Shares in financial services company Atlas Mara (LSE: ATMA) have risen by around 15% today after it confirmed it has had discussions with a consortium of investors regarding the potential acquisition of Barclays’ stake in Barclays Africa. Barclays’ 62% stake is set to be reduced as part of a new strategy by the bank’s new management team and with Atlas Mara’s management supporting the exploration of a potential combination between the two companies, a deal could be on the cards.
This could be a sound move for Atlas Mara, since the company — which which was co-founded by former Barclays’ CEO Bob Diamond — is intent on building up its sub-Saharan presence, and a combination with Barclays Africa could have a positive impact on accelerating that process. Clearly, there is no guarantee that any combination will be effected, but the potential for it could lead to further gains in Atlas Mara’s share price in the short run. And with Africa offering significant long term growth potential within the financial services space, the company could be worth a closer look for less risk averse investors.
Also among the major movers today is Plexus (LSE: POS), with the oil and gas engineering services company raising $5m through a subscription deal with Russian oil and gas equipment maker LLC Gusar. This will involve Plexus issuing 6.8m shares at 52.05p per share, and at the same time as the subscription, Plexus, Gusar and Konar have also entered into a commercial agreement under which Plexus will work with them to finalise an additional licence agreement to enter Russia’s larger and more active surface land and platform production well-head equipment markets.
Clearly, the market is upbeat about today’s news, with Plexus’s shares moving 8% higher. The subscription agreement should enable Plexus to fast-track its entry into Russia’s large and important oil and gas production sector and further diversifies its revenues away from its traditional North Sea jack-up exploration market. As such, it could have a positive impact on Plexus’x future share price performance and for long term investors who can live with above average risk, Plexus could prove to be a sound buy.
Meanwhile, shares in Redt Energy (LSE: RED) have slumped by 15% today despite it reporting a €700k profit for the 2015 financial year. This is a significant improvement on last year’s €2.2m loss and was largely due to a rise in revenue from €5.6m in 2014 to €11.1m in 2015, with it successfully shifting towards a pure play energy storage business.
However, the market seems to have reacted negatively to Redt Energy’s decision to take the commercialisation of its energy storage system step-by-step, and to try and avoid falling into the trap of selling a product that is not market-ready. As such, the company’s profitability growth may be slower than many investors had anticipated, although Redt continues to believe that there is latent demand for a storage system that performs reliably and economically. As such, it could be worth a closer look for less risk averse investors, although its shares may remain volatile in the short run.