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FirstGroup shares fall as bidder withdraws

FirstBusShares in FirstGroup fell more than 12% after the private equity firm Apollo Management said it would not be bidding for the Aberdeen-based transport operator.

FirstGroup, which has about 100,000 employees, operates the Great Western Railway and owns America’s Greyhound bus services.

Last month it emerged that Apollo had approached FirstGroup about a possible takeover offer.

Shares in Shire led the FTSE 100 higher after the Irish-based drug maker accepted a takeover bid from Japanese rival Takeda.The  competition watchdog will launch a full probe into the proposed merger between the retail divisions of energy firms Npower and Perth-based SSE, after already warning the deal could raise prices for some customers.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the firms had not addressed its concerns and so would face “a more in-depth, Phase 2 investigation”.

The combination of SSE and Npower would create a company with about 11.5 million customers, making it the second-biggest UK energy supplier behind British Gas.

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