British Airways, Songbird, BHP: U.K., Irish Equity Preview

The following is a list of companies whose shares may have unusual price changes in U.K. and Irish markets. Stock symbols are in parentheses and prices are from the last market close.

The benchmark FTSE 100 Index fell 24.28, or 0.4 percent, to 5,551.91. The FTSE All-Share Index declined 0.5 percent and Ireland’s ISEQ Index fell 1.4 percent.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (BLT LN): The mining company bidding to acquire Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan said a lawsuit by the fertilizer producer is “without merit” and will be contested “vigorously.” The shares climbed 2.1 percent to 2,000 pence.

British Airways Plc (BAY LN): Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana SA agreed with British Airways Plc’s plan to reduce its pension deficit, bringing the carriers closer to a merger. The board of Iberia yesterday decided not to use its right to terminate the merger agreement because of the British carrier’s pension plan.The stock fell 1.2 percent to 240 pence.

Hansard Global Plc (HSD LN): The asset manager said profit after tax for the year ended June 30, 2010, fell to 16.4 million pounds ($25.7 million) from 20.1 million pounds. The shares rose 3.8 percent to 169 pence.

Rolls-Royce Group Plc (RR/ LN): The world’s second-biggest engine maker said it won a $560 million order to supply Trent 700 engines to eight Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Swiss Airbus A330 aircraft. The stock lost 2 percent to 576.5 pence.

Songbird Estates Plc (SBD LN): The owner and manager of most of London’s Canary Wharf district will sell shares at 128 pence each in a placement to raise 140 million pounds to “improve the company’s balance sheet,” according to a statement today. The company is is in talks with Land Securities Group Plc about a joint venture to develop Land Securities Group Plc’s proposed office tower, known as the Walkie-Talkie, in London’s main financial district, Songbird said in a statement today. Songbird’s shares were unchanged at 158 pence. Land Securities’ shares dropped 1.3 percent to 626.6 pence.

United Utilities Plc (UU/ LN): The company said it’s on target to deliver results in line with its expectations, reflecting the impact of the recent regulatory price review. The shares retreated 0.7 percent to 573.5 pence.

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