Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

OReilly Defensive Buy Stokes Talk of Indie Bid

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

OReilly Defensive Buy Stokes Talk of Indie Bid

Article excerpt


RUGBY-PLAYING baked-beans king Tony OReilly has spent another ?1.25million ([pounds sterling]813,500) topping up his holding in Irish publisher Independent News &Media, leading to speculation it may be a defensive move. The man who used torun HJ Heinz has bought 500,000 shares at ?2.05 each, stretching his totalholding to 231.69 million, or 27.88% of the company.

Another Irish businessman, Denis OBrien, has also been stakebuilding in theshares, fuelling talk he may be pondering a bid. At the last count, he owned175 million shares (21%).

It also emerged at the weekend that Carlos Slim, the worlds second-richest man,has been pocketing shares in IN&M, a tad lighter at e1.995. The Mexicanbillionaire made his money introducing the mobile phone to South America, andis reckoned to have snapped up a 1% stakeadding to the rumours about a takeover. Slim and OBrien have crossed swordsbefore, and are said to be competing for lucrative contracts to supply mobilephones to other parts of South America.

Shares generally were on a positive track. In another day of thin trading, theFTSE 100 index rose 47.1 to 6262.3. On Wall Street this afternoon share pricesopened a touch softer for choice. The Dow fell 19 points to 13,001.9.

More than 17 million shares changed hands in Mitchells & Butlers, lifting thepubs chain 141/4p to 3993/4p. Word is property developer Robert Tchenguiz, whois thought to hold a 23% stake, has been adding to his holding. He wants toblock the proposed takeover of Punch Taverns managed pubs chain by M&B. Such amove could end up with Punch, up 43p at 5821/2p, owning 25% of M&B. EnterpriseInns jumped 441/2p to 4391/2p on talk it will get real estate investment truststatus. The sunny weather also lifted Marstons 28p to 2271/2p, and Greene King371/2p to 5721/2p. …

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