US cable television giant Comcast may have stolen the show yesterday with a £22billion bid for Sky, but it was also a busy day for the small-caps.
Shower gel and deodorant maker Swallowfield bought ultra-cool men’s grooming brand Fish in a deal worth up to £3million.
Fish’s range of hair gels and waxes were first sold from the salon of the same name, which has cut hair for the likes of supermodel Kate Moss and comedian Johnny Vaughan, in London’s Soho district.
Now you can find them in chains such as Boots, Superdrug, Tesco and Waitrose, generating £1.7million in sales a year.
Following the purchase, Swallowfield says it wants to grow the brand in the UK and add to the Fish range. Its shares kicked up 5.4 per cent, or 17.5p, to 340p.
Cleaning up: Shower gel and deodorant maker Swallowfield bought ultra-cool men’s grooming brand Fish in a deal that could be worth up to £3m
Digital marketing agency Jaywing has agreed a deal to buy Sydney-based rival Frank Digital to boost its presence in Australia.
The Sheffield-based company plans to raise £1.3million in a new placing of shares to get the deal over the line, although this is subject to approval.
However, it seems as though Jaywing might find shareholder support hard to come by, given the poor performance yesterday of its shares, which tanked 5.9 per cent, or 1.5p, to 24p.
Trafalgar New Homes gave investors something to cheer about, however, after announcing a deal to buy Beaufort Homes.
As part of the agreement, the owners of Beaufort will receive 186m shares in Trafalgar.
STOCK WATCH – COATS GROUP
Shares in sewing thread maker Coats Group flew as it upgraded its profit forecast.
It boosted its revenue by 4 per cent and its profits by 10 per cent in the year ending December 31.
It expects 2018’s profits to be boosted by a deal to buy Patrick Yarn Mill, which makes cut and flame-resistant yarns.
Rajiv Sharma, group chief executive, said: ‘2018 adjusted operating profits are expected to be slightly ahead of previous management expectations.’ Shares jumped 11.1 per cent, or 8.3p, to 83p.
Beaufort specialises in homes for the elderly and has agreements in place for a number of sites in the south-east of England. Shares in Trafalgar rose by 3 per cent, or 0.02p, to 0.85p.
Shares in wealth manager AFH Financial Group flew 2.7 per cent, or 9p, to 339p after it announced a deal worth up to £738,000 to buy Hertfordshire-based financial adviser Harrison White.
The deal will generate an additional £410,000 of revenue for AFH and place £55million of funds under its management.
Aim-listed engineering firm Versarien signed a deal with shoemaker Vivobarefoot to develop a range of shoes that are reinforced with graphene, the purest form of carbon, which is harder than diamonds and is the world’s thinnest substance.
Versarien and Vivo hope they can use graphene in the fibre and resins of shoes to make them stronger.
Shares in Versarien rocketed 13.5 per cent, or 9.5p, to 80p at closing.
Britain’s index of blue-chip companies, the FTSE 100, finished down 0.1 per cent, or 7.13 points, at 7282.45 points.
However, the FTSE 250 ended the day up 0.24 per cent, or 47.05 points to 19875.78.
Short-sellers had a shocker yesterday and will be wishing they had sold their shares in troubled doorstep lender Provident Financial earlier.
They had taken huge bets that the firm’s share price, which has already fallen 81 per cent from its peak, would tank further.
It is thought short-sellers had borrowed as many as 12m of the firm’s shares.
But a £331million rights issue to cover fines, customer redress and to boost its capital caused its share price to rocket an enormous 70.4 per cent, or 414p, to 1002p.
It was also a pretty tough day for car dealer Inchcape, which warned of a ‘challenging’ year ahead despite reporting profits rising by a third to £370million.
Sales fell in the UK in the second half of the year and demand for diesel cars has plummeted. Shares dipped 2.9 per cent, or 20.5p, to 679.5p.
Rival Pendragon, however, fared better, its shares rising 1.3 per cent, or 0.35p, to 27.1p.