SalvaRx Group PLC (AIM:SALV) originally joined AIM on in March 2016 (via a reverse takeover of 3Legs Resources PLC) as a drug development company focused on cancer immunotherapy and complementary areas of oncology. Following a group restructuring in March 2017, all the Company’s investments and business interests were held by its subsidiary SalvaRx Limited.
At the Annual General Meeting held on 8 January 2019, shareholders approved (i) the disposal of SalvaRx Limited to Portage Biotech Inc. (“Portage”) for a consideration of US$67.5 million satisfied by the issue of 757,943,784 new shares in Portage (the “Consideration Shares”) and (ii) the transfer of 660,593,556 of the Consideration Shares on a pro-rata basis to the Company’s shareholders on the register as at 5.00 p.m. on 8 January 2019 (the “Demerger”).
Further details of the Disposal and the Demerger are set out in the shareholder circular available here.
Following the Disposal and the Demerger, the Company ceased to own, control or conduct all, or substantially all, of its existing trading business activities or assets. It was therefore classified as an AIM Rule 15 cash shell and as such is required to make an acquisition or acquisitions which constitutes a reverse takeover under AIM Rule 14 (or seek re-admission as an investing company (as defined under the AIM Rules)) on or before the date falling six months from completion of the Disposal and the Demerger (namely by 9 July 2019), failing which the Company's Ordinary Shares would then be suspended from trading on AIM pursuant to AIM Rule 40. Admission to trading on AIM would be cancelled six months from the date of suspension should the reason for the suspension not have been rectified.
The Company’s shareholding in Portage (which amounted to 56,657,531 shares immediately following the Disposal and the Demerger) may increase by up to 40,692,697 shares to the extent that certain options remain unexercised by 5.00 p.m. on 8 January 2020.
Further information on Portage can be found at https://www.portagebiotech.com/
Denham Eke was appointed as Chief Financial Officer and as a Director of the Company on 8 January 2019. He is Managing Director of Burnbrae Group Limited, a private international asset management company. He began his career in stockbroking with Sheppards & Chase before moving into corporate planning for Hogg Robinson Plc, a major multinational insurance broker. He is a director of many years’ standing of both public and private companies involved in the financial services, property, mining, and manufacturing sectors. He is chairman of Webis Holdings Plc, chief executive officer of Manx Financial Group Plc, finance director of Port Erin Biopharma Investments Limited and a non-executive director of Billing Services Group Limited - all quoted on the AIM market. Mr Eke is also a non-executive director of Juvenescence Ltd., a leader in the development of therapies to slow, halt or potentially reverse aging.