AIM Rule 15 cash shell” and, as such, is required to make an acquisition or acquisitions which constitutes a reverse takeover under AIM Rule 14 (including seeking re-admission under the AIM Rules for Companies) by 11 December 2020.

SPARK appointed as Nominated Adviser to Redx Pharma plc

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it has been appointed as nominated adviser to AIM quoted Redx Pharma plc.

Redx Pharma Plc (AIM ticker: REDX) engages in drug discovery, pre-clinical development, and licensing activities in the United Kingdom.

SPARK acts as Sponsor to Cathay International Holdings Limited

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it has acted as Sponsor to Cathay International Holdings Limited in respect of its proposed USD130m equity fundraising, comprising an Open Offer to existing shareholders and a Subscription to new investors, Class 1 Disposal of shares in Zhejiang Starry Pharmaceuticals and transfer of listing category. The proceeds of the Fundraising and the Disposal will be used to reduce borrowings to invest in Cathay’s pharmaceutical, healthcare, cosmeceutical and hotel businesses.

Cathay’s shares are admitted to premium segment the Official List of the FCA and traded on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Cathay is headquartered in Hong Kong, with the majority of its operations in mainland China.

Funding solutions in Covid-19 market conditions

A significant number of funds remain open for business and are actively seeking new investments.

We at Spark have spent part of the first few weeks in lockdown speaking to both the mainstream and specialist fund community. Our objective has been to assess the desire of funders of all types to make investments in the current environment.

What is clear is that the pain or otherwise being experienced by portfolio clients in Covid-19 times is the determinant of whether a fund is looking internally or for new investment opportunities.

It is encouraging that there is a sizeable number of funds targeting the mid-market who are actively seeking new investments and believe the current environment has brought about opportunities. In terms of solutions, some are seeking simply to provide bridging funding until the worst of Covid passes and are offering flexible leverage facilities with non-cash pay interest or margin or equity kickers. Others are being opportunistic and looking to acquire controlling positions in heavily Covid impacted businesses which otherwise might not survive. Additionally, there are still many funds who are prepared to look at money out transactions across a variety of sectors and others whose focus remains on funding growth.

The private equity and leverage fund community is adapting to these unusual times. Funders are prepared to be far more flexible in the current environment and deviate from their investment policy to offer different kinds of funding than they perhaps have become known for. By way of example, funds who have sought control positions are now open to making minority investments, equity funds are prepared to offer short term leverage and family offices or evergreen funds are considering even longer hold periods.

The focus of diligence also appears to have moved and now is more likely to be focussed on historic trading and market potential rather than hockey stick business plans. No sector, with the possible exception of retail, appears to be off the table amongst those we have spoken to and some funds are actively seeking investments in sectors brought to a standstill by Covid, such as hotels or cinema assets.

If you are looking for funding to realise your investment, finance growth or simply seeking bridge funding back to more normal times we at Spark know where to find the capital. Please contact Matt Davis (07801 494847 – mattt.davis@sparkapl.com) if we can be of any assistance.

SPARK appointed as Nominated Adviser to Sabien Technology Group plc

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it has been appointed as Nominated Adviser to Sabien Technology Group plc. Sabien is a leading provider of energy reduction technologies to the UK commercial heating sector. Organisations using gas, oil and LPG to heat space and water can significantly reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions by fitting Sabien’s patented M2G Boiler Load Optimisation control and M1G Direct Fired Hot Water control for gas fired commercial boilers and hot water generators.

Sabien Technology is a UK-based company, founded in 2004 and floated on the AIM Market, London Stock Exchange in 2006 (LSE: SNT).

SPARK acts as Financial Adviser to Redmile Group LLC

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it has acted as Financial Adviser to Redmile Group LLC (“Redmile”), in respect of its recommended Mandatory Cash Offer for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of AIM quoted Redx Pharma plc (“Redx”) that were not already held or agreed to be acquired by Redmile which valued Redx at £29.45 million.

The Offer closed successfully on 30 April 2020.

Redmile is an employee owned hedge fund sponsor, the firm primarily provides its services to pooled investment vehicles and the firm invests in public equity markets worldwide. Redmile was founded in March 2007 and is based in San Francisco, California.
Redx Pharma Plc engages in drug discovery, pre-clinical development, and licensing activities in the United Kingdom.

SPARK acts as Financial Adviser to Blake Holdings Ltd

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (“SPARK”) is pleased to announce it has acted as Financial Adviser to Blake Holdings Ltd (“Blake”) in respect of its proposed Mandatory Cash Offer to acquire the whole of the issued share capital of Hardy Oil & Gas plc (“Hardy”). This valued Hardy at £3.69 million

The Offer was declared unconditional in all respects on 21 January 2020.
Blake is a private limited company for the purpose of holding and managing investments within its investment portfolio.