COMPANIES: Evgen Pharma to Qubit

Published by Directorzone Markets Ltd on October 9, 2017, 9:00 am in News, Other



Italian restaurants - Cocktail bar chain - Branding agency
- Drug development - Data intelligence –
Nanotech commercialisation


Prezzo £220m | Be At One £39m | Principle Group £150m | Evgen Pharma £0m | Qubit | Graphene Nanochem £260k.


News about 6 UK growth companies and/or accelerators + turnover in the GRID marketplace 1st – 7th October 2017:


PREZZO: Italian restaurants - Essex
Loss-making Prezzo restaurants on a plate; buyers could include owner of Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge chains | Daniel Dunkley, The Sunday Times. October 1, 2017
DZ profile: Prezzo Limited
Business: 280-strong Italian restaurant chain
Launched: 2000
Location: Woodford Green, Essex
Financials: made a loss of £16.3m last year, according to holding company accounts. For the 52 weeks ended 1 January 2017, revenue increased 12.7% to £219.7m.
Investment: TPG CAPITAL bought Prezzo in November 2014
1. preparing for a sale, nearly three years after it was taken off the stock market in a £300m deal. Prezzo is likely to draw interest from CASUAL DINING GROUP, the owner of Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge, backed by the American private equity firm APOLLO. CDG is said to have looked at Prezzo over the past 18 months, insiders said.
2. Casual dining chains have struggled in recent months. Upmarket burger outfit BYRON, owned by buyout firm Hutton Collins, is set to shut a number of unprofitable sites.


BE AT ONE: Cocktail bar chain - London
Cocktail bar chain Be At One in £20m shake-up from Santander refinancing | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. October 1, 2017 
DZ profile: Be At One Limited
Business: Cocktail bar chain
Launched: 1998
Location: London
Founders: Steve Locke, Rhys Oldfield and Leigh Miller. Be At One opened in Battersea, southwest London, in 1998 in what had been a dilapidated Indian restaurant. The three founders had worked as cocktail mixers at TGI Friday’s in Leicester Square. Although the roof leaked and they did not even have a sign, the trio made sales of £50,000 in their first year.
Financials: Last year, the chain’s earnings before interest, tax and amortisation were £5.5m on sales of £39m.
Investment: backed by the private equity firm PIPER
News: has completed a £20m refinancing - provided by SANTANDER -which it will use to increase its number of venues. The company plans to increase the number of bars it owns from 33 to 70.


PRINCIPLE GROUP: branding agency - Huddersfield
Bosses at Huddersfield’s Principle Group branding agency are set to share in £60m bonanza | Peter Evans, The Sunday Times. October 1, 2017
DZ profile: Principle Global Limited
Business: branding agency which counts HSBC, AT&T and Jaguar Land Rover among its clients. It helps companies with “brand implementation” — the graphics and furniture found in bank branches or car showrooms, for example. It operates in 65 countries, with Britain representing just 10% of revenue.
Launched: 1986
Location: Huddersfield
Founder: ChairmanRichard Butterfield, 56, left school at 15 and sold cleaning products door-to-door before at the age of 25, founding Principle which
Staff: employs close to 800 people around the world and about the same number again in contractors.
Financials: Last year the business turned over £149.5m and made a pre-tax profit of £13.3m. A recent acquisition means Principle is on track to make more than £200m in sales this year.
1. funded management buy-in: up to 7 senior managers made majority shareholders … for a share of between £60m and £70m. Butterfield who still owns 40% …last year divested more than half his shareholding to senior staff ....they must hold on to the stock until the company is floated or takes on a significant new investment. ...designed to give managers an incentive to grow the business into a “half-a-billion- pound company”. 
2. In 2000, co-founder Nigel Stocks sold his share of the business to strategic partner. ....toy giant LEGO, which owned a business similar to Principle. When Lego hit financial problems Butterfield structured a deal to buy back full ownership of the company for far less than Lego had paid. Since then, Butterfield has used the global contacts made through Lego to expand around the world.  Principle owns companies in China, America, India and Mexico.
3. Butterfield said a stock market float is a serious option in the next five years.


