Mid and small cap broker Peel Hunt (PEEL) has announced results for its year ended 31st March 2022 including emphasising “good progress against our strategic priorities”. So of what the shares currently down to 114p, a £140 million market cap?...
Long-term Michael Masterman, of AIM dog W Resources (WRES), has announced that its Nomad, Grant Thornton, and its joint brokers, Alternative Resource Capital and Shard Capital, have all resigned with immediate effect. The question is: did they resign or were they resigned?
On 4 February, as Grant Thorton’s resignation as auditor to DX Group (DX.) because of corporate malpractice was announced, the company said that “The Board intends to provide further commentary to shareholders on the Reasons and to provide an update on the progress made with the Inquiry. Further updates will be made in due course.” In fact it seems that its intent is not to tell folks what is going on but to stop folks knowing what great corporate sin has occurred. DX has written to its shareholders enclosing Grant Thornton’s resignation letter as you can see below.
On Wednesday I wrote on logistics group DX (DX.) argues “pleased to provide” trading update, but what about the murkier and murkier “corporate governance inquiry”?!, noting the intra-day-announced “immediate effect” resignation of the Audit & Risk Committee directors with no further detail provided and then the suggested routineness of the inquiry “proceeding, and the company will provide a further update in due course”! Now “Resignation of Auditor”. Dear, oh dear!
At 3:42pm yesterday it was announced that Aquis lobster-potted Rutherford Health (RUTH) – formerly Neil Woodford shambles Proton Partners – is to delist, thus bringing to an end what must have been the most outrageous listing by Neil Woodford on the market today. This follows a management restructuring – getting rid of the CEO, the Chair and a raft of NEDs – after the company failed to raise new money and the cash ran out, leaving it reliant on bridging finance and the arrival of a Chief Restructuring Officer.
Nobody doubts that Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) was a fraud and it was a spottable one. This website expressed its professional scepticism about how sales were surging while footfall in the malls where patisserie outlets were sited were collapsing. Others questioned how a company claiming huge cash balances has almost no net interest income. Yet Grant Thornton lead by partner David Newstead signed off on its accounts for the years to September 30 2015, 2016 and 2017 without question. They were sheer fiction.
No Rogue bloggers training walk today but I had an excuse so please donate HERE anyway. Then back to Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) and more whining from a failed auditor.
Of course you do not have to listen to me or, in this case to an industry veteran. Why not just listen to Zak Mir, Alex McKinley and the other “experts” and fill your boots with this con when its shares resume trading. On that note, Looker published its delayed accounts today and its shares were unsuspended at 9.35 AM. I wonder why the FCA is not unsuspending Supply@ME Capital’s (SYME) shares yet? Anhow back to the expert auditor who notes:
On its website Supply@ME Capital (SYME) makes a lot of bold claims concerning its business proposition for its potential corporate customers such as:
I start with Christmas presents. Today I started to panic and will really pull my finger out tomorrow. Then onto news that the administrators of Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) chaired by my pal lucky Luke Johnson is to sue auditors Grant Thornton over the fraudulent accounts it sign off on. This might see Lucky getting a windfall, or rather a bit of his cash back. I discuss the whole affair
Previously writing on pipe and tubing assemblies group Tricorn (TCN), in June with the shares down to 7.5p I concluded its update then, with the noted trading conditions see me retain prior caution on the shares… I currently certainly continue to avoid. Today a “Post-Period End Update”…
Supply@ME Capital (SYME) is “very pleased to appoint Crowe as our auditor. Their size, international presence and sector awareness should complement very well the platform’s scalability plans and, accordingly, the current company cross-border expansion”. Er, a few things…
Squiggles-in-the-sand specialist and all round Good German, the Sith Lord Zak Mir, noted yesterday that his bullish comments on POSs on the AIM Casino tend to trigger bear articles on this fine website in his lead-up to comments on AIM-listed Tern plc (TERN). Well I don’t want to disappoint him….after all, as you all know, I’m all heart.
Tom Winnifrith and I have covered the FY19 results of AIM-listed Tern plc (TERN) and subsequent discovery of an unannounced change of Auditor is some detail already here on ShareProphets. But amid all our questions, in true Sam Antar style, Tern has remained stum so our questions go unanswered. Top of the list is why former auditor Grant Thornton stepped down – or was pushed – and whether the valuations on Tern’s balance sheet has anything to do with it. Indeed, one might wonder whether a breach of AIM Rule 11 has occurred.
In Nigel’s article on Tern (TERN) yesterday he highlighted the change in auditors -a theme I took on in bearcast. As one of our regular commentators pointed out there is no longer a requirement to file resignation letters at Companies House unless the auditor has concerns or is the company is listed. However, the resignation does raise some concerns. Here is the proof something is very rotten in the state of Tern.
Recruitment and training company Staffline (STAF) has announced CEO Chris Pullen has “tendered his resignation to the board”. It seeks to reassure that he will “continue… during his notice period in order to facilitate an orderly succession and maintain business continuity”, that “the board's outlook for 2020 remains unchanged” and that it “expects to reach agreement with respect to revised terms that will remove the risk of covenant issues and ensure that the company retains sufficient liquidity headroom”. The shares are though still lower, below 45p…
Neil Woodford Uber-dog Xeros Technology (XSG), the great man’s revolutionary washing machine outfit, announced a rescue bailout placing at just 1p at almost lights-out yesterday – 3.46pm, just two minutes after announcing the appointment of FinnCrap as its Nomad and Sole Broker. Times must be really tough for FinnCrap, I guess any retainer will do when you have bills to pay. But forget's Finncap's abandonment of claims that it only acts for quality companies, the real story here is that the losses for Neil Woodford’s former investors at WEIF and WPCT are staggering – and now look set to hit 100% as the stock is trading below the placing price.
Neil Woodford has been fired from his flagship Equity Income Fund today, vindicating our more than 1000 articles and podcasts exposing him since 2015, but his problems do not end there. I recently commissioned a resting fund manager to produce a detailed bottom up analysis of Neil Woodford’s Patient Capital Trust (WPCT). That report from a man known as “The Badger” landed with me last night and is shocking in its conclusion: the Trust is essentially worthless. The Badger writes:
Once upon a time I had shares in Edge Performance VCT over several classes of share. It proved a disaster, and I sold out at a loss. I did cover some of the problems (see HERE) some time ago, but it seems that the shit show has continued ever since. On 29th August the shareholders decided enough was enough at the AGM, booting out three of the board and the auditor. This leaves the company with just one director – I believe company law is that it must have two as a fully listed plc, but the shares have not been suspended, nor has there been any announcement of an interim appointment.
Only last Friday I predicted a fundraise by AIM-listed Neil Woodford backed cash-hungry dog Xeros (XSG), pointing out that Neil hadn’t any cash, in the wake of news that Xeros had sold its US washing machine business. Amazingly, the shares went up even though it was clear the company needed cash and was still haemorrhaging money faster than your average washing machine drains water. The passing of this crock as a going concern by the auditor as a Going Concern only at the end of April will have shareholders all in a spin (that’s enough washing machine gags – Ed). Well blow me down with a feather – its Ouzo time.
Floated on the AIM Cesspit in May 2018 at 15p a share and raising £6 million Maestrano (MNO) describes itself as a “cloud business integration platform with cross-app data synchronization” I’d describe it as an univestable piece of shit.
My pal Luke Johnson used to be known as Lucky. Just like Lord Lucan. Luke does not stand accused of butchering his nanny and is not fleeing the country but there is blood on the streets round at Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) and Luke’s luck seems to have run out. Though I was a perma bear on Patisserie it gives me no pleasure to be revealed as a superb journalist once again...
On 20th June James Ritchie, CEO of Tekmar Group (TGP) - “a market-leading technology provider of protection systems for subsea cable, umbilical and flexible pipes and offshore engineering services” - hailed the company listing on AIM, with a 130p per share fundraise “well supported by blue chip institutional investors… we firmly believe it will enable us to accelerate our growth and maximise our potential”. The shares closed yesterday at 127.5p – and now a half-year results announcement. Given the recent listing should be fine, surely?...
A marginally less bad day today for AIM-listed Patisserie Holdings (CAKE), owners of Patisserie Valerie in that there was good news in with the bad as announced just before 9am this morning. The good news is that a winding up petition against its main trading subsidiary, Stonebeach Ltd, has been thrown out. Good news: no trip to the insolvency shop, then. As for the bad news, it is a relatively small matter but perhaps tells us what may have been going on.
Just when you think you have seen almost everything the market could throw at you...news today that Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) shares are suspended after 'the board of directors of the Company...has been notified of significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities and therefore a potential material mis-statement of the Company's accounts'. Well we know what majority shareholder and Chair of the company Luke Johnson will be coordinating for the next few days, if not weeks and months…
Globo (GBO) was a fraud which claimed to have cash but did not and is now bust. Its downfall was precipitated by ShareProphets publishing a Gabriel Grego dossier after the FT and snot-gobbler Dan McCrum merely tipped off the CEO allowing him to dump all his shares and failed to publish. Now the Financial Reporting Council says that it is letting auditor Grant Thornton off the hook and dropping its enquiry.
