Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hunt Is on for Chief to Replace C&W's Wallace; Market Report

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hunt Is on for Chief to Replace C&W's Wallace; Market Report

Article excerpt


THE task of finding a new chief executive for struggling Cable & Wireless appears to be under way.

The shares rallied 1/4p to 45p today amid mounting speculation that the struggling communications group is finally attempting to find a successor for embattled chief executive Graham Wallace.

He has had the skids under him since November when C&W rocked the City with the news that it was liable to a pound sterling1.5 billion tax charge relating to the disposal of one of its businesses in 1999.

Spread bookies have even been taking bets on his departure date, and speculation suggests he may go at the end of the month. Favourite to land his job is Duncan Lewis, former chief executive of rival telecoms outfit Mercury.

Lewis resigned his shadow directorship of struggling cable operator NTL after only four months in the job.

Share prices made a cautious start to 2003 as investors chose to extend the festive season. The FTSE 100 index posted a rise of 3.0 points at 3943.4 as traders pinned their hopes on a firmer start to trading in New York this afternoon.

Among the leaders, GKN rose 8p to 2083/4p while Safeway gave up Tuesday's gains to trade 6 3/4p down at 206 1/2p.

Casinos operator London Clubs International stood out with a rise of 2 1/4p to 23 3/4p amid mounting speculation that rival Stanley Leisure, down 1 1/2p at 390p, may be poised to raise its offer.

Department stores chain Allders, currently the target of a 160p-a-share offer from property company Minerva, marked time at 166 1/2p despite speculation that Scottish businessman Tom Hunter may be adding to his 4.2% stake. Two large lines of stock went through the market, including 275,000 shares at 167p and a further 300,000 at at 166 1/2p. Both lines were traded at a premium to the pound sterling132 million offer from Minerva, indicatingthe shares may have been bought by Hunter. …

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