WINNERS & LOSERS SUMMARY: Ladbrokes Surges On GBP4 Billion GVC Deal

LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the ...

Alliance News 7 December, 2017 | 10:45AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - The following stocks are the leading risers and fallers within the main London indices on Thursday.
Pearson, up 2.6% at 740 pence. JPMorgan raised its price target on the education publisher to 740 pence from 671 pence and reiterated its Neutral rating on the stock.

Prudential, up 1.3%. The life insurer is looking to sell up to GBP13 billion of its GBP33 billion UK annuity business, Sky News reported late Wednesday. The company has asked potential bidders to table offers for one or more portfolios from its legacy book by December 22, Sky News reported, citing sources. According to Sky News, Legal & General Group and Rothesay Life are expected to table an offer for all four tranches of assets being sold by Prudential, with interest in at least one of them from Pension Insurance Corp, Lloyds Banking Group's Scottish Widows, and Aviva. The assets being sold by Prudential comprise different profiles of assets to appeal to a range of buyers, sources told Sky News.
Babcock International, down 1.0%. The stock went ex-dividend meaning new buyers no longer qualify for the latest dividend payout.
Ladbrokes Coral Group, up 25% and GVC Holdings, up 5.0%. The high-street bookmaker and online gambling firm said they are holding talks about a possible merger that would see GVC buy Ladbrokes in a deal worth potentially up to GBP3.90 billion. The non-binding proposal is for GVC to pay 32.7 pence in cash and issue 0.141 GVC shares for each Ladbrokes share, with a further potential payout of 42.8 pence structured as a contingent value right that will be payable if certain targets are met. Excluding the potential 42.8 pence deferred payout, the offer values Ladbrokes at 160.9 pence per share, or GBP3.10 billion in total. Including the maximum deferred consideration, the value rises to GBP3.90 billion. Ladbrokes shares closed on Wednesday at 135.70p. Ladbrokes shareholders would own about 46.5% of the enlarged group, while GVC shareholders would own the other 53.5%. Reacting to the news, shares in online gaming and financial trading systems provider Playtech were down 6.0%.

AVEVA, up 3.7%. Barclays raised the engineering software provider to Overweight from Equal Weight.

William Hill, up 3.3%. The bookmaker said it reached an agreement with Scientific Games Corp to "unconditionally support" its proposed acquisition of Toronto-listed NYX Gaming Group in which it owns a stake. William Hill owns both ordinary and preference shares in its Canadian peer. William Hill's stake was acquired in 2016 for GBP80 million in order to support NYX's GBP270 million acquisition of software gaming company OpenBet. In September, Scientific Games agreed to acquire NYX in a CAD775 million, around GBP450 million, a deal which valued NYX shares at CAD2.40, around GBP1.40, each. William Hill said it had now accepted CAD2.40 for each of its 6.8 million shares in NYX - equivalent to a total consideration of CAD16.3 million - and a further GBP87 million for its convertible preference shares. The total consideration stands at around GBP96.5 million.
Cobham, down 2.0%. Keppler Cheuvreux cut the defence and aerospace technology company to Reduce from Hold.

Electra Private Equity, down 2.0%. Shares in the private equity investor were down after profit dived in its latest financial year due to lower capital gains, though shareholder return beat the benchmark and costs were reduced. The company said that pretax profit for the year to September 30 declined to GBP176.0 million from GBP536.0 million the year before as the gain on capital fell to GBP193.0 million from GBP665.0 million. Total gains on investments fell to GBP247.0 million from GBP756.0 million. Net asset value per share for Electra was 1,981.00 pence, giving a total return for the year of 9.0%.
Advanced Oncotherapy, up 47% at 48.35p. The proton therapy developer said it has signed a distribution agreement with a Chinese medical technology company and raised GBP37.0 million in new capital. The company has signed a distribution agreement with Yantai CIPU Medical Technology Co, which will market and sell the company's LIGHT proton therapy treatment for cancer across China, Macau, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Under the distribution pact, Yantai will make a payment of GBP16.5 million to Advanced Oncotherapy. The company also said it has raised a total of GBP37.4 million in total financing, including the Yantai payment. Yantai also has decided to additionally subscribe 45.0 million new shares in Advanced Oncotherapy at 30.0p each, raising GBP13.5 million. The share subscription price represents a 2.0% premium to its volume-weighted average share price in the month to December 1. Yantai will receive 500,000 share warrants as part of the share subscription.

HSS Hire Group, up 7.7%. The equipment rentals company said it identified additional savings of up to GBP14 million per annum and will implement several measures to improve profits and business performance. HSS Hire has identified between GBP10 million to GBP14 million of additional savings on top of the previously announced GBP13 million. The additional savings are expected to enable the company to reduce leverage and drive profitable growth. The company said it aims to achieve revenue growth in line with the market expectations and rental revenue growth ahead of market views by 2020. It is also targeting an earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation margin above 20% and return of assets above 20% by 2020.
Imaginatik, down 16%. The software and consultancy services company said its loss widened on a lower revenue in the first half of its financial year, with a disappointing first quarter casting doubt on meeting expectations for the full year. Imaginatik reported a pretax loss of GBP572,000 for the six months to September 30, widened from GBP477,000 for the same period the year before. Revenue dipped to GBP1.7 million from GBP1.8 million, offset by lower administrative expenses. Deferred revenue secured fell to GBP2.6 million from GBP3.4 million, primarily due to the delay in a significant renewal valued at GBP900,000 which had to be closed post-period. Imaginatik said the lower revenue and loss was a result of a disappointing trading performance in the first quarter of the year, not quite offset by a significant improvement in bookings in the second quarter, bringing the overall total bookings to GBP1.7 million, down from GBP2.0 million the year before.
By Arvind Bhunjun;

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Electra Private Equity Ord 837.50 GBX 2.57 -
Imaginatik PLC 2.15 GBX -75.43 -
HSS Hire Group PLC 33.20 GBX -0.90 -
Ladbrokes Coral Group PLC
William Hill PLC 230.00 GBX -0.69 -
Advanced Oncotherapy PLC 38.00 GBX 0.00 -
Cobham PLC 107.25 GBX -0.92
AVEVA Group PLC 2,666.00 GBX 0.23 -
GVC Holdings PLC 945.50 GBX 1.72 -
Babcock International Group PLC 626.40 GBX 0.55
Prudential PLC 1,527.50 GBX -1.80
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