Market Report: Sky rockets on buzz of Vivendi making a bid in European expansion

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Reports emerged overnight that French media group Vivendi is considering a punt for the broadcaster of Modern Family as part of plans to expand the reach of its Canal Plus TV business across Europe.

It comes a day after Vivendi confirmed it has made a €217 million (£159 million) offer for video website Daily Motion.

Vivendi quickly poured cold water on the news, saying Sky was just one of a number of options being looked at.

Liberum’s Ian Whittaker said: “We would not totally rule out a bid at some point as there is some strategic rationale and Vivendi would probably have the ability to buy Sky given its significant net cash position post-disposals.”

That was enough for speculators, who sent Sky soaring 20p to 1042.5p.

News of the biggest deal in decades helped spur the Footsie 27.79 points higher to 6989.56.


Commenting on the Shell and BG tie-up, Trustnet Direct’s Tony Cross said: “Don’t be surprised if this ignites a fire underneath the rest of the oil and gas sector, which has been under intense scrutiny in the wake of falling oil prices.”

Elsewhere Experian climbed 34p to 1183.5p as Credit Suisse upgraded the credit-checking specialist, citing “accelerating organic growth, an ongoing buyback scheme, prodigious cash generation and an optimised balance sheet”.

Nomura was playing favourites in the transport sector. The investment bank upgraded Go-Ahead, up 87p at 2517.5p, saying the bus and rail operator has “the most attractive market exposure in the sector”.

But National Express was cut off at the knees as Nomura said it has “concerns” about the company’s US school bus business. National Express drifted 3.7p to 289.65p.

Housebuilders were out of favour, with traders pointing to a slump among US builders overnight. Persimmon dipped 26p to 1656p, Bellway fell 61p to 1928.5p and Berkeley lost 66p to 2610p.

Online advertising specialist Blinkx slipped 2p to 28.5p as it confirmed earnings and revenue would be well below the previous year’s figure.

TyraTech jumped 0.37p to 5.12p on AIM after saying its Vamousse head lice treatment will be stocked in Walgreens, America’s largest pharmacy chain.

Trinity Exploration could sell off all or part of its business after kicking off a strategic review. But it reported a production fall and lost 2.75p to 16.25p.

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April 8, 2015 |
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