Seeing Machines was the top riser in London this week after it secured a huge deal with a leading US car maker.
The unnamed manufacturer will start using Seeing’s FOVIO driver monitoring system in several of its new models from 2020.
The Australia-based group reckons the deal will be worth around $50million, with the first revenues starting to be realised in the 2021 financial year.
Roaring success: Seeing Machines was the top riser in London this week after it secured a huge deal for its FOVIO driver monitoring system with a leading US car maker
FOVIO is a clever bit of kit that analyses a driver’s head pose, eyelid movements and eye gaze (even through sunglasses) to deliver real-time information on how alert the person behind the wheel is.
The technology is starting to gain traction with big car makers as they move towards mass production of semi-autonomous cars.
If they didn’t before, investors saw the potential this week, with shares climbing almost 50 per cent to 11.6p.
On the flip side, Imaginatik topped the list of fallers after bosses at the innovation solutions group made a sharp U-turn.
The company – which helps its clients come up with new ways to make money and develop their businesses – put itself up for sale back in February, claiming its share price did not reflect either its current value or its growth prospects.
But Imaginatik couldn’t find a buyer willing to pay what it wanted and so took the decision to stop the sales process and halt discussions with all interested parties.
Instead, the firm waved goodbye to its chairman and chief executive and raised £250,000 to fund an ‘alternative strategy’ designed to secure its long-term future.
The market wasn’t too sure what that future might look like, and the uncertainty sent the stock tumbling by 50 per cent to 0.55p this afternoon.
Also struggling this week was Magnolia Petroleum after its lender told the junior oiler that it has less than a month to repay its loan.
Deadline looming: Magnolia Petroleum was informed by its lender that it has less than a month to repay its loan
Magnolia had hoped to extend the loan but, following a change of management at its bank, that now won’t be happening.
As a result, the company has until July 9 to repay or refinance.
Magnolia reckons it can sell off another batch of oil wells in North Dakota and Oklahoma before the deadline which would allow it to repay the loan, although this will require shareholder approval.
If it can’t do this, it will likely have to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings – protection from creditors – to get itself back in shape and find a way to pay off its debts.
Shares fell by a third to 0.36p.
Overall it was a pretty good week for the junior market, with the AIM All-Share adding more than one per cent, or 11.7 points, to 1,097.9.
Big deals: Zinc Media has won two more ‘significant’ commissions: its Tern Television subsidiary will make another series of Britain at Low Tide for Channel 4, while its Reef Television is to produce a new ten-part crime series for BBC Daytime
That was more than enough to get one over the blue-chips which have suffered from renewed trade war fears.
The FTSE 100 dropped 0.6 per cent, or 45.9 points, to 7,654.0.
TV content producer Zinc Media was one of those propelling the junior market up towards the 2,000 mark.
The company has been making efforts to expand its presence in the lucrative US TV market and got a breakthrough this week as it struck an exclusive partnership deal with ICM Partners – a talent agency which represents some of the world’s biggest on-screen and creative staff.
Zinc reckons this kind of tie-up is the best way to crack the US and will work alongside ICM for an initial one-year period to secure US commissions.
Back on this side of the pond, the producer has won two more ‘significant’ commissions: its Tern Television subsidiary will make another series of Britain at Low Tide for Channel 4, while its Reef Television is to produce a new ten-part crime series for BBC Daytime.
Zinc expects to announce ‘further significant commission wins’ from its other subsidiaries over the coming weeks and months.
Brakes on: Autins Group, which makes insulation for the likes of Jaguar-Land Rover and Bentley, said a slowdown in orders means full-year profits will be lower-than-expected
Shares jumped 40.4 per cent to 0.66p.
Autins Group saw more than third wiped from its value after issuing a profit warning on Wednesday.
The firm, which makes insulation for the likes of Jaguar-Land Rover and Bentley, said a slowdown in orders from some of its major customers in the UK means full-year profits will be lower-than-expected.
Shares dived 37.8 per cent to 51p.
Wrapping things up this week is Cake Box, which confirmed plans to list on the junior market later this month, in a flotation expected to value the egg-free cake maker at between £40-50m.
Rumours have been circulating for a couple of weeks that the company – founded and owned by cousins Sukh Chamdal and Pardip Dass – was in the process of going public.
The pair who opened their first store in East London a decade ago, are expected to sell 40 per cent of their shares and hold on to the remaining 60 per cent.