Market Report: Takeover bid talk boosts C&W as gossips dial in

TELECOM groups Cable and Wireless and Orange survived a blue- chip somersault which killed what, at one time, seemed likely to be to another record-breaking run.

Takeover gossips dialled into Cable; Orange continued to enjoy Thursday's upbeat trading statement and renewed speculation about British Aerospace's 21.1 per cent shareholding.

Cable shares climbed 25p to 700, a closing peak, in brisk trading. Optimistic talk of an 800p a share offer orchestrated by Lazard Freres, the merchant bank, was behind the activity.

The telecoms group was said to be in the sights of Continental interests; Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, operating in tandem, were identified as the most likely predators.

Rumours have often swirled around Cable. It is believed to have held talks with a number of overseas group and on at least one occasion got round the negotiating with BT. If Cable did attract a bid it could prompt BT, still seeking a deal after the American MCI group got away, to mount a counter strike.

Orange, up 21p at 381p, felt the warmth of analytical upgrades. But that BAe stake, which logic would suggest must be shortly on the move, was an important influence. It is a peripheral interest of BAe and a tantalising attraction to a veritable network of communication groups.

Colt Telecom, a takeover candidate for much of its short-quoted life, jumped 72.5p to 1,502.5p.

At one time Footsie was up 46.4 points. By mid-afternoon it was off 36.7, closing down 12.5 at 5,782.3. Supporting indices, once again, blissfully ignored the discomfort of their peers. The mid cap index gained 20.7 to a 5,357.6 peak and the small cap indicator also went to a new high, up 18.5 to 2,554.9.

British Airway's fell 25.5p to 574p after confirming it was considering a proposal from National Express for a joint bid to run the Eurostar rail service. NE advanced 6.5p to 781.5p. Its year's results are due next week; around pounds 81m is expected, up from pounds 63.9m. Railtrack was another on the right line, up 31p to 971p on its possible channel rail link involvement.

Ahead of next week's maiden results Diageo fell 23p to 675p. The international spirits giant held what was regarded as a cautious investment presentation in New York on Thursday. Great Universal Stores shaded 11.5p to 773.5p after an $831m bid for the shares it did not own in Metromail, a US information company.

BAe and Rolls-Royce climbed on the lifting of the ceilings on foreign owned shares to 49.5 per cent. Rolls scored the biggest percentage gain, up 6.5p to 275p; BAe rose 16p to 1,951p.

Elementis, the chemical group which used to be called Harrisons & Crosfield, led the small cap progress, improving 8.5p to 124.5p. The pub chain Greenalls stirred 28.5p higher to 470p and WH Smith, for so long in the doldrums, rose 31.5p to 541p, highest for more than five years.

Bid action was evident on the undercards. Media Business gained 30.5p to 132p after saying it was in talks which could lead to a bid; London & Metropolitan, a property group, gained 2.5p to 12.25p as Grantchester appeared with an pounds 6.3m agreed share exchange offer.

The toy maker Hornby was suspended for much of the session after climbing 82p to 282.5p at one time. Trading resumed at 257.5p, up 57p on the day when the company said it was not talking "with any party" about a takeover or sale. There were early suggestions that large investors had been approached with a 300p-a-share offer.

Oriel, the insurance group, edged ahead 2.5p to 95p after it disclosed talks were on which could lead to bids for all or parts of the business. A 6 per cent stake changed hands recently.

Rage, the computer games group, rose 3.25p to 14.25p in a remarkable 27.1 million turnover; it confirmed a deal to produce a new game for the Sony Playstation.

Limit, the, the Lloyd's insurance group, held at 178.5p after a George Soros trust said it had sold 5.6 million shares at 179p.

Worries about British Biotech, following Thursday's suspension of Dr Andrew Millar, director of clinical research, continued to damage the shares, off a further 1.5p to 68.5p.

Verity, with a wafer thin sound system jumped 7.25p to a 86.5p peak on hopes of more licensing agreements are about to be clinched.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee