Maitland Morning Monitor – Monday 16 April 2018

16th April 2018

Market Information

The FTSE is expected to open higher this morning and the French CAC and German DAX both opened up.

Meanwhile, equities in Asia were mixed. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down and Japan's Nikkei was up.

In the news

  • Sorrell free to launch new ad company after quitting WPP (Financial Times)
  • Russia launches cyber war on UK (The Telegraph)
  • Patients will decide how they spend NHS money (The Times)

Top Financial Announcements

* Maitland Client

Shire PLC Shire Announces Sale of Oncology Business to Servier for $2.4 Billion
  • The Company has entered into a definitive agreement with Servier S.A.S. to sell its Oncology business for $2.4 billion.
  • The gross assets that are the subject of the transaction are approximately $1.6bn and the profits attributable to the assets being transferred are approximately $140m, excluding depreciation, amortization and other direct and indirect costs.
  • Flemming Ornskov, CEO, said: “This transaction is a key milestone for Shire, demonstrating the clear value embedded in our portfolio.  While the Oncology business has delivered high growth and profitability, we have concluded that it is not core to Shire’s longer-term strategy.  We will continue to evaluate our portfolio for opportunities to unlock further value and sharpen our focus on rare disease leadership with selective disposals of non-strategic assets. “
WPP PLC Chief Executive Officer Steps Down
  • Sir Martin Sorrell has stepped down as Chief Executive Officer of WPP with immediate effect.
  • Roberto Quarta, Chairman of WPP, becomes Executive Chairman until the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.
  • Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer of Wunderman and WPP Digital, and Andrew Scott, WPP Corporate Development Director and Chief Operating Officer, Europe, have been appointed as joint Chief Operating Officers of WPP.
  • Roberto Quarta, Chairman, said: “Sir Martin has been the driving force behind the expansion of WPP to create the global leader in marketing services. During this time, the Company has been successful because it has valued and nurtured outstanding talent at every level – within and well beyond our leadership teams.
  • Sir Martin Sorrell said: “Obviously I am sad to leave WPP after 33 years. It has been a passion, focus and source of energy for so long. However, I believe it is in the best interests of the business if I step down now. I leave the Company in very good hands, as the Board knows.
Johnson Matthey PLC Directorate Change
  • The Board of Directors have announced that Patrick Thomas will succeed Tim Stevenson as Chairman.Patrick will join the board as Non-Executive Director and Chairman Designate on 1st June 2018. He will be appointed as Chairman of the board with effect from the end of the Annual General Meeting on 26th July 2018 when Tim Stevenson retires.
  • Tim Stevenson, Chairman, said: “I am thrilled that the board has chosen Patrick to succeed me as Chairman. Patrick brings a valuable combination of extensive board experience and recent executive leadership of major global organisations. I am confident that he will successfully steer Johnson Matthey to deliver continued value for our shareholders as we pursue our vision to make the world a cleaner and healthier place.”
Vedanta Resources PLC Appointment of CEO and Executive Director
  • The Company announces the appointment of Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective 31 August 2018. He succeeds Kuldip Kaura, the current Interim CEO.
  • Anil Agarwal, Chairman, said: “We have gone through a very thorough search process and are delighted to invite Venkat to join Vedanta in the position of CEO. Venkat is a widely respected business leader in the global resources space, who brings to Vedanta an impressive set of values and a wealth of experience in corporate and other roles in the UK, Africa, Australia, South America and India. He also has a strong track record managing a complex portfolio of operating assets and projects across Africa.”