Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Mercantile Port LSE:MPL London Ordinary Share GG00B53M7D91 ORD NPV
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  +0.00p +0.00% 8.125p 8.00p 8.25p 8.125p 8.125p 8.125p 574,166 08:00:00
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Unknown - - - - 0.00

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Date Time Title Posts
23/4/201722:34Mercantile Ports and Logistics 266.00
13/1/200613:40Montpelier Group820.00
17/2/200511:08Cash rich MONTPELLIER under priced27.00
06/2/200517:41what merit in montpelier27.00
10/12/200408:16Montpellier (MPL) CHEAP. Share price=25.5p,NAV=40-50p,EPS=5-6p,P/E=4-5903.00

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Mercantile Port Daily Update: Mercantile Port is listed in the Unknown sector of the London Stock Exchange with ticker MPL. The last closing price for Mercantile Port was 8.13p.
Mercantile Port has a 4 week average price of 7.50p and a 12 week average price of 7.50p.
The 1 year high share price is 11.25p while the 1 year low share price is currently 7.50p.
There are currently 0 shares in issue and the average daily traded volume is 171,536 shares. The market capitalisation of Mercantile Port is £0.
mount teide: Firstly, apologies for the long post. Interestingly, James Sutcliffe currently markets himself as a Business Transformation Non Executive Director in the Ports Sector. 'As a natural leader he is happy to represent major business and handle media and difficult situations diplomatically. As a Board Director he is particularly focused on improving Corporate Governance, effective financial reporting and achieving business strategies within the companies he works for.' How's that working out for SPL/MPL shareholders? With the share-price having lost 97% of its value since James Sutcliffe joined the board pre IPO, and the company massively diluting shareholders in November 2016 by raising another £37m of funds at an eye-watering 96% discount to the IPO price to 'finance'(and some would use that word in its loosest possible sense), the completion of the construction of a small, shallow water Port Terminal asset, to the Boards 'preferred' specification, James Sutcliffe's industry experience and expertise is clearly proving of huge value to shareholders in looking after their investment interests. Shareholders were told the reason for the additional £37 million of funds was to complete the build out of the Port Terminal to the 'preferred' specification of the Directors. Consequently, it would have been ENTIRELY REASONABLE for shareholders to assume that a request for further massive additional funds totalling around 55% of that raised at IPO together with the £49m of bank debt also raised for the project, would have resulted in the Directors 'preferred' specification delivering a higher specification to that contained in the IPO documentation and extremely detailed 2013 Arden Partners BUY Note and, what went out in the Tender Documentation to secure bids from the contractor/s they selected to approach to build the Port Terminal. In easy to understand non sector specialist terms, what shareholders originally were sold at IPO was a 'BMW 5 series' specification small port. The Directors then said in October 2016 Shareholders Placing and Open Offer documents, that we are not in any way cash strapped but by providing us with another £37m, we would be able to complete the construction to our 'preferred' specification - so shareholders were in effect being asked to now fund a BMW M5 standard Port terminal, the Directors preferred specification. The reality of the shameless revised port terminal specification drawn out under questioning by those in attendance at last weeks meeting(i understand some II's may have been made aware of this news some weeks ago, without necessarily understanding its full implications on their investment imho), is that shareholders were clearly misled in the October 2016 additional fund raise. Since they will not now be getting a shiny new BMW M5 Port Terminal, nor even a BMW 5 Series model, but if they are lucky a bog standard 1 Series Bread Van model with a price tag of TWO BMW M5's after taking in the impact of the bank debt. I have spoken at length to James Sutcliffe twice in the last three years by telephone, and on each occasion, i was telling him facts about the build out at Karanja(or lack of it!), he should have known about but was completely unaware of. Also, i suggested he speaks to the NOMAD because SPL/MPL has issued RNS statements( i provided examples), that evidence gathered by shareholders often at some considerable financial cost(hiring light aircraft to take photos over the site) have proved, and i'll be generous, to be wildly inaccurate at best, although the less charitable might consider 'wilful deception' to be a more accurate description. The situation with regard to the accuracy of the Official Market Statements has clearly not improved because if the NOMAD had travelled to India(which i understand they did late last year) to work with management to prepare the Documentation for the Shareholders Circular for the 31 October 2016 Placing and Open Offer, then at the very least, they should have checked that what management were claiming and went in that documentation(that the build out has continued without material interruption since October 2015) was in fact true. The NOMAD clearly failed to do this simple check, because if they had carried out some basic due diligence, they would have discovered that NO Land reclamation work had been carried out during the four months since the mid June 2016 update, when the Market was given news that 75 acres were now reclaimed. As a consequence, the expected build out progress targets that went into the Shareholders Circular were not only many multiples of the pace of