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Marston’s bid approach; Boohoo confirms Arcadia talks

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4.30pm: Nervous week ends lower

At the end of nervy week for traders, the FTSE 100 closed agt 6,407.46, down 118.69 points (1.82%).

2pm: Cameron House Hotel owner fined

Cameron House

The owners of Cameron House Hotel at Loch Lomond were today fined for serious safety breaches that led to the fatal fire in December 2017.

Full story here

1pm: Marston’s bid approach

Pub chain Marston’s said it has received an “unsolicited” takeover offer from US private equity firm Platinum Equity Advisors.

Marston’s said it was evaluating the proposal with its advisers and a further announcement would be made in due course.

Shares in the pub chain jumped almost 20% on the news.

9am: Property outlook

Property investment is expected to pick up following the Brexit deal and the roll-out of Covid vaccinations, says a new report.

Full story here

8.30am: BrewDog extends offer

Brewer and pub chain group BrewDog has extended its Equity for Punks Tomorrow fundraising for a second time, setting a £20m target.

The campaign began in September and had been due to end yesterday, but that has now been extended to 31 March.

The company said: “We charged past our initial goal of £7.5million in just six weeks, and since then we have gone on to double that initial target, having raised £15 million in 140 days.”

8am: London lower

Shares in the blue chip FTSE 100 fell at the and which was trading at 6,446.67, down 79.48 (1.22%).

7am: Boohoo confirms Arcadia talks

Boohoo Group has confirmed that it is in exclusive discussions with the administrators of Arcadia over the acquisition of the Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton brands.

It said these discussions may or may not result in agreement of a transaction. A further announcement will be made when appropriate.

Boohoo, which snapped up the Debenhams brand this week, is believed to have offered £25m for the Arcadia brands and is likely to result in the closure of all 444 stores.

Rival online retailer ASOS is in negotiations over other parts of Arcadia including TopShop,

Dr Martens

Dr Martens offer price

Trading in shares in shoemaker Dr Martens commences today with a price of 370p per share, giving a market capitalisation of about £3.7 billion.

Kenny Wilson, CEO said: “We have been delighted by the strong levels of interest, engagement and support from such a high quality selection of institutional investors.

“The successful transformation of Dr Martens is a great story, and what is even more exciting is the huge potential ahead.  We are proud to take our place as a London listed company, both delivering as a successful plc and more importantly continuing to grow our Brand around the world.”

ScotGold disruption

Scottish gold miner said disruption to materials handling this month led to lost production and it is reducing its production guidance for 2021 from 9,910 ounces of gold as announced in December 2020, to between 8,700 ounces and 7,800 ounces from between 31,500 tonnes and 28,400 tonnes of ore processed.

Richard Gray, CEO, said: “Scotgold remains in a strong position to continue our commercial growth trajectory after achieving first gold on 30 November 2020. Despite the frustrating but resolvable materials handling issues that arose this month, our confidence in the ultimate performance of the mine continues to grow.

“The lessons learnt, as well as opportunities identified, during this Phase 1 ramp-up will be used to optimise our plans for the Phase 2 expansion in 2022.

“The year ahead will also see us advance our exploration programme, which is focused on identifying areas with the potential to increase our Mineral Resources within reach of the Cononish Mine, identifying potential orebodies at Beinn Udlaidh and Inverchorachan and notably making new discoveries within the company’s option areas.”

Card Factory

Greeting cards retailer Card Factory has been given an extra month to avoid breaching its banking covenants and remains in discussions with its banks.

H&M

H&M has reported an 88% fall in profit for the year to November and warned that the pandemic was still hitting sales at the world’s second-biggest fashion group. 

Evraz

Evraz, the mining and steel group chaired by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, reported higher production and sales of steel in the fourth quarter of 2020, helped by a jump in North American output and a recovery in steel export markets.

6am: Gamestop

Shares in US retailer GameStop fell 44% to lose some of the extraordinary gains fuelled by Reddit users – only to recover again in after-hours trading.

Thousands of investors have been buying the shares to try to reap quick gains and impose losses on hedge funds who have “shorted” the company – betting billions on the firm’s value falling.

Shares in the video game chain were up 1,744% by close of trading in New York on Wednesday, from under $20 earlier in January to around $350.

Markets

In Asian markets this morning, the Nikkei 225 is off 486 points and the Hang Seng is down 141 points.

The Dow Jones shot up 300 points and the S&P 500 leapt 37 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, weighed down by laggards Apple and Tesla after Wednesday night trading updates, rose 66 points.



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