Market Report: Shire looks to have turned the tables on its suitors

 

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The Independent Online

That perennial bid target Shire looks to have turned the tables on its suitors by embarking on the acquisition trail.

The Dublin-based drug maker, down 150p to 5,305p, is rumoured to have had a £12.4bn offer rejected by the Swiss pharmaceuticals group Actelion.

The deal is reportedly worth about 20 per cent more than Actelion’s current value on the Swiss stock market but analysts reckon a higher bid might not be worth Shire’s while.

The US drug giant AbbVie’s attempted £32bn takeover of the FTSE 100 company, best known for its hyperactivity disorder treatments, fell through last year after the White House cracked down on so-called tax inversion deals.

Since then, Britain’s third largest drug manufacturer has snapped up the US biotech company NPS Pharmaceuticals for £3.4bn in a bid to beef up its own drugs pipeline and keep larger players at bay.

Bid chatter surrounding the drinks maker Diageo lifted it 119.5p to 1,800p, but that failed to lift the FTSE 100’s spirits. The benchmark index finished the day 14.56 points lower at 6,790.04.

Wm Morrison, down 0.8p to 172.8p, unveiled the latest wave of price cuts aimed at dealing with the rise of the discount grocers Aldi and Lidl.

Sainsbury’s, which is set to report on recent trading tomorrow, edged up 0.1p to 247.3p while Tesco, which is due to update the market on 26 June, fell 2.3p to 203.5p.

Foxtons was the mid-cap index’s biggest faller, down 10.4p to 237.2p. A law lecturer at King’s College London is preparing to launch legal action against the estate agent for charging him £616 to change a light fitting. His legal team believes the case could cost Foxtons as much as £42m.

In the small-cap world, Games Workshop shrugged off another sales decline to end the day up 2p at 505p.

There was a rare piece of good news for long-suffering shareholders in Beowulf Mining, which has been plagued by opposition to its plans for an iron ore mine in Sweden. The shares, once worth 74p, rose 0.525p to 2.25p after test work at the site showed high-grade concentrate.

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