progress previously achieved, but in fact were a work of complete fiction because NO reclamation work was actually going on, and by the Company's own written and photographic updates would not commence again until Jan 2017. June 2016 - company state 75 acres of land reclaimed Oct 2016 - company say work has continued without material interruption since Oct 2015. And as a consequence state the following expected progress targets in the documentation to raise £37m of additional funds: OUTLOOK - 'the Directors believe that the Company has sufficient resources to finance the continued construction of the Facility, WITHOUT DELAY, through to the end of the first quarter of 2017' By the end of January 2017 the Company expects to have: • completed the dredging requirement; • reclaimed 70 per cent. of the land(140 acres); and • constructed two berths, one of which will be capable of receiving vessels. 'By the end of the first quarter of 2017 the Company expects to have: • reclaimed 90 per cent. of the land; (180 acres) • constructed four berths, three of which will be capable of receiving vessels; and • entered into commercial agreements with end users.' Indeed, such was the Directors confidence that the build out was on track they stated in the Shareholders Fund Raising Circular (just two months from year end)that: '...the Directors expect that the Facility will be capable of receiving vessels by the end of this year(2016)....' Using information subsequently provided by the Company/Nomad, a comparison of the statements made above with reality, make sobering reading: Land Reclamation: June 2016 - 75 acres of land reclaimed Jan 2017 - expects to have reclaimed 140 acres - actual result 75 acres(ZERO progress for 6 months because NO land reclamation had been carried out since June 2016 - an easily verifiable fact that the Nomad could have checked in October 2016 when preparing the fund raising circular) Mar 2017 - expected to have reclaimed 180 acres - actual result 79 acres( 4 acres in 9 months!) Piling/Berths June 2016 - 58 piles(65m) via written update Sept 2016 - 100 piles (100m) via written update Jan 2017 - 68 piles (80m) via website photo update (clearly they overstated Sept position) Around 10 jetty piles were driven between June and Sept 2016, and then work stopped until Jan 2017, against the target of the completion of the construction of two berths! Land reclaimed March 2017 - 79 acres (against target of 180 acres) Apparently, despite claiming to have worked continuously without material interruption, during the last 9 months they achieved the grand total of just 5% of the progress expected in the circular to raise an additional £37m of funds! Can't wait to see the end of 2016 cash position and bank debt left to draw down - we should see that no later than the Prelims - it should make fascinating reading, since hardly any work on site occurred in H2/2016. A Google Earth image update for the end of Feb 2017, reveals just 104 jetty piles laid/ around 100m of progress, against a target of four berths complete by the end of Mar 2017. We calculate, if the progress achieved since Jan 2017 is maintained it would suggest the heavily scaled back 400m of jetty will still not see piling completed before H2/2018 at the earliest and, this assumes work through the next two monsoon seasons is maintained at the same rate of progress as during the current dry season, something that has not remotely been the case since construction eventually got started some three years ago, after four years of delays securing the necessary approvals. Some further thoughts: Contrary to what the Board was claiming, I posted on the SPL thread immediately after reading and discussing with industry colleagues, the 31 October 2016 Shareholders Circular to raise an additional £37m of funds: 'It would not suprise me, that for around £150m, all shareholders will see before the money again runs out, is around 300m-400m of berths with 4.5m of water availability, and around 75-100 acres of reclaimed land - something that could probably be built today to a very high spec for £40-50m.' The passage of time and news of the revised terminal specification suggests, this is likely to prove very close to what shareholders may see at best - along with its dire shareholder investment implications. MPL shareholders may be aware that Singapore has one of the three largest deep sea container ports in the world(currently three times the size of all the JNPT terminals combined). The port of Singapore has been enlarging its Port land area for decades and their current land reclamation costs are around US$25/sqm - US$100,000/acre. If Singapore can reclaim 200 acres of coastal land for around £25m today(including buying in the sand land fill material) - how come SPL need £150m to: Reclaim what will now be much less than 200 acres, and Construct a 400m shallow water piled jetty to handle barges and small coasters, and Provide basic port infrastructure facilities and cargo handling equipment. This strongly suggests(not for the first time) the MPL executive management are at best breathtakingly incompetent and totally out of their depth to a level that simply beggars belief. It also brings into question what due diligence the Nomad routinely carry's out to check the accuracy of the content of the statements issued to the market; in particular the Oct 2016 Fund Raising Documentation. As i understand it, the person responsible at the Nomad for the MPL account has no shipping/ports sector professional qualifications or operational experience and, only very limited industry knowledge, if my judgement of the numerous telephone discussions i've had with him are a reliable guide. Also, he seemed to find it highly amusing(before quickly correcting himself), that one PI i know, who lost £3m in the Globo AIM fraud, as a result of relying on Grant Thornton(MPL's auditors), allegedly checking and being satisfied that Globo had £100m of cash in the bank, only for the market to find out a short while afterwards, that the figure was in fact barely £100 not £100m, as a result of criminal activity on an industrial scale by the CEO, who turned out to be nothing more than a first class villain! Financially, as previously stated, the cash burn for this port development project was making very little sense. Following the £37m fund raise and shocking news of the considerably scaled down terminal specification for the project, it now makes absolutely NO SENSE whatsoever. AIOHO/DYOR
