Market report: City goes wild as Worldpay owners flood market with cheap shares

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Investors were prepared to flash the cash at Worldpay today as they snapped up some of the discounted shares offered by its private equity backers.

Advent and Bain Capital, which floated the payments giant last year at 240p per share, dumped 350 million shares at 282p each for just shy of £1 billion, cutting their stake to a combined 10.7%.

The pair meant to offload 300 million shares but said “strong investor demand” spurred them on to selling more of the FTSE 100 credit card payments processing company than they had planned.

Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley were joint bookrunners on the placing.

Advent and Bain bought Worldpay from RBS in 2010 for just over £2 billion. The company, which fell  10.5p to 283.9p today, is now worth  £5.7 billion.

Worldpay was among the biggest casualties on another lacklustre day for the FTSE 100, which slipped 2.50 points to 6823.55.

A rally from Brent crude propelled oil firms up the table, with Royal Dutch Shell 24.5p higher at 1963p.

However, oil’s rise took its toll on easyJet, off 16p at 1134p, on the prospect of pricier fuel, with a downgrade from Buy to Hold from Deutsche Bank exacerbating the decline.

The broker cut its outlook for the whole airline sector, warning that capacity is “stubbornly” high. It also said the Brexit decision and the upcoming US elections could hit passenger numbers.

Ryanair, which was also cut to Hold, dipped 15 cents to €12.60 (£10.58).

Asthma drug-maker Vectura rushed to the top of the mid-cap index after lifting its annual forecasts.

Shares in the company, which merged with SkyePharma earlier this year in a £440 million deal, surged 16.43p to 143.33p.

TLA Worldwide, the sports agency backed by Lord Ashcroft, withdrew its backing for a takeover by Atlantic Alliance Partnership Corp, a Nasdaq-quoted shell company.

The Tory peer, who has a near-12% stake in TLA, stood to make £11 million from a deal. Shares dived 12.5p to 43p.

Over on AIM, Futura Medical rocketed 35.5p, or 125%, to 64p after impressive trial results from its erectile dysfunction gel.

Investors bid farewell to Sweett Group as the construction firm — the first to be convicted by the SFO for not preventing bribery — left the LSE after a takeover.

The company, which was fined £1.4 million in February for failing to prevent bribes being paid to secure the contract to build a hotel in Dubai, has been bought by consultant Currie & Brown, which is owned by Middle Eastern engineering firm Dar Group.

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September 7, 2016 |
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