UK shares collapse again in early trade on Tuesday following the Bank Holiday weekend reflecting major losses overnight in the US and earlier today in Asia. The FTSE 100 tumbles 150 points, or nearly 2.5%, to 6,090, with major indexes across Europe also taking a hammering. Miners are particularly weak, with Glencore (GLEN) heading the Footsie loser board with a 5% slump to 140.8p
In corporate news, takeover activity sparks several shares to jump, matching the large gains of branded oven maker AGA Rangemaster (AGA). It jumps 13% (23.75p) to 207p on news home appliances play Whirpool Corp (WHR:NYSE) has made a counterbid. It is challenging an agreed £129 million bid (15 Jul) from fellow US outfit Middleby Corporation (MIDD:NDQ), which AGA Rangemaster continues to recommend to shareholders.
Small cap construction safety provider Latchways (LTC) soars 47.5% to £10.62 as New-York-listed MSA Safety (MSA:NYSE) bids £11.00 a share for the stock and receives acceptance from 38% of the firm’s shareholders.
Shares in insurance claims software firm Innovation Group (TIG) nudge modestly higher as the company confirms an agreed £500 million takeover by private equity firm Carlyle. The story initially broke late on Friday, sparking a big jump in the share price given the 40p per share offer. Shares flagged that a deal was in the offing back in June, and Carlyle's offer is believed to be supported by all of Innovation's major shareholders.
E&P Petroceltic PCI:AIM) is up 19.6% to 64p on a read-through from a massive discovery by ENI (ENI:BIT) offshore Egypt which borders its 50%-owned North Port Fouad licence.
Australian unconventional hydrocarbons play Falcon Oil & Gas (FOG:AIM) is up 5.5% to 7.25p as it reveals encouraging results from its first well – Kalala S-1 – in the Beetaloo basin. We caught up with the company ahead of drilling recently.
Elsewhere, asset manager Henderson (HGG) continues to feel the heat of sliding equity markets, falling 5% to 246p. Dual-listed in Australia, Henderson stock had already been under pressure in the first two sessions of the week in the country, falling 3.9% since Friday’s close in Australian dollar terms.
Pest control specialist Rentokil Initial (RTO) advances 3% to 153p as it proposes a $425 million (£276 million) acquisition of US-based Steritech. The deal would secure Rentokil’s place as the number three player in the US pest control market and remains subject to regulatory approval.
AstraZeneca (AZN) has bad timing as it agrees a deal that will see Valeant Pharmaceuticals develop its psoriasis drug brodalumab. The Canadian company will pay $100 million upfront in a deal that includes further milestone payments, but Astra shares slide 2.4% to £40.21 as the wider market slump drags on the pharma giant's stock.