Published: July 2019 (5 Min Read) – all data as at the 30th June 2019

In the quarter, the portfolio rose 15.18%, against the benchmark which rose by 0.20%. In April, Strix, the kettle control global market leader, was introduced using the proceeds from the Tax Systems takeover in the previous quarter. Cash takeover offers were made for SCISYS and Premier Technical Services Group. We expect these deals to complete during the course of the coming quarter, as the deals are endorsed by both sets of management teams who also own substantive stakes in the businesses.

SCISYS and Premier Technical Services are being bought by CGI and Macquarie respectively, who spotted the valuation differential that exists in these companies with market capitalisations below £150m. We can often benefit from this illiquidity discount by virtue of our AIM Portfolio Service being smaller than some of our well-known peers. Gooch & Housego and Cerillion announced disappointing trading updates.

Gooch & Housego has been impacted by the combination of the US/China trade war and a slowdown in orders from the semi-conductor industry to whom it supplies lasers for manufacturing equipment. We are comfortable retaining our position. Cerillion’s interim results did not meet expectations, exposing a lack of trading visibility.

We reduced our holding in Cerillion and used the proceeds to increase our holding in Accesso Technology. Over the course of the next quarter, we will be conducting due diligence on a number of companies as we replace SCISYS and Premier Technical Services, which combined constitute 14% of the portfolio.

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