– BG Group plc (BG/ LN): Various UK press publications (Mail on Sunday, Sunday Times, City AM) highlighting that Shell shareholder approval should now be very straightforward. Also Dutch financial newspaper FD reporting that although the Dutch representative group for minority/retail shareholders Vereniging van Effectenbezitters (VEB) still had some outstanding questions for Shell ahead of the vote, the association had surveyed 2000 of its members and 74% supported Shell’s takeover of BG. With record date for Shell vote set for today at 7pm, vote is now almost a mere formality. Done deal now.
– Tessenderlo Chemie (TESB BB): As highlighted by us from the outset (highlighting the highly questionable corporate governance and how unfair the Picanol/Tessenderlo Chemie ‘merger’ was for Tessenderlo Chemie minority shareholders), companies now just announced that ‘ the boards of directors of Picanol NV and Tessenderlo Chemie NV have decided to enter into negotiations to determine whether and how, also taking into account the input received from the shareholders, the terms and conditions of the proposed transactions can be improved with a view to their approval by the shareholders. The companies will communicate to the market as soon as there is more clarity in this respect.‘ With Tessenderlo having underperformed the Belgian BEL20 more than 6% since the Dec-15 ‘merger’ announcement and an expected near-term improvement to the ‘merger’ terms, worth considering index hedged long Tessenderlo in EUR 23-24 range.
– Wincor Nixdorf plc (WIN GY): Wincor Nixdorf reported very strong set of 1Q15 numbers, with significant beat on top and bottom line (Sales of €727mn vs. consensus of €652mn and EBIT before restructuring of €66mn vs. €40mn consensus) and FY guidance raised .(EBITA expected of €160-190m vs previous guidance of €150m). Release also reconfirms elements from earlier S-4 filing. Main next catalyst is 18 February with 70-80% probability of launch of extended 5-8 months 2nd request. After we highlighted limited downside in setting up spread 2 weeks ago, spread has flown in from 14% to below 7% in last 2 weeks.
– Home Retail Group plc (HOME LN): Daily Mail reporting that Sainsbury’s and Home Retail were believed to be locked in talks this weekend to thrash out a deal, with talks thought to have taken on added urgency amid market chatter that Asda is also eyeing Home Retail. Although we slightly question the real substance of this Daily Mail story (making up a story behind a real potential scenario), it is now really just a matter of time till we see a release from Sainsbury’s on how it is moving forward (either recommended or unsolicited). Would trim any position (added on Friday) above Gbp 150 again.