Fidessa buoyed by Ion’s victory after heated takeover battle
The heated takeover battle for City software firm
Fidessa came to a head yesterday afternoon after Dublin-based Ion Investment beat off its two rivals with a £1.5bn bid.
The two sides agreed to a deal just hours before a 5pm deadline in which Ion and rival bidder SS&C Technologies had to firm up their offers or walk away from the process.
The move will see Ion snap up Fidessa for £38.703 per share, trumping the bid Swiss software group Temenos made for the company earlier this year.
Ion’s offer is 8.5pc more than the amount Temenos tabled and marks a premium of almost 50pc to Fidessa’s share price of £26.05 on Feb 16, just before the talks with Temenos were made public.
Shareholders had been due to vote on the Temenos deal next Friday. The deal with Ion has already received the backing of 25.1pc of shareholders, including investor Elliott.
Including a 79.7p dividend, shareholders will receive £39.50 for each Fidessa share, the companies said. Shares in Fidessa rose 55p to £40.55.
Hedge fund Elliott Advisors also disclosed yesterday that it had bought a 1.5pc stake in
Hammerson, days after the shopping centre owner announced that it would walk away from a deal to buy rival Intu.
Elliott, which is known for its activist stance in companies in which it invests, bought more than 12m Hammerson shares, making it one of the company’s top 20 shareholders. Hammerson’s stock closed 20.6p higher at 540p, meaning Elliott’s stake is worth around £65.6m.
Meanwhile, Barclays, which has been trying to fend off a likely shake-up from New York-based corporate raider Edward Bramson, firmed 1.3p at 215.5p after the City watchdog said that the UK bank’s chief, Jes Staley, can keep his job. The Financial Conduct Authority fined him for trying to unmask a whistleblower two years ago but cleared him of acting with “a lack of integrity”, a more serious charge that could have seen him lose his role. Fallers included Reckitt
Benckiser, whose shares dropped 161p to £56.25 after the Nurofen and Harpic maker missed its first-quarter sales targets.
“In common with several other consumer staples companies to have reported so far, this year’s earlier Easter doesn’t seem to have helped Q1’s performance – or if it has, the underlying picture is pretty grim,” analysts at RBC Capital Markets said.
Shire shares also fell, closing down 153.5p at £32.22, even though its suitor Takeda came back with a fourth offer.
European stock markets were mixed yesterday afternoon as “traders remain cautious about the global political outlook”, said David Madden of CMC Markets. “The possibility of a trade war between the US and China is still bubbling away in the background, and the Russian sanctions are still playing on traders’ minds. Dealers are likely to remain nervous until there is some progress on geopolitical issues.”
The FTSE 100 index closed up 0.54pc at 7,368 points, helped by the slide in sterling after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney diminished the prospect of a rate hike next month.