Home Money LIVE BUSINESS: Royal Mail takeover agreed; Delay in Anglo American offer; Bloomsbury buys an American publisher

LIVE BUSINESS: Royal Mail takeover agreed; Delay in Anglo American offer; Bloomsbury buys an American publisher

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 LIVE BUSINESS: Royal Mail takeover agreed; Delay in Anglo American offer; Bloomsbury buys an American publisher

The FTSE 100 is down 0.1 per cent in early trading. Companies with today’s trading reports and updates include International Distribution Services, Anglo American, BHP, Bloomsbury Publishing and Pets at Home. Read the Business Live blog from Wednesday 29 May below.

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UK diesel drivers pay more to fill up than the rest of Europe

If you drive a diesel car or van, you are paying more to refuel than any other country in Europe.

The UK now has the most expensive diesel, despite the current 5p per liter fuel tax rebate introduced in March 2022 and extended for a further 12 months in the Spring Budget.

Is it a good time to buy Scottish Mortgage shares?

Scottish Mortgage was once the go-to fund for UK investors wanting access to high-growth tech stocks.

Its former manager James Anderson, who left in 2022, was known for making a number of successful bets in the technology sector, including Tesla and Amazon.

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Pets at home: ‘The most difficult context is masking some fundamental strengths’

Sophie Lund-Yates, senior equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown:

‘Pets at Home has had good results despite lowered expectations. The group is not immune to a challenging consumer environment and has been hit hard by the need to keep prices low to drive growth.

‘Convincing pet owners to spend extra money on accessories like accessories has been a much tougher task than when people are feeling flush with cash.

‘However, the more difficult context is masking some fundamental strengths. Pets at Home remains in a more resilient position than the average retailer.

‘The group is set to benefit from the huge rise in pet ownership and a wider shift in lifestyles, which includes putting our four-legged friends at the center of our lives.

‘There is an element of guaranteed income, in the sense that pet owners will continue to buy food and medicine for their cats and dogs, regardless of how difficult times get. Along the same lines, the veterinary business is also doing well.

‘There is, of course, the excess of the CMA’s ongoing investigation into the veterinary sector, which is denting confidence. However, this has arguably been overstated, as the current valuation does not fully reflect Pets at Home’s resilient market position and enviable net cash reserve.

‘In addition to the CMA investigation, investors will now assess Pets at Home’s ability to restart engines in more lucrative areas of the business, such as discretionary pet accessories.

‘Much of this will be governed by economics, but there is also the risk of online competition. The group benefits from the fact that many people want face-to-face advice on things like pet supplies, and Pets at Home has some exclusive licenses that help prevent customers from simply going elsewhere.

“Overall, there should be confidence in the group’s strategy, but restarting more significant growth may take a little longer than expected.”

Cryptocurrency fever fuels money laundering fears: FCA approves only 1 in 7 companies

Less than one in seven cryptocurrency companies that attempted to register with the city watchdog were approved after high money laundering risks were detected.

Only 47 firms successfully registered between January 2020 and April this year, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) figures show.

Of 344 applications received by the FCA, 233 were withdrawn and 48 rejected, while 16 were still pending at the time the figures were compiled.

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Pets At Home profits fall due to lower demand for accessories

Pets At Home has posted a lower annual profit after inflationary pressures and lower purchasing power hit demand for pet accessories such as collars and bedding.

The company, which also offers veterinary and grooming services, posted an underlying pre-tax profit of £132m for the 2024 financial year, compared to £136.4m a year earlier.

‘FY24 has been a pivotal year for the business as some key components of our platform have been delivered for long-term growth.

‘I am proud of the progress we have made over the year; we relaunched our brand, opened our new CD, built our new digital platform, advanced our sustainability agenda and improved our physical heritage.

“The business has come together brilliantly to overcome the challenges we faced this year and we have achieved some key milestones in our strategy.”

New lung cancer drug boosts AstraZeneca as trials show improved survival rates

AstraZeneca’s lung cancer drug has shown better survival rates in trials.

The results were a boost for the pharmaceutical giant as it seeks to strengthen its project portfolio.

The British firm stated yesterday that the drug, which it is developing with the Japanese Daiichi Sankyo, could be “an important new treatment for patients.”

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Bloomsbury buys US publisher in groundbreaking $83m deal

Bloomsbury has acquired US academic publisher The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group for up to $83m (£65m).

The London-listed Harry Potter publisher said the deal is an “important milestone”, making Bloomsbury “a leading academic publisher in the US”.

Bloomsbury’s largest acquisition to date will provide $76 million in cash upon completion and up to $7 million in escrow to be met in cash upon completion.

‘This acquisition marks a turning point for Bloomsbury. Rowman & Littlefield is one of the few independent US academic publishers of such scale and it is fantastic that our conversations with Jed Lyons have led to this acquisition.

“Its 40,000 academic titles added to ours will make us a major academic publisher in the US, increasing Bloomsbury’s academic and digital publishing presence in North America, opening up new markets and publishing areas for Bloomsbury, and is a key milestone in delivering our long-term objectives.” growth strategy.

“Following the exceptional performance of our Consumer division in our recently announced Preliminary Results, the acquisition accelerates our Non-Consumer division, underscoring our portfolio portfolio strategy.”

Anglo American offer delay

BHP Group has said it needs more time to collaborate with Anglo American, a week after the London-listed miner rejected the Australian firm’s £38.6bn offer ahead of a final bid deadline later in the day. .

The group has outlined commitments to reduce regulatory risk in South Africa by blocking the deal.

It said it was confident it had quantified and managed the risk related to the deal and would offer a break-up fee to Anglo American if the deal was blocked for antitrust reasons or failed to obtain regulatory approvals.

Those commitments included job security for employees in South Africa. BHP also said it would bear the costs of increased employee ownership in South Africa that is expected to be necessary in any demerger.

Nick Train vows to back ‘world-class’ British businesses after apologizing for dismal performance

Star stock picker Nick Train yesterday apologized for the poor performance of his Finsbury fund but said he was betting on a UK market recovery.

Train expressed frustration at the “malaise” affecting undervalued stocks listed in London.

However, he said that over the past year the fund has been deliberately reducing the size of offshore holdings.

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Acquisition of Royal Mail agreed

Royal Mail’s parent company International Distributions Services has accepted a formal £3.57bn takeover bid from Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský, who has pledged to uphold the universal service obligation and remain headquartered in the UK.

The board of IDS, which also owns international parcel network GLS, said it had “negotiated a powerful package” in approving the 370 pence per share deal.

It will also ensure the maintenance of employee benefits and pensions.

Kretinsky’s investment vehicle, EP Group, upgraded its offer earlier this month to buy IDS after the London-listed company rejected a previous 320p offer in April.

Křetínský said in a statement:

‘IDS, and Royal Mail in particular, form part of the national infrastructure of the countries in which they operate. More than that, Royal Mail is part of the fabric of UK society and has been for hundreds of years.

‘The EP Group has the utmost respect for the history and tradition of Royal Mail, and I know that owning this company will come with enormous responsibility, not only for employees but also for the citizens who rely on its services every day.

“The magnitude of the commitments we are offering to the company and the UK Government reflects how seriously we take this responsibility, for the benefit of IDS employees, union representatives and all other stakeholders.”

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