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Wednesday Papers: Listings worth $8.3bn lined up in IPO flurry

Wednesday Papers: Listings worth $8.3bn lined up in IPO flurry

Top stories

  • Financial Times: The private equity backers of ISS, the Danish outsourcing group and Poundland, the UK discount retailer, on Tuesday announced their intention to float the companies in Copenhagen and London, just a day after GTT, the French engineering group, said it would seek a listing in Paris; the moves mean more than $8.3 billion worth of European IPOs are being marketed.
  • The Guardian: Generic drugmaker Actavis said it would buy Forest Laboratories Inc for about $25 billion in cash and stock.
  • Daily Express: King Digital, the video games company behind internet sensation Candy Crush Saga, is lining up a stock market listing to raise £300 million.
  • The Independent: Fresh from receiving a low-ball takeover approach from its biggest shareholder, Essar Energy reported a 68% dive in quarterly production at its Stanlow refinery in Ellesmere Port yesterday and announced a $100 million cost-cutting drive.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Coca-Cola's profits fell 8.4% to $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter, while revenues missed expectations by nearly $300 million.
  • Financial Times: Nick D’Aloisio, the teenager who sold his tech start-up to Yahoo for an estimated $30 million, has made his first investment with the proceeds, putting his money into Sweden’s Tictail.

Business and economics

  • Daily Express: Britain will get a new challenger bank after buy-to-let mortgage provider Paragon Group won permission from the City watchdog to start offering savings and loans products.
  • Daily Express: Rising costs of burning coal have hit electricity producer Drax but it said greener energy generation plans were powering ahead.
  • The Guardian: Postal group TNT is to create hundreds of new jobs under plans to double its workforce in London.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Treasury has given Edinburgh permission to issue up to £2.2 billion on the international bond markets but has warned that it will not be able to borrow at the UK's low borrowing rate.
  • Daily Express: Shares in InterContinental Hotels Group fell yesterday as a failure to announce a return of cash and concerns over growth prospects in China overshadowed a 10% rise in annual operating profit.
  • Financial Times: John Wood Group said it would raise its dividend by a quarter as it posted a 14% rise in full-year profit boosted by expansion in the US shale industry.
  • Financial Times: The Federal Reserve offered modest concessions to foreign banks but pressed ahead with the core of a plan to subject their US operations to tougher capital requirements and annual stress tests.
  • Financial Times: Ferrari recorded record revenues, profits and cash flow in 2013 despite intentionally selling fewer cars.
  • Daily Mail: Tesco Bank offers two-year fixed rate mortgage at 1.64% but borrowers will be hit with a near £1,500 fee.
  • Daily Express: Bumper profits from sales of Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in California revved up earnings at car dealer Pengragon; underlying annual pre-tax profit accelerated 21% to £44.2 million.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Dubai to ease finance fears with $10 billion debt deal; improved terms for $10 billion debt roll-over deal a sign of the revival in Dubai's fortunes after World Expo win.
  • The Guardian: A furious insurance industry branded Ed Miliband as irresponsible and accused him of raising false hopes when he suggested that insured victims of the floods should receive payments within weeks.
  • Financial Times: Another UK corporate pensions insurer is to quit the market after MetLife agreed to sell its bulk annuity business to Goldman Sachs-backed Rothesay Life.
  • Daily Mail: Figures from the Association of British Insurers reveal that 353,000 annuities worth £11.9 billion were sold last year to people converting their pension pot into an income, a significant 16% drop on the 420,000 sold the year before.
  • Financial Times: Companies that have failed to adjust their pension schemes to cover rising life expectancy are facing a steep rise in liabilities; according to the latest findings of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the risk of dying for men aged 63 to 77 fell by more than 4% in the five years to the end of 2007.
  • The Independent: FirstGroup’s train licence extended for another six months.
  • Daily Mail: The average UK house now costs exactly a quarter of a million pounds; house prices rose by 5.5% in 2013, while property inflation is beginning to increase strongly across the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics.
  • Daily Mail: UK inflation fell to 1.9% in January, dipping below the Bank of England's 2% target for the first time since November 2009.
  • Financial Times: Nespresso is betting that a new machine that brews larger coffees will help double its US sales to $600 million in the next two years.
  • The Independent: With an overall customer satisfaction score of 76%, Aldi narrowly beat long-favourite Waitrose (75%), voted the best supermarket in the UK since the survey began in 2007, as bargain-hungry shoppers turn to cheaper options.
  • Financial Times: Morgan Sindall registered a 34% fall in pre-tax profits as higher supply costs and a host of troublesome contracts took their toll.
  • Financial Times: The increasingly business friendly economic policy being floated by French president François Hollande this year could enable Vinci and others in the construction sector to create 40,000 jobs if it were followed through.
  • Financial Times: BHP Billiton has joined rival Rio Tinto in forecasting a surplus for the seaborne iron ore market in 2014.
  • Financial Times: Coffee prices jumped as much as 10% on Tuesday to a 13-month high as continued worries about hot and dry weather spurred buying by hedge funds and other financial investors.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • The Guardian: PSA Peugeot Citroën and China's Dongfeng motor company have agreed a €3 billion (£2.4 billion) capital tie-up that buys the French carmaker more time to turn its business around, brings in new management and ends two centuries of family control.
  • The Independent: Socialbakers, a social media analytics company that monitors online conversations, has raised $26 million in a deal that values the business at close to $200 million.
  • The Guardian: Marks & Spencer has finally taken control of its online store from Amazon, bringing its high street outlets and website a step closer together.
  • Financial Times: Hilco Capital has put its 100% stake in Denby Holdings, owner of the Denby coloured glazed ware and Burleigh ceramics brands, up for sale.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Bwin.party shares lift on activist hopes; SpringOwl said it would be acquiring 6.1% of the share register and a seat on the board.
  • Daily Express: Discount chain Poundland is set to list on the stock market next month, potentially netting big windfalls for its private equity and management backers; the group plans a flotation towards the end of March expected to value it at about £750 million.
  • Financial Times: Global Logistic Properties, a large Asian warehouse operator, will raise $2.5 billion by selling up to a third of its Chinese business to state-backed investors.
  • Financial Times: Rolls-Royce slipped to a one-year low on Tuesday, down 2.9% to 976.5p, after Citigroup cut the engine maker from its “buy” list.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The mining boom has resulted in a huge extraction of wealth. But while Norway has been prudent with its resource bounty, turning it into a fund for future generations, Australia has not.
  • The Independent (Comment): An independent Scotland may find it hard to enter the European Union and the pound but wouldn't it be better off without them?
  • The Independent (Comment): IPOs are back in London, but is it quantity or quality? Poundland is going to be joined by others, and sooner rather than later.
  • The Independent (Comment): Poundland's gimmick may inflate away its value. Talking of selling off minority stakes, some estimates suggest that discount retailer Poundland could be worth £750m when it joins the market by selling one.
  • The Independent (Comment): To look at Essar Energy's trading update, you could almost believe this was nothing out of the ordinary. Move along, nothing to see here, business as usual.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Candy Crush: an investment in King Digital Entertainment means venture capital style risk without the upside.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Actavis / Forest: if you think Actavis’s acquisition strategy is repeatable, buy the shares.
  • Financial Times (Lex): BHP Billiton: miners are starting to diverge on capital returns – more power to shareholders’ elbows.

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