Temasek has made a rival bid for P&O, topping the 443p a share offered by Dubai’s DP World. The Singapore state investment company has offered 470p. P&O has put back by two weeks the January 20 shareholders’ meeting which was to vote on DP World’s offer. P&O’s statement is available online. Earlier, P&O shares rose 12p to 469p. No word yet from DP World.
News of Temasek’s offer will delight those hedge funds which, the Telegraph said this morning, have been buying P&O stock above DP World‘s offer price. The funds highlighted are Eton Park, Sandell and Tisbury Capital Management.
M&S has published a strong third quarter trading update, lifted mainly by a good performance in food. Like-for-like sales were up 2.9 per cent in the 13 weeks to December 31 – which is better than analysts expected. You can get the full details online but, significantly, you will find nothing about margins there. That said, chief executive Stuart Rose made some comforting noises in this regard on the Today programme this morning, which you can listen to via the Today website. Rose also highlighted rising utility and rent costs but that, together with his refusal to say whether M&S has yet turned the corner, makes him sound like a man who feels the shares – up 15 per cent in the last three months – have got a little ahead of themselves. Beth Rigby will take you through the figures in tomorrow’s paper and you can read the sceptical views of Lex online now.
Macquarie has posted its offer document for the London Stock Exchange. Norma Cohen will be filleting it for any new information about the 580p a share hostile bid. Anyone wishing to remind themselves of what Jim Craig, the Australian bank’s head of Europe, said when he announced the deal last month can listen to his presentation via their website. The Guardian reported this morning that Michael Spencer, who runs Icap, has built up a 1.5 per cent stake in the LSE through contracts for difference. Incidentally, it has emerged that Harris Associates, one of the investors who oppose a combination of Euronext and the LSE, has declared a 6.4 per cent stake in the European exchange.
Anshul Rustagi is due to appear before a Deutsche Bank disciplinary hearing today to explain how there was a £30m over-statement of his trading position. We’ve put together a package explaining what some of the issues might be and how the market for collateralised debt obligations in which he traded worked. The case has sparked a lively debate among bloggers.
This morning’s Golden Wonder, coverage was fun, although I may have overdone it on that page with all the busy elements (I’d be interested in feedback on that). For those who missed it, there was some amusing footage right at the end of Newsnight about Golden Wonder which you can watch online.
Also, if anyone wants proof that some people in the blogosphere have too much time on their hands need look no further than a blog from The Spectacles. There, you will find a splendidly whimsical ramble about how the decline of Golden Wonder echoes the decline of Rome and what to do with those horrid green bits in some packets. Also, you can buy a Golden Wonder snack vending machine on Ebay for 99p (postage costs £75). You can also buy a 35-year-old empty Golden Wonder crisp packet. The seller wants £4.99 for it.
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