January 20: Thank you to everyone who kindly sent me Robert Imlah’s emails. This 25-year-old banker at JP Morgan Cazenove has been suspended after sending emails from his office computer in which he discusses his sexual encounters. In one, a friend salutes his boasts by calling him “immi the pimp Daddy”. I’m afraid that’s all I’ll tell you about them, though. We discussed it in the newsroom and decided not to publish them. They’re pretty silly.
A group of SkyePharma shareholders has called an EGM to oust Ian Gowrie-Smith, the company’s chairman and founder. The group, representing 13 per cent of the stock, is led by North Atlantic Value and includes Morley and Insight. They want to replace Gowrie-Smith with Bob Thian, who is a veteran of the pharmaceuticals industry but is currently chairman of Southern Water and Whatman. Over the past few months, several shareholders have voiced disappointment with the management team, for example over its failure to win a licensing deal for Flutiform. They have also voiced their concern about the subsequent deeply discounted rights issue to self-fund the product through Phase III trials. The more recent mess over whether the company was being bid for or not has only added to their concerns.
Another great story: a bidding war has erupted for First Technology, maker of crash test dummies. The company had already been bid for by Honeywell at the end of last year. Now, another American, Danaher, has offered £251m, trumping the earlier bid by £44m. Danaher is offering 330p a share but First Technology shares are up just over 72p at 347.6p. Two American’s bidding against each other for a rather overlooked British engineer has echoes of last year’s battle for Domnick Hunter.
Two other situations to keep a close eye on: F&C Asset Management shares are up 10 per cent on bid rumours, and London Stock Exchange shares are up another 29p at 705.5p on hopes Nasdaq will bid. As I said yesterday, I think they’re interested. And you can read more about it tonight on FT.com in John Authers’ On Wall Street column.