Shares in one of Britain’s biggest chemicals companies soared on a fresh wave of takeover speculation.
Elementis jumped 12.1 per cent, or 15p, to 139p after it emerged it received a 160p a share offer from New York private equity firm KPS Capital Partners last month, only to turn it down, hoping to get 180p.
Investment manager Franklin Mutual Advisers, one of its biggest shareholders, said the offer confirmed its view that Elementis is a ‘desirable acquisition target’.
Piling pressure on the company board to seek a buyer, Franklin added: ‘We believe that the leadership team is missing a valuable opportunity to maximise the value of the company.’
Elementis, which makes the ingredients used in deodorants and skin creams, owns the world’s largest mine of hectorite, a rare white clay substance that is used in creams by luxury cosmetic firms such as L’Oreal.
It has fended off several approaches, and is under pressure from Franklin, which holds a 9.2 per cent stake and in September called for it to put itself up for sale.
Takeover target: FTSE 250 group Elementis jumped after it emerged it received a 160p a share offer from New York private equity firm KPS Capital Partners last month
On an action-packed day of results, the FTSE 100 crept up 0.03 per cent, or 2.06 points, to 7526.91 and the FTSE 250 rose 0.3 per cent, or 51.42 points, to 19,223.10.
Wall Street hit new record highs but there was no such luck for Tesla, which fell 12.1 per cent after it reported a sharp slump in profits and warned of ‘notably lower’ sales growth this year.
The stock is now down 26.5 per cent in 2024 and, in comments that did little to boost confidence, boss Elon Musk said Chinese car makers will ‘demolish’ global rivals.
Back in London, Fuller’s reported a stellar festive season. The pub and hotel chain said sales in the five weeks around Christmas and New Year were 21.6 per cent higher than a year earlier.
That helped sales rise 11.5 per cent in the 42 weeks to January 20, but it slid 2.3 per cent, or 16p, to 670p.
Britvic, the soft drinks business reported an 8.1 per cent rise in revenues to £443.5million in the three months to the end of December. Shares rose 3.5 per cent, or 30p, to 885p.
And tonic maker Fevertree – up 6.3p, or 64p, to 1076p – said a strong festive period in the UK helped group revenues rise 6 per cent to £364million in 2023.
A boom in spending on pets is driving business at CVS.
The vet group’s first-half results to the end of December showed that revenues rose 11.4per cent to £329.9million as its pet club reached half a million members. Shares added 2pc, or 33p, to 1680p.
There was also good news for Foxtons. The estate agent’s results for 2023 should beat market forecasts after its lettings business, which makes up nearly three-quarters of group sales, made more than £100million of revenue for the first time. Shares rose 0.2 per cent, or 0.1p, to 52.7p.
Facilities business Mitie increased 5.1 per cent, or 5.1p, to 105p after the group, which provides engineering, security and cleaning services, reported record third-quarter revenues.
Another big riser was fund manager Intermediate Capital after its fee-earning assets rose 6.5 per cent to £54billion in the three months to December 31. Shares gained 8.6 per cent, or 140.5p, to 1777.5p.
But Wizz Air slid 4.1 per cent, or 83.5p, to 1946.5p after the airline laid bare the impact of crisis in the Middle East.
It made a £90million loss in the third quarter to December 31. It cancelled flights to Israel as the war with Hamas unfolded but plans to restart in March.
Halfords was up 0.9 per cent, or 1.5p, to 175.5p after the bike seller and car servicer was hit by drivers delaying maintenance.
Trading platform IG Group slumped 7.6 per cent, or 59p, to 716p after weak first-half results.