The Week Ahead: Plus500 and Aer Lingus investors will hear the fate of takeover bids

 

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The Independent Online

Thursday is D-day for Plus500 and Aer Lingus as shareholders of the two companies discover the fates of takeover bids.

Investors in Plus500, the Aim-listed online trading group which had to freeze UK customer accounts amid an inquiry into its money-laundering checks, get a chance to have their say on the Playtech bid. Israeli billionaire Teddy Sagi’s gambling software group took advantage of the share price slump which followed the FCA’s investigation, swooping in with a lowball bid of £460m.

Its biggest shareholder, Odey Asset Management, plans to vote against the deal, saying the offer undervalues the London-listed but Israel-based company, but  the bid is likely to succeed due to Israeli takeover rules, which mean it only needs 50.1 per cent shareholder approval. Plus500’s management owns 35 per cent of the firm, so they just need another 15 per cent.

Meanwhile, the runway has cleared for IAG’s £940m takeover of Aer Lingus after 30 per cent shareholder Ryanair accepted the British Airways owner’s bid. The deal still requires EU backing.

Elsewhere on the corporate calendar, a wave of retailers are updating on trading, with Burberry leading the way on Wednesday.

Shares in the luxury fashion group have faded on fears over China’s growth.

Bike-to-car parts retailer Halfords fills investors in on its first-quarter trading on the same day.

It will give them a chance to find out the potential impact of the living wage, which will hit retailers that employ staff on lower salaries.

Sports Direct is expected to be affected, and releases annual results on Thursday.

Dixons Carphone’s annual results are out on Thursday, which will reveal the extent of the Currys PC World and Carphone Warehouse owner’s woes in Greece, where it runs the Kotsovolos business.

Elsewhere, analysts expect recruiter Michael Page’s second-quarter update tomorrow to be strong, while Bargain Booze and Wine Rack owner Conviviality Retail, whose shares are suspended amid talks of a sale to drinks supplier Michael Clark Limited, unveils annual results.

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