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Major Holdings The Fund's major holdings are disclosed in the monthly NAV announcements, which can be found in the News section. Quarter-end NAV announcements also include a commentary on some of the Fund's investments.

The holdings list and comments below were included in the Fund's Annual Report for the 12 months ended 30 June 2020.

01. De La Rue plc

De La Rue plc ("De la Rue")
De La Rue's Currency division designs and prints banknotes and produces related components, including security features. The Authentication division supplies tax stamps and products and software to authenticate and track individual products throughout their supply chains, and it produces components for inclusion within individual identity documents such as passports.

The Fund is pleased to note that, by exposing and highlighting the failures of prior management, it accelerated the departures of the former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman and enabled the new leadership to take decisive actions to maximise growth opportunities in both the Currency and Authentication divisions and to remove excess cost from the business. In the Fund's view, De La Rue has suffered from very poor leadership and oversight, which has resulted in an unacceptable financial performance over many years, despite tailwinds from most of the company's end-markets and the consequent benefits evidently enjoyed by its competitors.

In July 2019, the UK Serious Fraud Office announced the commencement of an investigation into De La Rue and its associates in relation to suspected corruption in the conduct of business in South Sudan. This caused the share price to fall by 22% over the subsequent two days. In June 2020, the Serious Fraud Office closed its investigation into De La Rue and its announcement included no fines or censures against the company.

Within its interim results announcement in November 2019, De La Rue pointed to full-year adjusted operating profits significantly below sell-side analyst forecasts. In response to the cash outflow experienced during the first half of 2019/20, the company sensibly decided to suspend its dividend. The company's auditors required De La Rue to characterise as a "material uncertainty" the risk that, in a multiple-downside scenario and if no mitigating action was taken, the company might breach bank debt covenants. This attracted significant press coverage and contributed to the 23.5% stock price fall on the day of the interim results announcement. Despite this, our analysis indicated that the company was unlikely to breach its covenants.

In February 2020, De La Rue announced that it expected to operate within its banking covenants for the financial year 2020. It also expanded its cost-cutting target to £35 million and accelerated its completion to the second half of 2020/21. This would return the Currency division to significant profitability even if the banknote printing cycle did not improve. Furthermore, the company expanded its growth target for the Authentication division and now aims to achieve revenue of £100 million by 2021/22, up from £39 million in financial year 2019.

In June, De La Rue announced a £100 million equity fundraise, supported by the Fund, and released its results for the year ended 31 March 2020 along with further detail about the new management team's turnaround plan. The company was able to deleverage materially during the second half of its financial year, and comfortably met its banking covenants. This was due to the disposal of its International Identity Solutions business combined with a stronger underlying free cash flow performance than in the first half. De La Rue's defined benefit pension scheme also achieved an accounting surplus of £65 million as of the end of March 2020.

The full-year results announcement made clear that underlying demand for De La Rue's key products and services in both the Currency and Authentication divisions has remained strong throughout the period when the broader economy has been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, the company has identified new areas of opportunity in this environment, such as the authentication of COVID-19 protection kits and the development of its own proprietary immunity certification scheme. The company has recently confirmed that it is in discussions with governments to sell these solutions. Between the start of its new financial year and the results announcement on 17 June 2020, the Authentication division won contracts with a combined lifetime value in excess of £100 million.

Notwithstanding these positive developments, an equity fundraise was ultimately required as a direct consequence of the "material uncertainty" noted in the interim results. Whilst the scale of the fundraise has arguably left the company with an under-geared balance sheet, it has resulted in several positive developments including an improved pension funding schedule, an extension of its financing facilities until December 2023 and, most significantly, a fully funded three-year turnaround plan.

De La Rue has now emerged with an almost debt-free balance sheet. The Fund continues to believe that it enjoys a combination of strong competitive positions in high return businesses and attractive growth opportunities backed by a capacity for both significant organic investment and the acquisition of further technological competencies. It controls a 30% market share of global commercial banknote printing, which enables the Currency division to accelerate and fully capitalise on the structural shift towards polymer notes. The higher-margin Authentication business grew organically by 60% during the last financial year.

We believe that De La Rue's current valuation of less than one times revenue does not reflect either the operational upside set out in its detailed disclosure of the three-year turnaround plan, or its strategic value when compared to previous deals within the sector priced at around twice expected revenue.

02. Allied Minds plc

Allied Minds plc ("Allied Minds")
Allied Minds is an IP commercialisation business focused on early-stage company development within the US technology sector. It announced in April 2019 that it would henceforth focus on maximising returns and shareholder distributions from its existing portfolio, rather than continuing to invest in new businesses. The portfolio now contains three significant holdings: Federated Wireless, Spin Memory and BridgeComm, all of which have raised capital from third parties including strategic investors. Allied Minds also has an estimated cash balance of between US$25-27 million after announced follow-on commitments, plus three smaller stakes in other technology companies and a written-down life-sciences holding.

Based on the disclosure regarding individual investee company holding values, we estimate that Allied Minds' net asset value currently stands at between 64p and 75p per share. The Fund initiated its investment during Autumn 2018 and the average cost of its holding is 37p per share, adjusted for the special dividend paid in February 2020.

Following its initial investment, the Fund expressed concerns to Allied Minds regarding its excessive parent company costs and the urgent need to realign its cost base. The company's ongoing HQ expenses were running at an estimated US$17-20 million in 2018. In response to concerted pressure exerted by the Fund, ongoing central costs have so far been reduced to around US$6 million per annum. The Fund has also consistently objected to the extraordinary practice of paying management 10% of gains arising from any successful individual investment, independent of the losses incurred on other investments in the portfolio (the "Phantom Plan").

In August 2019, HawkEye 360 (one of Allied Minds' top three holdings by value at the time) announced it had raised US$70 million at a valuation more than double its September 2018 funding round. In September 2019, Allied Minds then achieved its first-ever successful exit, with the sale of its stake in HawkEye 360 for US$65.6 million. This triggered a cash pay-out of US$4.9 million under the Phantom Plan, despite a drop of around 90% in the share price for Allied Minds' shareholders over the four years since it first invested in HawkEye 360. Allied Minds announced that it would make an initial cash return to its shareholders equating to only half of the gross sale proceeds.

In September 2019, Federated Wireless raised US$51 million at a valuation more than 20% higher than its prior round, of which US$10 million was invested by Allied Minds. Subsequently, Federated Wireless received US regulatory approval for both the initial and full-scale commercial deployments of its Citizens Broadband Radio Service ("CBRS") system, enabling it to begin generating recurring revenues.

In November 2019, the Fund requisitioned a General Meeting ("GM") of Allied Minds with the aim of changing the composition of its board to help accelerate and maximise both cost reductions and cash distributions. In December, Allied Minds announced a range of developments including a US$1.5 million reduction in recurring HQ expenses, an increase in the Q1 2020 initial cash return from the sale of the HawkEye 360 stake, the introduction of a cumulative cash returns threshold before any further payments can be made under the Phantom Plan, and the appointment of a new non-executive director proposed by the Fund, Mark Lerdal. Based on this package of changes, the Fund agreed to withdraw its GM requisition.

In January 2020, Allied Minds declared a special dividend of $40 million (12.62p per share), equating to two-thirds of the proceeds from the HawkEye 360 stake disposal net of transaction fees and the Phantom Plan pay-out.

During March, the Fund significantly increased its holding in Allied Minds. The Fund firmly believes that there remains scope for the company to cut its overheads of US$6 million per annum and that, in the current climate, it should take quick and decisive action to reduce its cost base further.

The Fund notes that Allied Minds' shares trade at a discount of over 45% to its estimated NAV per share. The current market capitalisation, excluding estimated parent-level cash and the value of the stake in Federated Wireless (implied by that company's latest fundraising round), attributes no value to the rest of the portfolio.

03. Equals Group plc

Equals Group plc ("Equals")
Equals is an e-banking and international payment services provider. It serves retail and business customers mainly in the United Kingdom under an e-money licence. Equals provides faster, cheaper and more convenient money management than traditional banking services with bank-grade UK domestic clearance. In June 2019, the company rebranded from FairFX to Equals to reflect the broader range of services it now offers that go beyond foreign currency. The Fund's previous annual reports include additional background to this investment.

