Market Report: UBM set to cash in on the M&A buzz


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The Independent Online

FTSE 250 events and media group UBM looks set to cash in on the M&A buzz in the sector as it confirmed talks to off-load PR Newswire.

UBM, 18p better off at 499.1p, confirmed after the close of play that it is in “highly preliminary discussions with a number of parties”.

One of the names reportedly in the bidding battle for the press release distributor is the private equity-owned, Chicago-based company Cision, which owns PR Newswire’s rival PRWeb.

A deal could see UBM rake in close to £500m as it focuses on its trade shows and events.

On the wider market, a recovery from the oil price helped the FTSE 100 shrug off more poor Chinese data as it put on 96.4 points to finish on 6,032.24 after the bloodbath for shares. BP gained 4.25p to 329.45p, while Shell rose 31.5p to 1,575.5p.

However, traders were quick to point out that the volatile state of the stock market might mean more panic selling could be just round the corner.

A bullish write-up from analysts at Morgan Stanley lifted British Airways owner IAG by 27p to 594p, while easyJet, 59p higher at 1,759p, also enjoyed a rise on the back of the broker’s upbeat comments. 

Shares in Johnson Matthey reversed early losses to end the day up 60p at 2,379p.

The catalytic converter maker suffered collateral damage in the Volkswagen emissions scandal before recovering in the afternoon as investors began to realise that tougher emissions tests would in fact play into Johnson Matthey’s hands.

On the mid-cap index, Premier Oil gushed 3.9p or 6 per cent higher to 67.5p as it revealed production so far this year was better than expected despite the downturn.

On the Beach, which specialises in cheap holidays for sun-seekers, enjoyed its start to life on the stock market, finishing its first day of conditional deals at 205p, having floated at 184p, valuing the company at £270m.

Former AIM tech darling WANdisco plummeted 34.5p or 21 per cent to 127p, taking the stock’s 2015 decline to 73 per cent as it revealed half-year losses remained at $17m (£11.5m).