Maitland/AMO Morning Monitor – Friday 24 December 2021
In the news
- The US and Russia are to hold talks over Ukraine, with Putin indicating that a meeting is scheduled for January in Geneva.
- An official report by the UK Health Security Agency confirms that omicron is likely to be a milder variant of Covid-19, and governmental sources believe New Year's Eve restrictions are increasingly unlikely.
- Third Point Chair Steve Bates has stepped down after receiving personal threats amid an escalating fight with rebel investors.
- Ex-TSB chair Richard Meddings has been picked as the next chair of the NHS.
- Europe's biggest energy users are curbing production as they warned of soaring power and gas prices, which could lead to higher manufacturing costs and impact competitiveness.
- Parliament is currently in recess until 5 January 2021.
Stock market moves
- In the US, stocks were steady with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 rising 0.62% and 0.79% respectively on Thursday.
- In Asia, Japan’s Topix index fell -0.13% while China’s Shanghai Composite index decreased -0.69% by market close. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index is currently closing upwards at 0.13%.
- In Europe, the FTSE 100 has opened flat.
Corporate announcements* Maitland Client
Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC Proposed Sale of E45 to Karo Pharma
- Has entered agreement for the proposed sale of its E45 brand and related sub-brands to Karo Pharma for an implied enterprise value of £200m.
- The brands had a combined net revenue of £43m for FY2020.
- The sale, if completed, is another step forward in Reckitt’s plan to actively manage its portfolio for higher growth.
- Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Reckitt, said: “Now is the right time to pass E45 on to a new owner, and we are confident that Karo will build on the strength of the E45 brand to capture the significant opportunities ahead.”
- Has completed sale of its Power business to M Group Services for a gross cash consideration of £50m.
- For the year ended 31 March 2021, the business reported total revenues of £70m and profit before interest and tax of around £7m.
- The business will now form part of Morrison Energy Services, a division of M Group Services.
- David Lockwood, CEO of Babcock, said: “I’m delighted that we continue to make real strides in delivering our plan of streamlining the Group. The business is a great fit for M Group Services, and I wish them every success as they continue to grow their operations.”
- Has agreed to sell its AMT Sybex software business to Jonas Computing, valuing AMT Sybex at up to £40m.
- For FY2020, AMT Sybex reported £40m for revenue and £12m for profit before tax. Gross assets were £77m at H1 2021.
- AMT Sybex senior management team and employees will remain with the business.
- Jon Lewis, CEO of Capita, said: “As we continue to simplify and strengthen the business, this disposal is another step towards a more focused and sustainable Capita for the long term.”