Fundraisings and takeovers typically require shareholder approval before they can proceed. Investors can keep up to date with corporate activity among UK companies by following the links in the tables below.
Kwasi Kwarteng on the defensive
Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) has prevailed in the bidding auction for Wm Morrison Supermarkets (MRW). The private equity firm’s successful 287p bid for the grocer was announced by the stock market's Takeover Panel. The deal will see a return to the UK grocery sector for Terry Leahy, the former chief executive of Tesco, who is a senior adviser to CD&R.
The news came as it emerged that takeovers of UK companies by foreign firms have surged to their highest level in three years. M&A activity by overseas corporates was worth £27.7bn through the June quarter, up from £8.3bn in the first quarter, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Private equity firms have been a major driver, though there are signs that the government may be taking a harder line for deals in certain sectors, most notably defence. Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is reported to have ordered an investigation into whether the proposed Meggitt (MGGT) takeover would harm the UK’s national security, while Cobham’s tilt at defence compatriot Ultra Electronics (ULE) is being weighed up the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also due to national security concerns. The CMA will have until 18 January to complete its report.
Blue Prism management rejects self-interest charge
Elsewhere, Blue Prism (PRSM) having previously announced that it has reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash acquisition by Bali Bidco Limited (a company indirectly owned by the Vista Equity Partners) at a price of 1,125p a share, is engaged in a public spat with investor Coast Capital over its takeover by the US private equity giant. Coast, which owns around 3 per cent of Blue Prism, has claimed that management only agreed to the sale because of the huge pay day on offer, but Blue Prism’s management refuted the charge, insisting that the proposal was in the best interests of shareholders.