Lonmin Slips after No to Xtrata's 3300p Offer

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 7, 2008 | Go to article overview

Lonmin Slips after No to Xtrata's 3300p Offer


Byline: MICKEY CLARK

BID target Lonmin fell 11p to 3415p after telling shareholders to reject the unsolicited offer of 3300p a share from Xstrata. That will come as sweet music to the speculators, who have already decided the Anglo-Swiss mining company will have to cough-up more cash if it wants Lonmin.

Meanwhile, Xstrata, up 86p at 3081p, has bought a further 4.1 million shares in Lonmin, stretching its stake to 10.7%.

Lonmin, the world's third-largest platinum producer, described Xstrata's offer as "wholly inadequate" and opportunistic.

Morgan Stanley says a successful acquisition of Lonmin would take Xstrata into the big league of platinum producers. It continues to rate Xstrata at overweight and says it remains the growth company among the bigger mining companies with a pipeline of inorganic growth options and opportunistic acquisitions providing wide ranging choices for the future. ING reckons Xstrata will have to pay at least 3500p a share to win Lonmin.

Shares generally struggled to make headway ahead of Bank of England monetary policy committee's decision on interest rates. The FTSE 100 fell 24.7 to 5461.4.

Struggling stores group Woolworths rallied 0.07p to 6.03p after learning that Ardeshar Naghshineh had taken advantage of the recent weakness in the shares to raise his holding and average out any losses he may be saddled with.

He now owns 141.3 million shares, or 9.6% of the company. Woolworths came under further selling pressure last month after warning of a further drop in sales and margin erosion.

Rival Marks & Spencer paused for breath with the price easing 2p to 282p.

The shares spiked yesterday on talk of stakebuilding by the French supermarkets chain Carrefour. UBS has followed that up by raising its target for M& S from 240p to 275p, but keeps its rating at neutral.

ITV rallied a meagre 0.2p to 43.8p in the wake of yesterday's dreadful profits decline and write-offs. But brokers remain gloomy about prospects for the independent television broadcaster. …

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