FTSE 100 rallies, Melrose and Prudential surge 4%
GKN’s blue-chip owner today revealed it is to bank £520 million as part of a landmark deal in the United States.
Melrose Industries said its sale of standing desk business Ergotron marked the final exit from the wider Nortek air management-to-home automation business it bought in 2016.
The FTSE 100-listed company, whose current interests span automotive, aerospace and powder metallurgy, said it had doubled shareholders’ initial investment in Nortek and transformed the businesses themselves.
It plans to announce how it intends to use the Ergotron proceeds closer to the deal’s completion date, due in the autumn.
However, Melrose shares rose 4% or 5.45p to 138.85p as the move is likely to fuel hopes of a further return of cash to shareholders on top of the £729 million handed out in September.
Melrose delayed a return in March because of the Ukraine war but said that it hoped to resume payments at the earliest opportunity.
Its shares were near the top of a packed FTSE 100 risers board, with Rolls-Royce and Prudential also 4% higher as traders returned to their desks in upbeat mood following the long weekend.
The easing of Covid restrictions in China was a factor in the FTSE 100 lifting 1.2% or 91.71 points to 7624.66 as the Pru rallied 46p to 1064p and miners including Anglo American and Antofagasta improved 3%.
With the Brent crude price still above $120 a barrel after Thursday’s Opec meeting failed to deliver a meaningful boost to output, BP shares lifted 3% or 12.45p to 443.75p.
Elsewhere in the oil industry, shares in North Sea-focused producer Serica Energy rose 9% after it allayed fears over the impact of the Government’s planned windfall tax.
The AIM-listed company, which operates the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields, pointed out that the levy is part of a package that includes significant investment incentives “designed to encourage companies like Serica to continue to reinvest profits”.
Serica’s shares jumped 21.5p to 273p, still short of the 400p seen in mid-April.
For Eve Sleep shareholders, however, a 24% slide will make for more sleepless nights after the mattress retailer warned it will not meet expectations for the current year. It has launched a strategic review to secure a new owner or investment partner. Shares slumped 0.35p to 1.3p.