Market Report: APR Energy in buyout talks with Fairfax Financial consortium

Buyers flooded back to the beleaguered mining sector

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The Independent Online

Long-suffering shareholders of APR Energy could soon be put out of their misery.

The temporary power-provider revealed it is in buyout talks with a consortium led by Toronto-based Fairfax Financial, APR’s largest shareholder at 18.3 per cent.

The consortium, which also includes ACON Investments and Albright Capital Management, must now make an offer by 5pm on 2 November or walk away. Fairfax was an active investor in Irish and Greek banks after the financial crisis and ploughed $1bn (£660m) into struggling phone-maker Blackberry two years ago.

APR’s share price surge – up 63.75p or 68 per cent at 157p – should be put into context. Two years ago, shares were worth as much as 1,177p, but security issues in war-torn nations such as Yemen and Libya have resulted in a dramatic fall from grace.

The talks also buoyed investors in its much larger peer Aggreko, which powered 56.5p higher to 1,020p.

Hopes of a stimulus from China to prevent its slowdown propelled global markets higher and lit a fire under the FTSE 100, which was spurred 168.94 points or 2.8 per cent higher to 6,298.92.

Buyers flooded back to the beleaguered mining sector, with copper giant Antofagasta 28p better off at 537.5p and Anglo American 25.9p richer at 579.5p, while Asia-focused Standard Chartered and Aberdeen Asset Management were also up 42.3p at 709p, and 16.3p at 322.8p, respectively.

A spike from oil prices – Brent crude jumped 3.3 per cent to $49.70 a barrel – lifted Shell by 84p to 1,706p and BP by 16.55p to 368p. Oil’s rise came as Russia revealed it is ready to meet other major oil-producing nations to discuss output plans, which could lead to a cut in production and a rise in prices.

Meanwhile, business incubator Allied Minds recovered another 12.4p to finish at 375.5p, after its subsidiary Precision Biopsy drummed up $33.6m in funding, led by star fund manager Neil Woodford. The shares have taken a hammering over the past few weeks after short-sellers got stuck in and suggested the company was overvalued by as much as 70 per cent.

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