There was a glimmer of hope yesterday for shareholders of Synergy Health, which might yet wrap up its takeover by Ohio-based Steris. The FTSE 250 company, which sterilises medical instruments for hospitals, agreed to a $1.9bn (£1.2bn) buyout last October but the US Federal Trade Commission revealed in May that it was looking to block the deal.
Yesterday, both groups pushed back their shareholder votes by a week to 2 October. Synergy said no decision had yet been made on the US watchdog’s request for a preliminary injunction. This was enough to send the share price up 40p to 1,550p.
After the anticlimactic end to last week’s trading, with no rise in US interest rates, there was a distinct feeling of déjà vu with the spotlight back on Greece and China.
Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party secured another four years in power, while business optimism in China sank to its lowest since 2007.
That hurt mining shares, with Glencore retreating 7p to 119p, close to last week’s all-time lows, while Anglo American lost 25.1p to 694.9p.
News that Zurich Insurance turned its back on insurer RSA, down 106.2p to 403.3p, was the other notable patch of red on trading screens, but it was enough to restrict the FTSE 100 to a gain of just 4.6 points to 6,108.71.
Plumbing supplies group Wolseley, up 87p to 4,223p, was added to Credit Suisse’s list of top stocks with a new and improved 4,900p target.
Peroni brewer SABMiller, now a bid target of the US giant AB InBev, drifted 24.5p lower to 3,575.5p as RBC Capital asked questions about the deal. “We are not convinced that the potential acquisition of SABMiller would work culturally or strategically,” the broker said.
On the mid-cap index, Petra Diamonds, down 9.9p at 101.1p, lost its sparkle after big producer De Beers warned that the Chinese slowdown and a strong dollar was affecting its business.
An agreement with China’s Citic put a rocket under minnow Sable Mining Africa, which soared 0.75p or 142 per cent to 1.28p.Reuse content