MARKET REPORT: Johnson Matthey shares rise on takeover talks

Johnson Matthey stormed to the top of the FTSE 100 amid takeover speculation after an industrial investor doubled its stake.

The chemicals giant, which will be removed from the blue-chip index later this month, rose 9.9 percent or 160.5 pence to 1790.5 pence yesterday as the Standard Latitude Master Fund increased its stake from 5.2 percent 10.1 percent increased to a stock exchange filing.

With this move, New York-based Standard Industries is now the largest shareholder in the London-listed company.

In April last year, the company took a stake in Johnson Matthey for the first time.

Lacie Midgley, an analyst at British investment bank Panmure Gordon, said Standard Industries has a track record of active investments in the chemicals sector.

Takeover speculation: Johnson Matthey rose 9.9 percent or 160.5 pence to 1790.5 pence

Takeover speculation: Johnson Matthey rose 9.9 percent or 160.5 pence to 1790.5 pence

The company bought WR Grace, a major maker of process catalysts, for £5.6 billion in July 2021.

Midgley added that Johnson couldn’t rule out Matthey as a takeover target because “the current stock price fundamentally undervalues ​​the sum of the parts.” Michael Hewson, senior market analyst at online trading firm CMC Markets UK, added that the move could also mean that “pressure will increase to partially unwind the business”.

The London-listed company signed a three-year strategic partnership with Norwegian hydrogen company Hystar earlier this year.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.3 percent, or 25.41 points, to 7464.54.

But the FTSE 250 slipped 0.4 percent, or 68.8 points, to 18536.9.

Oil prices rose 1 percent as Brent crude surged just above $87 a barrel.

The gains lifted BP 3 per cent or 13.3 pence to 500.8 pence and Shell rose 1.4 per cent or 33 pence to 2444.5 pence. Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser said Kris Licht will join as chief executive on October 1.

The consumer goods company, which also makes Durex and the sore throat Strepsils, announced Licht’s appointment in late April.

He served as President of Reckitt’s healthcare business and will replace Nicandro Durante, who took over the helm last October.

Shares rose 0.1 per cent, or 8p, to 5710p.

The Frasers Group increased its stake in online retailer Boohoo this week for the second time.

Mike Ashley’s retail empire, which includes Sports Direct, Jack Wills and Flannels, increased its stake in the fashion brand to 10.4% from 9.1%.

That means Frasers are more than a tenth of Boohoo and Curries (up 0.3 per cent or 0.15 pence to 50.2 pence) and almost a fifth of Asos (up 2.6 per cent or 11.4 pence to 449, 8 pence) controlled.

Boohoo was up 6.1 percent, or 2.16 pence, to 37.81 pence and Frasers Group was up 0.2 percent, or 1.5 pence, to 808 pence.

Johnson Service Group has bought Ireland’s largest healthcare wash supplier for £27m (€31.5m).

The London-listed group said Celtic Linen, like many companies in the textile services sector, has been hit by the impact of Covid.

Shares rose 4.2 percent or 5 pence yesterday to 123.8 pence.

Kinovo, a real estate services company, dashed hopes of a potential takeover bid by the owner of its major shareholder.

The group was approached last month by private equity firm Rx3, whose advisers include American comedian Kevin Hart and high school musical actress Vanessa Hudgens, with a cash offer of 56 pence per share to the group.

Rx3 is owned by Tim Scott, who holds a 30 percent stake in Kinovo through his investment company Tipacs2.

But the AIM-listed group said yesterday it would not recommend it to shareholders if the offer were officially filed.

Rx3 has until September 21 to decide whether to make an offer or walk away.

Shares rose 6.1 per cent, or 3p, to 52p.

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Drew Weisholtz

Drew Weisholtz is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Drew Weisholtz joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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