Derek Pain: Rivington tempts me to look on the Plus side

No Pain, No Gain

Rivington Street Holdings is challenging to become the Plus share market's most active constituent. The news flow of many companies traded on the fringe platform is, at best, rather thin, and is often not many more than half a dozen announcements a year. But so far in 2010, this bustling finance and media group has posted 18 developments on the Plus news screen. And, I suspect, many more will appear during the coming months.

Some of the bulletins have been routine, such as the exercise of share options. Others have included an upbeat trading statement, takeover action, a proposed change of domicile, and even details of a blaze that destroyed Rivington's City offices. Paradoxically, the group also enjoyed a touch of luck. Although its headquarters went up in smoke, it was able, within hours, to relocate to the nearby office of a research company it had just acquired. So trading continued with only the tiniest disruption. The group was fully insured. It hopes that the premises it intends to acquire this year will be more cost effective than the fire-damaged office.

Rivington, specialising in small caps, is largely the creation of its chief executive Tom Winnifrith, 42, a former City reporter. It started with an online tip sheet, t1ps.com; now it embraces what used to be called merchant banking, providing corporate services largely to AIM and Plus companies, as well as public and investor relations, fund management (four funds handling about £20m) and market research. In addition, its online interests have grown to cover a range of financial and investment services. The original tip sheet is still going strong.

Other interests include the Master Investor conference and exhibition, due to be held next month at the Business Design Centre in Islington, north London. Some 100 companies are taking part and speakers include serial investors Jim Mellon, Nigel Wray and fund manager Mark Slater (son of the legendary Jim). The stockbroker JP Jenkins is another Rivington activity. The firm takes in a matched bargains market aimed at unquoted but public companies. About 30 shares are traded and more are expected to join. AIM delistings are helping to swell the ranks.

Other interests will be added. Besides seeking to expand its finance and media operations, Rivington is planning to venture into unrelated fields by buying distressed companies that, it believes, can be revitalised. The group dates back to 2000 when t1ps.com was launched. It obtained a Plus presence through a merger with Commodity Watch, another internet investment player.

With its shares about 30p, it is capitalised at only £12m. Yet it appears to be on something of a roll. Profits, in the first half of its current year, are more than a third higher and the group expresses "real confidence" about this year's prospects. Its most recent acquisition – two research businesses acquired from the AIM-traded IQ Holdings – are likely to make an increasing profits contribution as the year progresses. Cash will also be returned to shareholders, not by traditional dividends but via share tender offers, starting this year. Up to £100,000 is earmarked for the initial tender, and shares buy-backs are also planned.

Like many other companies, Rivington is proposing a move overseas –well, at least to the more tax-friendly Isle of Man. A one-for-one share exchange into a new Isle of Man domiciled company is planned.

Mr Winnifrith will switch his residence to the island (his London home is up for sale) and three Manx residents of distinction will become directors of the new holding company. All trading operations will remain in London. Getting from the Isle of Man to the City should take only two hours and 50 minutes – a shorter journey than some England-based commuters endure, he observes.

Rivington is one Plus company that has no intention of switching over to the AIM market. Cost is one factor. An AIM presence is likely to require £400,000 a year, and Plus about £30,000, so Mr Winnifrith says the group is happy to stay on the fringe.

I am contemplating adding another Plus-traded share to the No Pain, No Gain portfolio. Bluehone, another small cap specialist, is under observation. Rivington is another candidate. As I mentioned last week, I am anxious to avoid the portfolio becoming too exposed to Plus. Probably one more Plus share and a Footsie stock should provide the necessary balance.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

    £30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

    Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

    £55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor