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What to watch: G4S takeover battle continues, Amigo woes, and Boohoo slumps

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·4-min read
G4S
Shares in G4S were unchanged at 207p on Monday morning. Photo: Matt Dunham/AP

Here are the top business, market, and economic stories you should be watching on Monday in the UK, Europe, and abroad:

G4S takeover battle continues

The war of words between G4S (GFS.L) and its unwanted suitor GardaWorld continues.

Canda’s GardaWorld, which is pursuing a hostile takeover of G4S, on Monday tabled a full offer for the company, valuing it at £3bn ($3.8bn) or 190p per share.

Garda World sent a letter to G4S shareholders alongside the offer document, urging them to ignore the protestations of G4S’ management and approve the takeover.

"G4S's customers deserve higher quality service, its employees deserve better leadership and its pensioners deserve a higher degree of certainty that their retirement income is secure,” Stephan Crétier, founder and CEO of GardaWorld, said in a statement.

"It is time to draw a line under G4S's past and give this company a brighter future."

In a separate statement, G4S called on investors to reject the deal, saying it “significantly undervalues the company and its prospects and is not in the best interests of shareholders or other stakeholders.”

Shares in G4S were unchanged at 207p.

Amigo woes

Troubled subprime lender Amigo Loans (AMGO.L) saw its share price slump further on Tuesday after the UK’s financial watchdog placed restrictions on its business.

Amigo, which has been battling a backlog of customer complaints, said it had entered into an Asset Voluntary Requirement with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The deal means the FCA must approve any payouts to directors or shareholders.

Amigo, which has also been locked in a public boardroom battle with its founder, said the deal would “not impact the day to day running of Amigo or its ability to continue to pay down debt.” It added that it had adequate liquidity.

Shares dropped 9%.

Boohoo slumps

Embattled fast fashion retailer Boohoo (BOO.L) has confirmed it is hunting for a new auditor after PwC said it would not to continue working with the company when its current contract is up.

Boohoo said in a statement on Monday that it had “recently launched a competitive tender process for the Group's audit.” PwC, which has been Boohoo’s auditor since 2014, would not be bidding for the job, Boohoo said.

Shares in Boohoo fell 11% on Monday morning.

WATCH: Overseas markets mixed

Stocks rally on vaccine hopes, Chinese GDP

Stock markets made gains worldwide on Monday amid hopes of a coronavirus vaccine breakthrough this year, offsetting weaker-than-expected Chinese GDP data.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced on Friday it would seek emergency authorisation use from regulators in the US “soon after” the third week of November, assuming positive results from trials.

The news boosted most Asian stocks overnight, sending MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific stocks excluding Japan 0.5% higher, reaching its highest level since May 2018.

Japan’s Nikkei (^N225) rose 1.1%, and the Hong Kong Hang Seng (^HSI) rose 0.6%.

European stocks then joined in the rally on the open, following gains on Friday from a string of strong corporate earnings. The FTSE 100 (^FTSE) rose 0.6%, Germany’s DAX (^GDAXI) rose 0.8%, and France’s CAC 40 (^FCHI) was up 1%.

US stocks also looked set for gains later in the day. S&P 500 futures (ES=F) and Dow Jones futures (YM=F) were pointing to a 0.9% rise at the open, while Nasdaq futures (NQ=F) were 1.1% higher.

House asking prices hit record high

UK property sales and asking prices both hit new record highs last month, new figures show as a housing market boom continues despite the economic toll of the pandemic.

Data from property listings site Rightmove (RMV.L) shows sales were up 70% in September versus a year earlier, and average asking prices up 5.5% or almost £17,000 ($22,000) year-on-year in October. It marked the highest annual price growth in four years.

The average property on the market earlier this month was on for an all-time high of £323,530, also marking a 1.1% increase on prices last month.

Additional reporting by Tom Belger

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