Market report

DWF in bid talks | YBS chair leaving | Scotgold setback

DWF in takeover talks

Law firm DWF Group said it was in talks with London-based Inflexion Private Equity Partners regarding a possible buyout offer of about £342 million.

Shares of DWF soared as much as 40% to 92p in morning trade, following media reports on the possible takeover.

DWF said its shareholders would receive 100p per share, which includes a cash consideration of 97p and a dividend of 3p for the six months to 30 April.


London snaps losing streak

Blue chips had a slow start after weak Chinese economic data rekindled slowing demand concerns, while real estate stocks slumped on a bearish call from HSBC. However, the FTSE 100 index snapped a five-day losing streak to close up 16.85 points (0.2%) at 7,273.79 in thin trading. 

Shell was among the risers, adding 22.5p to 2305p. Analysts at Deutsche Bank said the oil major’s “reinvigorated” management focus on strategic and organisational changes “should accelerate and reduce the cost of decision-making”.

Shopping centre owner Hammerson was among the biggest losers, dropping nearly 0.75p to 24p after HSBC cut recommendations for 11 listed property stocks.

In New York investors awaited more inflation data that could shed light on the interest rate outlook. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.6%.


BT boss stepping down

Philip Jansen

BT chief executive Philip Jansen has informed the board that at an “appropriate moment” over the next 12 months he intends to step down from his role.

His announcement was made amid speculation that Deutsche Telekom could increase its stake, or mount a takeover for BT.

Full story here


Yorkshire chairman stepping down

John Heaps is stepping after nine years as chairman of Yorkshire Building Society and will be succeeded by Annemarie Durbin who will join the board as chair designate by the end of the year.

Ms Durbin is currently chair at Cater Allen Private Bank and a non-executive director and chair of remuneration committee on the boards of Santander UK, Persimmon and Petershill Partners.

With over 30 years’ experience in retail, commercial, corporate and institutional banking, she is a qualified lawyer with expertise across general management, operations, HR, legal and compliance, as well as being an executive coach and mentor.

Ms Durbin is relinquishing her roles at Santander and Cater Allen to take up her role at the Society during her handover period.


Scotgold setback

Scotgold Resources has begun a review of operations at its gold mine near Loch Lomond following a setback in production. Earlier this year it announced a transition to a process called long hole open stoping (LHS).

Interim CEO, Sean Duffy said in an update: “H1 2023 has been disappointing in terms of gold production and development of the underground mine at Cononish.

“We have begun a mine plan review following reconciling Cononish’s mine development and production over the past six months.

“This review will allow us to recalibrate our current 2023 mine plan to best optimise LHS going forward as we continue to develop the mine with a view to achieving full production in the long-term.”



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