G4S shares surge as Canadian security firm confirms reports of possible takeover bid

A look at some of the top risers and fallers in London on Wednesday

G4S shares rose more than 16% in afternoon trading

G4S (LON:GFS) shares rose further after Canadian security firm Garda World Security Corp confirmed reports that it was considering a takeover bid for its UK counterpart.

Garda said preliminary deliberations could lead to a cash offer for all or part of G4S.

 A further announcement will be made “if and when appropriate”, it said.

Earlier today, the Evening Standard said traders were gossiping about a potential deal. 

G4S shares are now up 16.8% to 215.7p. 

Transport operator Stagecoach Group plc (LON:SGC) saw its shares travel 7.7% lower to 123p after saying it has been barred from three UK rail franchise bids. 

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the bids for the East Midlands, South Eastern and West Coast franchises were "non-compliant" because they did not meet pensions rules.

Bidders for the franchises were asked to take on full long-term funding risk on relevant sections of the Railways Pension Scheme.The Pensions Regulator has estimated the UK rail industry needs an additional £5-6bn to plug the pensions shortfall.

Stagecoach said it was being asked to take on risks it "cannot control and manage".

12.30pm: G4S deal speculation 

G4S PLC (LON:GFS) shares jumped nearly 7% to 197p on the back of speculation of a possible bid for the outsourcing group from a Canadian firm.

The Evening Standard said traders were gossiping that Canadian security firm, GardaWorld might be casting its eye over the FTSE 250-listed company, which is currently valued at £2.86bn.

Cabot Energy PLC (LON:CAB) shares surged 52% to 14.5p after saying discussions with third parties and shareholders over potential financial assistance are ongoing.

The company said it may need until the end of June to conclude the talks, meaning it will have to delay the release of its financial results for 2018 until that point.

11.30am: Centaur Media shares dip as it sells travel and meetings business

Centaur Media PLC (LON:CAU) shares fell 3.7% to 51p after the business information, events and marketing provider announced the sale of its travel and meetings business to Northstar Travel Media UK Limited.

Northstar, a B2B information and marketing firm, will pay a cash consideration of £9.25mln for the business.

Completion of the disposal is expected to take place on 30 April 2019.

The disposal is part of Centaur’s strategy to simplify its structure by offloading smaller businesses and focusing on core brands.

Earlier this month, the group said it had sold its financial services business, which includes brands such as Money Marketing and Mortgage Strategy, for £5mln.

SRT Marine Systems PLC (LON:SRT) shares advanced 13% to 34.25p after maritime surveillance provider said it expects to swing to a full year profit on a sharp rise in revenue.

The company expects profit before tax of £3mln in 2019, compared to a loss of £5.7mln last year.  Revenue is forecast to rise to £20mln from £5.3mln.

"This excellent result is the product of many years investment which has seen SRT become an established player in the global maritime domain awareness market,” said chief executive Simon Tucker.  

“Both our AIS transceiver and MDA systems businesses have experienced very good growth over the last year.”

9.30am: Tandem shares steer higher on 'optimistic outlook' for 2019

Shares in bicycle maker Tandem Group PLC (LON:TND) steered higher as it hiked its full-year dividend and said its order book is “considerably ahead” of last year.

The company, which also makes toys, has signed a deal with The Walt Disney Company to extend portfolio of licences. This will allow the group to incorporate the Disney brand into its products with franchises such as Frozen, Toy Story, Spider-Man, Lion King, Disney Princess and Avengers.

“We are optimistic about the outlook for 2019,” chairman Mervyn Keene said. “Whilst we are mindful of macro-economic uncertainties, we expect to achieve significant turnover growth and we continue to be extremely confident in our ability to deliver profitability to our shareholders.”

For the 2018 financial year, the company raised its dividend by 5% to 4.31p per share as it returned to a net cash position. Revenue fell by nearly 12% to £36.8mln and operating profit before finance costs and taxation dipped 6% to £2.2mln but the company said the new year has started “very strongly”.

Tandem Group shares rose 11.7% to 190p in early morning trading.

FIH Group Plc (LON:FIH) shares gained 11.3% to 315p after the specialist services provider said it expects pre-tax profit will exceed market expectations by a comfortable margin.

The company said margins at its Momart art storage and transport business have continued to improve during the year while a provision for a potential claim, made in the March 2018 accounts, has now been released.

Going the other way, Indivor shares plunged 68% to 33.61p after the drugmaker was formally charged with various fraud offences in the United States.

A federal grand jury in Virginia issued the company with an indictment on Tuesday night, which included 28 charges, including healthcare fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud.

