• Several ASX lithium and resources companies are due to release shares from escrow in March
  • Pilbara Minerals will release 86,528 shares issued to non-executive directors under its NED fee sacrifice offer
  • Newly listed Bubalus Resources will release 1,425,000 fully paid ordinary shares and 1,425,000 unlisted options

Escrow Watch is Stockhead’s monthly recap of the ASX companies that are releasing shares currently in escrow (also known as restricted securities) over the coming weeks.

ASX shares in escrow are “locked away” and not listed on the bourse so owners can’t sell them – until they’re released.

This is intended to depict to would-be investors when raising capital that the management and previous investors are still backing the venture and aren’t raising capital just so they can “sell out”.

While there’s no guarantee holders of escrowed shares will sell at that point, the mere fact that they will be able to is worth knowing – particularly if shares have substantially moved one way or the other.

Click here for a more detailed description of the ASX rules surrounding escrow arrangements. As we head into a new year there are quite a few ASX companies due to release shares.

February 26 – Creso Pharma (ASX:CPH)

The Aussie pot stock will release 134,105,335 fully paid ordinary shares from voluntary escrow, which were issued as part of the consideration payable to the vendors of Sierra Sage Herbs upon completion of the company’s acquisition in August 2022.

CPH said 134,105,315 shares remain in escrow until August 26, 2023 and a further 15,000,000 until January 10, 2024.

The company recently announced its wholly owned subsidiary, Halucenex Life Sciences Inc will pursue Australian market entry following the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval of psychedelic substances used in magic mushrooms and MDMA.

The landmark decision makes Australia the first country in the world to recognise psychedelics as medicine.


February 28 – Johns Lyng Group (ASX:JLG)

The insurance building and restoration services company has announced 674,883 fully paid ordinary shares will be released from voluntary escrow.  The shares were issued as part of the acquisition of an equity interest in Bright & Duggan, which was announced in August 2022.

The acquisition followed the retirement of Bright & Duggan executive chairman, Trevor Bright, and completion of the acquisition of his 44.5% equity interest in the JLG subsidiary specialising in strata and building management.

The purchase price was $25.6m for the 44.5% equity interest comprising $15.4m in cash and $10.2m in JLG shares.

JLG saw its share price surge 14% on Tuesday (Feb 21) after reporting a 71% increase in sales revenue vs pcp. The company’s profits increased by 84% as it upgraded its outlook.


March 1 – Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS)

Several ASX companies are releasing shares on March 1, including lithium producer PLS. The company will release 86,528 ordinary shares issued to non-executive directors under the company’s NED fee sacrifice offer approved by shareholders at its 2020 AGM.

PLS this week announced it had entered into a sales arrangement for a 15,000 tonne cargo of spodumene concentrate for delivery in the March Quarter.

It is the first sale of its kind for the company utilising a new commercial model based on lithium hydroxide tolling.

The PLS share price has risen ~53% in the past year.


The CPH, JLG & PLS share price today:


March 1 –Horizon Minerals (ASX: HRZ)

The emerging mid-tier gold producer has announced release of 3 million ordinary shares from escrow.

The shares were issued to the vendor Labyrinth Resources (ASX:LRL) as part of the acquisition for the remaining 50% of Penny’s Find gold mine by HRZ.

The shares were subject to an escrow period expiring on February 28, 2023 with HRZ saying they will be released from escrow on March 1,  2023.


March 1  – Bubalus Resources (ASX: BUS)

BUS will release 1,425,000 fully paid ordinary shares and 1,425,000 unlisted options exercisable at 40 cents,  expiring October 11, 2026.

BUS listed on the ASX in October 2022 after a $5m IPO at 20 cents/share. The explorer is focused on the exploration and development of manganese and rare earths projects in the NT and WA.

Projects include the Amadeus Project (prospective for manganese), the Coomarie Project (prospective for Heavy Rare Earths), the Nolans East Project (prospective for Light Rare Earths) and the Pargee Project (prospective for Heavy Rare Earths).


