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February 22: Anglo-American has confirmed its intention to float off its Mondi paper and packaging business in London. Its likely valuation is unclear – much depends on how much debt it gets left with – but it could be worth about £4bn, which would put it safely in the FTSE 100. Anglo shares are up 1 per cent on good figures and news that the mining group plans to increase its cash return to shareholders by $500m to $1.5bn. It also says it is going to sell some of its 51 per cent stake in AngloGold Ashanti over the next new months. And it has decided to hang on to Tarmac, the UK-based construction business. It will sell off some weaker bits but keep most of the UK business.
On the day that the new series of The Apprentice starts, Amstrad shares are up 2 per cent despite a 12 per cent drop in interim profits. However, Sir Alan – got that? it’s SIR Alan – predicted a strong second half thanks to a set-top box deal with BSkyB.
Easyjet warned that first half losses would widen from £22m to £45m because of higher fuel charges. The stock is off nearly 5 per cent.
Shares in 3i are up about 6 per cent on rumours in the Guardian market report that it rejected a takeover approach last month. Peter Smith, our private equity correspondent, doesn’t believe the rumours, however.
London’s Evening Standard reports that Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy could be on the verge of a £20bn merger hot on the heels of Eon’s bid for Endesa of Spain. We’re checking it out: it could make sense but the regulatory obstacles would be significant. The market doesn’t seem excited: neither stock has moved much.
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