Market Report: Takeover talk switches investors on to ITV

Takeover rumours were back on the schedule for ITV last night, as chatter that the broadcaster could be in line for an approach turned it into the stock to watch.

The home of The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent spurted forwards 4.45p to 71.95p after vague speculation – played down by traders – did the rounds that it may soon receive a bid worth between 110p and 120p a share.

It is not the first time ITV has been talked about as a possible target, but its attractiveness has seemingly grown in recent months given the fact that its share price has dipped more than 25 per cent since the start of March. The private equity groups Permira and KKR were among the names being mentioned yesterday as possible aggressors, alongside Europe's largest commercial broadcaster, RTL, all three of which have been linked to ITV before.

As investors' optimism over the vote on the Greek austerity measures was proved correct, it looked as if the FTSE 100 was going to dip back on profit taking in the second half of the session. However, a late surge resulted in the top-tier index climbing 89.07 points to 5,855.95 by the bell, meaning it has added nearly 160 points this week alone.

The developments in Greece helped Icap to take pole position after the interdealer broker was bumped up 42.3p to 478.8p. Oriel Securities' Keith Baird said the passing of the vote meant markets were "going to become more active again, and Icap's profits will benefit indirectly", while the group was also helped by a vague smattering of bid speculation.

Many of the blue-chip miners were also stronger, with Antofagasta 62p ahead at 1,365p and Eurasian Natural Resources rising 38p to 770p. However, Glencore eased up just 0.2p to 486.55p despite a range of positive comments from City scribblers. Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Liberum Capital, UBS and Credit Suisse were allowed to publish research for the first time on the commodities trader after being involved in its float last month, and all five decided to give it a "buy" rating.

Also failing to see a major move up was ARM Holdings, which crept forwards 5p to 594.5p after Morgan Stanley's analysts cut their recommendation on the chip designer to "equal-weight" from "overweight". Saying they were "still believers in the long-term story", they added that it "might be time to take a breather on the stock given the strong absolute and relative share-price performance this year."

Its mid-tier rival Imagination Technologies was also lacklustre, easing up just 1.7p to 376.7p, despite Goldman Sachs' keeping the group as one of its "conviction buy" stocks, saying it "remains in a prime position to profitably capitalise on high-growth end-market opportunities such as smartphones and tablets".



Bwin.party was pushed up on the FTSE 250 following reports Full Tilt Poker, one of the online gaming group's major competitors, has had its licence suspended by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The group increased 15.2p to 148.2p – a jump of more than 11 per cent – as vague speculation also emerged that both it and William Hill, up 2.3p to 225p, could make a move for the Alternative Investment Market-listed gambling company 888, which put on 0.25p to 33.75p.

Elsewhere in the sector, bid chatter was also doing the rounds about Sportingbet, which received an approach from Ladbrokes last week. According to the tale, the bookmaker, which gained 1.3p to 149p, is supposed to have put forward a price of 75p a share. However, the small-cap gaming company – which closed 4p ahead at 54p on the small-cap index – is said to be holding out for 90p a share.

The gold-medal spot on the mid-tier index was occupied by Charter International after the equipment manufacturer rebuffed a $2bn approach from Melrose, which ticked up 12.3p to 357p. Charter's move forwards of 172p to 787p moved its share price back above the levels it was at before last week's profit warning.

After shedding nearly 14 per cent on Tuesday following another profit warning, Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW) managed a partial rebound of 2.63p to 47.63p as analysts argued over whether the dramatic fall had boosted its bid chances. JP Morgan Cazenove said CWW was being "increasingly viewed as [a] possible take-out target or break-up story", adding that therefore the "further downside [was] limited".

Evolution Securities' Steve Malcolm, however, claimed private equity interest was "unlikely" given the telecommunication company's "poor visibility, falling revenues and limited cost-cutting potential", adding that its network and enterprise channels "need further investment, making CWW an expensive acquisition for low-returning UK [mobile] operators".



Down on the small-cap index, Lookers lost nearly 18 per cent – retreating 12.5p to 57p – after the car dealership confirmed its takeover discussions with a consortium led by Jack Petchey's investment vehicle Trefick had come to an end without a bid being made.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'