Over the period, Equals continued its transition toward B2B, a strategic move that partially insulated it from the impact of COVID-19 on leisure travel. Prior to the pandemic, most revenues already came from the corporate segment, and with the pandemic this shift accelerated. In 2019, B2B revenues grew by 19% and represented 56% of the group's £30.9 million revenue. Corporate revenue growth continued over the first half of 2020, with B2B revenues growing by 30% which now represents 66% of group revenue. B2C revenues fell by 29% due to the pandemic impact on travel.

However, investment during 2019 to rebrand, enhance the technology platform and hire personnel was a drag on cashflows. In addition, mismanagement of market forecasts for 2019 understandably damaged investor confidence. Whilst the appointment of Richard Cooper as CFO has brought increased disclosure of the company's finances, investor confidence has been dented by the pandemic's impact on international travel. With the investment phase completed, sensible cost cutting measures are under way to realign the cost base to the business's needs. The Fund is determined to see Equals deliver positive cash flows.

Equals' proposition to SMEs is compelling relative to that offered by legacy banks. The Fund believes that better understanding of the economics of higher lifetime value business customers will improve perceptions of Equals' prospects. The company's assets include over one million customers, an upgraded technology platform and licences and industry relationships built over many years. With larger players keen to acquire fintech capabilities, the Fund believes Equals would be an attractive takeover candidate.

04. Redde Northgate plc

Redde Northgate plc ("Northgate")
Northgate is the leading light commercial vehicle flexible hire business in the UK, Spain and Ireland, helping its customers accelerate their switch away from vehicle ownership. On 29 November 2019, it announced the acquisition of Redde plc ("Redde"), the UK provider of replacement vehicle, repair and recovery services to insurance company customers, as well as accident and incident support services to private and public organisations.

Northgate's share price has fallen by 33% since it announced the acquisition of Redde in November 2019, adjusting for the interim dividend. This compares to a -8% total return from the Numis Small Cap Index over the same period. At 228p, the shares trade at just over half of Northgate's last-reported net tangible assets per share of 414p as at 31 October 2019.

The Fund notes that combined fees payable by both Northgate and Redde to professional advisers in relation to the deal were more than £25 million. This is equivalent to more than 8% of the market capitalisation of Redde prior to completion of the acquisition. The Fund was deeply disappointed by the quantum of these fees, particularly as the transaction was an all-share deal, with no costs incurred in raising capital.

The Fund, together with a total of 40% of the company's shareholders, successfully objected to the company's proposal to base its new senior executive incentive plan (the "Value Creation Plan") on total shareholder returns delivered above the share price following shareholder approval of the Redde acquisition. The basis for the scheme was consequently changed, to be struck at the pre-deal announcement share price of 350p.

The company issued trading updates during March and May 2020. Performance had been running in line with management's expectations until the end of February. Management then initiated cash preservation measures, including minimising new vehicle capex. Bank facility headroom had increased to £234 million by end of April, despite the ex-rental vehicle disposal market being closed during the coronavirus lockdown. Management stated that it did not expect to have to raise additional funding even in a downside-case COVID-impact scenario.

On 4 September 2020, Redde Northgate announced the acquisition of UK bodyshop network Nationwide Accident Repair Services, to broaden its offering and bring some of its vehicle repair work in-house. Results for the full year to April 2020 were announced on 16 September. Trading has improved as COVID-related lockdowns have eased, vehicle residual values have increased significantly year-on-year, and management is making "excellent" progress on the merger integration, with the original £10 million cost synergy target already achieved and now raised to £15 million.

As previously stated, the Fund believes that Northgate's well-managed Spanish business would be an attractive acquisition candidate for several multinationals that have been attempting to increase their presence within the European flexible vehicle rental market. These larger and more diversified peers operate with greater leverage and lower costs of capital than Redde Northgate and would be able to realise multiple synergies unavailable to Northgate.

The Fund hopes that the company's ongoing review of Northgate's strategy will conclude that it is in shareholders' interests to initiate an auction of the Spanish business.

The Fund believes that Northgate had long suffered from inadequate strategic leadership, overseen by a board lacking in direct experience within hire industries. This was addressed by the appointment of Avril Palmer-Baunack as chair in August 2019. She has also previously served as chair of the standalone Redde business.

05. Hurricane Energy plc

Hurricane Energy ("Hurricane")
Hurricane is an oil exploration and production company targeting naturally fractured basement reservoirs in the West of Shetland. The Fund's previous annual reports include background information on this investment.

This was a very challenging year for Hurricane: its Lancaster Early Production System ("EPS") failed to deliver the targeted 20k barrels a day due to an increased water cut. The regulator rejected Hurricane's application to tie back an additional production well to its EPS vessel, which would have been funded by its JV partner Spirit Energy. As a condition to extending its licences, the regulator requested that it should drill two sub-vertical commitment wells over the next two years. Shareholders lost confidence in management as a result of perceived missed expectations and perplexing regulatory signals. The weak oil price environment, exacerbated by COVID-19, reduced operating cash flows and compounded negative investor sentiment. Despite its $106 million cash balance, investors continue to question the ability of Hurricane to meet regulatory commitments, undertake necessary remediation and appraisal work and address the maturity of its $230 million convertible bond by July 2022.

In June 2020, the CEO resigned. The company set up a technical committee to re-examine the full range of possible geological and reservoir models for the Lancaster field which reached initial conclusions in September. These suggest that the oil - water contacts at Lancaster, Lincoln and Halifax are significantly shallower than previously determined. Estimated recoverable reserves, assuming no remedial action, have been reduced from 37.3 million barrels to 16 million, of which 6.6 million have already been produced.

The Fund is pleased with the appointment of the new CEO, Antony Maris, who brings relevant experience in developing and operating fractured basement reservoirs.

In the second half of 2020, production is expected to continue from a single well at a range of 12,800 to 14,200 barrels per day. A number of remediation options are available to increase the EPS' production. However, in the current oil price environment and with a reduced production outlook, cash generation is expected to be insufficient to both fund additional well stock and to repay the bond. Nevertheless, as the convertible bond now trades at less than half its repayment value, there is currently an opportunity for Hurricane to utilise some of its $106 million cash to buy in some bonds in order to materially reduce its indebtedness.

The Fund finds the conclusions of the technical committee persuasive but not conclusive. Fractured reservoirs commonly exhibit rapid initial pressure decline and we note at Lancaster that the rate of pressure decline has in fact slowed. Moreover, the zone now believed to contain residual oil below the oil water contact is very thick, whereas we would have expected an abrupt change in oil saturation at the free water level. Therefore, the Fund believes that significant volumes of oil may be present below the revised oil water contact at 1,330 metres.

Following the publication of the report the shares are trading at little more than option money and the Fund has increased its holding. Despite these uncertainties, the company has stressed there are currently no going concern issues and it has ruled out an equity raise at this time.

Since investing in Hurricane, the Fund has realised profits of £43 million.

06. Board Intelligence Ltd

Board Intelligence Limited ("BI")
BI is a privately-owned UK company with a mission to make governance the most powerful driver of performance for organisations, to include improving the quality of board decision-making. The company offers cloud-based board-pack tools on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) basis. The product encompasses workflow management for the drafting of meeting packs, structured board reporting templates to improve the effectiveness of meetings, and an app-based portal allowing meeting participants to access information securely. The primary audience is corporate boards, but the tools can also be used by other committees.

SaaS products have high contribution margins: platform costs are relatively fixed, so they experience significant operating leverage as volumes increase - profit margins are anticipated to be higher than is evident during the growth phase. BI's customer acquisition cost is low relative to customer lifetime value, so growth in the client base increases the company's enterprise value. The price of the service is a secondary consideration for customers relative to the high value attributed to any improvement in board meeting productivity and data security. Furthermore, once a solution has been adopted by a company there are switching costs to change to another provider, which contributes to low organic churn.

BI has a very impressive client list including UK large-caps and government departments, and has emphatic public testimonials from leading companies such as Rolls Royce and National Grid. The Fund invests in unquoted companies only in exceptional circumstances but was attracted by the economics and mission of this business and the many growth opportunities amongst the 9,350 organisations in the UK that employ over 250 people. BI also has options to expand the product internationally and/or to provide services to smaller organisations.

