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ShareSoc Blog

This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

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LeaderNewRiver REIT Open Interim Results Call

NewRiver has shown the way with their interim results call today. Their call was open to all investors and analysts simultaneously, providing a truly level playing field for individual investors. The call allowed all participants to ask questions and hear the answers. Sadly, this is unusual, with most companies either offering their individual investors a separate, later results call, or not offering anything at all for individual investors, whilst providing an opportunity only for analysts and institutions to quiz management. ShareSoc calls on all ...

Do Spivvy PE Funds IPO Their Investments at Inflated Prices? – and HM Treasury Consultation UK Listings Review

The AA 86% share price decline, coming on top of the Saga and Aston Martin makes me wonder if PE firms and others are exploiting those retail investors willing to buy into a fashionable story. I have to admit to losing money on Saga, whose share price is down 90% from its 2016 high. My mother-in-law was a huge fan of Saga and she gave me a present of Saga membership when I was 50, so when they were floated, I and ...

Report: Volex Webinar

I listened in to a Volex webinar on 11th November which was very well attended and presented. I have been a shareholder in Volex for some while and they have done very well achieving their targets of raising their gross margins by improving their product mix, dropping much of their lower margin cables business. Margins have been increased to 10.3% and they are doing well with their electric vehicle cables as the growth in this market continues. Volex have manufacturing operations in China, ...

Law Suit Launched Against Grant Thornton over Patisserie Valerie Audits

The Daily Telegraph and some other sources have reported that the liquidators of Patisserie Valerie (CAKE) have filed a claim in the High Court against Grant Thornton over the audits of Patisserie Valerie in the years before it went into administration. I reported previously that the accounts of Patisserie were a complete fiction – see Reference 1 below – with the assets of the firm overstated by more than £90 million. The liquidators are FRP Advisory and they have appointed lawyers Mischon de ...

ShareSoc Launches Woodford Campaign

This is an official ShareSoc News item written by ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight Update 1, 19 Nov 2020, SHARESOC LAUNCHES WOODFORD CAMPAIGN  Our primary objectives are: to help Woodford investors seek compensation for their losses to ensure that those who contributed to those losses through action or inaction are held to account to bring about changes in the regulations and regulatory enforcement to ensure this type of scandal does not happen again We are pleased that several legal initiatives have surfaced with the intention of investigating ...

Law Commission Review of Intermediated Securities

The Law Commission has published a “scoping paper” on Intermediated Securities (See Reference 1 below). This might sound a pretty dry technical subject but the subtitle of the report asks the important question – it covers “Who Owns Your Shares?” I have written about the problem of the growth in the use of nominee accounts as on-line platforms have replaced share certificates many times in the past. ShareSoc has a web page with voluminous information on this subject including reports written by ...

(Nearly) 20% Vote Against Strategic Equity Capital (SEC) AGM Resolution

19.25% of votes cast were against the continuation of SEC, 13.8% and 12.9% respectively were against the reappointments of SEC Chairman Richard Hills and Richard Locke as director. See https://www.strategicequitycapital.com/sites/default/files/proxy-voting-results-2020_0.pdf The RNS announced but did not mention the actual votes cast. Strategic Equity Capital PLC announces that at the Annual General Meeting held on 11 November 2020 all 14 resolutions proposed were duly passed. Although the ordinary resolution for the continuation of the Company was passed comfortably, the Directors are cognisant of the fact that ...

Chrysalis – Vote NO at 26 November General Meeting

Shareholders are excluded from this GM and there is no pre-meeting webinar to discuss these highly contentious proposals to wind up the VCT and distribute any monies raised (less administration fees, including payments to the failing fund manager and some directors). Several members of the ShareSoc VCT Investor Group (including Tim Grattan, Mark Lauber, Roger Lawson and myself) met on 10 Nov to discuss Chrysalis' plans. Our conclusion was that shareholders should vote against these proposals for the following reasons: Chrysalis is ...

Law Commission Publishes Scoping Paper Re Nominees, etc

The Law Commission have this morning published their scoping paper following their Review of Intermediated Securities. Here are the links Executive Summary (16 pages) Scoping Paper (201 pages) ShareSoc welcome the Law Commission report which clearly highlights the inadequacies of the current system. For far too long the rights of individual shareholders have been ignored. It looks like progress is about to be made. UKSA have commented 'Having looked more closely at both reports, they represent an excellent piece of work by the Law Commission. ...

Epidemic Over? Unable to Trade and Chrysalis VCT Wind-Up

Pandemic News The news that the Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19 appears to work (at least 90% of the time) and has no negative side effects gave stock markets a good dose of euphoria yesterday (9th November). It suggests that we might be able to return to a normal life in future, but exactly when is far from clear. Actually producing and distributing the vaccine is going to be a mammoth task and it is very clear that it will only be given ...
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