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Pearson deal | FirstGroup up | Fisher sale | Musk vote

5pm: London closes higher

Pearson has bought the workforce assessment services provider, Personnel Decisions Research Institutes (PDRI), from SHL Group for an enterprise value of $190m.

The FTSE 100 listed group said the deal, which will be funded by cash and existing liquidity, expands its services to US federal agencies and accelerates its strategy to capture new market opportunities.

Shares in electricals retailer Currys fell after a downgrade to ‘hold’ at Investec.

Transport service provider FirstGroup gained after announcing on Friday that it had finalised the sale of all but two of its US legacy greyhound property portfolio to Twenty Lake Holdings in a £122m deal while also unveiling a share buyback. FirstGroup announced the sale of its greyhound portfolio in September, with assets and liabilities expected to fetch £140m in proceeds at the end of the next financial year.

James Fisher & Sons, the marine services company, has sold three businesses to reduce its net borrowings.

Mimic, a provider of intelligent condition monitoring, and the UK operations of Strainstall have been sold to Biotek Environmental Science Ltd, known as BES Group, for £13.6 million. It has sold Prolec, a provider of safety and control systems, to Germany-based mechanical engineering company Kinshofer Gmbh for an undisclosed sum.

The FTSE 100 closed 29.19 points at 7,361.31.

Global markets

The users of social media platform Twitter, have spoken after CEO, Elon Musk asked whether he should continue in the role.

More than 10m voted in favour of Musk stepping down in a poll he posted on the site late on Sunday, or 57.5% of all votes cast, while 42.5% backed him to stay. Whether Musk intends to follow the results of the vote is uncertain.

US stocks slipped slightly at the open as markets remain cautious amid interest rate policy decisions, suggesting there will be no Santa rally.

At the open on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.1% lower, the S&P 500 was also down 0.1% and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.2%.

The Bank of Japan began its monetary policy meeting today and will announce its interest rate decision on Tuesday.

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