mount teide: It is simply extraordinary, considering the company has now raised in excess of £150m in equity finance and debt, that the new Head of Finance's role is not even considered worthy of a Board position, and is being carried out by someone based outside the country. While a relatively callow youth, with no senior management Port Industry experience and, who has had operational responsibility for the appalling debacle that is the three and a half year to date, Karanja Port build out, has been promoted to the Board. Arden Partners in the 13 December 2013 Note rated MPL as a BUY with a target price of 175p, stating the building of Karanja 'was in' the then current price of 73p 'for free'! So it was interesting to note, that in October 2016 Shareholders Circular, Arden Partners had agreed to, amongst other things, introduce the Company to potential Placees at 10p per share, in return for a commission fee of £177,916.60 on completion of the Transaction. It was also interesting to note that in the October 2016 Capital Raise - the only MPL Director with hands on port development consultancy and construction experience, elected to take no part in the Placing, refusing to add a single share to his existing long term holding of ZERO shares! After trousering more than £250k in Fees since 2010, while the company he has overseen on behalf of shareholders, experienced an eye-watering 97% fall in the share-price since IPO, it would appear his investment judgement on port development projects is impeccable, particularly those where he is actively involved - equity investors and shareholders clearly could learn from the man! Consequently, it was a little surprising that the highly acclaimed fund managers at L&G and M&G did not take that particular Non exec's lead and refuse to throw anymore of their clients cash at this 'port development venture'(and i use that phrase in its loosest possible sense). L&G increased to 69.9m shares (18.2%) M&G increased to 60.6m shares (15.8%) With the 1000m of quay and 200 acres of land, Arden Partners in their Note dated 13 December 2013, stated that the terminal was capable, according to management, of handling an 8.0 million tonne cargo throughput per year. In practice, this would only be possible if a very high percentage of the cargo throughout were roll on roll off. Without ro-ro cargo there is no chance whatsoever of that throughput forecast being achieved. In fact, for a mix of mainly break bulk and containers( the target market), Karanja would do very well to achieve 4.0 million tonnes throughout per year. By way of comparison the Port of Tilbury with 1,120 acres of storage and 60 deep draft berths, last year handled around 12 million tonnes, and Tilbury has 4 daily short sea ro-ro/container services, and routinely sees 20 to 30 large ship movements per weekday. Should, the completed quay length at Karanja fall well short of the 1000m length in the GA plan(i bet my reputation it will, and by a very considerable amount ), the annual cargo throughput will be proportionately reduced. Considering the now £49m bank debt has a current 13.5% annual interest payment, this means an annual interest bill of £6.2m. It is worth noting that the Port of Dover(Britain's largest short sea port) made a profit of circa £3m last year. It is my view that Karanja will never see a 200 acre/1000m port development and is probably 18 months to two years away at best, from seeing something even HALF of that specification. As a consequence, it should prove a highly sobering experience for shareholders to note the following programme of bank debt principle and interest payments that have now stated to fall due: As at 31 December 2015, the Group's non-derivative financial liabilities have contractual maturities (and interest payments) as summarised below: Payment falling due: Within 1 year: Interest payment of £4.6m Within 1 to 5 years: Principle and Interest payments of £35.8m Following 5 years: Principle and Interest payments of £49.4m Since the borrowings are secured by the hypothecation of the port facility and pledge of its shares, in the view of this poster with 30 years senior level industry experience, it is a 100% probability, like Night following day, that the banks will take over the Port at some time in the next 18 months to three years. I strongly suspect a certain gentleman among the senior management is fully aware of this, and that all shareholders will see during the intervening period is the same slow rate of progress/ultra high cash burn of the past, until the Banks finally call time and step in. At which point, i would also bet serious money, that the market value of the 'port asset' at Karanja at that point in time would still be well below the outstanding debt principle. AIMHO/DYOR
pj 1: The are trapped in. If they sell it will just destroy the share price. If the Port does not get built they can do nothing. Its India, they have little chance of recovering any of the cash balances even if they decided to. Anyway, Relax, Lord Flight is impressed with works completed to date
deepvalueinvestor: Thanks for setting this up. I look forward to the day when £150m invested is reflected in the share price!
