Market Report: Poundland leaps as its 99p Stores merger is cleared

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The champagne corks — or should that be cheap Cava? — were popping at Poundland as the competition watchdog gave its takeover of rival 99p Stores the official green light. 

Shares in the FTSE 250 discount chain, where most items cost a pound, were 9.2p up at 327.2p after the Competition and Markets Authority said the tie-up “may not be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition”.

The CMA said the merged group would still face stiff competition from Poundworld, Sir Terry Leahy’s B&M, 2.6p higher at 320.2p, as well as from supermarket groups Tesco, down 0.45p at 175.8p, and Asda.

Poundland chief Jim McCarthy said: “We believe that the acquisition of 99p Stores will be great for both customers and shareholders and we will move to completion by the end of the month.”

The Federal Reserve’s decision to hold fire on raising US interest rates was something of an anticlimax.

Video: How do pound shops make their money?

London’s benchmark index, the FTSE 100, followed Wall Street lower, falling 14.91 to 6172.08.

A Fed “no” boosted the price of safe-haven precious metals as the dollar weakened, playing into the hands of gold producer Randgold Resources, which shone 121p brighter at 3850p, and silver miner Fresnillo, up 17p to 607p.

Investors in Pace, still waiting for a decision from US regulators about its merger with ARRIS, kept the faith despite the set-top box designer trimming revenue guidance for 2015 by around 5% to $2.55 billion (£1.63 billion). Sticking by profit targets, the shares edged 2.25p higher to 362.25p.

Zoopla rose 3.7p to 212p, triggered by Deutsche Bank elevating its target price to 240p and placing the online property group among the top performers on the mid-cap index.

Dublin-based UDG Healthcare spiked 35p or 7% to 528p as it sold its Irish distribution and British travel healthcare arm to US wholesaler McKesson for €407.5 million (£298.4 million).

A downgrade to underperform from BMO Capital Markets on Premier Oil, down 4.45p at 79.5p, made the oil producer the FTSE 250’s top straggler.

The property-tycoon Candy brothers, Nick and Christian, behind the luxurious One Hyde Park apartments in Knightsbridge, snapped up more shares in their AIM mining venture, Metals Exploration, lifting their stake to just under 50%.

Shares in the Philippines-focused gold miner, which the Candys tried and failed to take full control of in 2011, dropped 0.62p or 15% to 3.5p as it raised up to $10 million in a placing and open offer at 3p per share, with an extra $5 million to be secured though debt securities.

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September 18, 2015 |
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