STOCKS TO LOOK FOR: Rumors are circulating that Stagecoach has caught the attention of a private equity firm after merger talks with National Express
There are rumors circulating that the bus and rail group Stagecoach may have caught the attention of a private equity firm after starting Â£ 2bn merger talks with its biggest rival National Express.
Major financiers have said at least one buyout company could circle the Perth-based company with a view to making a Â£ 500million cash offer.
Stagecoach was founded by Dame Ann Gloag and her brother Sir Brian Souter in 1976.
In charge: Senior financiers have said at least one buyout company could tour Stagecoach with a view to making a Â£ 500million cash offer
They were selling some of their Stagecoach shares earlier this year and so may be willing to make a cash deal with a buyout company.
But the identity of the potential buyer is a mystery. Traders tipped Brookfield, the Canadian investment group, for considering an acquisition of Stagecoach in the past.
Another obvious predator of private equity is CVC Capital Partners.
CVC was involved in a Â£ 700million buyout approach for National Express in 2009.
The irony of a successful HVAC offer for Stagecoach wouldn’t be lost on the City guys with some gray hair.
Domino’s shortest list
Domino’s Pizza is climbing the ranking of the shortest companies on the London stock market.
According to the ShortTracker website, 3.8% of the company’s shares are on loan to hedge funds that bet on the price decline.
Short sellers include Eleva Capital, Fosse Capital and Glenernie Capital.
Perhaps they think our appetite for pizza at home will wane if major Covid blockages are behind us.
Argo Blockchain a meteoric success
Argo Blockchain, the London-listed cryptocurrency miner, has been a resounding success. Its shares have almost increased tenfold since it went public in 2018.
Today, one of its first backers, famed small-cap investor Adrian Beeston, is reportedly investing in another tech IPO – Lift Global Ventures.
Lift, which is chaired by former City broker and financial commentator Zak Mir, is said to be an investment firm planning to buy financial media and tech companies.
Rumor has it that Lift is preparing to list on the Aquis Exchange in the coming weeks.
Other potential backers who would be involved in Lift’s IPO include small-cap lender Riverfort and other well-known City stock traders.
Pensana stock rose 35% last month
Pensana shares were in tears, rising 35% last month.
In part, the rise is due to a US-based activist hedge fund building a large stake in the rare earth metals company, which supplies electric car makers.
City gossip claims the fund built up its stake through a vehicle called Pershing Nominees Limited, which now owns 15.9% of Pensana.
It remains to be seen what the public limited company plans for Pensana – which aims to develop Western Europe’s first Â£ 90million rare earth processing plant in Hull.
But it could be a timely investment if new details of a loan to Pensana from the government’s Auto Transformation Fund are announced in the coming weeks.