Market report: keeps us guessing over who it'll pick for takeover


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Bid target is keeping punters guessing over its planned takeover.

The online betting firm, up 1.6p at 115.3p, has revealed it has closely scrutinised GVC’s proposal and said its concerns had been laid to rest. It has now asked Sportingbet owner GVC to table its best offer.

Bwin’s comments hinted it could be leaning towards GVC’s more lucrative bid despite having already given the thumbs up to 888.

Or else it could all be an elaborate ruse to tempt 888 into a higher offer, especially now that Bwin’s share price is more than 10p above 888’s accepted bid of 104.09p per share. Sportingbet owner GVC’s bid is currently worth more than 125p a share.

888, which posts half-year results today, replied: “The board continues to believe its offer is of significantly greater intrinsic value than the proposal outlined by GVC.” GVC shares rose 12.5p to 435p, while 888 gained 6p to 161.5p.

Increasing hopes that US interest rates would not rise amid the market turmoil lifted the FTSE 100 up 212.83 points, or 3.6 per cent, to 6,192.03.

A strong showing from Wall Street helped stocks higher, with mining and oil shares the best performers, mounting on a strong recovery with commodity prices rebounding.

Among the top risers were Anglo American, 62p better at 726.3p, BHP Billiton, up 93p at 1,102.5p, BP, up 20p at 351.2p, and Shell, which rose 74p to 1,659.5p.

CRH, 93p richer at 1,893p, continued its acquisition spree by spending $1.3bn on Los Angeles-based window glazing firm CR Laurence. This follows the €6.5bn deal to take discarded assets from LafargeHolcim’s merger.

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich’s steel maker Evraz, which put on 3.95p to 79p, boosted half-year profits despite the recession in Russia, its main market.

The Kurdistan oil producers gushed higher after the local government said it would begin paying them regularly from the first half of September. It said $75m-$100m would be doled out to companies operating in the region, boosting Gulf Keystone, which said it is owed $283m, by 3p to 30p and Tony Hayward’s Genel by 39.5p to 331.5p.

On AIM, Atlantic Coal fired up 0.07p, or 88 per cent, to 0.15p after it swung to a first-half profit.