Good morning! Thanks for your suggestions so far - they are a big help in deciding where to focus.

At the moment, I'm planning to write about the following:

In big-cap news, the hostile approach by Melrose Industries (LON:MRO) for GKN (LON:GKN) has seen publication of an "increased and final offer" which is worth a look, considering the importance of these companies.

Escape Hunt (LON:ESC)

  • Share price: 113.5p (unch.)
  • No. of shares: 20.3 million
  • Market cap: £23 million

Trading Statement

I've been familiarising myself with this company, which offers live game experiences at various locations around the world.

The premise sounds unusual. You and your friends (or work colleagues) get locked in a room for an hour! Or as long as it takes you to escape, solving a variety of puzzles.

Some people believe that we are in a long-term trend towards consumer spending on experiences, rather than material goods. This certainly falls into the former category, so would be a good example of how invest in that trend.

This stock came into being through a company previously trading under the DAR ticker buying up the holding company Experiential Ventures Ltd for £12 million in May 2017. That was on a cash-free and debt-free basis. The Placing which took place to fund this deal raised an addition £3.6 million, more than it needed to, to help fund growth.

The Interim results to June 2017 aren't very useful considering the deal took place only two months prior. Full-year results to December 2017 will be published in April.

At the time of the deal, Escape Hunt had 214 escape rooms in 20 countries.

According to the Readmission Document, Experiential Ventures is domiciled in the Seychelles, with subsidiaries domiciled in Malaysia and Thailand. It made pre-tax profits of £115k in 2015 and £320k in 2016, from revenues of £600k and £1.1 million respectively.

Strangely, the company paid out nearly £500k of dividends in both of those years. The document says:

The declaration of dividends was based…

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