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FTSE latest: Shares in Ultra Electronics fall as Business Secretary intervenes in takeover deal

·2-min read
Shares in Ultra Electronics declined on Thursday morning (Getty Images)
Shares in Ultra Electronics declined on Thursday morning (Getty Images)

Dealmakers handling some of this summer’s biggest takeovers still have plenty of work ahead of them despite their recent boardroom handshakes and fist bumps.

The most significant action involves Ultra Electronics, whose shares moved further away from the £35 a share deal price after the Government called in the £2.6 billion bid by defence firm Cobham, potentially setting back completion until next January.

Ultra’s shares were 2% or 76p lower at 3,288p, suggesting that many in the City don’t think the takeover will get over the line in its current form.

There was also renewed interest in the agreed £6.2 billion deal for cybersecurity firm Avast by US-based NortonLifeLock.

Schroders, which has a 6.3% stake in the FTSE 100 company, told the Times that Avast is being sold too cheaply. Shares crept up 0.2p to 593.6p.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris also updated on efforts to buy inhaler maker Vectura, with the Marlboro firm now holding 29% after more market purchases in pursuit of the 50% it needs for approval of the £1.1 billion deal.

Elsewhere, commodity-based stocks were at the forefront of a market sell-off as the FTSE 100 index tumbled 163.5 points to 7,005.82 on fears over the Delta variant and when US policymakers might turn off economic support.

Anglo American dived 11% or 362p to 2,873p after trading without the latest dividend, while Antofagasta slid 5% despite a big boost to half-year earnings from surging copper prices.

Shares fell 75p to 1,395p as it cut production guidance due to operations in Chile being impacted by the worst year yet in the country’s 12-year drought.

The FTSE 250 index was 282.80 points lower at 23,553.57, with phone masts firm Helios Towers 8% lower after half-year results.

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