Market News: 

The FTSE 100 closed higher on Monday, reversing earlier losses. The index was boosted by gains from Ocado Group PLC, J Sainsbury PLC and Evraz PLC, which offset losses from HSBC Holdings PLC, SSE PLC and Compass Group. "A quiet economic calendar in both Europe and the U.S. is giving trades little to really sink their teeth into," said Sophie Griffiths, market analyst at Oanda.

 
Company News: 

Wm. Morrison Supermarkets Rejects $7.65 Bln Clayton Dubilier & Rice Offer Proposal

Wm. Morrison Supermarkets PLC said Saturday that it has rejected a 5.54 billion-pound ($7.65 billion) possible cash offer by Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC as it "significantly undervalued" the company and its future prospects.

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Capita on Track to Deliver Revenue Growth in 2021

Capita PLC said Monday that performance has improved in the first half of this year and that it remains on track to deliver full-year revenue growth--its first in six years.

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Hotel Chocolat Takes Full Control of Beauty Products JV

Hotel Chocolat Group PLC said Monday that it has agreed to take full control of its Rabot 1745 Ltd. joint venture, created by the company and Chairman Andrew Gerrie in 2016 to develop a range of beauty products.

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Amino Technologies Chairman Karen Bach to Step Down; Plans Change of Name

Amino Technologies PLC said Monday that Nonexecutive Chairman Karen Bach is stepping down, and that the company plans to change its name.

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Litigation Capital Management to Book Return on New Zealand Investment

Litigation Capital Management Ltd. said Monday that it expects a return on its investment in a legal dispute in New Zealand in which the country's High Court has issued a judgment in favor of the plaintiff the company funded.

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Providence Resources Chairman to Step Down in July

Providence Resources PLC said Monday that Nonexecutive Chairman Pat Plunkett is stepping down.

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Silver Bullet Data Services to Raise GBP9.5M in London IPO

Silver Bullet Data Services Group PLC said Monday that it plans to raise 9.5 million pounds ($13.1 million) as part of its initial public offering on London's junior AIM.

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BrandShield Systems 2020 Pretax Loss Widened on Takeover Costs

BrandShield Systems PLC said Monday that its pretax loss for 2020 widened, in line with internal expectations, partly driven by costs linked to its reverse takeover.

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Venture Life Agrees to GBP30 Mln Loan

Venture Life Group PLC said Monday that it has agreed to a revolving credit facility of up to 30 million pounds ($41.4 million) for an initial term of three years.

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DaVictus Raises GBP36,000 in Equity Issue

London-listed acquisition vehicle daVictus PLC said Monday that it has raised 36,000 pounds ($49,691) via an equity issue to provide additional working capital for the company.

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Saietta Group to Float on London's AIM Next Month

Saietta Group PLC said Monday that it plans to float on London's AIM early next month.

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Senior Shares Jump After Lone Star Makes Final $1.16 Bln Proposal

Shares in Senior PLC rose Monday after U.S. private-equity investor Lone Star Funds LLC said it has made a fifth and final proposal regarding a possible cash offer which values Senior at 838.8 million pounds ($1.16 billion).

 
Market Talk: 

Morrisons Takeover Bid May Climb Higher

1102 GMT - Wm. Morrison has put itself in a stronger position to continue fighting competitive threats, but the key issue is how significantly shareholders will respond to its latest takeover bid, AJ Bell says. The U.K. supermarket's shareholders and management may feel they can squeeze out a higher bid, or potentially feel confident enough to spurn the offer altogether, the brokerage says. Morrisons shares traded at 235 pence early Monday, higher than a 230 pence proposal from Clayton Dubilier & Rice. "The market therefore seems confident that the suitor will have to raise its offer price or someone else might step into the game and we'll see a bidding war," the brokerage says. Morrisons shares are up 32% at 235.1 pence.

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CreditSights Recommends Selling Morrisons' 2029 Bonds

1050 GMT - A potential leverage buyout of WM Morrison by a private equity firm could hit the U.K. fourth-largest supermarket chain's 2029 bonds the hardest and CreditSights recommends clients to sell them. A change of control clause that provides a put option to bondholders--giving them the right to demand the issuer pay back the principal before the bond matures-- will potentially benefit Morrisons' 2031 notes to a much greater degree than the 2029 paper, which looks more vulnerable and least protected by the provision should conditions be satisfied, it says. "Some 305 basis points of spreads widening would need to occur [in the 2029 bond]before the prospective floor of a 100 put would kick in versus just 60 bp on the 2.5% 2031 [paper], it says.

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Takeover Could Jeopardize Morrisons' IG Credit Rating

1036 GMT - WM Morrison's investment-grade credit rating could come under pressure in a potential takeover, since taking the company private would likely increase the U.K. supermarket chain's debt levels, says CreditSights. Morrisons rejected an informal offer from Clayton, Dubilier & Rice to buy the company for 230 pence per share. "Whilst we have not seen any of the pre-conditions attached to the rejected bid we feel confident in assuming that a substantial chunk of debt financing was among them," the credit research firm says, adding that any successful bid from CD&R or another private equity suitor is "likely to require further debt incurrence which may well put pressure on its sole investment-grade rating."

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Private Equity Bid for Morrisons Is 'Reasonably Generous'

1021 GMT - Clayton Dubilier & Rice's rejected informal takeover bid for Wm. Morrison looks reasonably generous and might deter rivals from bidding for the U.K.'s fourth-largest supermarket chain, CreditSights says. The U.S. private-equity group had offered 230 pence a share, which Morrisons rejected saying it "significantly undervalued" the business and future prospects. However, "in light of the rather flat performance of Morrisons's share price this year and indeed over the last 20 years, the GBP8.7 billion valuation placed on the group looks reasonably generous," it says. "The 10.2 times [valuation] multiple is significantly higher than peer transactions and thus may give pause to any rival approaches from other PE sponsors," CreditSights says.

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Kerry Group's Acquisition of Niacet Seen as Boost to Preservation Strategy

0945 GMT - Kerry Group's acquisition of Niacet, a provider of preservation technologies, aligns with its strategy and materially bolsters its food-protection and preservation platform, Davy Research says. The EUR853 million deal dovetails with the recent sale of part of the Irish nutrition group's consumer-food operations and provides access to a new technology stack, Davy says. "Kerry's food protection and preservation platform has been built over many years--more recently, the platform was enhanced with the acquisition of Fleischmann's Vinegar Company and investment in its fermentation facility in Rochester, Minnesota," Davy says. Kerry shares in London rise 3.1%.

 

Contact: London NewsPlus, Dow Jones Newswires; +44-20-7842-931

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 21, 2021 11:59 ET (15:59 GMT)

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