Blog

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.

There is more news given in the News page of our web site and more analysis of news is provided in our monthly newsletter for members – see the Newsletters page.

If you click on any blog post, you will find an option to subscribe to the blog. Subscribing means that you will be automatically emailed, once a day, whenever any new posts are made to the blog. You can also follow us on Twitter to see tweets whenever new posts are made.


IPOs, Platforms, Growth Stocks and Shareholder Rights

I agreed with FT writer Neil Collins in a previous article when discussing the prospective IPO of Aston Martin (AML) – “never buy a share in an initial public offering” he suggested because those who are selling know more about the stock than you do. We were certainly right about that company because the share price is now 24% below the IPO price. Smithson Investment Trust (SSON) did rather better on its first day of trading on Friday, moving to a 2% premium. ...

Patisserie Rescue Bid and Closing Accounts

It looks like Luke Johnson’s reputation will not be totally trashed after all after he announced a way for the company to be rescued today. It is proposed to do a placing at a heavily discounted share price of 50p (last price before suspension was 429p). This will raise £15 million from the issue of 30 million shares. The current shares in issue are 104 million so that implies substantial dilution although I have seen worse. It will take some time to ...

CAKE (Patisserie), Foresight 4 VCT AGM, Payment Companies and Dunelm

More bad news from Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) today – well at least you can’t say the directors are not keeping you informed about their dire situation which is not always the case in such circumstances. Yesterday the company announced that its major operating company had received a winding-up petition from HMRC, of which the directors had only recently become aware. Today the company said after further investigation the board has reached the conclusion that without an “immediate injection of capital, the Directors ...

Black Hole in Patisserie Holdings, Audit Reviews, Telford Homes and Brexit

Let’s take the really bad news first. AIM listed Patisserie Holdings (CAKE) shares have been suspended following an announcement of “potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities” which will significantly impact the company’s cash position. The CFO, Chris Marsh, has been suspended. Media reports suggest there may be shortfall of as much as £20 million. The auditors are Grant Thornton which won’t improve their reputation much but as the company’s year end is September they may not yet have looked at last year’s results. According ...

Frying in Hell and Investing in Oil Companies

Last night and this morning, the national media were dominated by the news from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that we are all going to fry in a rapidly rising world temperature unless we change our ways. CO2 emissions continue to rise and even to limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires unprecedented changes to many aspects of our lives. The suggested solutions are changes to transport to cut emissions, e.g. electric cars, eating less meat, growing more trees, ceasing ...

FCA investigations of hidden fees.

34 fund managers are being investigated for ‘hiding’ their fees according to a story in the Sunday Times on 7 October, see https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/34-fund-managers-investigated-for-hiding-their-fees-l6kjwqhrz  An investigation has been launched into 34 pension and investment companies for failing to meet new rules that force them to disclose the true cost of their funds. This is the first time the City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has taken action against firms for not adopting rules intended to make it easier for savers to assess and ...

finnCap Cracks the Whip at Akers Bioscience

Akers Bioscience (AKR) issued a most unusual announcement this morning: https://www.investegate.co.uk/akers-biosciences--akr-/rns/directorate-change---other-information/201810080700052072D/ Of particular interest is this statement: finnCap Ltd, the Company's Nominated Adviser on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, gave the Company formal three months' notice of its resignation as the Company's Nominated Adviser and Broker on October 6, 2018. finnCap has also informed the Company that its resignation will be accelerated so as to take immediate effect if the whole Board of Directors does not attend an AIM Rules briefing ...

Soukup Soaks Up More Voting Power at Thalassa

There was an interesting RNS out yesterday for Thalassa (THAL). Following an amendment to the Company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, and without a shareholder vote, each shareholder was issued with one Preference Share for each Ordinary Share held. Each Preference Share carries 10 votes, and given that they were given out on a one for one basis to Ord holders, it seems fair and simply multiplies the total voting rights by 11. (1 plus the 10 new votes per old ...

A Bad Day in the Market, but Good News from Unilever and BEIS

It was a bad day in the market yesterday, with the FTSE All-Share falling over 1%. This seems to have been driven by a sell off in bonds. Equity prices are usually linked to bond prices simply because as bond yields rise from a fall in bond prices, it becomes more attractive to hold bonds relative to equities. That particularly applies to shares that are “bond proxies”, i.e. ones bought because of their high yields for income seeking investors. These changes have ...

Unilever abandons its plans. ANOTHER VICTORY FOR INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDERS

This morning 5 October Unilever announced it had abandoned its plans, so there is no longer any need to vote. What good news this is. It is a triumph for all those involved in engaging with the company, who have belatedly listened to our arguments.   We were very concerned about the disenfranchisement of individual investors in the Unilever vote on 26 October.   Members may wish to know that as part of our campaign, ShareSoc on 4 October, sent the following OPEN LETTER TO PLATFORMS AND NOMINEE COMPANIES. 4 October 2018 UNILEVER PLC ...