FTSE 100 movers: Whitbread jumps on Sachem Capital stake; Hammerson slumps on Intu deal
London's FTSE 100 was up 0.5% to 7,360.52 in afternoon trade on Wednesday, helped along by a weaker pound amid Brexit deadlock woes.
Premier Inn and Costa owner Whitbread was the standout gainer as it emerged that activist investor Sachem Head Capital Management has picked up a 3.4% stake in the company.
Sachem is a New York hedge fund set up by Scott Ferguson, a protégé of notorious activist shareholder Bill Ackman. One of a new generation of activist funds, Sachem has been active in the UK corporate scene in 2017, with Whitbread seemingly the latest firm where it has spied an opportunity to press management to make changes to potentially increase shareholder returns.
On the downside, Hammerson slumped as it agreed to buy FTSE 250 rival Intu Properties for £3.4bn. For each share owned, Intu shareholders will receive 0.475 new Hammerson shares, which based on the Hammerson's overnight closing price of 534.5p values Intu shares at 253.9p apiece. This will mean Intu shareholders will own roughly 45% of the enlarged group, though the deal is not expected to close until the fourth quarter of 2018.
Analysts pointed to execution risk as one of the reasons why Hammerson shares might be down.
Legal & General was also on the back foot after saying it has reached an agreement to sell its mature savings business to the ReAssure division of Swiss Re for £650m.
Whitbread (WTB) 3,862.00p 4.10%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 4,992.00p 2.93%
Tesco (TSCO) 204.95p 1.97%
Sky (SKY) 995.00p 1.95%
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 222.80p 1.83%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 6,533.00p 1.78%
Kingfisher (KGF) 336.30p 1.63%
Imperial Brands (IMB) 3,080.00p 1.48%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 242.70p 1.42%
BAE Systems (BA.) 557.50p 1.18%
Hammerson (HMSO) 511.50p -4.30%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 2,425.00p -1.94%
Shire Plc (SHP) 3,555.00p -1.56%
Worldpay Group (WPG) 414.60p -1.52%
Croda International (CRDA) 4,272.00p -1.02%
Legal & General Group (LGEN) 261.50p -0.95%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 837.25p -0.92%
Sage Group (SGE) 759.00p -0.85%
Barclays (BARC) 190.10p -0.83%
Scottish Mortgage Inv Trust (SMT) 430.20p -0.76%