Markets: Live

Wood takeover closer as talks deadline extended


Wood Group solar

Wood Group edged closer to being acquired by US suitor Apollo Global Management after the Takeover Panel agreed to extend next week’s deadline.

The private equity firm was due to decide whether to bid for the Aberdeen-based energy services company by next Wednesday, but Wood’s requested a new deadline of 19 April.

This will allow for the scheduled release of Wood’s FY22 results on 28 March.

Wood announced on 7 March that the board had received a fourth unsolicited, preliminary and conditional proposal from Apollo, regarding a possible cash offer to acquire the company.

The board said it felt the offer undervalued the group and that it was therefore “minded to reject”.


4.30pm: Volatile markets fret over banks

Wall Street opened on the slide with the Dow Jones down 0.6% and other indices also lower.

Despite the support for First Republic Bank its shares plunged more than 20%, while Credit Suisse has also returned to losing ways.

“There’s a push-pull in the market right now,” said Infrastructure Capital Advisors’ CEO Jay Hatfield, per CNBC. “The regional banking crisis is a huge negative for the economy and the market. But the overhang that existed prior to the banking crisis was an overly hawkish and irrational Fed.”

The FTSE 100, which soared 80 points at the open, closed 74.63 points lower at 7,335.40.

8.10am: London higher on First Republic deal

The FTSE 100 was trading more than 80 points higher at 7,492.61 as a consortium of US financial institutions joined forces to support ailing bank, First Republic.

Big US banks deposited $30 billion into First Republic to boost its balance sheet and contain the fallout from the collapse of two specialist lenders in the past week.

The move helped push Wall Street higher yesterday. All three major indices were in positive territory, with the Nasdaq posting a 2.5% surge, while the S&P 500 saw a 1.8% recovery and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.2%.

“The actions of America’s largest banks reflect their confidence in the country’s banking system. Together, we are deploying our financial strength and liquidity into the larger system, where it is needed the most,” the banks said in a joint statement.

The news supported shares in Asia. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 1.2% while the Shanghai Composite was 0.4% higher in late trade. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was up 1.1%.

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