Markets & Finance

On the Move: Actelion, London SE, Vivendi


From Standard & Poor's European MarketScope

France

TOTAL (TOT) was down €2.70 to €214.30. The stock traded below break-even as fire-fighters began to combat a blaze at Buncefield depot, north of London. The company has said yesterday's explosion and fire should not affect its supply. Oil has been re-routed through alternative pipes; while another pipeline may be used to pump jet fuel to Heathrow from a BP refinery. No deaths were reported but 41 people were injured.

PERNOD RICARD was up €1.00 to €145.50. Private equity firms Bain, Carlyle and Thomas H. Lee are expected to announce Monday that they are buying the company 's Dunkin' Brands for US$2.4 billion, Reuters said citing a source close to the deal. Meanwhile, the company said it expects to make €210 million from the sale of 51 million Britvic shares, which will be used to repay debt.

VIVENDI UNIVERSAL (V) was up €0.87 to €26.00. The company, TF1 and M6 have begun negotiations to combine their pay-tv activities, looking at a joint venture between CanalSatellite and Television Par Satellite, TPS. The company 's wholly-owned subsidiary Canal Plus Group has a 66% stake in CanalSatellite, with Lagardere holding 34%. The brokers have noted that the market has been expecting this deal.

LAGARDERE was up €.95 to €64.50 on news of a possible pay TV deal between major players. It holds 34% of CanalSatellite.

Italy

BNL was up €0.03 to €2.73. According to La Repubblica, BBVA has written to the BoI, outlining reasons why the central bank should reject Unipol's takeover offer for the company. The Spanish bank is said to be planning a new offer, leaving Unipol 100% a stake in BNL Life.

Netherlands

ING GROEP (ING) was up €0.40 to €28.99. Cheuvreux upgraded the company to outperform from underperform and raised its target to €33.0 from €28.5. It also upped its 2005, 2006 and 2007 EPS estimates to €3.19 from €3.14, to €2.94 from €2.69 and to €3.01 from €2.76, respectively. Separately, the company 's German telephone and internet banking unit, DiBa, confirmed that it plans to sell Degussa Bank following a report along the same lines in Boersen-Zeitung.

PHILIPS (PHG) was up €0.31 to €25.06. Rabo Securities upped its target to €29 from €27. At a recent analyst meeting on DAP and Lighting, the broker confirmed that the company is highly committed to raising the growth profile of both divisions, while maintaining their already above average IFO margins.

Nordics

ELEKTA was down SEK1.50 to SEK120.50. The company reported second quarter05 operating profit of SEK118 million vs. SEK98 million in the previous year, on sales up 43% year-over-year to SEK1.071 billion. Pretax profit landed at SEK118 million, up from SEK95 million last year.

Switzerland

ROCHE was down CHF1.70 to CHF203.40. The company picked 12 potential Tamiflu partners to boost production of the influenza drug; a first sub-license for China has been granted to Shanghai Pharmaceuticals.

ACTELION was down CHF21.20 to CHF105.70. Peer Myogen has released data from a study showing its experimental ambrisentan is safe and effective at treating pulmonary arterial hypertension. This is clearly a competition threat for the company's key Tracleer drug.

United Kingdom

NEXT was down £0.20 to £15.10. Morgan Stanley cut the stock to underweight from equalweight and trimmed its target price to £13.70 from £13.90, implying an 8% downside potential.

LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE was down £0.04 to £6.16. Australia's Macquarie Bank is expected to make a firm cash offer for the company this week, as it meets shareholders to tell them there is no other credible rival bidder, the FT reported. On Friday, the company rejected the bid proposal calling it derisory and arguing it fundamentally undervalues the company and lacks any strategic or commercial credibility. Macquarie set an indicative cash offer of at least £5.80 per share.

ROYAL DUTCH SHELL (RDS) was down £0.18 to £18.68. Lehman added the company to its Recommended Portfolio as it removed BG, based on an update of its fundamental values screen applied to the energy sector. Meanwhile, OPEC is confident that oil will stay over US$50.00/bbl, as demand will be boosted by strong global growth next year, the FT reported.

VIRGIN MOBILE was up £0.04 to £3.59. Sir Richard Branson is prepared to do a deal with ntl that values his 72% stake in the company at a significant discount to the price offered to minority shareholders, the FT wrote.

GKN was down £0.06 to £2.82. The company said it continues to make steady progress and is on track to achieve the expected trading outcome for 2005.

MOWLEM was up £0.06 to £2.16. Balfour Beattie confirmed that it is considering making an offer for the company but there is no certainty that an offer will be forthcoming.

NORTHGATE IS was unchanged at £0.84. The company said its head office building has been seriously damaged as a result of Sunday's explosion at Hemel Hempstead.

MARKS & SPENCER was up £0.07 to £4.86. Lehman Brothers added the company to its European Recommended Portfolio, as it aligns its selection with its Undervalued Growth portfolio, of which the company has been a part. Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to overweight from equal weight and raised its price target to £5.10 from £4.35.

Germany

DEUTSCHE BANK (DB) was up €0.24 to €83.77. The company has disclosed its interest in buying Berliner Bank, part of Bankgesellschaft Berlin, Berliner Morgenpost reported Saturday. FTD reported that the company may have to write down the value of its property fund by more than €100 million after investors withdrew money.

SIEMENS (SI) was up €0.86 to €68.66. The company is looking to sell its venture capital unit Siemens Acceleration in Communications, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Am Sonntag reported.

DEGUSSA was up €0.61 to €40.00. The company is in negotiations with financial investor Advent International about selling its hydro-chemical unit, FTD reported. In another development, RAG is reportedly trying to raise capital to increase its stake in the company. Prepared by Zaida Espana, Valerie Vidal, Michael Sanderson, Mariella Mongio, Alexander Wisch, Holly Cook, Emma Stevenson, Pawan Girglani, Julien Manrique, and Rocio Opazo-Aniotz (Standard & Poor's); Alex Halperin (BusinessWeek Online)


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