Warpaint London plc (LON:W7L) shares were in the red as the supplier of colour cosmetics reported a 31.9% drop in 2018 profits and said it was “cautiously optimistic” for the 2019 financial outturn.

Pre-tax profit dropped to £4.7mln and profit from operations fell 29% to £4.9mln last year as the margin shrunk to 10.1% from 21.5%.

The weaker margins were due to a higher proportion of sales from its lower margin close-out division, which sells excess stock of branded cosmetics and fragrances from around the world.

Revenue jumped 49.2% to £48.5mln, as growth in international sales offset tough trading in the UK.

“2018 was a challenging year for the company as it faced continuing uncertainty caused by the prospect of Brexit, a fluctuating Sterling exchange rate and a severe decline in retail sales on the UK high street,” said chairman Clive Garston.

He added: “The board is cautiously optimistic for the 2019 financial outturn, with growth in sales and EBITDA anticipated." Warpaint London shares fell 3.8% to 94.6p.

Proactive news headlines:

Anglo Asian Mining PLC (LON:AAZ) has reported an 11% year-on-year rise in first-quarter production from the Gedabek gold, copper and silver mining contract area in western Azerbaijan and seen its net cash increase by 77% to US$10.8mln.

PowerHouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE), along with its development partner Waste2Tricity Limited (W2T), have signed a lease for a plot on the Protos energy hub to develop its hydrogen-from-waste technology.

Alliance Pharma PLC (LON:APH) has confirmed its morning sickness treatment Xonvea has received marketing approval in Ireland. This paves the way for the first launch of the product outside the UK. The company to start selling drug in the Republic in the final quarter of this year.

Seeing Machines Limited (LON:SEE) is to provide its FOVIO driver monitoring systems to a US automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) which could net the company over A$7mln in revenue.

Last week’s transformational Moroccan acquisition leaves today’s financial results statement somewhat less relevant, nevertheless, Chariot Oil & Gas PLC (LON:CHAR) highlighted its strong cash position. The company ended 2018 with US$19.8mln of cash and was debt free, it is fully funded for current work commitments (which at less than US$1mln are low).

Metal Tiger PLC (LON:MTR) said investee company Kalahari Metals Limited has entered into a binding agreement with Resource Exploration and Development Limited to purchase 100% of Kitlanya Ltd, which owns five recently granted exploration licences in the prospective Kalahari Copper Belt.

ClearStar Inc (LON:CLSU) shares shined in early deals on Wednesday after the group reported its highest ever first quarter revenue. In a trading update for the quarter ended 31 March, the background check software group said revenues had risen 11% to US$5.1mln.

Futura Medical PLC (LON:FUM) confirmed it will deliver the results from its phase III trial for a fast-acting gel for erectile dysfunction (ED) by the end of the year, a milestone which expects to be a “major value inflection point”. The first of two studies of MED2005 got underway in October treating 1,000 men at 60 centres across Europe. Headline data should be released towards the back-end of 2019, the company said.

Bushveld Minerals PLC (LON:BMN) subsidiary Lemur Holdings has arranged a US$1mln loan facility with the Development Bank of Southern Africa for finalise details at its Imaloto thermal power station project in Madagascar. Negotiations with potential lenders are progressing said Lemur and DBSA’s loan will tide it over until financial close - the point when it has arranged funding to take the project through to commissioning.

Cabot Energy PLC (LON:CAB) has told investors that it is continuing financing talks though it may need until the end of June to conclude the discussions, it now intends to release financial results for 2018 in June. The company, in a statement, noted that it is talking to potential providers of finance – including both third parties and existing shareholders – over potential transactions at asset level and also group level.

Mineral sands miner Base Resources Limited (LON:BSE) has published its production estimate for 2020. A switch to the South Dune at its Kwale operation in Kenya will mean production of between 64,000 – 70,000 tonnes of rutile, 315,000- 350,000 tonnes of ilmenite and 25,000-28,000 tonnes of zircon.

US Oil & Gas PLC (USOP) continues to work towards the implementation of a fracking programme on the Eblana 3 well, though any timetable is contingent on regulatory approval. The company, in its full year financial results statement, said that it also continues planning for corporate development and a new stock market listing though it noted that these plans would only be realised if it can produce oil at commercial quantities.

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd. (LON:ECO) (TSX-V:EOG) said it raised, in aggregate, US$17mln (£12.9mln) before expenses through the oversubscribed placing and subscription of, in aggregate, 16,159,695 new common shares in the company which has now closed.

Cello Health PLC (LON:CLL), the healthcare-led advisory group, this afternoon is hosting a capital markets event in London for analysts and institutional investors. The event will focus on the Group's Cello Health division and its strategic growth opportunities in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries worldwide.

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