News

Companies planning to list on the London Stock Exchange were handed a reality check yesterday as investors turned their backs on three of the newest entrants to the market.

Outlook: London calling as Louisiana beckons

THE AMERICANS are leaving. First the Virginians who run Dominion Resources decided to make Ed Wallis's day by selling him a regional electricity company in the shape of East Midlands. Now Entergy, the owners of London Electricity, are packing their bags and heading back to New Orleans after just 18 months running the show.

Nomura left standing as Nikko makes a meal of Roadchef

GUY HANDS, the Nomura executive behind some of the City's most audacious deals of recent years, has been beaten at his own game by a former protege who now works for a rival bank.

Outlook: One bite too far for Nomura

It looks as if Nomura Securities and its high-earning head of principal finance, Guy Hands, have finally tried to bite off more than they are capable of chewing. Last night they were blaming price for their withdrawal from the bidding for Energy Group, but the reasons must have been regulatory in equal measure. Anything tabled by Nomura looked certain to end up before the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Nomura would have needed to bid very high indeed to persuade investors to await the uncertain outcome of such an investigation while PacifiCorp's pounds 4bn alternative offer is already there for the taking.

Outlook: PacifiCorp offer should do the trick

The boys from Portland, Oregon are back and this time they are more serious. But are they serious enough? PacifiCorp's 765p offer for Energy Group has been taken as a sighting shot rather than a knockout blow, which is why the market price remains comfortably above the revised offer terms and why Energy Group is keeping the door open to rival offers.

End of the road for Brent Walker

Brent Walker looks certain to be liquidated following the sale of William Hill, its last remaining substantial subsidiary, for pounds 700m to Nomura. The disposal marks the end of the leisure empire built up by former boxer George Walker which at one time owned marinas, more than 1,000 pubs and the bookmakers, which were sold yesterday.

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