MARKET REPORT : Demerger from hell remains a Thorn in EMI's side

EMI, the showbiz group, had another out-of-tune session, plunging 52.5p to 1,147.5p, lowest since the summer time demerger.

As Thorn EMI the group enjoyed an upbeat share performance. But it has been downhill since the split and with the stand-alone showbiz and rental businesses bumping along in undignified retreat the much praised break- up is beginning to look like the demerger from hell.

Since the heavily applauded parting of the ways EMI has fallen from 1,486p and Thorn from 394p to a 200p.

At times, before the splits, the old Thorn EMI shares were nudging 1,900p with analysts suggesting they would be worth more than pounds 20, perhaps as much as pounds 23, after the demerger. Those calculations have proved to be sadly astray.

The showbiz side has been hit by worries about weaker music sales, particularly in the US, and sterling's strength. The much-vaunted takeover bid - or, indeed, any suggestion of one - has failed to materialise, leaving the shares looking increasingly vulnerable. The Thorn rental operation, the steady and dull side of the business which had been regarded as a "nice little earner", appears to have lost its way and last month told the stock market profits would fall short of City expectations.

The rest of the market returned to record-breaking ways with Footsie climbing 20.6 points to another peak of 4,281.5, as it appeared likely that domestic interest rates would remain unchanged, at least for the time being.

There was a late flurry in financials as Prudential Corporation threw its cap in the Scottish Amicable ring. Pru rose 13.5p to 554p in late trading and Abbey National, the opening bidder, slipped 5p to 782p as it indicated it might lift its own offer.

The pounds 12bn US financial merger, bringing together Morgan Stanley and Dean Witter, will add to the financial excitement.

Drug shares suffered a touch of cold turkey as Roche, the Swiss giant rumoured as a possible bidder for a wide array of pharmaceutical companies, lowered the temperature by bidding for a US flavours business. The strike immediately undermined stories of a UK bid, leaving SmithKline Beecham 9p lower at 864.5p and Zeneca 22.5p down at 1,737.5p.

Shield Diagnostic enjoyed an early rally, gaining 49p. It closed 8p higher at 257.5p.

BSkyB, on its results, led blue chips with a 30p gain to 623p. BT jumped 13.5p to 444p, highest for nearly three years. Estimates for figures, due today, have been lifted in the past few days and there is growing appreciation of the telephone giant's overseas ambitions, particularly its proposed merger with US group MCI. A rush of option trading, with Kleinwort Benson playing a significant role, was another influence. The shares reached a 486p high in the last days of 1993.

Pilkington fell 3.5p to 140.5p with Goldman Sachs said to have joined the downgrading bandwagon and BOC fell 14.5p to 948.5p with HSBC said to be offering take-profits advice.

Safeway added 11.5p to 391p on Merrill Lynch support. It sheltered behind a "no comment" to rumours it planned to buy the Irish supermarket chain, Wellworths, owned by the Fitzwilton conglomerate.

Racal Electronics, with Salomon Brothers saying buy, moved ahead 1p to 265p and Tomkins, responding to an analysts' visit, rose 8p to 288.5p.

Ropner, the engineering and shipping group, rose 12p to 142p on the long-awaited bid from Jacobs; British Building & Engineering gained 15p to 68.5p as Britannia, up 1p to 31p, increased its stake to 11.8 per cent and no doubt with bid hopes in mind said it wanted to start talking to BB&E.

Polymasc Pharmaceuticals edged forward 2p to 123.5p as the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine sold 500,000 shares - 2.5 per cent. The company said the sale was the result of government funding cuts. The school still has 21.47 per cent.

RJB Mining gained 5p to 375p after buying in 5 per cent of its capital at 390p.

Meteor Technology held at 11p. It still seems to be having problems with its shareholders with Abercorn Investments and Tom Wilmot, who used to run the Harvard Securities financial group, thought to have sold their entire shareholdings. But, it appears, Abercorn and Mr Wilmot are still on the register. It has sent out 212 notices in connection with the two stakes and other unspecified shareholdings.

West 175, specialising in cookery shows, said profits would be below forecast; so the shares were left stewing 15p down at 95p.

people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
footballStriker has moved on loan for the remainder of the season
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
booksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Implementation Consultant (VB,C#, SQL, Java, Eclipse, integ

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...

Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, Fidessa, Equities)

£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...

Technical Software Consultant (Excel, VBA, SQL, JAVA, Oracle)

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: You will not be expected to hav...

SQL DBA/Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA/Developer SQL, C#, VBA, Data Warehousi...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering