FTSE 100 live 22 September: Ladbrokes-owner mulls DraftKings takeover approach
he high-stakes pursuit of Ladbrokes owner Entain looks set to be the main focus for London investors today after the FTSE 100 index company confirmed an approach from DraftKings pitched at £28 a share, equivalent to more than $22 billion.
It told investors it is considering the proposal amid huge interest in the rapidly-expanding US sports betting market.
The FTSE 100 index, meanwhile, is set to open slightly higher after Turnaround Tuesday saw it rebound from China jitters to close more than 1.1% higher.
It’s been a volatile week so far in the London market, with Monday’s contagion fears triggered by China’s debt-laden property firm Evergrande followed by Turnaround Tuesday and a rise of more than 1%.
The FTSE 100 index is set to open 10 points higher at 6,991, although this is more likely to reflect the reluctance of investors to commit new money ahead of big statements from the US Federal Reserve later today and the Bank of England tomorrow.
Investors will be looking for clues over when the Federal Reserve will begin to taper economic support, possibly as soon as December.
Asian markets posted modest losses overnight, suggesting sentiment may be stabilising after the turbulence earlier in the week.
Pret A Manger cheers improved trading in London and eyes expansion
News from a non-listed company in the hospitality sector: Pret A Manger is looking to open more UK sites.
Boss Pano Christou has called the last fortnight in London “a bit of a turning point” in terms of trade bouncing back from the pandemic, and his firm is planning 200 more UK branch openings.
The sandwich chain’s City shops are now trading at over 70% of their pre-pandemic levels, and a lot of that growth has come in the last few weeks.
Improved sales will come as a relief after customer numbers plunged during the pandemic, with Pret A Manager permanently closing around 30 sites last year.
Accounts filed this week at Companies House will show revenue for 2020 was £299 million, down from £708 million a year earlier.
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Ladbrokes owner mulls DraftKings approach
This represents a sizeable 46% premium to Monday night’s closing price, but DraftKings faces a significant hurdle in Entain’s US partner MGM Resorts International, which made its own takeover approach earlier in the year.
The latest proposal from DraftKings, which follows an earlier approach pitched at £25 a share, offers the FTSE 100 company’s shareholders 630 pence in cash with the rest coming from new DraftKings Class A common shares.
Entain said: “The board of Entain will carefully consider the proposal and a further announcement will be made as and when appropriate. Shareholders are urged to take no action at this time.”