cockneyrebel: Nice bounce :-) COST: 2005 eps(A) 4.3p 2006 eps 4.4p(E), 2007 eps 4.85p(E) Share price 44p MPL : 2005 eps(A) 3.45p 2006 eps 4.96p(e) 2007 eps 6.41p(E) Share price 41p COST has no divi, much lower growth pace, large pension deficit compared to MPL Also MPL growing from a smaller base so growth more sustainable. Director buying at a little below this level and G.Sachs taking a big stake. I think MPL will be on the radars on the name change and any Brewin note imo. CR
cockneyrebel: yep, this thread has stayed sensible - it's not due to get in lunacy mode until we get 1000 posts a day an a share price north of £1 - probably come the June results with a bit of luck :-) I reckon the EGM in mid Jan will be an interesting time, chance of news from the company and with the new name I think we might geta broker note from new broker Brewin D. CR
ygor705: Late rise of 1p in the share price...................we appear to be on the move again.
cockneyrebel: Bid target imo. I reckon MPL are prime to be gobbled up now - I bet there's a bidder or two out there that have just been waiting for MPL to dump Bullock then make their move. Pick up nearly £300m of business for £20m if you got them at today's market price. With the reduced debt and lower interest chargese they may well achieve the 3p eps forecast for this year - boost margins a tad and after the sale of Bullock they may still get near to the 11p eps forecast next year. On forecasts the PE is less than 2. They could miss that by a mile an still be cheap but if they look like doing just 5p next year the share price is going to double imo. CR
ygor705: Judging by the way the share price has performed over the past couple of months I suspect that those in command of the detail may have cut a decent deal. Just a hunch but it will be interesting to see what the press makes of all this over the coming weeks. I also thought that the legacy contracts were in Bullock.............or have I got that one wrong?
washbrook: OWNS 30% BULLOUGHS 30% CAPE also through YJL 20% READ COMMENTS FROM BOTTOM. 06.06.02 :+4.5, (44) after H1 profits 2.737m (1.513m) - dividend 0.5p (nil). Chairman said: "The recent acquisition of Union Investment Management Limited reflects the Group's strategy of extending its involvement in the investment sector. The YJL Construction Division is, at £398m, registering its highest ever order book. Cash Review :- The Group has invested significant funds in the build up of its investment activities. Although these assets are to a large extent of a liquid nature, these investments have reduced the cash balance of the Group. Further, a significant investment has been made in the Cornhill property in which the Group now has its central functions. Net debt in the Group's balance sheet is £10.1m (2001: net cash £3.7m). The movement in cash is partly due to the anticipated outflow from Allenbuild in line with forecasts at the time of acquisition. YJL :- The acquisitions made in the Summer of 2001, Allenbuild and VHE, are trading profitably and have been successfully integrated. The current construction market place remains buoyant for the Construction Division which now has added confidence due to the number of long term relationships with our clients. This has resulted in a strong forward order book now standing at £398m (2001:£231m) Cheltenham Land Company :- It is encouraging to note that, in addition to managing the Group's property portfolio, the Property Division has become increasingly involved in the provision of advice to external third parties. They are involved in five such projects at the current time, ranging from basic fee earning projects to profit sharing joint ventures. A number of sales were successfully achieved in the six months including the disposal of the retail shopping centre at Grantham. Various important planning applications are progressing well and the Division will contribute both to profits and cash generation over the next eighteen months. The Group acquired the freehold of 39 Cornhill, a building in the City of London. Montpellier will continue to occupy part of the property and will sub-let the balance. Union Investment Management Limited :- On 27th March, the Group acquired, at net book value, Union Investment Management which has the benefit of regulatory approval to carry on corporate finance and investment business. The Union name has been established in the City since 1885 and Union's network of contacts in corporate finance and investments will assist Montpellier to achieve the intended growth of its Investment Division. Union is also in discussions with a number of parties with regard to the provision of corporate advice services which is expected to produce substantial fee income in the short to medium term... The trading for the first half of the year was in line with management's expectations and the company is confident that this will continue for the second half of the year. The three strategic business streams of construction, property and investment are well placed to take advantage of opportunities that will arise in the future." 10.05.02 :+0.5, (39.75) Montpellier announces that it has agreed to acquire a total of 7,511,537 ordinary shares of 1p each in Walker Greenbank from Peter Gyllenhammar and companies controlled by him. The shares will be acquired at a price of 16.5p per share which is the average price Gyllenhammar paid, representing a total consideration of approximately £1,240,000, payable in cash on completion Together with the 189,677 shares in Walker Greenbank already owned by Montpellier, the Acquisition will increase Montpellier's holding to a total of 7,701,214 shares, representing approximately 13.05% of the entire issued share capital of Walker Greenbank. Walker Greenbank is an international group of companies which designs, manufactures, markets and distribute wallcoverings, furnishing fabrics and luxury carpets for the consumer market. The average closing market price of these shares over the last 7 days has been 20.21p per share. The shares are subject to a put option exercisable until 31 May 2002 in favour of Montpellier to sell the shares back to Gyllenhammar at the same price if for any reason Montpellier decides in that period that it does not wish to retain ownership of the shares. As Gyllenhammar is a director and deputy chairman of Montpellier, the proposed acquisition has unanimously been approved by the other directors of Montpellier, having consulted with Rowan Dartington, Montpellier's nominated adviser, who consider it to be fair and reasonable in so far as the shareholders as a whole are concerned. 