March 1 – DGL Group (ASX:DGL)

DGL has announced 153,186 quoted fully paid ordinary shares will be released from voluntary escrow. The shares were issued to vendors as part consideration for the acquisition of Australian Logistics Management and subject to a voluntary escrow period of 12 months.

DGL is a diversified industrial group, specialising in the manufacture, transport, storage of chemicals and processing of hazardous waste.


March 1 – Pantera Metals (ASX:PFE)

Manganese-focused. minerals explorer PFE will release 1 million fully paid ordinary shares from voluntary escrow.  PFE said the shares were issued in connection with a project acquisition at an issue price of 20 cents/share.

PFE recently announced rock chip sampling at a new tenement has underscored the prevalence of manganese mineralisation at its Weelarrana project in WA’s Collier Basin.

Assaying of the rock chips in tenement E52/4071 – of which 23 of the 31 samples returned more than 10% manganese – topped up at 39.8% manganese with an average grade of 25.1%.


The HRZ, BUS, DGL & PFE share price today:


March 3 – Many Peaks Gold (ASX:MPG)

The  gold,  copper-gold mineralisation and lithium explorer this week announced it will release 1,175,000 fully paid ordinary shares from voluntary escrow.

MPG this week announced it had received the granting of an additional two mineral licences expanding the Aska lithium project from 151km2 to a 193km2 area in an emerging lithium district in Newfoundland, Canada.

The additional mineral licences are contiguous with previously granted mineral licences and covers the same favourable geological setting host to lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) type pegmatites at Aska.

MPG said it will be applying for quotation of the restricted ordinary fully paid shares upon their date of release.


March 4 – Regener8 Resources  (ASX: R8R)

Gold explorer R8R will release 1,102,500 fully paid ordinary shares and  7,375,000 partly paid shares. The company’s Kookynie Project is located in the Kookynie district of WA, ~150km north of Kalgoorlie and 55km south of Leonora.

R8R said it intends to investigate its underexplored tenements located in the heart of this district.  The company listed on the ASX on July 8, 2022 after a $5.5 million IPO at 20 cents/share.

The company still has ~6 million fully paid ordinary shares, 9.5 million partly paid shares and 3 million class A, B, C and D performance rights to be released from shares later this year and in 2024.


March 5 – White Cliff Minerals (ASX:WCN)

Early stage lithium explorer WCN will release 2,840,909 ordinary shares from voluntary escrow. As Stockhead’s Reuben Adam reported, a survey recently identified multiple thorium targets at WCN’s Yinnetharra rare earths-lithium project in WA.

Thorium anomalies are often associated with rare earths, the early-stage explorer said, which makes this new data “a game-changer”.

“The clarity of data we have received from the new 50 metre lined spaced magnetics and radiometrics survey is a game-changer and shows significant structural force has been directed at the project rocks over the course of time,” technical director Ed Mead said.


March 8 – Monash IVF (ASX:MVF) 

Fertility company MVF s willl release 1,461,484 fully paid ordinary shares currently held under voluntary escrow.

MVF said release of  the escrow shares doesn’t change the issued capital of the company and 13,503,673 fully paid ordinary shares remain held under voluntary escrow.

MVF was Morgans analyst Scott Power’s top pick last week and on Tuesday released solid H1 FY23 results including:

  • Revenue increased 2.3% to $103.3m (1H22: $101.0m)
  • $12.6m underlying group NPAT(3)
  • Underlying group EBITDA of $26.8m, in line with PCP
  • Underlying EBITDA margin % maintained at 26% reflecting effective cost control and minimising inflationary cost base pressures
  • Interim FY2023 fully franked dividend of 2.2 cents/share

Over the past 18 months, MVF has invested significantly in future growth activities through acquisitions, doctor attraction, new clinical infrastructure and services.


The MPG, R8R, WCN & MVF share price today: