Serial small company backer Bruce Rowan is expecting a busy few months as he steps up the pace at his investment vehicle Starvest, formerly Web Shareshop. Predicting ‘between 40 and 50’ AIM entrants in resources and his other favoured sectors over the coming six months, he is also keeping a close watch on the refinanced Ofex private share market.
Having abstained from subscribing to Ofex Holdings’ 25p float last year and arguing that cash shell Zyzygy’s abortive bid move helped broker Numis pull off its recent £3 million funding at 5p, he thinks the market ‘now has a life’. But Rowan has significant stakes in several Ofex counters, including Chores, LAC, Beowulf, St Helen’s Capital, Gledhow Investments, Agricola and Sheba Resources, and, if Ofex — or ‘PLUS Markets’ as it plans to rename itself — fails to deliver the goods in six to nine months, ‘I’ll help them finance moving up to AIM’.
Usually a ‘proactive’ shareholder, one investment where Starvest is taking a back seat is Matisse Holdings, the vehicle run by controversial operator Peter Abbey. ‘I can’t say I’m impressed by what they are doing,’ grumbles Rowan, ‘because they have not really done anything.’
Matisse’s volatile shares have bounced between 2p and 20p and back. ‘Perhaps Abbey’s volatile himself,’ ruminates Rowan. ‘We’ll wait and see.’