Acouple of weeks ago, a brief newspaper comment caught my attention: “Cable & Wireless Worldwide has won a deal with PZ Cussons to build a network connecting the soap company’s offices in Europe, Asia and Africa.”

Further research revealed that this was
a multi-million pound three-year contract to provide a high-speed, next-generation, fully-converged communications system that will carry all PZ Cussons (PZC) voice data and internet traffic with in-built security, resilience, and scalability. As a shareholder in both companies, it was clearly good news all round.

PZC has been a great success story over the years and is one of my biggest holdings.

I bought shares in Cable & Wireless – before it split into C&W Worldwide and C&W Communications – in January at 148p. C&W Worldwide has a global telecoms network that reaches 35 countries and has 19 per cent of the UK corporate telecoms market but less than 1 per cent of the world market.

C&W Communications provides fixed-line and mobile phone services to consumers in small countries across the world, most being formerly part of the British Empire.

Since the split, there has been substantial director buying of both stocks and
I have followed their lead. Broker coverage of the two is up, growth opportunities are considerable and likely further consolidation in the telecoms sector adds potential.

There has also been good news for the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) shares in my portfolio.

Concurrent Technologies, the designer and manufacturer of rugged, long-lasting computer products, has been awarded a coveted “Star Supplier” award from Lockheed Martin – which itself has just won a huge US military contract for jamming technology to combat improvised explosive devices.

London-focused Capital Pub Company, whose shares have been edging up nicely but remain below their net asset value, has been declared “Pub Company of the Year” for companies with less than 100 pubs. According to the judges: “Capital impressed . . . with its non-hierarchical management style, diverse estate, quirky and innovative ideas, entrepreneurial flair and confident in-pub teams.”

Delcam, the UK’s leading developer and supplier of advanced software solutions for product development and manufacture, has been presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the innovation category –
for its software for the design and manufacture of dental crowns and bridges. These can now be produced within hours, giving a much faster service to patients.

Corporate voucher and Christmas savings company Park Group is preparing to launch a range of pre-paid “flexecash” cards, redeemable in many of the UK’s largest retailers, including Argos, BHS, Comet, Debenhams, Matalan and New Look.
So these are likely to open up a number of new market opportunities for the group.

And finally, Grainger’s opportunist 185p per share approach to equity release specialist Sovereign Reversions – NAV 250p – means that the latter is now very much “in play”. However, as a fellow investor from Yorkshire recently said to me: “Any successful bid will need to start with a ‘2’!”

John Lee is an active private investor writing about his own investments. He may have a financial interest in any of the companies and trading strategies mentioned.

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