MARKET REPORT: Bunzl Buys McCue Corp And MedShop As Spree Continues

FTSE 100 distribution company Bunzl bounced into the blue-chip risers after unveiling two additions to its company.

One is McCue Corp, a Boston firm that sells security poles, queuing barriers and corner guards in supermarkets.

The company has operations in the US states of Massachusetts, Texas and California, as well as in the UK and other markets.

Shopping: FTSE 100 distribution company Bunzl has bought Boston-based McCue Corp and Australian medical supplier MedShop

Shopping: FTSE 100 distribution company Bunzl has bought Boston-based McCue Corp and Australian medical supplier MedShop

The second is Medshop, an Australian-focused medical supplies company that sells everything from stethoscopes to hand sanitizers. The group has offices in Melbourne and Singapore.

Bunzl completed its purchase of Medshop this month and the McCue acquisition is expected to close later this year.

While prices were not revealed, analysts at Peel Hunt calculated it splashed out £256 million, bringing acquisition spending this year to £390 million.

Bunzl boss Frank van Zanten said McCue represents “an exciting expansion” of the company’s security activities, while Medshop will allow it to target an expanded customer base in Australia. Shares rose 1.4 percent, or 26p, to 2603p.

Stock Watch – Portmeirion

Portmeirion, maker of Royal Worcester porcelain, climbed sharply after it reported a record string of half-year results.

Over the six months to the end of June, the Stoke-on-Trent-based pottery company posted a profit of £1.5 million.

That changed from a loss of £2.7m a year ago, while operating income rose 35 percent to a record £43.1m.

The potter experienced strong growth in its key South Korean market, adding that it also expects to resume dividend payments this year.

Shares of Portmeirion rose 9.7 percent, or 60p, to 680p on the back of the news.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.5 percent or 34.37 points to 7034.06, while the FTSE 250 fell 0.4 percent or 88.47 points to 23,687.26.

Miners weighed in on the blue-chip index as sharp cuts in steel production in China pushed iron ore prices to their lowest level in 10 months.

China is trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the steel industry, one of the biggest polluters.

The drop terrified analysts at Barclays, who downgraded their BHP rating, causing the stock to fall 2.6 percent or 54.5 pence to 2026 pence.

The bank also lowered target prices for Anglo American, which fell 3.1 percent or 96.5 pence to 2996.5 pence, Rio Tinto, 2 percent or 108 pence, down to 5,179 pence, and FTSE 250 excavator Ferrexpo, which is 9 .4 pence collapsed. cents, or 35.8 p to 343.6 p.

Oil prices continued to rise as Hurricane Nicholas hit the US Gulf Coast several weeks after Hurricane Ida, meaning production in the area is likely to be disrupted.

Brent oil rose to $74 a barrel, but BP fell 0.8 percent or 2.3p to 300p and competitor Shell fell 0.4 percent or 5.4p to 1451.2p.

Ticket booking app, Trainline, expects to return to profitability in 2022 as sales recover from the pandemic amid a wave of ‘staycation’ travel across the UK.

Turnover for the six months to 31 August was £1 billion, up from £358 million in the same period a year ago. Despite the positive update, shares fell 2.6 percent or 9.8p to 368.2p.

Kape Technologies, a privacy software company controlled by Cypriot-Israeli gambling mogul Teddy Sagi, rose 14.3 percent, or 50.5p, to 404p after a deal to acquire Express VPN for a virtual private network for £676 million.

The company has tapped investors for £258 million to help fund the purchase. Payments company Equals Group rose 8.8 percent, or 5p, to 62p after a record performance so far in the third quarter.

Silver Bullet, a digital marketing and data specialist, also got 2.8 percent or 7p, up 259.5p after winning a contract with Irish broadcaster RTE.

Audio recording company Focusrite made a bad impression when it warned of supply restrictions due to a global shortage of semiconductors and other components, as well as “significantly higher” shipping costs. Shares fell 2.3 percent, or 40p, to 1675p.

Printer ink maker Xaar fell 13.8 percent, or 31.4p, to 195.6p after a disappointing result. In the six months to June 30, it fell to a loss of £2.1m from a profit of £1.3m in the same period last year.

Electric meter maker Smart Metering Systems also fell 13.7 percent, or 140 pence, to 884 pence after completing a discounted fundraising campaign to support its growing pipeline of orders.

The group raised £175 million by placing 19.4 million new shares for 900 pence each, a 12 percent discount from Monday’s closing price.

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