Shares in paper and packaging firm Smurfit Kappa dived in trading yesterday as doubts grew over a £7.8billion takeover by a US rival.
The board of Dublin-based Smurfit has rejected two bids from International Paper Company (IPC), arguing they ‘fundamentally undervalue’ the firm.
Major shareholders have spent the past two months trying to get Smurfit to sit down at the negotiating table with IPC.
It is thought an offer of £35 a share, which would value Smurfit at £8.3billion, would be enough to tempt Smurfit’s board to open talks with IPC.
However, a deal is hanging in the balance with the Irish takeover panel giving IPC until Wednesday to make a binding offer or walk away.
The board of Dublin-based Smurfit has rejected two bids from International Paper Company (IPC), arguing they ‘fundamentally undervalue’ the firm
Smurfit shares sank 7.2 per cent, or 222p, to 2880p.
The FTSE 100 rallied as political concerns in Italy and Spain faded.
The index of leading firms was up 0.51 per cent, or 39.52 points, at 7741.29 while the FTSE 250 rose 0.6 per cent, or 125.68 points, to 21110.6.
Soaring passenger numbers caused Wizz Air shares to take off. The FTSE 250-listed budget airline carried more than 2.8m passengers in May, up 18.1 per cent on the same month of 2017.
Over the past 12 months, Wizz Air flew 30.5m holidaymakers to 141 destinations across 44 countries in Europe and the Middle East – up 23.3 per cent on the previous 12 months. Shares edged up 0.2 per cent, or 7p, to 3519p.
Stock Watch – Seeing Machines
A contract with a car maker sent shares in tech firm Seeing Machines flying.
The AIM-listed firm, which makes camera systems that allow machines to see, has signed a £29million deal to design and supply driver monitor technology to an unnamed US-based manufacturer.
Seeing Machines’s technology detects when drivers are distracted or tired by tracking head and face movements.
Shares leapt 17.3 per cent, or 1.35p, to 9.15p.
Wizz Air rival EasyJet topped the FTSE 100 after analysts at Deutsche Bank raised the airline’s target price from 1560p to 1915p.
EasyJet shares ended the day up 3.8 per cent, or 65p, at 1778.5p.
It was another tough day for Alfa Financial Software, which was downgraded by Berenberg after dishing out a profit warning on Friday.
The German investment bank slashed the software firm’s rating from ‘buy’ to ‘hold’ and cut its target price from 600p to 170p after it warned of lower-than-expected full-year revenues.
The downgrade caused Alfa’s shares to plummet 16.8 per cent, or 31p, to 154p, wiping £93million off its value.
Deal mania swept through trading floors yesterday, with a number of small-cap firms sounding the takeover klaxon.
Electrical components firm TT Electronics snapped up US transformer manufacturer Precision Inc for an initial £17.7million.
Precision, based in Minneapolis, designs and makes electromagnetic products for the medical, industrial, aerospace and defence markets. It employs 160 people in the US and China.
TT’s shares ticked up 0.2 per cent, or 0.5p, to 250.5p.
Keypad and lift component maker Dewhurst signed a £10.5million deal to buy electrical component wholesalers A&A Electrical Distributors. Dewhurst shares were flat at 910p.
Digital advertising firm Ocean Outdoor splashed out £32million on outdoor marketing specialists Forrest Media.
The deal for Glasgow-based Forrest gives AIM-listed Ocean, which operates the giant advertising screen at Piccadilly Lights in London, a footprint in Scotland.
Ocean shares are temporarily suspended after its private equity owner Searchlight sold it to Ocelot Partners. It plans to relist them ‘as soon as practicable,’ the firm says.
AIM-listed financial planning group AFH reported a 63 per cent uptick in revenue to £22.7million and a whopping 177pc rise in profit to £2.5million in its first-half results.
AFH shares rocketed 9.7 per cent, or 30p, to 340p.
One of Britain’s fastest-growing regional law firms announced plans to float on AIM.
The float will value Knights, which has 430 employees, at more than £100million and is set to make a paper fortune for chief executive David Beech, who owns 65 per cent.