Market Report: Takeover talk raised hopes that there could be a wave of M&A activity
Wednesday 30 April 2014
Takeover talk gripped the City yesterday, with blockbuster tie-ups in the pharmaceutical industry raising hopes that a wave of merger and acquisition activity could finally be getting under way.
Potential targets were trading at a premium, with BG Group most in demand, up 34.5p at 1180.5p. The surprise exit of the oil and gas producer's chief executive Chris Finlayson earlier in the week has left it vulnerable to a potential bid in the eyes of investors.
Ophir Energy, up 9.8p at 251.2p, and Premier Oil, 7.8p higher at 337.2p, were also on the move after recently cancelling merger plans. Both now look attractive buys.
And businesses long tipped as takeover targets were on the up. Sainsbury's put on 2.7p to 333,2p, Cable & Wireless added 1.9p to 53.4p while Tullow Oil rose 15p to 865.5p.
AstraZeneca, one of the few companies actually in play, bucked the trend: traders decided they had overreacted to Pfizer's renewed interest in the drugs giant and Astra fell 34p to 4632.5p.
The M&A rumour mill drove the FTSE 100 to a seven-week high, up 69.75 at 6769.91.
On the FTSE 250, Serco hit a seven-year low after issuing its third profit warning in less than a year and warning it may have to tap investors. Andrew Gibb at Investec thinks the troubled outsourcer may need as much as £500m. Serco, which welcomes Rupert Soames as chief executive tomorrow, fell 60.7p to 343.8p.
Mid-cap-listed satellite builder Inmarsat slid due to fears over its exposure to Russia: Russian-owned International Launch Services is slated to launch its GlobalXpress satellite. Despite reassurances that it will not be delayed, the shares fell 28.5p to 735.5p.
Data centre provider Telecity soared 94p to 728p after a bullish update reassured investors that the company's run of bad form was coming to an end.
On Aim, China's HaiKe Chemical Group leapt 6p to 27p after announcing plans to sell its refineries, debt and biochemical unit to focus on specialty chemicals.
Budget African airline Fastjet climbed 0.12p to 1.92p after scaling back its loss-making businesses in Ghana and Angola.
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 4 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...
£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...
£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...