Bid speculation fails to lift FTSE

Bid speculation fails to lift FTSE

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The FTSE 100 Index was down 0.8 points at 5744.5

A raft of stocks saw shares surge ahead on news of takeover interest from opportunistic bidders.

Banknote printer De La Rue and outsourcing firm Mouchel raced higher as they confirmed approaches following their recent stock market woes.

Pub group Punch Taverns was also making strong gains in the second tier after weekend reports of a potential private equity bid, although the FTSE 100 Index failed to make headway – down 0.8 points at 5744.5.

Supermarket Tesco was the leading Footsie faller with a 2% drop after broker UBS downgraded the group citing expectations for growth to slow over the next 10 years.

Shares in the retail giant, which reports back on third quarter figures on Tuesday, dropped 10.2p to 416.7p.

But much of the focus was outside the blue chip index due to takeover moves.

De La Rue was top of the FTSE 250 risers board – up 23% or 152p to 799.5p – after it confirmed an approach, thought to be from French rival Oberthur Technologies for around £750 million.

Punch followed it with a gain of 5.3p to 70.3p in the wake of a report suggesting CVC Capital Partners was preparing to bid for the group.

And outsourcing firm Mouchel was 32% higher, up 19p to 75.5p, as it said it had received a number of approaches after recent hefty share price falls on financial fears.

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