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John Laing Group

Delivering against guidance

Update | Financials | 14 Dec 2018

John Laing Group’s (JLG’s) pre-close update confirms the strong level of activity in the business in FY18. JLG will provide guidance on the level of realisations and investment commitments expected for FY19 at its results (due March) but we believe the outlook for next year and beyond appears encouraging based on the investment pipeline and global demand for infrastructure. JLG’s discount to its peer group does not reflect its proven track record or the prospects for further growth.

Deutsche Börse

Targeting diversified growth

QuickView | Financials | 19 Nov 2018

Deutsche Borse is a broad financial market infrastructure business with aclear plan to realise structural growth opportunities across its pre-trade,trading and clearing, and post-trade activities. Selective acquisitions willbe sought to augment this potential. The shares trade on a markeddiscount to global peers.

Faroe Petroleum

Agar/Plantain discovery

Flash note | Oil & gas | 15 Nov 2018

Faroe Petroleum has announced the results of the Agar/Plantain exploration/appraisal well in licence P1763 (Faroe has a 25% interest in Agar/Plantain and 12.5% in the wider licence). The well encountered 20m of gross hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir with high net to gross ratio. Operator Azinor Catalyst estimates gross recoverable resources at 15–50mmboe, a volume expected to be commercial given available infrastructure. Assuming the partial de-risking of Agar/Plantain at mid-case 32.5mmboe (down from our pre-drill estimate of 79mmboe) to a 70% chance of commercial success would leave our RENAV broadly unchanged, but provides validation of our approach of including risked value for Faroe’s exploration programme, which made up 32.6p/share of our 185.2p/share RENAV in our recent initiation.

Circassia Pharmaceuticals

Joining the dots

QuickView | Pharmaceuticals & healthcare | 09 Nov 2018

Circassia's recent interims demonstrated 55% y-o-y revenue growth to £28.4m and a 75% R&D expense reduction (to £6.9m from £27.2m in H117) while growing the commercial infrastructure that now includes China. Investors should see a path to profitability, but we note recent licensing opportunities in the respiratory therapeutic area could accelerate this.

FinTech Group

Banking joint venture with Austrian Post

Update | Technology | 25 Sep 2018

FinTech Group (FTG) has announced a landmark 50/50 banking joint venture with Austrian Post (VIE: POST, market cap c EUR 2.4bn) where FTG is supplying the technology while Post offers its established infrastructure. The deal creates a new growth arm for FTG that is expected to break even in 2022 and could act as a blueprint for similar deals in other countries. Meanwhile, H1 results were in line with expectations as margins benefited from strong growth in broking volumes. If FTG can meet its objective of generating EUR 35m net income from the joint venture with Post by 2025, it would provide significant upside in the shares for the cost of the 7% dilution in the capital increase that has funded the deal.

Utilico Emerging Markets Trust

Simplified corporate structure

Review | Investment trusts | 17 Sep 2018

Utilico Emerging Markets Trust (UEM) is a specialist fund focusing on infrastructure and utility investment in emerging market equities. In April 2018, UEM completed its re-domicile from a Bermuda-based investment company to a UK-based investment trust, in order to benefit from the UK’s increasingly supportive regulatory and tax environment. There is no change to UEM’s investment approach or dividend policy. Also, following the final exercise of its subscription shares, UEM now has a simpler capital structure. The board believes that these changes have potential to improve investor perception and, over time, lead to a narrower discount.

John Laing Group

Project investment delivers growth

Outlook | Financials | 10 Sep 2018

Continuity of strategy and personnel has enabled John Laing Group (JLG) to capitalise on the opportunities in the international market for infrastructure investment and establish an impressive track record of growth. With the demand for infrastructure projects remaining strong, we believe JLG is well placed financially, operationally and competitively to deliver attractive returns to shareholders.

Acacia Pharma

Raising the BAR in PONV

Initiation | Pharmaceuticals & healthcare | 07 Sep 2018

Acacia Pharma is focused on bringing antiemetic drugs to the US hospital setting for unmet needs in post-operative nausea and vomiting (PONV) and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). We expect FDA approval of Acacia’s lead product, BARHEMSYS (repurposed amisulpride), for the management of PONV by its 5 October 2018 PDUFA date. In the near term, Acacia will concentrate on the US commercial opportunity by expanding its sales and marketing infrastructure. We anticipate US launch of BARHEMSYS in Q219 for PONV ‘rescue treatment’ and expect broadening of use for PONV prophylaxis in subsequent years. We value Acacia Pharma at EUR 579m or EUR 10.9 per share.

Rock Tech Lithium

Fast-tracking a hard-rock spodumene play

Initiation | Mining | 06 Aug 2018

Rock Tech Lithium (RCK) recently commenced a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) at its wholly-owned Georgia Lake lithium project in Ontario, Canada. Exploration and drilling by RCK confirmed and expanded on historical resource estimates and the emphasis has now switched from exploration to development. Georgia Lake is a shallow pegmatite deposit, located close to infrastructure in Ontario, and RCK believes it can fast-track the deposit into production to coincide with positive lithium market fundamentals. Long-term optionality is provided by the recent acquisition of the Nogalito brine project.


GBP8m raise to drive expansion

Flash note | Technology | 27 Jul 2018

1Spatial has completed an accelerated bookbuild, raising net proceeds of GBP 8m. The funds will be invested in customer acquisition, the repayment of the outstanding overdraft and the ongoing development of the company’s core technology suite. The announcement also confirms trading is in line with expectations and that 1Spatial has won a number of new contracts to provide data management solutions to a UK infrastructure provider. We leave our underlying forecasts unchanged at this stage.


Growth moderates, but strategy on plan

Update | Food & Drink | 10 May 2018

Greggs’ management has been open in recognising that despite the Beast from the East and other extraordinary weather patterns, there is an underlying softening of demand. We have reduced forecasts, but see earnings growth continuing from a combination of like-for-like sales, shop expansion, and investment in the estate and manufacturing and fulfilment infrastructure. Greggs’ value positioning should place it well in a tight consumer market, and at these levels the valuation is attractive.

KEFI Minerals

Blue sky and beyond

Outlook | Mining | 08 May 2018

KEFI has formally mandated the placing of US$160m of Luxembourg-listed infrastructure bonds, which are expected to fund ownership by the Luxembourg-regulated SPV of the gold processing plant and ancillary infrastructure at the Tulu Kapi Gold Mines Share Company (TKGM), jointly owned by KEFI Minerals (Ethiopia) and the Ethiopian government. This initiative follows a positive draft independent technical expert’s report on the project. Subject to completion of all due diligence, documentation and government approvals, drawdown and development is planned for the end of the Ethiopian wet season, in September. While originally designed as a 1.2Mtpa operation, plant throughput at Tulu Kapi has since been increased to 1.9–2.1Mtpa for around the same overall capital cost.