Market Report: Technology takeover chatter moves to Pace

Reheated bid rumours prompted investors to switch on to Pace yesterday, with the set-top box maker surging 10 per cent, or 9.65p to 104.1p, to top the mid-tier index following vague mutterings a number of companies could be considering an approach.

The likelihood of Pace being snapped up has often been discussed in recent months, thanks in part to a profit warning in May that has helped its share price drop by over 40 per cent since the start of the year.

Yesterday market gossips, saying it could attract an approach worth between 150p and 175p a share, suggested there were as many as three potential aggressors, with talk of possible interest from its US peer Cisco and an unnamed South Korean company.

The mutterings came in the wake of Hewlett Packard agreeing a £7.1bn takeover of Autonomy (up 4p to 2,494p) last week, which has seemingly resulted in raised hopes of further bid activity among the technology companies.

Recent days have seen renewed speculation Misys, which was lifted 4p to 264p, could be in line for a break-up bid, while earlier in the week Arm Holdings became the subject of takeover rumours once again.

Yesterday the chip designer was bumped up 16p to 530p after Merchant Securities' Brendan Long highlighted chatter Apple could soon be introducing a cut-price iPhone 4, which the analyst said would "raise the outlook" for the Cambridge-based company as he kept his "buy" rating.

Encouraging data from the US on durable goods helped the FTSE 100 to continue its recent run as it powered up 76.43 points to 5,205.85. The benchmark index has now moved over 160 points higher this week alone, but traders were refusing to get too excited, with one noting the relatively low trading volumes and warning it felt like a short-covering rally.

The banks, which have been especially badly hit over the past few weeks, managed to bounce, with Royal Bank of Scotland rising 9.35 per cent, or 1.87p, to 21.87p. Lloyds Banking Group was higher as well, ticking up 1.81p to 30.11p, while Barclays advanced 4.15p to 149.6p.

Glencore International was another major riser, increasing 22.15p to 389.6p ahead of the release today of its interim results, as the commodities trader announced it was offering $281m to buy the shares in the Australian nickel miner Minara Resources it does not already own

Tesco was left among the stragglers, as the supermarket crept forwards just 0.1p to 377.3p. The group was knocked by Citigroup warning it and its peers needed to wake up to the threat from their discount rivals, saying recent data showed Aldi and Lidl saw like-for-like sales growth in July of 20 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

Claiming the figures suggested shoppers were "trading away from supermarkets", the broker's analysts reiterated Tesco's "sell" rating, although they did keep their "hold" recommendation on Sainsbury, and it gained 2.6p to 305.5p.

A profit warning from Heineken, which blamed a drop in consumer confidence for it cutting its expectations for the year, meant Diageo was drowning its sorrows. The Guinness brewer was pegged back 4p to 1,118p, as it also revealed it had bought an additional 5 per cent stake in the Vietnamese spirits producer Halico. However, Heineken's gloomy outlook did not prevent SABMiller, whose brands include Grolsch, from pushing up 37p to 2,124p.

The biggest faller on the blue-chip index was Admiral, despite the car insurer revealing a rise in its first-half profits of 27 per cent. Investors were discouraged in part by an increase in the percentage of premiums paid out in claims, as the group dropped 11.86 per cent, or 182p, lower to 1,353p.

Down on the FTSE 250, Unite enjoyed a much better reaction to its interim results, climbing 10.5p to 163.4p after the student landlord said not only was it on course to match its full-year expectations but that its profits could end up coming in higher than previous anticipated.

Melrose slipped 1p to 294p after the buyout group, which released its interim results, said the "put up or shut up" deadline for it to submit a new bid for Charter International should be extended. The company has had two bids rejected, with the final one valued at 840p, and earlier in the week Charter, which closed 19p behind at 728p, announced it had received a new approach from a third party.

Pinewood Shepperton was pulling in the viewers, with the small-cap studios group putting on 17.12p to 223p after its first-half operating profits before exceptional items increased 127 per cent. The group, which cited strong demand from both large film and television productions, also said its revenue had jumped by more than a third.

Meanwhile, down on the Alternative Investment Market, an oil discovery west of Shetland helped Faroe Petroleum to rocket 21p to 159p.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee