The FTSE 100 edged higher, but investors remain nervous after last week's unexpected forecast from the U.S. Federal Reserve for rate increases during 2023 and after the Fed's James Bullard said he expects interest rates to start rising in 2022. Miners are among the biggest fallers, with Rio Tinto down 2.7% and Glencore down 0.8%, while travel stocks, banks and non-food retailers are broadly lower. Supermarket stocks rise, however, after Wm. Morrison rejected a $7.65 billion offer proposal from Clayton Dubilier & Rice. Shares in the FTSE 250-listed company jump by 31.6%, while Ocado rises by 4.2%, J Sainsbury by 3.7% and Tesco by 1.4%.
Wm. Morrison Supermarkets Rejects $7.65 Bln Clayton Dubilier & Rice Offer Proposal
Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC said Saturday that it has rejected a 5.54 billion-pound ($7.65 billion) possible cash offer by Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC as it "significantly undervalued" the company and its future prospects.
Capita on Track to Deliver Revenue Growth in 2021
Capita PLC said Monday that performance has improved in the first half of this year and that it remains on track to deliver full-year revenue growth--its first in six years.
Hotel Chocolat Takes Full Control of Beauty Products JV
Hotel Chocolat Group PLC said Monday that it has agreed to take full control of its Rabot 1745 Ltd. joint venture, created by the company and Chairman Andrew Gerrie in 2016 to develop a range of beauty products.
Amino Technologies Chairman Karen Bach to Step Down; Plans Change of Name
Amino Technologies PLC said Monday that Nonexecutive Chairman Karen Bach is stepping down, and that the company plans to change its name.
Litigation Capital Management to Book Return on New Zealand Investment
Litigation Capital Management Ltd. said Monday that it expects a return on its investment in a legal dispute in New Zealand in which the country's High Court has issued a judgment in favor of the plaintiff the company funded.
Providence Resources Chairman to Step Down in July
Providence Resources PLC said Monday that Nonexecutive Chairman Pat Plunkett is stepping down.
Silver Bullet Data Services to Raise GBP9.5M in London IPO
Silver Bullet Data Services Group PLC said Monday that it plans to raise 9.5 million pounds ($13.1 million) as part of its initial public offering on London's junior AIM.
BrandShield Systems 2020 Pretax Loss Widened on Takeover Costs
BrandShield Systems PLC said Monday that its pretax loss for 2020 widened, in line with internal expectations, partly driven by costs linked to its reverse takeover.
Venture Life Agrees to GBP30 Mln Loan
Venture Life Group PLC said Monday that it has agreed to a revolving credit facility of up to 30 million pounds ($41.4 million) for an initial term of three years.
DaVictus Raises GBP36,000 in Equity Issue
London-listed acquisition vehicle daVictus PLC said Monday that it has raised 36,000 pounds ($49,691) via an equity issue to provide additional working capital for the company.
Saietta Group to Float on London's AIM Next Month
Saietta Group PLC said Monday that it plans to float on London's AIM early next month.
Senior Shares Jump After Lone Star Makes Final $1.16 Bln Proposal
Shares in Senior PLC rose Monday after U.S. private-equity investor Lone Star Funds LLC said it has made a fifth and final proposal regarding a possible cash offer which values Senior at 838.8 million pounds ($1.16 billion).
Aviva Plans to Shrink in Order to Grow in Investment Management -- Financial News
Of Financial News
Hotel Chocolat's Beauty Buyout to Support Differentiation, Synergies
0950 GMT - Hotel Chocolat move to take full control of beauty joint venture Rabot 1745 will allow it to continue to develop its beauty range and support its differentiation versus other chocolate players, Liberum says. The British chocolatier's beauty offering is particularly popular across its U.K. channels, St. Lucia and Japan, Liberum says. Furthermore, having full ownership of the JV should allow Rabot to begin to make profits, in contrast to the current slight losses, thanks to synergies from the integration of operations, Liberum says.
Kerry Group's Acquisition of Niacet Seen as Boost to Preservation Strategy
0945 GMT - Kerry Group's acquisition of Niacet, a provider of preservation technologies, aligns with its strategy and materially bolsters its food-protection and preservation platform, Davy Research says. The EUR853 million deal dovetails with the recent sale of part of the Irish nutrition group's consumer-food operations and provides access to a new technology stack, Davy says. "Kerry's food protection and preservation platform has been built over many years--more recently, the platform was enhanced with the acquisition of Fleischmann's Vinegar Company and investment in its fermentation facility in Rochester, Minnesota," Davy says. Kerry shares in London rise 3.1%.
Morrisons May Face Rival Bids After Takeover Approach
0924 GMT - William Morrison Supermarkets surges 31% to 235 pence after the U.K. grocer said a $7.65 billion takeover bid from U.S. private-equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice wasn't enough. Morrisons's shares have weakened recently amid concerns about the tough market it operates in, AJ Bell says. "The shares traded at 235p early Monday, which is higher than CD&R's 230p proposal," says Bell's investment director Russ Mould. "The market therefore seems confident that the suitor will have to raise its offer price, or someone else might step into the game. Amazon has long been touted as a potential buyer for Morrisons to help give it a stronger foothold in the U.K. grocery market, so that's an obvious name to watch."
WM Morrison's Bonds Tumble After Private Equity Bid
0923 GMT - Corporate bond traders scramble to sell WM Morrison's paper after news that the U.K.'s fourth-largest supermarket chain is being pursued by U.S. private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Morrisons said it rejected an offer from CD&R to buy the company for 230 pence per share on June 17 because it significantly undervalued the business, fueling expectations that a higher offer may come along. Bondholders don't look favorably on takeovers. Bonds in a company may offer no protection against a purchase by another company or private equity firm, which could issue more debt to finance the acquisition and cause the price of the bonds to tank. The value of Morrisons' 4.75% April 2029 bonds falls to 108.464 pence on the pound from 122.005 on Friday's close, according to Tradeweb.
SSE Is Expected to Upgrade Capex, Leaving Balance Sheet Stretched
0845 GMT - Energy utility SSE is likely to increase its GBP7.5 billion 2021-2025 capex target when it updates on its investment plans in November, Jefferies says. The bank sees GBP8.6 billion as a reasonable estimate, which will leave SSE's balance sheet stretched, with a net debt/Ebitda ratio of around 5 times in 2025. Jefferies cuts the target price on the stock to 1,680 pence from 1,690 pence, and moves the rating to hold from buy, as shares have outperformed the FTSE 100 since January 2020.
Prosus' E-Commerce Assets Are Worth More Than Estimated, Citi Says
0845 GMT - Prosus has for the first time confirmed an independent valuation of its e-commerce portfolio of $39 billion, which exceeds Citi's estimate of around $36 billion, according to the bank. The Amsterdam-listed internet conglomerate--which defines its e-commerce portfolio as all its internet investments excluding China's Tencent and Russia's Mail.ru--said the valuation of its e-commerce assets has almost doubled over the last year and has delivered an annual return of more than 20% since 2008. Prosus posted a narrowed trading loss for its e-commerce portfolio of $429 million for fiscal 2021, beating Citi's forecast of a $738 million loss thanks to a notable improvement in the second half of the year, the bank says.
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