Market Report: Fears over Synergy's takeover plans left UK health outsourcer looking decidedly sickly


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Fears that US regulators are about stick the knife into Synergy’s takeover plans left the UK health outsourcer looking decidedly sickly.

The US-based sterlisation equipment firm Steris agreed to pay £1.2bn for the mid-cap Synergy last year, looking to complete a tax inversion deal that would allow it to benefit from lower UK tax rates.

But analysts at Olivetree noted market rumours that competition regulators are preparing to block the deal, and with the US Federal Trade Commission admiting it had a hearing scheduled, although it would not confirm which deal it was discussing, Syngery plunged 342p to 1,822p.

The FTSE 100 ended up 84.34 at 7,033.33, boosted by late hopes that Greece is edging towards a reforms-for-aid deal in time to pay its IMF debts next month, despite contradictory reports coming out from Brussels on whether an agreement was or wasn’t actually being drawn up.

A trio of long-expected deals also supported blue chips, with the Irish building materials group CRH topping the leaderboard, up 63p at 1,839p, as it sealed a £4.6bn deal to buy assets, including Tarmac, off the combining  cement giants Holcim and Lafarge.

Silk Cut maker Imperial Tobacco sparked up 109p to 3,393p as US anti-trust regulators finally gave the green light to rival Reynolds American’s $27bn takeover of Lorillard. The deal will see Imps pick up $7bn worth of vaping and cigarette brands being sold off to satisfy competition concerns.

Meanwhile, British Airways owner IAG climbed 17.5p to 562p as the Irish Government agreed to back its bid for Aer Lingus.

Towards the bottom end of the board, industrial pumps and values maker Weir dropped 14p to 1,988p after Deutsche Bank downgraded the engineer.

Over on the FTSE 250, investors failed to relish an update from retailer Card Factory that it had seen revenue rise 7.5 per cent in the three months to 30 April. It fell 2.5p to 338.5p.

Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley led the mid-cap risers, gaining 19.4p to 302.5p as JP Morgan named it a top pick in the sector.