Market report

Ted Baker bidder withdraws | Biffa offer | Parsley Box trade


5pm: Stocks turn lower

London stocks slipped below the waterline by the close, as concerns about inflation and economic growth returned to haunt markets.

The FTSE 100 ended the session down 9.29 points (0.12%) at 7,598.93.

JD Sports Fashion was down 3.89% after the Competition and Markets Authority said that it had provisionally concluded that JD and rival retailer Elite Sports fixed the retail prices of a number of Rangers-branded replica kits and other clothing products from September 2018 until at least July 2019.

Other retailers were under pressure following data from the British Retail Consortium, with B&Q owner Kingfisher down 3.37%, online supermarket Ocado off 3.22%, Marks and Spencer 2.88% and even discount retailer B&M European Value Retail 1.25% weaker.

National Express Group plunged 9.46% after the transport operator said that in the short-term, the recovery in profitability will lag the revenue recovery.

Heading upwards was waste management specialist Biffa which soared 27.2% after saying it was likely to recommend a proposed takeover approach worth £1.36bn.

In the FTSE 350, Ted Baker slumped 18.42% after the fashion retailer said its preferred bidder had pulled out of takeover talks.

It did not name the preferred bidder, but it was widely reported to be Authentic Brands, the owner of Juicy Couture and Reebok.

9.15am: Market flat

London’s equity market shrugged off the survival of Boris Johnson in a confidence vote of Conservative MPs, said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

“Sterling was stable, the FTSE 100 was broadly unchanged and, while political turmoil might eventually start to spook investors, for now the focus remains firmly on inflation,” he said.

Shares in Ted Baker were down 20% after it announced that its preferred bidder had withdrawn interest.

The index was trading 6 points lower at 7,601.89.

7am: Ted Baker bidder pulls out

A preferred bidder for fashion chain Ted Baker has pulled out of talks. It indicated that its reason for not proceeding was not linked to its due diligence review of the company.

The Ted Baker board will now decide whether to proceed with any of the alternative proposals it received.

… more follows

7am: Rangers in price fixing

The competition watchdog has provisionally found that Elite Sports, JD Sports, and Rangers Football Club broke competition law by fixing the retail prices of certain Rangers-branded clothing products.

If confirmed, the companies involved can expect to face fines.

Full story here

7am: PwC fined

The Financial Reporting Council has fined auditor PwC and one of its London partners more than £5m for their audit of two construction companies.

Full story here

7am: AMTE Power battery deal

AMTE Power, the Thurso-based developer and manufacturer of battery cells for specialist markets, has signed a memorandum of understanding with advanced powertrain developer Viritech to support the development of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.

Full story here

7am: Parsley Box CEO buys shares

Kevin Dorren, chief executive of Edinburgh ready meals company Parsley Box, has paid approximately £18,000 to acquire 100,000 shares at an average price of 18.09 pence per share.

Mr Dorren now has a direct holding in 9,780,254 shares representing 13.47% of the company.

In addition, Move Fresh, a company over which he exercises significant control, has a beneficial interest in 1,662,827 shares representing 2.29% of the company’s issued share capital.

7am: Biffa offers

Waste management specialist Biffa said it has given the go-ahead to a proposed £1bn takeover approach.

The FTSE 250 company said it had received series of unsolicited, indicative proposals from affiliates of Energy Capital Partners, and following talks, a possible offer price of 445p per share has been proposed.

Due diligence is now underway, and Biffa said it was “minded to recommend” the offer to shareholders should a firm offer be made.

12.01am: Jubilee lift for retailers

The four-day Jubilee weekend gave Britain’s retailers a lift as consumers opened their wallets in spite of cost of living pressures.

Footfall on the high street rose, following a sharp decline in May.

The number of visitors to shops in the first week of June was up more than 17% on the average for May. Footfall for the bank holiday Thursday on 2 June alone was 45.5% higher than the May 2022 average.

Global markets

The FTSE 100 was expected to fall back after yesterday’s strong gains and despite a higher finish on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1%, the S&P 500 up 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4%.

In Asia, stocks were mixed. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index was 0.2% higher. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.3%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.6%.

The pound was quoted at $1.2467, down from $1.2528 at the close of London equities.

Brent oil was priced at $120.18 a barrel, up from $119.27.

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