Market Report: Dragon Oil's biggest shareholder finally unveils terms of its takeover


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Investors in Dragon Oil had a busy afternoon after its biggest shareholder finally unveiled the terms of its takeover offer for the company.

The state-owned Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc), which first approached the AIM-listed oil and gas explorer in March, said its possible cash offer of 735p per share valued the company at £3.6bn.

Enoc said Dragon Oil had achieved as much as is possible through its existing upstream strategy and would benefit from combining with its integrated platform.

Investors appeared to agree, sending Dragon Oil shares up 35p to 680p.

There were no such gains for the FTSE 100, which only just managed to stick above the 7,000-point mark with help from resources stocks. It closed at 7,013.47 after adding 6.21 points.

Analysts were expecting more of the same with earnings and economic data thin on the ground before the long weekend.

“If equities want to try to make another sustained push higher, news of stimulus measures could be what it takes,” said Tony Cross, a market analyst at Trustnet Direct.

However, Marks & Spencer put in a strong performance, jumping 10p to 593.5p on a string of price target upgrades a day after it reported its first annual profit increase in four years.

The airport-scanner maker Smiths Group joined the retailer among the blue-chip index’s top gainers after reiterating its guidance for full-year growth. It notched up an 18p gain to end at 1,190p.

On the mid-cap index, Dairy Crest’s confidence that an £80m deal to sell its dairies to Müller would get the green light from regulators failed to convince. The maker of Clover and Country Life spreads and Cathedral City cheese also reported that its full-year profits sank almost 60 per cent amid falling prices and high milk production. It closed down 30.9p at 487.1p.

SSP followed suit, despite dishing out its maiden dividend of 2.1p. The Upper Crust owner said first-half revenue fell 0.8 per cent to £859.2m after being hit by the pound strengthening against the euro. The shares fell 10.2p to 302p.