04.03.02 :+0, (37) after the market closes, announces that on 1 March 2002, the company and Forvaltnings AB Browallia entered into a contract under which the company will be entitled to require Forvaltnings to procure the sale of certain assets of Union Limited, comprising the freehold property at 39 Cornhill, London EC3, the entire issued share capital of Union Investment Management and 12,775,000 ordinary 10p shares in Jarvis Porter Group to the Montpellier Group for a consideration of £13.7m. The consideration is to be satisfied by the issue of 17,461,834 new ordinary shares in the company to The Union Discount Company of London (UDC), a subsidiary of Union at a price of 37p per share and £7.2m in cash, payable on completion. An additional cash consideration will be payable equal to the net asset value of UIM as at the day before completion of the acquisition. The assets currently owned by the Union Group which it is proposed that Montpellier should purchase are: The Union Discount building at 39 Cornhill, London EC3, located in the City of London which comprises 23,000 sq ft of office space on six floors. Montpellier will continue to occupy part of the property and will sub-let the balance All the issued shares of UIM, the subsidiary within the Union Group which has the benefit of regulatory approval to carry on corporate finance and investment business, together with the right, as against the Union Group, to carry on corporate finance business under the Union name. 12,775,000 ordinary shares of 10p each in Jarvis Porter Group, a company the issued ordinary shares of which are traded on AIM, representing 26.6% of the issued share capital of Jarvis Porter. Jarvis Porter is currently a cash shell company whose net asset value was 30.6p per share as at 31 August 2001. The purchase price to be paid for the Union Assets will be apportioned as to: £11m for the freehold property at 39 Cornhill, London EC3; The net asset value of UIM as at the close of business on the day before completion of the Acquisition; and £2,712,000 for the 12,775,000 shares in Jarvis Porter, representing a price of 21.23p per share which was the market value of the Jarvis Porter shares on the day when Forvaltnings and Montpellier identified the assets which might be included in the proposed sale. 22.01.02 :+0.25, (36) reaches agreement in principle with Forvaltnings AB Browallia, the company's largest shareholder, to acquire from Browallia the following assets and investments. The freehold "Union Discount" building at 39 Cornhill, London EC3. This building located in the City of London comprises 23,000 sq ft of office space on six floors. 12,775,000 shares in Jarvis Porter Group (26.6%). The business and assets of Union Investment Management together with the right to use the Union Discount name. UIM is a regulated provider of corporate finance and investment management services. It has been agreed that the total consideration will be £13.7m of which £7.2m will be payable in cash on completion from Montpellier's own resources and the balance will be satisfied by the issue of 17,461,834 new ordinary shares in Montpellier at a price of 37p per share. The consideration will be adjusted for the net asset value of UIM on completion. The acquisition is conditional on Montpellier shareholders' approval and on a waiver being grated by the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers of the obligation that would otherwise arise on Browallia to make a mandatory cash offer to acquire the shares in Montpellier which it does not currently own. Browallia currently owns 22,538,166 ordinary shares in Montpellier (37%). Following approval by shareholders, Browallia will own a total of 40,000,000 ordinary shares in Montpellier (51.1%)." 14.12.01 :+3.75, (35.25) IC say buy (31.25p) - BULL POINTS : Good asset backing and strong cash balance; Current trading is good. BEAR POINTS : Limited investor attention; Low-margin construction provides bulk of sales.. The group moved to Aim earlier this year in a bid to save costs. It made a cash offer for land reclamation group VHE in August, following a stakebuilding process, and is on the lookout for more deals. The cash balance of £12.2m equates to 21p a share and provides a useful warchest for Montpellier to acquire rivals and extract cost savings. The figure is after buying in approximately 7m shares. Well-known value investor Peter Gyllenhammar is the non-executive chairman and, through his Browallia investment vehicle, owns 37 per cent. Montpellier also holds stakes in a number of listed companies. Last year, profits were taken on Gleeson and Stoves. Current investments include: Cape (29.9 per cent), Bullough (29.8 per cent) Cape and Quadrant. Montpellier has been successfully nursed back to health and is on track for a successful 2002. Broker Rowan Dartington is expected to issue a research note early in the new year, with profits likely to show a useful increase. The shares are extremely lowly rated, an issue that relates more to historic results than the future outlook. Buy. 11.12.01 :+4.5, (31.25) after H2 profits 3.53m (2.03m) - dividend 1.0p total 1.0p (nil). Chairman said: "Construction Division: The Construction Division continued to trade successfully in the year. The businesses acquired in the past twelve months have been well integrated into the Division and each is making its contribution to Group profits. The forward order book stands at £277m (2000: £195m). Property Division: Under the Cheltenham Land name the property division has made a useful contribution to the Group cashflow through the management and disposal of several significant properties. Further acquisitions and joint ventures during the year underpin the future profitability of this division. Investment Division: This has been an active year. The Group has sold its shares in Gleeson and Stoves at significant profits and it currently has four key investments in the shares of public companies, respectively Cape (29.9%), Bullough (29.8%), Quadrant Group (7.76%) and Lonhro Africa (4.38%). In addition it has several small holdings in other quoted companies. The Group Board Both in the Annual Report for 2000 and in the Interim Statement for 2001, the company mentioned its intention to appoint an additional non-executive director and a director of group finance in due course. While an active search has been pursued, these appointments have not yet been made, but they remain important objectives for the current small Board of directors... With a Construction Division forward order book of £277m (2000: £195m), and sound demand in most business sectors, prospects for 2002 seem good. The company's strategy of expanding this major division both by organic growth and by acquisition is producing positive results. The strong financial position now permits the group to pursue further Investment and Property opportunities. The company remains confident of the prospects for 2002 evidenced by the payment of a dividend for the first time since 1994." 08.11.01 :+0, (24.75) announces that, as at 3.00pm on 6 November 2001, it had received valid acceptances of the offer in respect of 13,829,333 VHE shares (43.08%). In aggregate, Montpellier controls 63.05% of VHE's issued ordinary share capital. The offer will remain open for acceptance until 3.00pm on 14 December 2001 at which time it will close. VHE hereby gives notice that it has applied to have the listing of VHE shares on the Official List of the UK Listing Authority cancelled. The cancellation of the Listing is expected to take effect on 7 December 2001. From that date trading of VHE shares on the London Stock Exchange will cease. 07.11.01 :+0, (24.75) announces that as at 3.00pm on 6 November 2001, it had received valid acceptances of the offer in respect of 13,829,333 (43.08%) VHE shares. This level of acceptances, together with the VHE shares already owned by Montpellier, which represent 19.97% of VHE's issued ordinary share capital, means that, in aggregate Montpellier controls 63.05% of VHE's issued ordinary share capital. The offer will remain open for acceptance until 3.00pm on 14 December 2001 at which time it will close. Montpellier has now requested that VHE cancels the listing of VHE shares on the Official List. An announcement by VHE regarding the cancellation is expected to be made shortly. 22.10.01 :+0, (26.25) an article the Mail on Sunday suggests most traders are convinced that a takeover of Cape or Bullough, or even both, is only a matter of time. 28.09.01 :+0, (27) announces that it intends to transfer its listing from the Official List to the Alternative Investment Market ("AIM"). The Board considers that AIM is a market which is more appropriate to the current stage of development of the Company and should help to keep down the costs associated with making further capital transactions. 31.07.01 :+0, (26.5) announces it is considering making a cash offer to acquire VHE Holdings. It has not yet approached the board of VHE but intends to do so with a view to seeking a recommendation, however, this is not a pre-condition to making any offer. Montpellier has received an irrevocable undertaking dated 31 July 2001 from B M Thomson under the terms of which Mr Thomson has undertaken that should Montpellier make a cash offer at a value of 28p per ordinary share to acquire VHE he will accept such an offer in respect of his own shares and procure acceptance in respect of shares held by his related family trusts amounting in aggregate to 10,160,773 ordinary shares (31.65%). The undertaking will lapse on 31 August 2001 unless an offer document setting out the terms of an offer by, or on behalf of, Montpellier has by that time been sent to VHE shareholders. These shares in respect of which rights have been granted to Montpellier by the irrevocable undertaking from Mr Thomson taken together with the 6,435,950 shares already held by Montpellier represent 51.70% of VHE's existing issued share capital. 31.05.01 :+0.25, (30) after H1 profits 1.513m (1.037m) - no dividend (nil). Chairman said: "Financial review: The group is reporting net cash in its balance sheet of £3.7m (2000 : £5.1m) with the total net cash, including off balance sheet borrowing, being £0.3m (2000: £2.2m). It is the intention of the board to appoint a group finance director and a third non-executive director in due course... The imminent purchase of the building contracting division of Allen exemplifies the board's commitment to seek attractive opportunities for further growth. The board has confidence in the prospects of the enlarged group." 