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Equiniti jumps after agreeing £673mn takeover


9.59am: Siris snaps up payments group

And the bids keep coming.

Equiniti Group PLC (LON:EQN)  has agreed a £673mln takeover by private equity group Siris Capital, pushing its shares up 7.48% to 181p, a penny ahead of the offer price.

Chairman of the payment and investor services group Philip Yea said: “The EQ Board believes that the offer from Siris represents an attractive and certain value in cash today for EQ’s shareholders, reflecting the strength of EQ’s high quality business and its future prospects in a still uncertain environment.”

8.57am: Gift group shares rise after expansion deal

Shares in Appreciate Group PLC (LON:APP) are living up to the company’s name.

They have jumped 9.09% to 39.71p after the company behind gift products Park Christmas Savings, and Love2shop unveiled a deal with payment group PayPoint PLC (LON:PAY).

The deal means that Appreciate’s products will be offered at PayPoint’s network of 28,000 retailer partner stores across the UK.

Consumers will be able to buy Love2Shop e-gift cards at PayPoint outlets, and these can be exchanged so that customers can shop with the likes of Argos, Halfords, Marks & Spencer, ASOS, Costa and Uber Eats.

Appreciate chief executive Ian O’Doherty said: “The partnership provides our first physical distribution network for Love2Shop e-gift cards.  Overnight, it provides us with a network of 28,000 stores that reach into the heart of communities throughout the UK.

“Following recent success in building out our digital offering, this agreement further enhances our offer and adds depth to how customers can access our products. Looking ahead, working with partners who we believe can strengthen our proposition and help us drive growth, such as PayPoint, is a key component of our plans for future growth.”

Meanwhile PayPoint itself is down 0.85% at 584p.

It has issued full year results showing a 9.1% decrease in revenues from continuing operations, with COVID-19 having an impact on UK bill payments, ATM and parcels. Profits fell from £50mln to £19.4mln, including £16.1mln of exceptional items.

8.27am: Brave Bison boosted by upbeat trading statement

Shares in Brave Bison Group PLC (LON:BBSN) are advancing after a positive statement prepared for its annual meeting.

The social media and marketing group, which has recently partnered with the likes of Panasonic, Vodafone, Uniqlo and the BBC, said its propects looked promising and it believed it could beat market forecasts for the full year.

Executive chairman Oliver Green said: “Brave Bison has made a strong start to the current financial year and has now been trading profitably on an adjusted basis for the last eight months. Adjusted EBITDA in the first four months .. was over £0.25m, despite this traditionally being the weakest period of the year.

“The group continues to see a strong pipeline of clients beginning to release additional budget.  As a result, the board is optimistic as to the group’s prospects and is confident that Brave Bison is positioned to meet or exceed current full year market expectations.”  

The company’s shares are 7.3% higher at 1.47p.

Shares in Augean PLC (LON:AUG) have jumped 15.9% to 288p on news of a possible bid for the waste management firm.

Following reports of a possible offer, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Inc said it was “in the preliminary stages of considering making an approach to Augean regarding a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Augean.”

It added the usual caveat that there was no certainty an offer would be made, nor did it give details of the terms.

But at its current price Augean – whose clients include companies in the oil and gas and nuclear markets – has a market capitalisation of around £300mln.


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