The Fund invested in BI in 2018 at a significant discount to the valuation multiples of listed cloud/SaaS companies. The company's Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) has subsequently continued to grow at an impressive rate without the cash burn shown by many high growth companies. BI has a dynamic entrepreneurial management team who have used our investment to strengthen the organisation and enhance the product. The Fund continues to engage with management on how to maximise long-term value.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company cut operating costs and also rapidly integrated video conferencing into the app, which has helped to secure new sales.

During August 2020, BI closed a fundraising deal with a new investor, which enabled the Fund to sell over a third of its holding and to recoup over 85% of its investment in the company. The term sheet for this deal was signed in late June 2020, and the resulting uplift to fair value of this holding has been included within the Fund's NAV at 30 June 2020.

07. Camellia plc

08. Sutton Harbour Group plc

Sutton Harbour Group plc ("Sutton Harbour")
Sutton Harbour owns and operates Sutton Harbour in the Barbican, Plymouth's historic old port, and holds the lease to Plymouth's 113-acre former airport site. Sutton Harbour includes a leisure marina, the second largest fresh fish market in England and an estate of investment properties around the harbour. The marina is a 5 Gold Anchor rated facility and considered to be one of the best deep-water harbours in the South West. The Fund's previous annual reports provide further background to this investment.

From the beginning of 2018, FB Investors LLP has been the majority shareholder in the company and has been shaping Sutton Harbour's new strategy.

During the year, Sutton Harbour continued with pre-construction work for the two major consented schemes around Sutton Harbour. Harbour Arch Quay, the smaller 14 apartment building, is close to starting construction subject to finalising contracts and financing, which is expected later this year. The much larger 170 apartment Sugar Quay development is subject to approval of planning consent variations and work is targeted to start on site in 2021.

Final results to the end of March 2020 reported NAV of 39.7 pence per share versus a then share price of 16 pence. The company secured additional banking facilities of £2 million in May 2020.

The Fund maintains an open dialogue with the company and remains supportive of its new management strategy.

09. GI Dynamics Inc.

GI Dynamics Inc ("GI Dynamics")
GI Dynamics is the developer of the EndoBarrier, a minimally invasive therapy for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. EndoBarrier is a temporary bypass sleeve that is endoscopically delivered to the duodenal intestine. It offers similar effects to the surgical gastric bypass, without the risks of a major surgical procedure. The Fund's previous annual reports contain the background to the company and the Fund's investment.

During the period, the company initiated its USD FDA approved clinical trial, continued steps toward regaining its CE Mark and continued regulatory work to obtain approval for a trial in India in partnership with Apollo Sugar. The Fund backed these efforts with a $10 million investment in August 2019.

In January 2020, GI Dynamics announced the enrolment of the first patient on its US trial. While enrolment was halted shortly afterwards by the COVID-19 pandemic, this has placed the need to tackle obesity and diabetes at the top of the public health agenda. These two conditions appear to be increased contributors to mortality outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Both obesity and diabetes remain poorly treated by pharmacotherapy and invasive bariatric surgery. GI Dynamics brings a treatment with a wealth of data confirming efficacy and safety.

As the company continued to progress its key strategic initiatives, the Fund engaged with the GI Dynamics board to restructure the company. In June 2020, the company voted to delist from the Australian Stock Exchange and this was completed in July 2020. The Fund believes that GI Dynamics' should operate as a private company at this stage of its development. In July, the Fund converted its 2017 senior secured loan note into equity, with a principal and accrued interest value of US$5.4 million, increasing its equity position. The Fund agreed an additional investment, and the board restructured with the arrival of a new director proposed by the Fund. A simplified corporate structure should reduce the company's cost base and facilitate third party investment.

The Fund has held a board observer position in GI Dynamics since November 2019.

10. Kenmare Resources plc

Previous profitable exits include Dart Group plc, Pinewood Group plc, 4imprint Group plc, Aer Lingus Group plc, Thorntons plc, Norcros plc, 3i Quoted Limited Private Equity, Delta plc, Kentz Corporation Limited, Tate & Lyle, Chloride Group plc, NCC, Ocado and Boku.