04.04.01 :-0.25, (24.5) the board of Montpellier (formerly YJL) has entered into a conditional contract for the acquisition of the companies which form the building contracting division of Allen for £1.0m payable in cash on completion. Prior to completion Allen will: inject cash of £5.9m into the building contracting division; write off inter-company balances receivable by Allen of £1.5m; acquire for £0.7m in cash certain properties from the building contracting division which are also used by Speedy Hire, Allen's continuing business... Allen has also issued a promissory note to pay Montpellier up to a maximum of £3.3m in cash for the tax losses in the building contracting division. Allen will make payments up to this amount to Montpellier when Allen receives a corresponding tax benefit by utilising available tax losses with the balance payable by Allen 12 months after completion. Montpellier will make repayment to Allen to the extent that Montpellier is able to utilise any tax losses from the building contracting division and to the extent that the expected tax losses are not crystallised because the provisions made for current building contracts are not ultimately required. Allen Building Contracting Division: The building contracting division represents the entire building contracting and the principal property development activities of Allen. For the year ended 2 April 2000 the aggregated turnover and profit before tax of the building contracting division were £161.6m and £2.7m respectively. The aggregated net assets at 2 April 2000 were £9.4m. In its announcement on 14 February 2001 Allen announced that the operating loss for the year ended 1 April 2001 could be as high as £13.0m for this division. At the EGM held on 7 March 2001 a resolution was passed changing the name of the company to Montpellier Group. This will take effect as from today. 22.02.01 :+0, (22.75) news last night that the company has taken a near 15% stake in the quoted rival Cape. 14.12.00 :+1.25, (20.75) after H2 profits 2.03m (8.52m) - no dividend total nil (nil). Chairman said: "Strategy and future prospects: This report demonstrates that good progress is being made towards the company's two key objectives of eliminating excess debt, and of developing the construction-related businesses in sectors offering higher margins. Much thought has been given to the appropriate longer-term strategy, and an active business development unit continually assesses further investment opportunities. It is the company's intention to use its growing financial capacity to secure attractive growth in sectors for which the group already has, or can readily acquire, a competitive expertise. Prospects for the existing businesses are satisfactory, with a forward order-book in the Construction Division today of £195m, (1999: £144m), and worthwhile business under negotiation in the Property Division. The company looks forward with some confidence to its next report." 07.07.00 :+2.25, (17.75) enters into conditional agreements to dispose of the business and certain assets of Birchwood Concrete Products and its wholly owned subsidiary, Birchwood Omnia to Hanson Concrete Products for a total consideration of £8.5m payable in cash on completion. Completion is conditional only on obtaining shareholders approval. In the year ended 31 December 1999, Birchwood generated turnover and operating profit of £11.8m and £1.1m, respectively. The proceeds of the disposal will be used to improve YJL's cash position, finance the development of YJL's existing business and may be used to help fund future acquisitions. Financial effects of the disposal: YJL expects to realise, after deducting transaction expenses but before taxation costs associated with the disposal, £8.3m in cash. Current trading and prospects: Opportunities will be sought in businesses that will add to the portfolio of specialist construction companies. This will remain the position following the disposal. 01.06.00 :+0.5, (16.5) after H1 profits 1.04m (1.10m) - no dividend (nil). Chairman said: "Financial Review: As a result of careful cash management within the operating companies and further cash generated by the sale of development properties, non-core assets and the redemption of the mortgage portfolio, the Group is reporting net cash in its balance sheet at 31 March 2000 of £5.1m (1999: net debt of £2.6m) with the total net cash, including off balance sheet borrowing, being £2.2m (1999: net debt of £14.4m). These figures also reflect the improving cash flow from Lovell America. Construction: The construction businesses comprising Lovell Construction, Walter Lilly and Bullock Construction increased turnover for the first half by £4.4m to £79.5m. Each company is performing well within their focus markets where they have staff with excellent experience and knowledge supported by a strongly motivated flat management structure. Property Division: The Britannia acquisition brings a useful portfolio of commercial and development properties. These are expected to create a source of profits for the future and sales of selected properties are under negotiation. Further good progress has been achieved in lettings at the Grantham shopping centre. Planning is anticipated shortly at the Castle Brewery in Newark for 50 residential units in a select courtyard setting. Residential land sales are progressing in line with forecast and further property disposals will continue to provide significant cash flows for the Group. Land sales in America continue to help reduce local borrowings. The programme to realise American investments will continue throughout 2000 and should enable Lovell America to reimburse funds to England for the first time since this venture was entered into... Our balance sheet demonstrates the financial strength of the Group and we are looking at new opportunities in furtherance of our objective of growth through strategic investment." 16.03.00 :+0.25, (18.25) the boards of YJL and Britannia announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer, to be made by Dresdner Kleinwort Benson on behalf of YJL, for Britannia, valuing the issued share capital of Britannia at approximately £12.2m. The offer will be 71p in cash per Britannia Share. Britannia's business is seen as complementary to YJL's existing operations... Irrevocable undertakings to accept the Offer have been given by the directors of Britannia and their connected persons (as defined in the Code) in respect of, in aggregate, 6,476,719 Britannia shares, representing approximately 37.6% of Britannia's issued share capital. These irrevocable undertakings are binding even in the event of a competing offer. In addition, Eaglet Investment Trust plc has also signed an irrevocable commitment to accept the offer in respect of its entire registered holding of 3,290,000 Britannia shares representing approximately 19.1% of Britannia's issued share capital. This irrevocable undertaking is binding except in the event of an offer equal to or higher than the Offer. 