Weak economic data from China and ongoing geopolitical tensions in Ukraine prompt UK markets to start the week on the back foot. London's FTSE 100 is trading 15.8 points off at 6,807.22 in early trading.
Sports media specialist Perform (PER) rises 26.1% to 257p after receiving a 260p takeover offer from 42.5% shareholder Access Industries. While this is at a 27.6% premium to the previous working day's share price, it is still considerably lower than the 500p-plus range at which the shares traded in 2013 before slumping on a profit warning. Read our recent views on Perform in an article about challenger companies.
Housebuilder Berkeley (BKG) inches 6p lower to £23.92 despite flagging the UK housing market reverting to normal transaction levels from the high point in 2013. The group's interim management statement does reassure investors that earnings this year remain in line with current market expectations.
A takeover of wireless and bluetooth chips designer CSR (CSR) appears to be edging closer as US suitor Microchip Technology (MCHP:NDQ) confirms a cash offer is close. The UK company, who's shares remain flat at 786p, but are 37% up since talks were first revealed last week, has not commented but negotiations would appear to be advancing behind the scenes.
Driver fatigue monitoring specialist Seeing Machines(SEE:AIM) is to see its technology mass-produced under a new deal with a major global manufacturer. The firm has inked a 15-year strategic alliance with TK Holdings, the US subsidiary of Japanese automotive equipment giant Takata (7312:T). The news sends the shares shooting 23% higher to 6p, with market gossips speculating that today's agreement might even result in a takeover of the UK-listed company.
Digital advertising services company Crossrider is to float on AIM, raising $75 million for an expected $250 million valuation upon listing. The chairman is Don Elgie, former boss of media group Creston (CRE); and the main shareholder is Playtech (PTEC) founder Teddy Sagi. None of the existing shareholders are selling down at float.
Although best known for managing warehouses and deliveries for retail companies, Clipper Logistics (CLG) nudges ahead 1.6% to 155p after winning a UK contract to store and distribute goods from cigarette giant Philip Morris (PM:NYSE).
Deal-hungry car dealer Vertu Motors (VTU:AIM) adds 1.1% to 57.88p on a reassuring half-year pre-close update. The UK's sixth biggest automotive retailer has continued to trade in line with expectations since July's strong, upgrades-driving annual meeting update. CEO Robert Forrester is 'confident that further progress will be made during the remainder of the financial year'.
Chinese theme parks ticketing solutions supplier Galasys (GLS:AIM) advances 2.6% to 19.75p as half year revenues and pre-tax profits jump 34% and 35% respectively. The company joined AIM in May at 22.5p.
Hargreaves Services (HSP), the UK’s largest operator of surface coal mines, has sold its Imperial Tankers business to Sutton Transport for £26.9 million. The move is part of a drive to simplify the group’s structure and free up working capital. Hargreaves, which also has trading and power station services operations, will keep Imperial’s fleet of dry bulk vehicles. The stock trades 3.2% lower at 767p
Building supply specialist Grafton (GFTU) is largely unchanged at 649.5p as the Dublin-based business announces the acquisition of Direct Builders Merchants. The acquisition trades out of three branches in Sittingbourne, Whitstable and Ashford in Kent.