Market report: Fidelity fires starting gun on bid for Colt


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The Independent Online

The starting gun has been fired on Colt Group’s privatisation. The US asset management giant Fidelity has made a 190p-a-share bid for the FTSE 250 telecoms provider in a cash deal worth £1.72bn.

Fidelity, one of Colt’s original investors when it was set up in 1992 as City Of London Telecommunications, said that it would not be raising the price.

It already owns two thirds of Colt, up 31.3p to 188p, meaning the deal would not be classed as a takeover as Fidelity would be buying out other shareholders.

The offer has been accepted by Standard Life and Ruffer, which hold around 7.8 per cent.

Colt said its independent directors believed “the offer undervalues the company and its prospects”.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 index finished almost flat, up just 2.57 points to 6,710.45, after more uncertainty over Greece. All eyes will be on Monday’s leaders’ summit to discuss the way forward for the cash-strapped nation.

British Airways owner IAG, up 4p to 505.5p, made its advances for Irish airline Aer Lingus official, laying down the terms of its proposed €1.4bn takeover.

Shareholders including Ryanair, which owns a 29.8 per cent stake, have until 5pm on 16 July to accept the deal. An extraordinary general meeting has been scheduled for 10am on the day in Dublin.

Ryanair has already been ordered by the UK’s competition watchdog to slash its stake in Aer Lingus to just 5 per cent.

Card Factory was the biggest faller on the mid-cap index, tumbling 27.5p to 332p on the news some of the directors and management had sold around 14.8 million shares at 330p each to cash in on the strong share price performance of the greeting cards retailer in 2015.

Online retailer N Brown, which owns Jacamo, finished 7.9p higher at 360.5p despite warning that efforts being made to fix the business would take time to bear fruit.

Puretech Health, which counts Dame Marjorie Scardino as a senior independent director, raised £108m at 160p per share as it joined the London Stock Exchange in an IPO, valuing the Boston-based biotech at £363.6m.