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Bids news continues to drive Eurofirst

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by Elaine Frei

The European equities markets were up again on Thursday as bids rumors continue to circulate in a number of sectors. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 added 0.1 percent on the session to 1,398.00.

In the utilities sector, Endsea dropped 1.8 percent to €34.39 after Eon raised its bid in response to Spanish conglomerate Acciona’s purchase of 10 percent of Endsea. Acciona fell 0.1 percent to €119.90 and Eon dropped 0.3 percent to €92.65. Meanwhile Gas Natural, which is also said to be interested in Endsea, declined by 2.7 percent to €29.38.

In the semiconductors sector, STMicroelectronics was 3.1 percent higher to €13.75 on talk that it could receive bids from private equity, even though it would be a difficult purchase due to its 28 percent ownership by the Italian and French governments. That was the factor cited by Cantor Fitzgerald Euorpe as it downgraded STM to “sell into strength”. Elsewhere in the sector, Infineon dropped 5.6 percent after it was reported that Taiwan company BenQ’s German handset unit will file for insolvency soon. Infineon is one of BenQ’s largest suppliers.

Among car and truck makers, MAN added 3.8 percent to €65.68 after it was said that Volkswagen could offer for the company. MAN has been trying to purchase Scania, the Swedish truck maker in which VW owns a major share, but VW’s chief executive has said he favors a deal that involves his company as well. VW dropped 0.1 percent on the news to €67.55, but Scania added 1.4 percent to SKr439. Elsewhere in the sector, Renault was 0.8 percent higher to €90.55 on positive broker comments, while Peugeot dropped 2.8 percent to €44.57 on lower sales volumes in July and August.

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News posted: September 28, 2006

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