Who would have thought the world of box making could be so action-packed?
Smurfit Kappa is reportedly coming under pressure from major shareholders to negotiate with a US rival that it has already rejected twice.
Dublin-based Smurfit knocked back International Paper Company’s latest £7.8billion offer at the end of March for undervaluing Europe’s largest box maker.
However, some of Smurfit’s biggest shareholders are thought to want the FTSE 100 firm to negotiate with the Memphis-based firm if it returns with a better offer.
Smurfit’s shares ended the day up 3 per cent, or 90p, at 3072p.
The FTSE 100 fell 0.91 per cent, or 66.36 points, to 7198.20 in the first day of trading since the UK, US and France bombed Syria.
The Kremlin has been threatened with more sanctions from the US over its support for Syria, which hit Russian firms listed in London. Evraz, the steel giant, was rooted to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after its shares fell nearly 7 per cent, or 27.4p, to 365.2p. Dual-listed gold and silver miner Polymetal International’s shares dropped 9.5 per cent, or 64.4p, to 611.2p. Separately, Polymetal acquired an 85 per cent stake in a copper-gold deposit and increased its stake in a silver deposit.
It was another miserable day for Sage, Britain’s largest software firm, which saw another £201million wiped off its value. Disappointing sales sliced £596million from the value of its shares on Friday.
Its shares fell another 3 per cent, or 18.6p, to 598.4p as Investec cut its target price from 800p to 650p.
British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) received backing as it mulls a bid for budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Last week it emerged IAG had a 4.6 per cent stake in Norwegian, which offers flights from London to New York for less than £150, as it positions itself for a full takeover.
Investec told investors: ‘Norwegian is the eighth-largest airline group in Europe by passengers and would provide IAG with enhanced scale, fleet optionality and potential to increase margins in a similar way to that achieved with [past acquisitions] Iberia and Vueling.’ IAG’s shares notched up 0.9 per cent, or 5.6p, to 614.6p.
In the small caps, Moss Bros shares took a tumble as the menswear chain complained of a ‘fragile’ trading environment.
Last month, the firm blamed stock issues and falling consumer confidence for its second profit warning in two months.
In the annual report chairman Debbie Hewitt said: ‘Although we expect the trading environment for the business in the first half of 2018 to remain challenging, we anticipate that our stock shortage will be resolved by late spring and are confident momentum will improve as our product, service and cost initiatives take effect.’ Shares, down more than 48pc over the past year, fell another 6.5 per cent, or 3.6p, to 52p.
Kainos rocketed as the software firm reported trading in line with market expectations for the year ending March 31. Shares jumped nearly 8 per cent, or 26p, to 353p.
Aim-listed digital performance marketing firm XLMedia has bought comparison site WhichBingo.co.uk for an undisclosed amount. The site, founded in 2000, provides reviews and information about special offers for bingo sites. XL’s shares dipped 2.2 per cent, or 3.5p, to 154.5p.
An upbeat trading update gave a boost to shares in Draper Esprit, a venture capital firm that invests in tech companies. It has more than doubled its portfolio to £244million in the past year and says it is achieving its aim of producing 20 per cent-plus returns a year. Shares
Earning have risen
Amur Minerals boomed after the miner reported a sharp rise in forecasted earnings at its Russian nickel copper sulphide project.
The Aim-listed firm said its projected earnings have increased 79pc to £1.9bn as it began extracting minerals underground at two sites as well as from an open pit.
The total mining potential of its Kun-Manie site is now thought to be 73m ore tons, or 12 years of production. Shares leapt 8.5pc, or 0.38p, to 4.78p.