Takeover approaches can be a bit like buses: sometimes three turn up at once.
In an intriguing twist, it has emerged two mystery firms are looking to gatecrash Swiss software company Temenos’ £1.4billion bid for British rival Fidessa with last-minute approaches.
While the companies are yet to make formal offers, Fidessa says preliminary discussions indicate they are willing to outbid Temenos.
Temenos’ bid was due to be put to shareholders on April 5 after having been agreed by the Fidessa board.
However, the meeting has been postponed while Fidessa explores the two other potential bids.
Two mystery firms are looking to gate crash Swiss software company Temenos’ £1.4bn bid for British rival Fidessa with last-minute approaches
The announcement comes after activist investor Elliott in February disclosed a 5 per cent stake in Fidessa, not long after the Temenos deal was agreed.
In a statement, Fidessa said: ‘Discussions with the third parties are ongoing and there can be no certainty that a formal offer from either will be forthcoming or as to the terms of any such offer.’
The prospect of a bidding war pushed Fidessa’s shares up 13.8 per cent, or 505p, to 4170p, meaning it topped the FTSE 350.
The FTSE 100 finished the day down 0.37 per cent or 26.15 points at 7030.46.
Back in the FTSE 250, shares in gambling software business Playtech ticked up after analysts suggested it could be about to snap up a rival.
Stock Watch – Weatherly
Weatherly International has been forced to push back its loan payments as it struggles to generate enough cash to meet its commitments.
As part of the deal, the copper miner must also run any spending plans outside of its agreed budget with creditor Orion Mine Finance.
Weatherly first ran into trouble in 2015 when it warned it would be unable to meet its loan payments if copper prices remained low.
Shares dived 34 per cent, or 0.4p, to 0.82p yesterday.
At the end of 2017, the firm was sitting on cash reserves of more than £185million which it could soon use for acquisitions, according to Investec.
In a note to investors, the investment bank said: ‘We expect first-half 2018 results will be lacklustre. However, we see an acquisition prior to interims as highly likely.’
The speculation nudged up Playtech’s shares by 0.2 per cent, or 1.6p, to 734.4p, despite Investec slashing the firm’s target price from 869p to 796p.
The FTSE 250’s worst performer of the day was outsourcer Capita, whose shares fell 7.4 per cent, or 10.65p, to a 20-year low of 133.4p.
Capita’s shares plunged last week after British Airways decided to keep two of its call centres in-house rather than hand them over to the outsourcer.
Shares in charter jet provider Air Partner crash landed following the discovery of an error in its accounts going back as far as 2011.
The firm made a mistake in the way it logged money owed by businesses, so now it will have to revise down its profits over the period by around £3.3million.
However, Air Partner said the mistake was an accounting error and so therefore it has no effect on its cash balances.
It added: ‘At no point was a customer, operator or supplier impacted or disadvantaged.’
Shares nosedived 21.2 per cent, or 30.5p, to 113p. Avon Rubber, which makes gas masks and cow milking equipment, has sold its hovercraft skirt business Avon Engineered Fabrications for $9.25million (£6.6million) to Performance Inflatables.
Analysts at Peel Hunt said it was a ‘positive strategic move’ as they reiterated Avon’s ‘buy’ rating.
The broker added management had managed to get a good price for Avon Engineered Fabrications ‘and that the proceeds can be put to better use elsewhere’.
Avon’s shares hopped 2.4 per cent, or 30p, to 1300p.
Shares in Skin Bio Therapeutics, a life science company that focuses on skin health, jumped after it signed an agreement to share its technology with a ‘global consumer goods company’.
Shares were up 5.9 per cent, or 0.5p, at 9p.
A subsidiary of AIM-listed construction materials specialists Breedon Group has bought Staffs Concrete, an operator in Stoke-on-Trent, for an undisclosed sum but despite this Breedon’s shares fell 1 per cent, or 0.8p, to 78.7p.