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Anglo American, JJB Sports, Norkom: U.K., Irish Equity Preview

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- 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 retreated 9.37, or 0.2 percent, to 5,871.75. The FTSE All-Share Index fell less than 0.1 percent, while Ireland’s ISEQ Index declined 0.7 percent.

888 Holdings Plc (888 LN): Ladbrokes Plc said it was in “very preliminary” talks with online gaming company 888 Holdings Plc, after the Sunday Telegraph reported it had made a 240 million-pound ($373 million) bid. The shares jumped 12.6 percent to 49 pence.

Allied Irish Banks Plc (ALBK ID): Ireland may use new powers to take full control of Allied Irish Banks Plc as early as this week and will probably delist the lender, the Sunday Business Post said, citing unidentified people in the government. The shares fell 1.1 percent to 0.45 euros.

Anglo American Plc (AAL LN): The miner of platinum, palladium and nickel may buy the Oppenheimer family out of diamond company De Beers, the Sunday Times reported, citing unidentified sources. The stock rose 0.9 percent to 3,150 pence.

British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY LN): The European Commission will give News Corp. antitrust clearance to buy the 61 percent of television group British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc that it doesn’t already own without having to sell any of its other units, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the deal. The shares retreated 0.4 percent to 728 pence.

Gartmore Group Ltd. (GRT LN): The U.K. money manager that owns New Star Asset Management Group Plc offered to pay about 344 million pounds ($534 million) for Gartmore, the U.K. fund manager that put itself up for sale in November, the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the negotiations. The stock rose 6.1 percent to 104.8 pence.

IG Group Holdings Plc (IGG LN): The owner of the IG Index financial spread-betting brand is in talks to sell its sports arm extrabet.com, the Sunday Times reported, without citing anyone. Brighton, England-based Star Sports may buy the business, according to the report. The shares climbed 4 percent to 514 pence.

JJB Sports Plc (JJB LN): The unprofitable U.K. sporting-goods retailer appointed KPMG International to evaluate options for the company’s future, the Sunday Express reported, without saying where it got the information. The shares advanced 1.3 percent to four pence.

Mothercare Plc (MTC LN): The retailer of products for mothers-to-be and children was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at UBS AG. The shares surged 2.8 percent to 626.5 pence.

Norkom Group Plc (NORK ID): The Dublin-based software company has up to five interested bidders, including Israel’s Nice Systems Ltd. and private-capital firms, the Sunday Business Post reported, without citing anybody. The shares fell 2.4 percent to 1.22 euros.

Punch Taverns Plc (PUB LN): The pub owner was raised to “buy” from “hold” at Citigroup Inc. The shares soared 12 percent to 74.45 pence.

Rio Tinto Plc (RIO LN): The world’s third-largest mining company said it continues to seek buyers for its talc unit and no deal has been reached after the Times reported talks with Imerys SA were advanced. Rio Tinto shares rose 0.3 percent to 4,418 pence.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS LN): The Edinburgh-based lender, which took a 45.5 billion-pound bailout from the U.K. government in 2008, is in talks with UK Financial Investments to set a 50,000-pound limit on cash bonuses in advance of the yearly payouts in order to try and retain employees in its investment banking division, Sky News City Editor Mark Kleinman reported, citing people close to the UKFI. The shares dropped 5.7 percent to 37.82 pence.

To contact the reporters on this story: Blanche Gatt in London at bgatt@bloomberg.net; Julie Cruz in Frankfurt at jcruz6@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net; David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net.

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