23.12.99 :+2.75, (18.25) IC say buy (15.25) - after a long period of losses and burdensome debt levels brought on by over-expansion, construction and property development group YJL has announced a tremendous turnaround in fortunes. Debt has been translated to a net cash position of 2.1m, order books are encouraging and the group is on the look out for acqns. 09.12.99 :+4.25, (16) after H2 profits 8.52m (-3.19m) - no dividend (nil). Chairman said: "Trading prospects for 2000 are encouraging with the construction division showing a forward order book of £144m in its selective market. The sale in June of the Lovell Partnerships business had a decisive effect, and the profit for the year of £8.5 million (1998 £3.2 million loss) includes a profit on disposal of this business of £4.5 million. The proceeds of the sale of Lovell Partnerships, together with cash inflows from Lovell America, the UK mortgage portfolio, and land sales, produced a year-end net cash balance of £2.1 million (1998 £10.8 million debt), and a total exposure to debt of £3.3 million (1998 £20.3 million). The Group has a strong balance sheet with net assets per share of 26.8p and the previous profit and loss account deficit now eliminated... The board's strategy is to seek attractive investments that complement current businesses and which will contribute to Group profitability. The continuing programme to reduce central overheads has again been successful with further significant savings. The review of non core assets is now complete and we have sold the last of the units at our two Spanish developments." 24.06.99 :+0, (15.25) after H1 profits 1.1m (503k) - no dividend (nil). Chairman said: "Our objective is to make strategic investments that have good growth potential without being unduly capital intensive and we expect to announce progress towards this objective during the balance of this year." The group is, for the first time in many years, in a position to invest in its construction and development businesses and to seek profitable opportunities in related sectors. Construction: Since March, the construction businesses have been awarded further contracts to the value of £42.6m. The construction businesses continue to pursue successfully a strategy of seeking negotiated and partnering work with a wide range of clients. They endeavour to contain risks by seeking only contracts for which they have the necessary skills, and by taking a considered view of their contractual obligations. The group is committed to expanding these businesses at a rate that is consistent with this strategy. UK Developments: We can anticipate a significant contribution to profits when the joint venture in the Egham property is sold to an investor later this year. We are now seeking a limited number of development opportunities that will create a profit stream for the future. We continue to prepare the few remaining properties that we own, including the shopping development at Grantham and the residual land holdings from Lovell Homes, for future sale. Recent improvements in the property leasing market have helped us to offset the burden of a number of long-term lease commitments. USA Developments: All our land holdings in Maryland are now under development, and the buoyant local market is helping the sale of housing plots. Improving cash flow from Lovell America is contributing to reduced borrowings. The Group's lower gearing will enable us to reappraise the potential of our commercial land, and enter into development partnerships that will contribute to future profits. Partnerships: The sale of Partnerships excluded the portfolio of mortgages from both Lovell Partnerships and Lovell Homes that was entered into some ten years ago. This mortgage portfolio is valued at £10.8m. Many of these mortgages mature during the next three years and will generate significant cash flow.... The construction businesses operate within a demanding and highly competitive market, and this is reflected in tight margins. The group will continue to benefit from profits generated from its development activities, whilst this year's earnings will also be enhanced by profits from the final phases of the Spanish projects and the sale of Lovell Partnerships. We are now able to seek new opportunities in appropriate businesses that offer a higher return than our traditional building markets. Our objective is to make strategic investments that have good growth potential without being unduly capital intensive." 17.06.99 :Y J Lovell (Holdings) confirms the completion of the sale of Lovell Partnerships today. It also confirms the shareholder approval of the company's change of name to YJL, which has taken effect today. 24.05.99 :-1.75, (14) conditionally agrees to sell its Lovell Partnerships business to Morgan Sindall for an estimated consideration of £15 million, payable in cash. In view of the size of the disposal relative to the size of the group, the sale is subject to the approval of shareholders at an EGM of the company to be held on 16 June 1999. 19.05.99 :+3.25, (16) following the recent increase in share price, the board announces that it is currently in advanced discussions to dispose of a significant part of the group. The company said it expects to make a further announcement in the near future. 01.03.99 :+0, (9.75) announces that Sir David Hardy has retired as chairman and from the board with effect from 1st Mar 99. Cedric Annesley Scroggs has been appointed non-executive chairman of the board from 1st Mar 99.
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