AIM-listed jam-tomorrow IoT investment company Tern plc (TERN) has an interesting date in its diary at the end of this month, for on 30 June its recent loans to investee company Device Authority must be converted into DA stock or repaid (at 300% of principal!) Given the scale of the cash-crisis across the portfolio at FY17 (see HERE) it seems unlikely to be repaid, so what happens if/when the loan is converted, and why is it a problem for Tern?
I said the other day that following the £1.75 million placing at 18.5p (a 30% discount) last week it looked as though Tern plc (TERN) had enough cash to see it through for the time being. But I’ve been looking through the FY17 Annual Report and now I’m not so sure. In fact I am sure it does not have enough cash. Its portfolio of investee companies looks a shambles and it seems that Tern has been paying some of its investees’ bills. Quite how auditor Grant Thornton thought the company fit to pass as a Going Concern is a mystery to me.
I haven’t commented on fully listed Interserve (IRV) for a while. This, of course, is another outsourcing company doing our blessed government’s good works for it – and, like Carillion (RIP) is struggling with its debt (albeit we are to believe to a lesser extent). It is also a company which has delivered less than complete clarity. But it is under new management. So I wonder why the shares (now down to just 64.9p to sell as at Friday’s close) have again been slipping.
Despite having stated early this month “all of the proposals received attribute little value to the equity in the company”, the daft egged on by the mendacious led shares in Entu (ENTU) to recently bounce. This was also despite numerous warnings HERE. Now it’s “Suspension of Trading on AIM”…
Previously writing on energy efficient-home improvement group Entu (ENTU) last month I concluded, with the shares at circa 12p, ‘with in the near term it looking at best onerous debt, with possible discounted disposals and discounted equity issuance, on this disastrous October 2014, 100p per share, IPO, my view remains bargepole ahoy. Sell’. There’s now been a 2:55pm “Strategic Review Update”…
When shamed AIM casino posterboy Mercantile Ports & Logistics (MPL) moves from being a member of the minus 98% club in which it currently sits to being a member of the minus 100% club, I want it known that Nomad Cenkos has been fully aware of massive issues all along and has done nothing other than bank obscene fees. As such we have run a series of letters from a big shareholder to Amber Wood, head of Corporate Governance at Lagos Securities, HERE and HERE and HERE. Now for letter four which puts fragrant Amber and Lagos, Nomad to the Quindell (QPP) fraud as well, on notice for when the final wipeout occurs that they will be held accountable.
An “Update on share suspension, Inata and Tri-K” announcement from Avocet Mining (AVM). “Update” on share suspension? When was the suspension then?...
AIM-listed Rurelec (RUR) updated the market last Thursday that its currently crocked power generation plant held in its JV Energia Del Sur in Argentina may get fixed rather sooner than first feared – even if the proposed repair sounds a bit of a Heath Robinson affair. Good news. The slightly more disconcerting news is that the Companies House website is showing an Auditor’s Resignation filing as being processed and available in five days.
Given that Device Authority Limited represents almost 100% of Tern’s (TERN) investment portfolio and thus is very material to investment performance and its share price why is there so little financial disclosure about the performance of Device Authority in accounts of Tern Plc? In terms of potential excuses that Tern might offer;
A “Trading Update” announcement from Entu (ENTU) opens with that adjusted EBITDA “is expected to be within the range previously announced” and that exceptional costs relating to planned cost-saving processes are also expected to be “in line with management's previous expectations”. So why are the shares currently approaching 9% lower, towards 23p?...
Having dished up a ghastly profit warning on the last trading day before Christmas, China company and NEX- (the lobster-pot formerly known as ISDX) listed Miloc Group (ML.P) has announced the termination of the appointment of its Corporate Adviser, Grant Thornton, with effect from 6 March 2017. We’ve covered this one before (see HERE if you fancy a good giggle) as its FY15 accounts were pure comedy and the history of its listing on London’s sub-junior market has been a festival of Red Flags for this purveyor of Traditional Chinese Medicines. Sadly, it looks as though the joke may soon be over.
