Market Report: Bid gossip lifts share price for Reed Elsevier

There was little to cheer yesterday as Ireland continued to cast a shadow over the top-tier index, but Reed Elsevier managed to make a gain as market gossips turned towards the publisher once again.

The company, whose publications include New Scientist and Variety, was the subject of takeover chatter last month with a private equity firm rumoured to be taking a look. Yesterday, speculation of a bid was revived and a price of 650p-a-share quoted, although details on the identity of the bidder were scarce.

The share price of the company – which released an interim management statement on Thursday revealing that subscription numbers have remained poor – was quiet for most of the session, but as the gossip took hold it rose sharply. At one point it peaked at 540p, but by the end of the day it had settled slightly, up 6.5p to 535.5p.

There was more gossip to emerge, however, as bid rumours also helped Man to post a gain. The largest listed hedge fund in the world has often been talked about as a takeover target, and again, Bank of New York Mellon was mentioned as the firm taking a look.

Man did add 10.9p to 295.1p, but analysts were sceptical about whether a bid would be made for the company. Oriel Securities' Keith Baird pointed out that the company's returns, albeit strong, are very unpredictable, and he wondered whether "a large asset mananger would want to take on that extra volatility, even though the returns are quite good". However, he did say that Man's acquisition of GLG Partners earlier this year "possibly makes it more palatable".

Overall, the FTSE 100 suffered a disappointing end to the week, despite a late rally, as it shed 35.88 points to end on 5,732.83. As a decision on a bailout for Ireland failed to materialise by the close of the session, the banks were one of the day's major losers; Standard Chartered Bank dropped 49p to 1,803p while Lloyds Banking Group closed on 66.72p, down 1.07p.

China announced that it was upping its reserve requirements for banks, but there was still a fear that an upward change in interest rates could be next. As has been regularly seen in the past few days, worries over an increase in rates hit the miners, with Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation suffering the most, losing 17p to 910p.

It was a good day for the technology companies, as they benefited from a read-across from the States where Dell revealed that its third-quarter net income had increased by an impressive 144 per cent. It had a particular effect on Autonomy, which made 17p to 1,416p, with USB saying that the software company's chief executive had told the broker that it was looking at "acquisition opportunities".

Another technology company doing well was Arm, which was up 14.3p to 384.9p at the top of the leaderboard. Its chief executive Warren East spoke at a Morgan Stanley conference in Spain on Wednesday, and the broker, which reiterated its "overweight" advice, said he provided "the most bullish presentation so far". Mr East said that it was aiming to become the top player in the graphics chips market currently dominated by Imagination Technologies, which also saw a decent gain of 14.7p to 332p.

One technology firm not doing so well was Sage Group, which fell 8.2p to 261p as investors reacted badly to vague gossip that it was taking a look at the French group, Ingenico. Meanwhile, suggestions that Qantas' fleet of A380s would not take to the skies again for weeks, as Rolls-Royce works to fix the engine fault that forced one plane to perform an emergency landing, meant that the engineering giant's terrible November continued, as it retreated 11.5p to 592p.

There was one major loser on the FTSE 250, as BTG dropped 19.4p to 231.6p. The market was responding to the drug developer's announcement of a deal to buy Biocompatibles, with shareholders in the cancer-treatment developer offered 10p and just over one-and-a-half new shares for each of their existing shares.

Also involved in an acquisition, but much less damaged as a result, was Balfour Beatty. It edged down ever so slightly 0.3p to 279p as it revealed that it had spent £7m on purchasing businesses from Rok, the recently collapsed maintenance firm.

Thursday was a tough session for Lamprell, but yesterday it managed to regain some of its losses, putting on 18.9p to 313.9p. The company, which upgrades and refurbishes oil and gas rigs, had been hit after it warned that results would be towards the lower end of expectations, but things were looking cheerier yesterday, with Evolution Securities pointing out that "outlook and backlog are encouraging".

On the Alternative Investment Market, Faroe Petroleum managed to strike a deal with Scottish and Southern Energy that will see the two companies work together to find oil and gas assets in the North Sea. Faroe also managed to conditionally raise a touch over £62m from a share placing of 37.7 million new shares, and dipped 5p to 173.75p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Reach Volunteering: Trustees with Finance, Fundraising and IT skills

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses reimbursable: Reach Volunteering: St...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference