Market Report: Liberty Global could still do a deal with Vodafone, says JPMorganComments Off on Market Report: Liberty Global could still do a deal with Vodafone, says JPMorgan
John Malone’s Liberty Global hasn’t hung up on Vodafone yet. A deal could just be on hold, according to JPMorgan.
Analyst Akhil Dattani said: “Whilst the termination of talks with Liberty may be seen as removing a key catalyst for both stocks, we suspect the saga is far from over, given the strong strategic rationale for a deal.”
Liberty might be waiting on the outcome of the competition watchdog’s ruling on the O2 and Three merger before coming back to the table to swap certain assets with the FTSE 100 group, Dattani speculated.
Investors fear regulators are trying to shut down the telecoms M&A boom.
Andrus Ansip, digital chief of the European Commission, which last month blocked a tie-up between TeliaSonera and Telenor in Denmark, repeated his hard line on mergers yesterday, scuppering hopes of looser competition rules.
That hurt the sector, with Vodafone slipping 3.8p to 206.15p and BT, still waiting on the regulatory green light for its £12.5 billion deal for mobile operator EE, down 5.9p to 425.85p.
Sky, which screens Elementary starring Lucy Liu, was the sector’s only riser, up 2.79p at 1075.79p after an upgrade to outperform by Credit Suisse, which also lifted the group’s target price to 1287p.
The telecoms malaise saw the FTSE 100 continue to backtrack as the blue-chip index fell 37.65 points to 6304.63.
Intertek was among the winners, 52p richer at 2564p, as the product-testing firm’s spending spree continued with the $330 million (£216 million) acquisition of Illinois-based PSI.
Brewer Marston’s trickled 0.45p up to 153.85p after seeing underlying growth across the business over the past year.
The firm, which bought brewer Thwaites for £25 million, benefited from a thirst for premium and craft beers.
Abu Dhabi-based Al Noor Hospitals soared 137.5p, or 14%, to 1132p on the mid-cap index after shaking hands with South Africa’s Mediclinic over a deal to combine the private-hospital groups.
The boom has continued this year for east London apartments builder Telford Homes, which rose 11p to 431p after revealing it expects to double first-half pre-tax profits from last year when it made £9.4 million.
Punters dealt Futura Medical a shot in the arm as it jumped 2.1p, or 9%, to 26.35p after a deal with Quantum Pharma, down 0.06p at 125.44p, which will make and sell Futura’s erectile dysfunction treatment in the UK.