EVGEN PHARMA: drug development - Cheshire
Keep taking the broccoli, says British pharma company | Sabah Meddings, The Sunday Times. October 1, 2017
DZ profile: Evgen Pharma Plc
Business: drugs developer which is designing drugs using sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli. Its treatments have been shown to kill cancer cells and improve the prospects of stroke patients. While studies have long suggested that certain “superfoods” can help fight cancer, highly-concentrated doses are now being developed.
Launched: 2014
Location: Wilmslow, Cheshire
Staff: Stephen Franklin, 49, chief executive
Financials: to 31-Mar-17 Revenue £0.00m; Pre-Tax -£3.64m.
Investment: AIM-listed
1. Evgen is working with a compound discovered 25 years ago in a laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore....  Its first drug — SFX-01 — is being tested on patients with subarachnoid haemorrhage, a form of stroke, and breast cancer. ...hopes the drug — now in phase II clinical trials — will transform breast cancer into a chronic condition rather than a death sentence for women in which it has spread significantly.
2. In 2007, the World Health Organisation estimated that the plant-derived drugs trade was worth about $100bn. Only 5% to 15% of the world’s known plants have been tested for therapeutic potential, according to research, which means there are still millions that could hold the key to cures. That’s before the potential of marine organisms, such as sea sponges, is examined.


Drug start-ups move out of UK’s ‘golden triangle’|  Sarah Neville, FT.  February 15, 2019

Evgen Pharma

3. Franklin believes Evgen has gained from pharma group AstraZeneca’s decision to leave nearby Alderley Park, a large Cheshire bioscience campus, for a new headquarters in Cambridge. ...leaving a big talent pool for small business and recruits.

4. The company has yet to start generating revenue ...the trials, with results due out this year, provide a chance to think about licensing deals with big pharma companies.  Evgen’s share price has risen more than 37 per cent in the past year, and currently stands at 17.75p.


QUBIT: data intelligence – London
This time it's personal(isation): Qubit boss Graham Cooke on beating Amazon | Elliott Haworth, City A.M. October 2, 2017
DZ profile: Qubit Digital Ltd
Business: data intelligence firm. Stacks of the world’s biggest brands, handling billions of dollars, use Qubit to better understand consumer journeys. The platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to learn who you are and persuade you to buy. Qubit can grow your revenue up to six per cent. Over four yearsanalysed more than two billion user journeys and 120m purchases to determine revenue per visitor.
Launched: 2010
Location: near Covent Garden, London to New York, Chicago to Paris, and beyond
Founder: Graham Cooke, chief executive, but Google in 2010 with three colleagues to set up Qubit.
Staff: 250
Investment: Qubit is Series C funded with a total of $76m received to date. ….investor roster includes GOLDMAN SACHS, SAPPHIRE VENTURES, ACCEL PARTNERS, SALESFORCE VENTURES and BALDERTON CAPITAL.
News:  Personalisation. Having come up with 29 actions businesses frequently make on their websites – such as telling customers that “people nearby are purchasing this product” or personalising offers based on the weather – Qubit has a a lot of data on what does and doesn’t work.  The things that don’t work so well, says Cooke, are largely optimisation. “We always tell our customers that the best thing they can do is build a business that has a scarcity built into it. Why did Groupon do so well? Scarcity.” “I’m really calling for more transparency because we’re all fighting Amazon....the only way you can fight back is to acknowledge what works and what doesn’t"


GRAPHENE NANOCHEM: nanotech commercialisation - Camberley / KL, Malaysia
Small-cap focus: Aim-listed manufacturers face challenges | Michael Pooler, FT. October 6, 2017
DZ profile: Graphene Nanochem Plc
Business: Graphene - the 21st century wonder material that has the potential to revolutionise fields from medicine to aerospace, according to scientists. The company was born from a reverse takeover in 2013 in which it acquired a Malaysian biofuels specialist, with a plan to use the material to create special fluids for offshore drilling and gas exploration. But since then the group has suffered a series of setbacks, beginning with the collapse of crude prices in 2014. However, there are signs of recovery, helped by the resumption of drilling and an order for its fluid from a “leading oil and gas company” in Myanmar.
Launched: 2006
Location: HQ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia + Camberley
Financials: Revenues to 31.12.2016: £260k. Posted revenues of £600,000 in the six months to June 30 — up from nothing in the same period a year before — though pre-tax loss increased to £1.7m. It failed to publish its 2015 financial results because it was unable to pay off debt in time, leading to a suspension of its shares.
Investment: Listed on Aim. Reverse takeover in 2013 (takeover company BIOFUTURES INTERNATIONAL listed in 2006).