Orange for FT-SE 100

Orange, the mobile-telephone firm, is set to be catapulted into the FT-SE 100 index this week, marking one of the most meteoric success stories in UK business history.

On Wednesday, the committee that oversees the prestigious index of the UK's top 100 companies holds its latest quarterly meeting to elevate at least three hopefuls to its ranks.

After one of the most effective brand marketing campaigns of the Nineties, and a hugely successful flotation in February, Orange now boasts a market capitalisation of more than pounds 3bn. It will leap into 65th place on the FT-SE 100 when the new firms join later this month.

It appears, however, that there will be no such debut for recently privatised Railtrack, whose share price has been stuck ever since the first day of trading. While its market worth of pounds 2.08bn ranks it number 99 among UK firms, the index's rules of inclusion do not guarantee a place to such a marginal contender.

Instead, Orange is likely to be joined by United News and Media, created by the merger of Lord Hollick's MAI with United Newspapers.

Ironically, Securicor, the telecoms and security firm, is also a leading candidate; together with British Telecom, Securicor owns rival mobile operator Cellnet and would be the fifth mobile-phone owner - with Vodafone and Cable & Wireless, which runs Mercury One-to-One - to join the FT- SE 100.

Another place may go to either Lucas Industries, which has been buoyed up by bid speculation, or Next, the high-street clothes retailer - an achievement of a different ilk, marking its return from the doldrums after huge problems at the start of the Nineties.

Orange's FT-SE listing will be a triumph for Hans Snook, its 47-year- old managing director. He has piloted the Hutchinson Telecom/British Aerospace joint venture from the ashes of its disastrous Rabbit portable-telephone venture two years ago to a position where it sells one in every four new mobile-phone accounts. It is the youngest company (excluding privatisations) to make the top 100 since the index began.

The market is a cruel mistress, however. While the champagne corks are popping at Orange, the mood will be less festive for those heading in the opposite direction. The likely casualty list includes Foreign and Colonial, the UK's oldest investment trust, pubs group Greenalls, and oil and gas explorer Lasmo.

Also teetering on the brink are Courtaulds, the chemicals group, and Rexam, the paper and packaging company. If each share price loses between 3 and 5 per cent of its value before close of business on Tuesday, they will also drop. If they do, it will guarantee Next a place in the top 100 for the first time since the George Davies era of the late Eighties.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
News
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
people
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
News
i100
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Diana from the Great British Bake Off 2014
tvProducers confirm contestant left because of illness
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
fashion

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

Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, UI, JMX, FIX)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Client-Side web developer (JQuery, Javascript, U...

Structured Finance

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - An excellent new instruction w...

SQL Server Developer

£500 per day: Harrington Starr: SQL Server Developer SQL, PHP, C#, Real Time,...

C#.NET Developer

£600 per day: Harrington Starr: C#.NET Developer C#, Win Forms, WPF, WCF, MVVM...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone