Cheers! Nightcap in conversation to buy Revolution bars

AIM-listed late-night bar group Nightcap is looking to shake up the sector with a bold bid for Revolution Bars.

Revolution met with Nightcap to discuss proposals up to and including a full offer for the troubled company, adding that talks are not part of the formal sale process it unveiled in early April.

The bar operator said at the time that it had received commitments from investors as part of a £12.5 million fundraising effort to stay afloat while it undergoes a restructuring.

In January, the company announced that eight locations would be closed and that up to a quarter of Revolution’s 80 locations could be closed.

Nightcap, co-founded by former Dragons Den star Sarah Willingham, is exploring options including buying certain sites or operating subsidiaries of Revolution.

Nightcap acquired central London cocktail chain Dirty Martini and brasserie Tuttons last year in a £4.65 million deal.

Revolution, with a market capitalization of just over £4 million, rose 13.8 percent, or 0.2 cents, to 1.65 cents, while Nightcap rose 2.4 percent, or 0.1 cents, to 4, 25 cents.

The FTSE 100 rose 50.91 points, or 0.6 percent, to 8172.15, resuming its run of closing highs, but still below this week’s all-time high.

The FTSE 250 eked out gains after recent falls, adding 125.74 points, or 0.6 percent, to 20,052.33.

Smurfit Kappa rose 5.8 percent, or 200 pence, to 3,674 pence as profits rose and more improvements in demand were reported in Europe and America.

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Meanwhile, Standard Chartered rose 8.8 percent, or 61p, to 756p, a six-month high, after the emerging markets-focused lender significantly beat expectations in the first quarter, driven by growth in non-interest income.

Stock watch – Kinovo

Kinovo rose 21.5 percent, or 8.8p, to 49.8p, as the London property services group expects results for the year ending March 31 to exceed expectations.

The company now expects a 22 per cent increase in profits to £6.7 million, up from £5.5 million, on a turnover of around £64 million.

Chief executive officer David Bullen said the strong performance reflected the strength of its growth strategy following previous problems with the former construction subsidiary.

Melrose led losses in the FTSE 100 – down 2.9 per cent, or 18.2p, to 603p – despite strong trading in the first quarter.

The company was boosted by the strength of the Engines division, where sales increased by 21 percent.

It is now a ‘pure play’ aerospace company, based on the acquisition of GKN, after spinning off its automotive engineering business under the name Dowlais last April.

Spectris lost 2 percent, or 64p, to 3208p, after the supplier of high-tech instruments, test equipment and software for the industry reiterated its annual guidance, although the company reported an 8% drop in like-for-like sales in the first quarter .

TI Fluid Systems rose 4.3 percent, or 5.8p, to 142.2p, as the fluid engineering specialist stayed on track after first-quarter sales fell 0.4 percent, in line with expectations.

International Personal Finance rose 3.3 percent, or 3.5 cents, to 109 cents, after a solid first quarter, with customer lending up 5 percent.

But insurer Hiscox fell 1.8 percent, or 21.99p, to 1175p, despite reporting healthy premium growth for the first quarter despite a decline in the London market.

Surface Transforms fell 62.3 per cent, or 1.77p, to 1.08p as the carbon ceramic brake disc maker raised £6.5m in a share placement.

And Smiths News rose 3 percent, or 1.6 cents, to 55 cents as it said it was on track to deliver full-year results in line with expectations.

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