Thursday, September 1, 2011
Namakwa Diamonds plunges after radical review
Namakwa Diamonds plunged by 61.3 per cent to 10½p after delivering a radical strategic review, parting company with its senior management and warning that it no longer had access to a US$30 million credit facility announced in June.
The miner said chief executive Nico Kruger had stepped down and would be replaced by chief finance officer Richard Collocott, a former Norilsk Nickel executive who joined the company in July.
Hans Smith, the group’s chairman, and Dirk van Staden, head of its audit committee, resigned by mutual consent.
Namakwa also said it was winding up all diamond trading joint ventures and was in advanced talks to sell its business in the Democratic Republic of Congo to local management.
The moves were intended to refocus Namakwa around its Kao kimberlite mine in Lesotho.
RBC analyst Des Kilalea said any refinancing of Namakwa might require new equity.
“The overdue decision to clear cash-burning operations is welcome but, in our view, the difficult task facing new management is to rebuild the investment story such that new funds can be raised,” he said.
Hamworthy edged up 0.9 per cent to 550p after Evolution Securities speculated that the oilfield engineer might be a takeover target for National Oilwell Varco.
Varco has $1bn to spend on acquisitions this year and is looking mainly at companies outside the US, with an apparent focus on offshore production equipment, Evolution said.
Hamworthy would be a plausible target given its valuation of £250m and its position as global leader in offshore fluid handling systems, said the broker.
Plexus Holdings , the Aim-listed oil and gas services company, gained 9.2 per cent to 68½p after securing a $1m contract with Vantage Drilling of Malaysia to supply wellhead systems.
Lochard Energy was up 23.6 per cent to 16¼p after the North Sea oil explorer admitted shortly after delivering full-year results that it had received a takeover approach.
The company, known as Rheochem before the sale of its drilling fluids business earlier this year, owns a 10 per cent interest in the Athena development, which is due to deliver first oil in the fourth quarter of 2011.
House broker FinnCap recently estimated a net asset value of 47½p per share for Lochard.
San Leon Energy rose 12.2 per cent to 20¾p after it revealed that drilling was ready to begin at its Belvedere-1 exploration well in Poland.
Solo Oil was marked lower by 4 per cent to 0.95p after an update from its Ausable oilfield in Canada, operated by joint venture partner Reef Resources, where the companies had been trying to address problems with foaming.
SimiGon , a flight simulator maker, rose 7.9 per cent to 5.1p after the US Air Force chose it as prime contractor for a scheme to teach undergraduate students how to fly remotely piloted aircraft.
SimiGon said it would be paid $2.6m for the successful delivery of the software.