Derek Pain: Rising star Rivington makes surprise moves upmarket

No Pain, No Gain

Rivington Street Holdings, a star of the no pain, no gain portfolio, plans to elevate its shares from the fringe Plus market to the Stock Exchange's junior platform, the Alternative Investment Market, usually referred to as AIM. The switch should occur early next year. Around the same time one of its Plus satellites, Worship Street Investments, is expected to undertake the same journey.

The moves upmarket come as a surprise. In the past Rivington has appeared supremely satisfied with Plus. But times change. And the conglomerate, with a £20m capitalisation, feels shareholders deserve a more active share market. Indeed the move appears to be shareholder inspired. Some have urged the switch and it seems the Rivington team, led by serial investor Jim Mellon, has come round to the AIM view.

Chief executive Tom Winnifrith says Rivington's current dealing spread is too wide and rating too low. "The increased interest we will get on AIM would address both issues. Ultimately the value of a business is driven not by what market its securities are traded on but by cash generated and assets built. But Plus is not proving a valid mechanism for allowing value to be reflected." On the Worship front he declares: "The spread is a joke and liquidity minimal."

In a criticism of the boards of some, perhaps more prominent, companies, he points out: "In any firm you cannot ignore your shareholders. The express wish of the majority of shareholders (by numbers if not by voting rights) who have contacted me (in both companies) is to move." Mr Winnifrith adds: "Shareholders own a company and shareholders want Rivington on AIM. Since Jim (Mellon) and I agree with that assessment then we are happy to do as instructed." He says the group, with interests ranging over corporate finance, software and stock broking, is now in a position to accommodate the extra costs of an AIM presence.

The portfolio arrived at Rivington in November at 27.5p a share. The price is now close to 50p. Worship shares, however, have fallen from 2.5p to around 1.45p, pricing the company at £1.2m. Rivington's forthcoming departure will mean that NCI Vehicle Rescue, a rarely traded share, is the portfolio's only representation on the fringe market. Its yearly figures are due.

Two existing AIM members have also hit the City news wires. Hargreaves Services, with fuel to transport interests, reported that year's profits, due in September, would be in line with expectations (around £40m is the stock market hope) and debt had fallen more than expected to £66m. Its long- running endeavour to increase its coal output through a development in Wales could reach a conclusion on Monday when the local authority involved considers Hargreaves proposals. The shares, recruited at 417p four years ago, are around 1,040p. Stockbroker Brewin Dolphin has a 1,174p target.

Clarity Commerce Solutions, providing software for the leisure and retail sectors, is not such a happy constituent. It has won two theme park contracts, one a £640,000 follow-up deal in the US, and is commanding a growing presence in the theme park world but the important retail division continues to suffer as deals take longer to clinch. Still, it has not signalled any deluge of cancellations. The group's year's results are due soon. The shares bump along at 19p against the portfolio's 29.5p buying price and around 50p in 2009.

Finally, a Footsie stock, Whitbread. The Premier budget hotels to Costa Coffee group wrong footed the City when it unveiled an upbeat trading statement last week. Just before the announcement, the shares were looking decidedly forlorn as doubts about the group's growth swirled around with increasing intensity. As I write, the shares are not far below 1,600p, having moved ahead in difficult stock market conditions.

With the price deteriorating and some top City brains alleging the group was feeling acute pressure from the recessionary pinch, I must confess that I wondered whether it would be wise to take what was left of the portfolio's profit. But once again patience paid off and assuming the stock market is not overwhelmed by the Greek- inspired euro tragedy, I believe the shares should move higher. Earlier, before the bearish whispers gathered any strength, they nudged 1,900p. The portfolio paid 1,105p in July, 2008.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

    £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

    Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

    AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

    £450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

    Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

    £450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

    Day In a Page

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home