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FTSE 100 Live: Stocks surge, easyJet reduces losses, Hipgnosis agrees takeover

Published 18/04/2024, 08:28
© Reuters.  FTSE 100 Live: Stocks surge, easyJet reduces losses, Hipgnosis agrees takeover

Proactive Investors -

  • Blue-chip index up 45 points to 7,894
  • Rentokil dips following results
  • easyJet (LON:EZJ) bolstered following tarding update

FTSE 100 surges in opening trades

The blue-chip index added 45 points to hit 7,894 in the opening stages of Thursday’s trading session, buoyed by a momentary respite in Middle East tensions.

easyJet and British Airways (LON:ICAG) owner IAG are top of the movers list, while Rentokil is leading the losers list after posting its first-quarter results.

Rentokil dips following first-quarter results

Rentokil Initial PLC (LON:RTO)’s revenues were up 4.9% in the first quarter, or 3.1% on an organic basis when stripping out the impact of acquisitions including HiCare in India.

North American growth “stabilised” in the quarter, the FTSE 100-listed group said, with organic revenues up 1.5% in the region. LATAM, the group’s second-largest market, saw organic revenue growth of 4.1%.

Chief executive Andy Ransom called it “a positive overall start to 2024”.

“The group has performed well and our RIGHT WAY 2 plan has delivered a stabilising performance in North America.

“With the key trading period for the business ahead of us, we remain confident in delivering on our guidance of 2-4% organic revenue growth in the region.”

The market appeared underwhelmed by the results, with shares dipping 3.3% in opening trades.

Hipgnosis Songs Fund board agrees takeover offer from Concord

Hipgnosis Songs Fund has agreed to a US$1.4 billion cash takeover offer from Nashville-based music rights owner Concord.

Concord, which owns Fantasy Records and Pulse Records, offered an equivalent of 93.2p per share, representing a premium of around 32% to yesterday’s closing price.

Robert Naylor, chairman of Hipgnosis, said: "The acquisition represents an attractive opportunity for our shareholders to immediately realise their holding at a premium, mitigating the risks we see ahead to achieving a material improvement in the share price."

Last October, shareholders voted in favour of winding up the fund while also voting to oust former chairman Andrew Sutch.

The fund’s catalogue of royalties, which includes music from Neil Young, Justin Bieber and Mark Ronson, saw its valuation slashed following an independent valuation earlier this year, worsened by an accounting error discovered in March.

Shares soared 30% in opening Thursday trades.

Read more on Proactive Investors UK


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