Having inherited a train wreck from Peter Earl and his former colleagues in the AIM-listed Rurelec (RUR) boardroom, the current directors of the company have been living something of a hand-to-mouth existence surviving on scraps of short term finance while they try to rescue what has long appeared to be a basket case. But not satisfied with his fine work at the company (before departing in 2015), it seems Mr Earl has one last hurrah for his former shareholders. This morning the company announced receipt of Statutory Demands from AIM-executed IPSA (IPSA) and from Independent Power Corporation plc. Uh-oh.
With shares in the AIM listed fraud Cloudtag (CTAG) having slumped from a peak of 25p to c7p there are already many investors who have lost money. Over the next few months as the share price dwindles towards zero there will be legions more. But help may be at hand from Grant Thornton's fraud insolvency and recovery team.
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. There’s trouble brewing at AIM-listed Blenheim Natural Resources (BNR) in the wake of a total disaster at the company’s AGM. In an RNS released yesterday at 3.19pm (HERE) the company announced that every single one of the resolutions put to the AGM were rejected. Thus, following the departure of Chris Cleverly of African Potash (AFPO) infamy, two further directors have been ousted as their retirement by rotation became permanent as shareholders voted down their re-election.
Yesterday morning the Peter Earl trainwreck IPSA (IPSA) was booted off the AIM Casino having served its maximum time suspended pending financial clarification. In fact it had been suspended since September last year, once again making a mockery of AIM Rule 41. It has repeatedly warned shareholders that it could face a one-way trip to the corporate knackers’ yard and now, with no listing, one wonders whether administration now beckons – and whether this could be the beginning of the final chapter for fellow cash-strapped (and ex- of Peter Earl) Rurelec (RUR), itself recently restored to trading on AIM, for at the last count Rurelec owed IPSA £1.8 million.
One swallow does not a summer make, according to Aristotle. I guess he would baulk at two as well but it does seem that a few swallows are getting the idea. I refer, of course, to the growing number of AIM companies facing shareholder activism. It is a good thing.
Thor Mining (THR) has just issued a release saying that its CEO has recorded an interview with Zak Mir for the lamentable t1psTV. Jesus wept: like it thinks we care? But there is something that CEO Mick Billing is not telling anyone tempted to buy into this rampfest.
Shares in Teathers Financial (TEA) were set to be booted off the AIM Casino as of Monday for failing to implement its investment policy. The crowd thought it was all over...it is now! With a spectacular hat-trick of own goals Jason "Geoff Hurst in reverse" Drummond has handed victory to his, many, critics.
A couple of months on since our last update and more ShareProphets China AIM 'Filthy Forty' companies have followed Geong International and co in 'Geong, Geong' and then gone...
Tomorrow at UK Investor Show the Teathers shareholder action group will be manning a stand all day wanting to make contact with anyone owning any shares in Teathers Financial (TEA). Make sure you go and make contact as this company's board must be sacked NOW after another disgraceful RNS.
Another month, more ShareProphets China AIM 'Filthy Forty' companies set to follow Geong International and co in 'Geong, Geong' and then gone...
The following updates our China AIM 'Filthy Forty' table as at the end of February. Despite the utterings of the London Stock Exchange and George Osborne, more of the companies Geong, Geong, Gone? You bet…
Shares in ShareProphets AIM-China Filthy Forty stock Auhua "Clean is my middle name" Energy (ACE) are down another 28% this morning after the company confirmed that it has not yet been able to sign up a new Nomad to replace Grant Thornton which steps down with effect from Monday morning. As such Auhua will become the twenty-first company of our Filthy Forty to have left the Casino or be suspended.
Oh dear it looks as if another China fraud is set to be marched off to the AIM casino death row this weeked ahead of a formal execution in one month. Auhua Clean Energy (ACE) has until Sunday night to find a new Nomad following the resignation of Grant Thornton a month ago. And quelle surprise....
Time is running out for ShareProphets AIM-China Filthy Forty poster-boy Auhua Clean Energy (ACE) to find a new Nomad. It was announced on 29 Jan 2016 that the current incumbent, Grant Thornton, had given notice that it was to quit the post with effect from 29 Feb 2016 (a week on Monday). Barring a miracle (and we know that AIM Regulation has been keen to discourage Nomads from taking on China plays where the previous Nomad has resigned) then shareholders have until Friday of next week to get out or face being lobster-potted.
On Friday, China fraud Auhua (ACE) announced that its nomad, Grant Thornton, was quitting as at 29 February but it said it was talking to other Nomads. Perhaps anyone happy to represent a China fraud might start its due diligence by asking where Auhua's Chinese website had gone?
