Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Monday 24 January 2022

24th January 2022

In the news

  • Unilever faces new pressure after Nelson Peltz's US activist hedge fund builds a stake in the company.
  • The US has ordered family members of its embassy staff to leave Ukraine on Sunday because of the threat of “significant military action” against the country by Russia.
  • Brookfield Asset Management is expanding its hedge fund business into Europe.
  • Germany’s largest publishers and advertisers are demanding that the EU intervene over Google’s plan to stop the use of third-party cookies.
  • Airlines will be forced to fly more regularly this summer to retain their take-off and landing rights at UK airports, in a sign that ministers expect a rapid recovery in air travel in the coming months.

Politics today

  • The House of Commons sits from 2:30pm, with levelling up questions to Michael Gove and his junior ministers, followed by any post-weekend UQs or statements. Next, the SNP has a scheduled opposition day debate, which it will use as an opportunity to try and hammer the government on the cost of living crisis, and after that, MPs will move through the report stage of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill aimed at banning freeholders from rapidly increasing service charges to people in their properties. Finally, Labour’s Darren Jones has an adjournment debate on access to NHS dentistry services in Bristol and the South West.
  • The House of Lords also sits from 2:30pm, with questions on reducing sugar intake in England, the party balance of the House of Lords and if the government would support a vaccine patents waiver at the WTO, and then the main business will be day five of the Health and Care Bill’s committee stage.

Stock market moves

  • In the US, the S&P 500 fell 1.9% and the Nasdaq 100 fell 2.8%.
  • In Asia, Japan’s Topix index added 0.2%, South Korea’s Kospi index fell 1.5%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1% and China’s Shanghai Composite index added 0.1%.
  • In Europe, the FTSE 100 is trading down 0.4%.

Corporate announcements

* Maitland Client

Spirax-Sarco Engineering PLC Acquisition to accelerate digital strategy
  • Spirax-Sarco Engineering PLC today announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cotopaxi Limited, a digitally enabled, global energy consulting and optimisation specialist, from Business Intelligence of Oriental Nations Corporation Ltd, for a consideration of £13.3m, which is £12.8m on a cash and debt free basis.
  • The transaction will be funded from cash resources and is scheduled to complete following the satisfaction of limited conditions that the parties are confident will be fulfilled in a timely manner.
  • Cotopaxi, which comprises a team of 38 energy engineers and software specialists, was established in 2009 by its current Managing Director.
  • Cotopaxi’s proprietary and customised software platform generates critical insights, which are used to help its industrial customers to reduce waste and drive efficiencies in their operations through more effective management of energy use.
  • In the year ended 31st December 2020, Cotopaxi reported revenues of £2.2m. Pre-pandemic revenues were £4.8m.
  • Nicholas Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our immediate focus is on accelerating and improving our solutions for steam customers. The Cotopaxi team will also work closely with our digital transformation teams, to continue to develop and embed digital enablement and support customers in other parts of our Group.”
Computacenter PLC Pre-Close Trading Statement
  • Computacenter PLC today publishes a trading update, based on preliminary unaudited financial information, for the year ended 31 December 2021.
  • Adjusted profit before tax for the year is now expected to be slightly in excess of £250m.
  • Total revenue for the Group grew by 23 percent including the effects of acquisitions made since the beginning of 2020, and by 27 percent in constant currency.
  • The Group’s adjusted net funds, excluding IFRS16 lease liabilities, finished at around £241m.
Endeavour Mining PLC Endeavour Beats 2021 Full Year Guidance; Announces H2-2021 Dividend of $70m
  • Endeavour Mining PLC today announces its preliminary financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and full year 2021.
  • Q4-2021 production of 398koz up 4% over Q3-2021, while AISC remained stable at $900/oz.
  • FY-2021 production of 1,536koz, beating the annual guidance of 1,365-1,495koz, at an AISC of $880/oz, achieving the annual guidance of $850-900/oz.
  • FY-2022 production guidance of 1,400-1,500koz at AISC of $890-940/oz, in line with outlook provided during June 2021 investor day.
  • Net Cash position of $76m achieved at year-end, despite absorbing circa $330m of Teranga net debt and paying $268m in shareholder returns during the year.
  • H2-2021 dividend of $70m declared, totalling $140m for FY-2021 which is above the minimum committed dividend of $125m for the full year.
  • Sebastien de Montessus, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We will continue to drive value for shareholders through prudent balance sheet management, cash flow generation and shareholder returns while we remain focussed on building long-term value through our key growth projects and exploration.”
Petropavlovsk PL Appointment of Chief Financial Officer
  • The Board of Directors of Petropavlovsk PLC today announces the appointment with immediate effect of Mr Stanislav Ploshchenko as the Group’s Chief Financial Officer, based in Moscow.
  • Mr Ploshchenko has over two decades of experience in finance including CFO positions at major publicly-listed companies.
  • Mr Ploshchenko holds a master’s degree in international securities, investment and banking from the University of Reading as well as finance degrees from the Russian State Academy of Finance and the University of Portsmouth.
  • The Board would like to express its thanks to outgoing CFO Danila Kotlyarov for his dedication, professionalism, and financial stewardship over the past two transitional years.
  • Mr Kotlyarov will remain with the Company until 28 February 2022, and thereafter take on an advisory role, in order to ensure a smooth transition.

 

HgCapital Trust PLC Hg announces investment in Waystone Group
  • Hg, the Manager of HgCapital Trust PLC, today announces an investment in Waystone Group, a leading provider of institutional governance, risk, and compliance services to the asset management industry.
  • The terms of the transaction are not disclosed. The investment is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions.
  • HgCapital Trust PLC will invest approximately £31.8m in Waystone Group, with other institutional clients of Hg investing alongside HGT through the Hg Saturn 2 Fund.
  • The investment will reduce HGT’s outstanding commitments to invest in Hg transactions to approximately £365m.
  • Justin Von Simson, Managing Partner at Hg, said: “We recognise Waystone as a leading platform in fund governance, with a differentiated profile and potential to scale further. We look forward to what we can achieve together with Montagu, Derek and the team.”
Unite Group PLC Acquisition of development site in Nottingham
  • Unite Students, the UK’s leading owner, manager and developer of student accommodation, has acquired a consented 270-bed development site in Nottingham city centre.
  • Total development costs for the scheme, which will open for the 2024/25 academic year, are estimated to be £34m.
  • The direct-let development is expected to deliver a yield on cost of 7%, which reflects the lower risk associated for a project with planning approval already secured.
  • Nottingham is home to two high-quality universities, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, serving 64,000 full-time students. Nottingham has seen a 20% increase in students seeking accommodation in recent years, creating a clear need for new high-quality, purpose-built homes.
  • Nick Hayes, Group Property Director of Unite Students, said: “Through this opportunity we are able to cater for the increased number of students wanting to attend the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, both located in a growing regional city. This commitment increases our secured pipeline to over £800m, its highest ever level, and we continue to see opportunities to add further schemes in London and prime regional markets at attractive returns”.