Private equity’s sweep of FTSE 250 index stocks continues to dominate City chatter after speculation today landed on a possible £4 billion bid for WeWork rival IWG.
The Regus serviced office giant, which recently plunged in value after warning about disruption posed by working from home trends, surged as much as 7% after Sky News said New York-based CC Capital had been in talks about a possible bid.
CC later confirmed it had no plans to make an offer for IWG, causing shares to unwind to 300p compared with almost 400p prior to this month’s profit warning.
Despite CC’s statement, there’s no disguising private equity is on a march after bids or approaches for companies as diverse as St Modwen, John Laing and supermarket Morrisons.
Clayton Dubilier & Rice, the firm behind the Morrisons interest, claimed a big victory today when Dublin-based healthcare business UDG backed an improved offer worth £2.8 billion.
Significantly, the 1,080p-a-share bid by the prviate equity firm now has the support of large shareholders Allianz and Kabouter accounting for 11.4% of the shares.
The latest takeover activity helped the FTSE 250 index to climb 33.54 points to 22,566.86, while the blue-chip FTSE 100 index crept 3.72 points higher at 7,076.69 after Wall Street’s key benchmarks closed at record highs last night.
Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon shares were among London’s biggest risers amid more signs of surging house prices. Bargain hunters also circled Burberry, rising 22p to 2,077p as sentiment steadied following CEO Marco Gobbetti’s surprise departure news yesterday.
Outside the top flight, investors piled into fashion retailer Superdry after analysts at Liberum identified numerous catalysts they think will drive the company’s recovery.
The shares have already rallied 90% this year and rose another 10.5p to 425.5p after today’s note revealed a price target of 600p.
Lamprell, the oil and gas services business, moved sharply lower after it warned shareholders in full-year results that it faces a “challenging period of severe liquidity constraints” until new funding can be identified.
Current trading is in line with expectations, but shares tumbled 23% in the FTSE All-Share, or 15.4p to 52.5p.