Eighteen Filthy Forty members have already gone and they are still queuing up. Jiasen (JSI) took the heat earlier in the week (and there is more to come on that one) and we already have LED Holdings suspended for failing to release its accounts. Then there is Asian Citrus (ACHL) which looks set to run out of cash – or orange trees – before long. But at the back end of the week came a late surge from Auhua (ACE) to claim pole position for the next expulsion of a China fraud from the AIM Casino.
We have warned you often enough that China AIM Norfolk Auhua Clean Energy (ACE) was just not fit for purpose and today its Nomad Grant Thornton has give it one month's notice that it will quit... Auhua says it is talking to another Nomad, yeah right...
EDIT: table reformatted so you can see it all now. Prepare for instant nausea. I've been taking a look at some of the winners from the Globo scandal - those who made money while the shareholders were scammed. Of course, Globo was a fine example of the best corporate governance to be found on AIM. That is what all those exec and non-exec directors (including two chairmen) as well as two principal audit firms were being paid for. Let us take a look at who made what since Globo joined the Casino at the back end of 2007.
Needless to say, when a fraud scandal breaks one of the questions which gets asked is where were the auditors? In some cases the audit is shown to be hopeless - I would imagine that some will view KPMG's efforts with Quindell (QPP) in that category. Sometimes it is simply that the level of audit which would have been required to unearth the fraud (or, cough, errors) would simply have been too expensive to perform and not necessarily required by the regulators.
The Globo (GBO) scandal brings up the issue once again of what an auditor is there to do. Yesterday’s admission that, essentially, Globo’s accounts could not be relied upon suggests that there has been a massive failure. Auditor there: Grant Thornton. But Globo is by no means the only case of investors being misled as to the true picture in a company’s accounts.
ShareProphets AIM-China Filthy Forty member China New Energy (CNEL) has announced a Statement re Press Comment which appears to raise a number of corporate governance issues. I wonder how the Nomad, Cairn, will react. The shares are flying – up by a whopping 186% last seen. Mind you, at 1.35p there is an awfully long way to go before the shares get back to the IPO price of 7p. But what is really going on here?
Hot on the heels of the announcement that Vmoto is to delist from AIM, ARC Capital (ARCH) has announced that it has failed to find a replacement Nomad and will be booted off the Casino as of 7am this morning. Execution number 13 (and Vmoto is number 14). There are still another three on death row following Nomad resignations to make a total of 17. Are you watching this Marcus Stuttard, the Sham Sheriff?
ShareProphets AIM-China Filthy Forty member Auhua Clean Energy (ACE) reported this morning that its Non-Eec Chairman, Mr David Sumner, has walked. His replacement, Mr Raphael Tham seems to have already stepped into the role. Oh dear.
Further to Tom Winnifrith's piece HERE which highlights that ShareProphets AIM-China Filthy Forty member Global Market Group (GMC) has now been without a Nomad for a month and a day, yet there has been no announcement that it has been formally booted off the Casino I have dropped a line to AIM Regulation. Is it the case that ShareProphets is now the regulator? The letter reads:
The Nomad to China AIM casino POS Global Market Group (GMC) was Grant Thornton. It quit on August 21. S with no new Nomad having been announced you would expect confirmation today this its casino life was over. There is no RNS.
Of the Filthy 40 China stocks listed on AIM on June 1 2014 or listed since, ten have already been booted off the Casino while shares in four are suspended. Of those three are suspended as the Nomad has quit. They sit on Death Row and the first execution, expulsion from AIM, is scheduled for tonight.
AIM-China poster-boy Global Market Group (GMC) looks set to become the next member of the ShareProphets Filthy Forty to be given the order of the boot, unless it can find itself a new Nomad by 21 September 2015. This Cayman Islands registered company joined AIM in June 2012 at £1.30 a share, when it raised £9.7 million through a Placing, to join the Casino with a market capitalisation of around £127 million. The shares fell almost immediately to just over 80p. They are now suspended at 50p – following the payment of a deposit in connection with a land acquisition as announced on 10 Aug 2015 - as the lobster-potted shareholders wonder whether the company will ever resume trading.
Forty AIM-China companies: ten down, three more in the queue to leave by the back door. This time we bring you Cayman Islands registered investment company, ARC Capital Holdings Limited (ARCH), which announced on 14 August that its Nomad, Grant Thornton, had given notice of its intention to step down on 15 September 2015. If no replacement is found by 15 October then shares in ARC will be booted off the Casino.