When the former Dragons’ Den star Piers Linney quit the hit BBC show this year, he said his plan was to turn his cloud computing company Outsourcery into a billion-pound business.
It would be fair to say he has a long way to go. The AIM-listed company, down 0.5p at 23.5p, is currently valued by investors at just £11.35m after sales in 2014 came in more slowly than expected.
However, it has just struck a £4m refinancing deal with Vodafone, which will leave the FTSE 100 giant with a warrant over 3 million shares in the company.
Mr Linney, who is co-chief executive of the company, said: “Vodafone is a key strategic partner for Outsourcery and we are pleased to be deepening our relationship.”
Investec added: “This gives the group some balance-sheet headroom as well as being a clear ‘vote of confidence’ from Vodafone with regards to Outsourcery’s strategic merits and business plan.”
Yet more uncertainty over Greece’s future before Sunday’s crucial referendum contributed to the UK’s blue-chip FTSE 100 index slipping 44.69 points lower to 6,585.78.
Shares in FirstGroup dipped 1.2p to 118.6p after UBS cut its rating on the trains-to-buses operator to a “sell”, citing concerns over its margins.
Auto Trader was driven 13.4p higher to 319.7p after a bullish report from analysts at Exane BNP Paribas, who tipped the shares to rise to 375p. The classified car ads website floated at 235p just four months ago.
Lead analyst William Packer said: “Buyers increasingly find cars through smartphones rather than ‘shoe leather’.
“Auto Trader has evolved with consumers and is at the centre of this rapid shift, as the dominant automotive classified website in the UK.”
The FTSE 250-listed Fidelity China Special Situations closed fund fell 5.2p to 146.8p in the wake of yet another slump in Chinese stocks, especially industrial metals companies.
Over on AIM, Distil flowed 0.075p higher to 0.875p as the maker of Blavod Black Vodka and Blackwoods Gin revealed that promotions had helped sales recently.