CITY WHISPERS: Erectile dysfunction firm hoping to boost its mojo

CITY WHISPERS: Erectile dysfunction firm Futura Medical is hoping to boost its mojo

After conquering the aisles of Boots, a groundbreaking erectile dysfunction treatment developed by AIM-listed Futura Medical could be on course for global domination.

Futura’s over-the-counter gel – called MED3000 but marketed as Eroxon – can work within ten minutes and has fewer side effects than pills.

It was launched in the UK this month and is already available in Belgium, but Guildford-based Futura is plotting a series of other launches across the world in the next year.

Groundbreaking: Futura’s over-the-counter gel – called MED3000 but marketed as Eroxon – can work within ten minutes and has fewer side effects than pills

Boss James Barder is staying schtum as to which countries he has lined up, though it is already cleared by regulators for use in the European Economic Area, UK and a swathe of the Middle East including the UAE, Oman and Iran.

The US is the next big goal. After that the focus will turn more to Asia.

Perhaps this will provide a longer-lasting rise in the shares, as a 26 per cent spike in the wake of the UK launch has lost steam.

Short-sellers eye DFS 

Hopefully bosses at DFS were sitting down last time they checked their short-selling data. 

The sofa chain has attracted short bets from hedge funds GLG Partners and Tellworth Investments who will profit if its share price falls. 

Its stock has fallen by 19 per cent so far in 2023, not helped by half-year results in March that showed a drop in profits. 

The value of the bets is just 2.5 per cent of shares on issue but it is hardly good news for a stock that has attracted unwanted attention before. 

Bad news keeps coming for Pazner 

More bad news for Itai Pazner, the former boss of William Hill-owner 888 Holdings.

The Israeli businessman was removed as chief executive of the gambling group in January after 888 revealed failings in anti-money laundering processes.

He also missed out on a bonus last year, seeing his pay halve from £3 million to £1. 5million.

Though he was eligible for a small payout, the board decided, partly ‘in light of business performance’, not to hand him anything.

Part of his bonus was linked to setting up and launching a safer gambling strategic plan.

As 888 – which declined to comment – put it in the annual report, this was ‘not achieved’.

City waiting on merger between Vodafone and Three 

One of two major questions hanging over Vodafone has been answered. 

Interim boss Margherita Della Valle has been appointed chief executive after a trawl lasting almost four months.

As a member of the old guard – she was finance boss during the turbulent reign of previous chief Nick Read – her appointment was greeted with consternation by those who wanted a fresh start for the telecoms group.

But they don’t have time to get too het up about management changes – the second major question, still unanswered, is whether her presence will speed up the anticipated merger between Vodafone and Three.

Right now, the City is waiting for the phone to ring.